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LIVE TR ADH 1st to 8th April 2017 (THE RETURN - LOTS OF PICS!)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This will be our 16th family trip:

March 2009 - Les Menuire (Le Trois Vallees)
December 2009 - Aime La Plagne (Paradiski) - snowmaggedon on the outward journey
April 2010 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
December 2010 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
April 2011 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2011 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
April 2012 - La Norma
December 2012 - Les Contamines
April 2013 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2013 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
April 2014 - MISSED - OMG!!
December 2014 - Tignes Le Lac - snowmaggedon on the return journey
April 2015 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2015 - Montchavin (Paradiski)
April 2016 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2016 - Les Coches (Paradiski)

But eh, who's counting - apart from me!!

We started when my boy was almost 4 and his sister was 1y8m (too young to ski). They are now almost 12 and 9 respectively.

On this occasion we are heading back to what I'd guess you'd call our second favourite ski area - Alpe D'Huez. We always stay in the satellite station of Oz-en-Oisans because like Les Coches in La Plagne it's easier to get in and out of driving wise with free on road parking, the lift access into the ski area is excellent and it's just a nice place without the hustle and bustle of the main town. We have in fact stayed in the same apartment three times there in the past, a private rental originally found via the tourist information online listing. However, the owner is making use of it himself on this occasion. So we got the latest list, emailed a few on said list and have picked up ourselves another option, very similar, in the same block one floor below. Cost was 300 Euros and the key is being mailed out to us tomorrow. Pretty easy to sort out ultimately.

We've had the Eurotunnel booked a month ago. Cost £175 with £105 being paid with Tesco vouchers. Gone for slightly more aggressive crossing times on this occasion as getting a bump up hasn't gone well of late. We've also also sorted out the lift passes. We still had the cards from our last trip in December 2013 and I was able to reload them on-line. Given the recent snow dumps we've gone for 8 day passes hoping to ski half day opening weekend Saturday and a full day the second Saturday. As we are family and even though I don't have my sisters with me (geddit) everybody goes at childrens prices as an online deal. So the 8 days is £923 for our two adults and two children.

No new kit needs purchasing so apart from self servicing the gear and renewing the MPI travel insurance we're good to go. Two weekends away... #icannotwait


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 20-11-17 0:10; edited 5 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Layne, I like your choice for easter Very Happy should be there the week after myself Very Happy but is there not a mistake in your title Puzzled
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Will be reading with interest, haven't been to ADH and had been put of by comments on here about picking it for an April holiday, though maybe being a couple of weeks early makes the difference. My eldest is still at school that week.
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skitow wrote:
@Layne, I like your choice for easter Very Happy should be there the week after myself Very Happy but is there not a mistake in your title Puzzled

Well spotted. To be honest I'm spiritually still in the last century so being a year out isn't bad for me Laughing Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Will look forward to hearing how your trip to Oz goes. It looks a pretty village. How many chairs/gondolas do you need to take to get to the main part of Alpe D'Huez? Is there any way of getting to the main resort in the evenings or is it just the daytime gondola/chairlift link?

I am surprised you have chosen Les Coches so many times. Toofy Grin Once 14 years ago was enough for me! The lower section of Mont Blanc was very icy during Christmas week this year..as you were there the week before it probably wasn't so bad. I do love Paradiski as a whole though, just much prefer staying on the Les Arcs side.
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snowymum wrote:
Will look forward to hearing how your trip to Oz goes. It looks a pretty village. How many chairs/gondolas do you need to take to get to the main part of Alpe D'Huez? Is there any way of getting to the main resort in the evenings or is it just the daytime gondola/chairlift link?

Poutran I and II take you to 2100m at the mid station of Troncon aka DMC 1 and 2 in the main bowl of ADH. L'Alpette and Alpette-Rousses take you to 2800m, high above the main bowl. Either way two cable cars/lifts and you are in the crux of the ski area. If you so wish you can ski from Pic Blanc at 3330m all the way back to Oz at 1350m. But there is no access to the main resort in the evenings - so if you want those facilities available to you Oz is not for you.

snowymum wrote:
I am surprised you have chosen Les Coches so many times. Toofy Grin Once 14 years ago was enough for me! The lower section of Mont Blanc was very icy during Christmas week this year..as you were there the week before it probably wasn't so bad. I do love Paradiski as a whole though, just much prefer staying on the Les Arcs side.

Les Coches has guaranteed links on account of it's access for people to get to and from the VE. Plus it has great tree skiing in poor weather. And my wife likes to stay at lower altitudes. I'd say we ski 60/40 La Plagne/Les Arcs. I am considering the option of staying in Vallandry on our next trip there as it's got similar attributes. What didn't you like about Les Coches?


