Thursday, 30 March 2017

Vallee Blanche

We went home for the weekend which explains why no blog.  John wanted to see the  Head of the River Race which involves 420 crews rowing from Chiswick to Putney.  Sadly, it was cancelled because of high winds.
Anyway, we are back in Megeve to lovely sunny weather and deserted pistes.  Today we took all the staff, except for Tom (whose girl friend arrived today) and Rory and Corrie (broken collarbones) to Chamonix to ski the Vallee Blanche.  It was one of those days.  Leaving our apartment, we got into the lift I asked John if he had got his boots.   We got to the RP when he said he'd forgotten both his phones.  Surprisingly, I had mine and it was switched on.
We were incredibly lucky as Alex Perinet (our favourite mountain guide) was free and he brought his friend, Thiery, who guided us last year.  So, we had two excellent guides.  Often the ridge is windy and cold, but there was no wind and we all ended up stripping off at the bottom of it.  Then we split into two groups.   We went with Alex and skied the Petit Envers, which was steep and exciting with lots of crevasses to avoid.  We joined up with the other group just before the path to the refuge, and skied together to our patch of stones for lunch.
The snow was mixed but lower down Alex found us some spring snow, which was great. I think the worst part is climbing up the stairs to the railway.  Gary, bless him, carried my skis.  Every year I do it I wonder if I can face that climb up the following year.  It was a great day and thank you to all our team this year.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Yesterday we skied with Neville and his partner, Caroline, on Mont D'Arbois.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  We stopped at the Gouet for lunch and bumped into Sarah Lambert, who lives in the chalet just below the Sylvana.  She told us that Tom, the chef/manager of the Sylvana for many years, was ill in New Zealand.  He had moved there after he left us.  He had been falling over and had been to see several doctors who dismissed his concerns, until one took him seriously and sent him for a scan.  It turned out that he had a tumour on his spine which was pressing on the nerve and affecting his balance.  It has been removed and he is now having chemotherapy.  So we all hope that he is on the road to recovery.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Sorry, I have been rather lax in blogging.  I went to see the osteopath who gave my ankle a twist and a yank and something went click.  He said I could go skiing.  The problem was that it still hurt but on the other side.  So I took a couple of days off which was most frustrating as the weather was beautiful, warm and sunny.  However, yesterday I decided to go out anyway and found a technique which minimised the pain.   I went to see the osteopath again today and I am now hopeful that it is on course for recovery.  He is a lovely man:  he asked me my age and expressed surprise as he thought I was younger!
In the meantime, Jonny and Tracey have been out this week.  Tracey isn't skiing so she and Carol have been doing things together.   Sadly, I have not been able to ski with Jonny as much as I would have liked.  But we have had lots of nice lunches out, sitting in the sun at the  Dahu, Alpage and 540. They go home tomorrow.  Jonathan and Fiona Muirhead are leaving on Monday as they are having to give up their apartment in Megeve early.  I think they have enjoyed their season and are talking about coming back next year, but for longer.  However, we have all our family coming out the first week in April and more snow is forecast for next week, so the end of the season is looking good.  We are full next week but not the last week in March, so if you want a quick ski holiday on a short break that is the time to come.  The slopes are empty, the sun is shining and the pistes are in good condition first thing, though at this time of the year they tend to get a bit soft in the afternoon. 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Sunny Saturday

The sun is shining in Megeve, the snow is perfect and I've hurt my ankle.   I don't know what I've done but I tried skiing this morning and it was not a good idea.  I had rested it yesterday so I was hoping that I would be OK, but I ended up skiing down on one ski, which might be good for practice but not for all day.
Anyway, to recap.  Wednesday morning was almost perfect.   I say almost because I fell into the same ditch beside the bottom of the second chair at Cote twice running.  Everyone else thought it hilarious.  We met Gordon and Neville at the top of the Princess lift, and skied off piste down to Planallet, where we caught the bus to Cote.  As the top chair had not been open the day before we were almost first down everything.  The off piste snow was light and fluffy and huge fun.  Then it started to get busy and the snow got heavier and John and I went home for lunch.
On Thursday the temperature had risen.  We went to Le Giettaz where Gordon and Neville skied off the back and skinned back up again.  We did one run off piste which was OK, but hard work, so we skied the pistes.
On Friday we had a trip to Carrefour in Sallanches as our toaster had died and we needed to replace it.   We picked up some guests from the Alpy bus.  They have chosen a good weekend for a short break.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Powder Day