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Wed 12-04-17 13:47; edited 1 time in total
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@Layne, The first time we went to Les Coches was before the Vanoise express so it felt very much at the edge of the ski area. At the time our eldest was 10 months and we didn't like leaving him for too long and it felt as though we never had long enough to get to the further parts of La Plagne. There didn't seem much of a village there then but maybe it has developed further in recent years.

In recent years we have stayed in Les Arcs either late season (April) or early season (December). The time we went in April there was one run open above Les Coches/Montchavin which was slushy but ok. This December it was just the one run open again but it wasn't pleasant as very icy and also crowded. Lots of people were falling over all the way down..my son witnessed 5 at once. Whilst we managed to remain upright I would not have fancied that run home everyday in those conditions. I think if I were to book somewhere on the La Plagne side I would try somewhere more central in order to ski to the furthest villages etc. Champagny.

I haven't stayed in Vallandry itself (as the rest of the family like 1950/2000) but it looks very nice. I certainly love the ski runs above it.

Thanks for explaining the lifts above Oz. We haven't yet been to the Alpe D'Huez ski area and would like to try it at some point.
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Insurance renewed - with MPI. Standard Family AMT for France only - Cancellation Cover and Personal Effects and Money Section cover deleted.

Last year it was £132.87, this year £162.33 - an increase of 22%. But I trust them (rightly or wrongly who knows) to cover our off piste activities and the ability to do France only and the delete options help keep the cost down.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Oh, and we have the key to the apartment in the mail and instructions from the owner so we're all good on that score too.
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Killer week at work - barely time to check the forecast and webcams!

As usual packing yesterday involved shouting at the kids, remembering $h!t we said last year we should be more organised about.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Wed 12-04-17 13:49; edited 1 time in total
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
3 hours from Milton Keynes to the tunnel. Not too bad. On 20.20 as scheduled.

Daughter has a fever.

Forecast is for a bit of snow and arrival.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Layne, you should try another country Smile (please note smiley and have a great trip)
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
kitenski wrote:
@Layne, you should try another country Smile (please note smiley and have a great trip)

Set in my ways lol
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You know it makes sense.
Drive down was trouble free. No fog, some light rain. Filled up in Calais @ 1.20 Euros a litre and then north of Lyon at Intermarche for 1.19. Arrived at Leclerc in Grenoble at 7. Slept until opening time. Did the wine, beer, cheese, meat, milk shop. And got into Oz-en-Oisan ski station at around 11.15. As our private let's previous occupants had left Thursday we were able to unpack straightaway. Because daughter was still feverish it was just me and my son headed out for the afternoon. The predicted light snow had arrived. We went up the Arpette bubble and did a warm run before heading up to the Dome Rousses at 2800m. The snow was slightly heavier but visibility was still decent. At worst you had to keep your eye on the piste markers and feel your way a bit. We skied all the way down to below Vaujany via the Bartavelles, Les Rousses, Chalet and La Fare pistes. The latter had some thin snow cover in places but a lot of it was nice to ski. It enabled us to complete a 1600m vertical descent which got the old and young lungs and thighs bursting. We then headed back up and because the weather was closing in a little more skied down the Arpette run into Oz and then did a couple of laps of Poutran. All in all a good spin.

The apartment is really nice with the only downside there is no dishwasher! More tomorrow! It's an early night for us!


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Wed 12-04-17 13:51; edited 1 time in total
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Layne, Well done. Very organised, Leclercs is a nightmare later in the day. Skiing on arrival day, respect !! That's the way to do it. I take it 1.20 is for diesel ? otherwise you have found an amazing deal Toofy Grin I think La Fare is a brilliant run, couple of years ago got the last run down it before they closed it for the season. Out next Saturday so maybe the same ?
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 Poster: A snowHead
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skitow wrote:
@Layne, Well done. Very organised, Leclercs is a nightmare later in the day. Skiing on arrival day, respect !! That's the way to do it. I take it 1.20 is for diesel ? otherwise you have found an amazing deal Toofy Grin I think La Fare is a brilliant run, couple of years ago got the last run down it before they closed it for the season. Out next Saturday so maybe the same ?

Organisation largely down to my wife!! Yes, the 1.20 is diesel. It's 1.35+ on the motorway so well worth a minor detour to fill up. La Fare is a great run I think. Challenging for sure but great variation of pitches and a nice landscape. It's just about hanging in there about the moment. Before I had kids I'd often get to the resort before the lifts were open and ski a full day. With young children that was just not going to happen for a variety of reasons. But now they are going older we are starting to do half days on the first Saturday. I think it's great to give the lungs and legs a work out after 18+ hours on the road.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 12-04-17 13:52; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
So to today... Sunday. It was pretty much decided last night that our daughter wouldn't be skiing today. Fever and the poos were still around. So this morning my wife and son headed out. Unusually for both of them they were up pretty early and quick to get ready. They were on the lift about 9.30 and headed up to all the way to Pic Blanc and skied the Sarenne to the bottom before returning to the D'Huez bowl. And after a ski above the town and a couple of goes through the Snowpark they headed back down to Poutran for a dad for mum switch. I then spent a couple of hours cruising around using Dome Rousses, top of DMC2 as the fulcrum of our piste expeditions. The conditions all day have been a bit challenging. Lots of cloud, a bit of light snow and highish temps meaning sticky snow > slush lower down. All good fun though and now enjoying the apres beer and wine in the apartment.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 12-04-17 13:53; edited 1 time in total
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Uno is in session!


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Mon 3-04-17 14:13; edited 1 time in total
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Some pictures showing the sort of weather we've encountered the last couple of days.





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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
So to Monday and we awoke to this...



And when we got the top of the mountain we found this...



Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sat 19-08-17 19:47; edited 1 time in total
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Daughter still has fever. Me and son were on the first lifts up and so skied perfectly groomed pistes first thing. We headed over the back of Pic Blanc and played about off piste where it was a mixture of crust and spring snow. Lot's of real nice skiing. Headed back down to Oz to do a lunchtime switch. It remained sunny throughout the day and the guys game back pretty sweaty at the end of it. After a beer on the terrace I had a siesta on the sofa! After a bit of forfeit Jenga my son headed out for a sledging session and came back covered in sweat. A great day in the mountains - if only my daughter would get better she could enjoy it too!
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@Layne, I know where you live, I know where you work, I know a fair number of your friends, I know what you drink (generally) and the bits I don't know I can find out. Please remove the above pictures before I feel compelled to do you harm.

But seriously in a towie way 'well gell'
Very Happy
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Aye, Grand pictures Layne.
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Today my daughter finally got out on the slopes. My wife and son went out early and headed after to the ADH bowl. Me and daughter took our time and were out 10.15. We skied from Alpette down the Chalets piste which always a great piste and so was a great warm up for her. We stayed over in the Montfrais area for a short time. The pistes were perfectly groomed but unfortunately still very hard and not worth continuing with. We uplifted to Dome Rousses at 2800m and skied a variety of pistes down to the snowpark and then had a once through of the beginner section of the park. We then headed up to meet my wife and son for a quick sandwich and chocolate picnic.

After that we all skied together down and again through the snowpark. Off and in between the piste had softened and was actually great fun to rip through. After getting the DMC back up we skied over to the lower end of ADH. Beyond the Marmottes mid-station the snow covered started to rapidly deteriorate. After we went back up Marmottes I & II we split up. Cloud was rolling in higher up through the day and by now was quite thick and made skiing less fun. So after a while me and laddo headed down Poutran and did a lot of fun jumps at the side of the piste. A grand day on the hill.

Now for some wine and cheese!


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 12-04-17 13:55; edited 1 time in total
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View west from the top of DMC 2
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Look at me
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Picnic sandwich clearly approved of
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
A real good long hard days skiing today. I went out with my son at 9.30, the sun was shining and the pistes were in great shape. We ripped it up on the higher slopes of the ADH bowl aside from one skim through the Snowpark. We then went up to Pic Blanc and skied off the back for a while, where a snow shower came through before heading back over via Marmottes 3 and then meeting up with mum and daughter for a lunch at the picnic tables halfway down the Agneaux piste where it was fairly sheltered an pleasant. Such a shame some had left bottles and other litter to spoil the landscape. After skiing the lower half of the Snowpark we headed back up to the top of DMC 2 at 2700m and skied all the way down to below Vaujany at 1200m. The black piste La Fare was really pleasant for the most part - just unfortunate there a couple of pitches that require real care not to trash your skis. We then headed from there right back up to 2800m Dome Des Petites Rousses. By this time the clouds and showers of the middle of the day had dissipated and it was once again pleasant and sunny. We skied back down to Alpette. The off piste bits and pieces had softened and were great to ski. We headed back up 2800 and then skied in the direction of ADH. I split from wife and children at this point to have a little play and to do another uplift on the DMC 2 whilst they headed for home down Poutran. I pretty much repeated my tracks and down past DMC mid station and home. It was really pleasant skiing in the late afternoon/early evening mostly solitary. Ending a fine all round days skiing.
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You know it makes sense.
@Layne, nice.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
View of ADH this morning

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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The crew at the top of the Rousses cable car



Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sat 19-08-17 19:43; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The ride home back to Oz



Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sat 19-08-17 19:44; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Snowpark



Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sat 19-08-17 19:45; edited 1 time in total
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Today was a beautiful sunny day throughout. A little windy up top in the morning but that died away too in the afternoon. We had a relatively slow day, Ski Tracks recording 32.4km skied as opposed to 44.9km yesterday. Number of contributing factors. We skied as a foursome all day; son was on his snowboard, the two ladies were less than energetic at times, etc. We did some good stuff though, including a fair bit of in between the pistes after 1pm on the softened spring snow. Had a bit of an incident towards the end of the day. Mum had 'splashed' a bit of snow on my sons skis as a joke, he then tried to get her back, overcooked it and took her completely off her feet. Shocked faces all round. We talk to the kids a lot about safety and he knew he'd made a big mistake. A ski instructor nearby took an interest but realised there was no need to intervene. Nobody was hurt but my son had a bit to think about afterwards. Ironically, I've not seen a stretcher on this trip and very few eejits. My wife says she saw someone being stretchered off the snowpark but that is it.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 12-04-17 13:46; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
One dodgy thing we did see was a snowboard come careering down the mountain. Clearly a boarder had either been dicking around or accidentally failed to secure their board while unstrapped. It could have easily injured someone as it was hurtling along a right speed but gladly it eventually came to a halt at the bottom of the piste.
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One of the oddities of the week was seeing two people binded in back to back on a monoboard. I've never seen that before, anyone else?
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Feeling hot and sticky having got back to the apartment 20 minutes or so ago. Sipping a beer waiting for the shower to come free. Went over to Auris this morning "just for the crack". Place is obliterated. Did one run and just about managed to get back to the lift back down and up. Used "La Folie Duce" toilets. Wow! Had lunch on a rock. Went up Pic Blanc and skied the other side. Had a minor family row. Tunnel opened up. So lined up to face the traverse of death. Had a nice run down. Nice for younger daughter to tick that one off. Did some more off piste slush puppie runs. Almost hit a dead end above the cliffs above DMC2 but bailed out just in time with a bit off side stepping before skiing down Poutran. Some of the edge of piste jumps are as good as the snowpark. Quite a few runs now closed and closed for the season to be sure. Forecast is for rain tomorrow afternoon. We will be skiing tomorrow though for sure. Last hurrah before we hit Buffalo Grill and the road back to blighty.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Just been loading some stuff in the car. It's like an English summer night outside.
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Safe journey back Smile
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
So Saturday morning we were up bright and early and had the apartment spick and span ready for the owner by 9.30. The sun was shining and the slopes were soooo quiet. But boy it was warm. We didn't go over the back of Pic Blanc today. We skied the higher runs of the main ADH bowl in the morning. Had a leisurely lunch on a picnic bench. We headed over to the Montfrais sector for a bit of a spin. And then returned back to ADH before bailing out late afternoon and skiing all the way down to Poutran ending the skiing day at around 4.15. Temps were in the low 20's at 1350m and you could see the streams of water down the mountain in full flow all afternoon. Things really not boding well for those late seasoners coming out - unless you wanted to have long lunches on the terraces and some afternoon sunbathing.

After getting changed, letting skis and boots drain off, we repacked the motor ready for the journey home. A supermarket stop and a nice meal in Buffallo Grill in Grenoble and it was on the motorway. A near perfect drive through meant we were at the tunnel in plenty of time for our 06.25 crossing and meant we were home in MK before many folks were out of their pit. And later in the day we got an email off the appartment owner thanking us for leaving the apartment "impeccably" clean and tidy.

We were musing on the plusses and minuses of ADH in general and for late season skiing in particular. There was a feeling that Les Coches/Paradiski was preferred to Oz/ADH on account of being able to go the Les Arcs side one day and La Plagne another. And the amount of skiing available is better, in particular at the ar$e ends of the season. The problem with ADH as conditions detoriate is that much of Auris, Signal and Montfrais goes out of the window and you get sucked it the main ADH bowl and the mini area on the other side of Pic Blanc which you can only ski back from through the tunnel which doesn't open until later in the day. So it all gets a bit samey. I was reminded of my trips from before I had children and managing to find some good accessible off piste - mixed up with some great challenging piste skiing.

On the plus side I do find the Oz ski station a great little bolt hole, some of the pistes such as Les Rousses, La Fare, Promontoire, Olympique, Poutran are second to none and you can have some real fun off piste in the right conditions. The lift system is pretty good and pretty efficient - especially if you prefer bubbles/cable cars to chair lifts.

On a personal level this seasons two trips in December and early April have been a little disappointing conditions wise mirroring what I think is a general observed trend. Obviously going at those times of the season you take your chances and can't expect the world. But more often than not you hit something decent on one of them. Last year late season was good, I remember having a good Christmas in Les Coches and Les Contamines. The missus did pose the question of biting the bullet on February half term. Who knows. A discussion for another day.

This trip was also noted for the difficulties with our 9yo daughter. First with the fever/cough which is kind of just one of those things but secondly with her behaviour. A friend with two daughters talked about the hormones kicking in and causing random attitude issues. She was certainly a grumpy and stroppy bear for much of the week. Wasn't WWIII but caused a bit of angst.

Final pics to follow later!
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