We woke up this morning to more snow than we've had all season, and still snowing.  The snow was over my knees walking to the Chamois lift.  Most of the lifts opened late because of the snow.  We waited at the Chamois and then gave up and got the bus up to Mont D'Arbois.  We were the first down Bridans which was brilliant, fluffy powder.  We were second down Voltigeurs which had been pisted but had about 50 cms of snow on top.  We skied them both twice and then headed off to ski down to Planallet.   No-one had done it so Neville had to break the trail.  We then got the bus to Jaillet which was a mistake.  We skied down the face but the snow was heavy.  Gordon and Neville went back to Mont D'Arbois but John and I decided we'd had a fantastic morning and headed home for lunch.  It's stopped snowing for now, though more is forecast.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Fresh snow

We had about 10 cms of fresh snow overnight, enough for us to play around in the off piste.  We got the first lift out of Megeve  and then up to Mont D'Arbois where we met Gordon.  As we got to the top we came out of the cloud and into sunshine.  We did a couple of runs down to Communailles, where I failed to climb over a fallen tree and then gave a fir tree a hug.  Gordon took the photo [after making sure the tree was alright] but all you can really see is my blue back pack and a ski.

Then we went up the Epaule lift where people were skiing off to the right down to the Mont Joli chair.  The snow looked good so we decided to follow them, and it was.  This is the first time we have been up there this season, as it gets skied out so quickly. The drawback was the wind.   The chair was going slower than usual because the wind was sweeping across,  blowing clouds of snow in your face.  After the second run Gordon announced he needed a hot chocolate so we headed for the Chalet du Mont-Joli.  We ended up having lunch there.  It was good, but every time someone came in the door the temperature dropped, as the wind was blowing from that direction.  After lunch Gordon headed home but we decided to ski off the triangle at the top of the Epaule ridge, down to Croix du Christ.  The snow wasn't as good as on Mont Joli but we had an interesting adventure through the trees and down the stream.  I was  glad to get to the piste.  By that time the weather had closed in so we skied home.  It's still snowing now, in Megeve.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Stormy weather

We were woken up this morning with shutters rattling from sudden gusts of wind.  Yesterday was sunny and, because it was the last day of the French holidays, busy.  But today there was a foehn wind blowing (100kph we were told) and the main lifts on Rochebrune and Mont D'Arbois were closed for the morning.  We had already agreed to meet Gordon at Jaillet, which proved to be the best bet. We had planned to ski over to La Giettaz, but, because of the high winds, we were not sure whether the top chair there would be open.  We have been caught once before when we skied over and found it closed so we couldn't get back, and we didn't feel like repeating the experience.  It is about an hour's drive round by road. We skied until lunch time when the snow started to get sticky and then came home.  The temperature has now dropped about 10C as a cold front is moving in and it is starting to snow.  So tomorrow may be a fun day.  Good for the guests arriving, but not so good for those going home.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

An amazing day

Fresh snow, first lift.   It was still snowing this morning when Neville picked us up to meet Gordon at the Princess lift.  We skied Bridans twice as it had not been pisted, then skied down beside the drag lift.  After that we did the the Monrosset field which was lovely, then off piste down to Bettex.  I suggested that we skied down to the facily bus which takes us back to Chatterix.  Sadly I fell in a hole and had to clamber out, so John and I were racing down the off piste like mad men to catch the bus.  We had to do a short cut through trees which involved skiing leaf mould so I'm now muddy.  Gordon and Neville were already at the bus stop when we got down and we got there literally as the bus drove up.  So lunch at the Gouet where we squeezed onto a table occupied by three of our guests, Yann, Chris and Russell.  They are all medics and out on a short break.  Gordon and Neville decided to do another run but John and I went home via the off piste to Planallet.   The field was a bit heavy but we were first tracks down!
What a change after yesterday.  I went out but the Rochebrune lifts were closed because of high winds.  At the top of the Croix de Christ I could see nothing because of the horizontal snow, so decided to ski down the green run so I could follow ski school.  The Mont D'Arbois lift was then closed.   The best skiing yesterday was at Jaillet.
It is now snowing now 5pm so tomorrow should be good.