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The view from............ Val d'Isere and the Espace Killy

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@bar shaker, .@Steve Angus, thanks for the info. Have joined the Facebook page and looking forward to seeing everyone next season! Just doing a intensive French lessons at the moment so I can say a few basic niceties to people...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
lynnecha wrote:
@bar shaker, .@Steve Angus, thanks for the info. Have joined the Facebook page and looking forward to seeing everyone next season! Just doing a intensive French lessons at the moment so I can say a few basic niceties to people...


I have been having weekly French lessons for a year.

It's rare to find a French resident/worker in Val who doesn't speak perfect English, but it is always appreciated when you make the effort to speak French.
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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?
bar shaker

Yes I know Cyril... see him quite a lot. Place he is doing is exactly 3 floors underneath our place. Had a place on the market with him a few years back. Another coincidence is the person renovating his place currently is my work colleague from TDC, Rich. You mentioned the weather - it has been awful the last few weeks. Heating on full whack and snow on the mountain tops - at least it means that Winter is on the way!

lynnecha

Good luck with lessons and see you when the snow arrives eh!
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AUTUMN IS WELL AND TRULY HERE

Well folks it is the time for the monthly update. I warned last time that Clare would be imminently pregnant by now... well she still is. She has really got to the stage where she just wants it out. Back ache, leg ache.... everything aches and seems to spend more time wanting the loo than not. Everything is set with the overnight bag packed for the hospital etc and all the friends etc out here on speed dial ready for the call. Still watching this space!

The last month has seen the resort well and truly slip from mid Summer (not that it was a particularly good Summer this year weather wise at all although we managed a few days into the mid 30's) into deep Autumn. The first snowfalls have arrived and we even had the odd (English) snow (melts within 2 minutes) falling in the resort itself and I can tell you looking out my window now as I type I can see flakes falling and the temperature hovering barely above 0. The snowfall atop the peaks and high up is staying put therefore the Col has been on and off open for a few weeks now but if it carries on like this it will be shut permanently before too long for the Winter!

After my trip back to the UK in early / mid August I have been back here in Val pretty much non stop. I have been doing some work on our property that we rent out in the Winter. Now we are restarting our little chalet business (get in touch if you or someone else wants a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom style place to rent weekly over the season self catering) there is some maintenance that needed doing... a new floor amongst other things. Have almost finished in there now.

Most of the 'action' has been away from the work front this last month. My mother came over for a few days to visit and stay with us which was nice for her and Olivia as otherwise it would be something like 8 months between her seeing her granddaughter and vice-a-versa. That weekend trip co-incided with Olivia first weekend off from school..... yes it was the first Monday in September that we took Olivia for her first proper day at school. To be honest, and in comparison to many kids it was hardly a big upheaval... the pre-school (they take kids from the year they turn 3 onwards (so you could have a child starting who is JUST 2 years old starting!)) is just up the road from the creche she attended and 99% of her friends from there have gone up with her... it is just bigger, louder and new teacher and some structure that she is having to deal with! She is doing OK. The first day you take the kids in to the school in 10 minute intervals and stay with them to settle them, they find their bed and peg etc then you leave.... all the time all the parents are welcomed (all parents from all years) are welcomed with coffee and chevallot pastries in the courtyard area. Finally all the kids have been taken into the classroom and you beat a retreat. With the terror situation in France it is THE ONLY time in the whole year that parents are allowed into the school during 'school' time. She has her own cute little bed etc to sleep in too there. Anyway the first day went well and the second day she was packed off on the school bus. During the Winter months she will HAVE to go on the school bus as Clare and I will be busy getting ourselves ready and off to work etc but more importantly most kids AND her friends that live down here in La Daille all take it. So now each morning a huge coach pulls up down here in La Daille and we see her onto the bus and the staff on there get her seated etc and off they go to the next pick up spot. So by 0805 each morning the house is empty again. She seems to grown up going off. It is a long day for her as the bus does not get her back home until 1645 each day! However bearing in mind they do 4.5 days at school here not 5 so 4 long days and a short Wednesday!

Anyway all seems to be going OK at school and despite being a little hesitant and the novelty wearing off now she seems happy enough getting on the bus each morning and seems to be settling in well at school too! She had last Friday off though as she had a bad cough / cold / sore throat but after relaxing a little over the weekend was well enough to go back to school yesterday!

The resort has been preparing for the start of Winter and lots of general maintenance has been carried out. The whole FuniVal has had an overhaul of its engine and rail system (amongst other things). Work has been going on on the new Tete de Solaise hotel they are building in the void left when the cable car station was removed and the whole thing is being renovated up there. The new Datcha lift is nearing completion and although I have not been up there I am lead to believe they have totally regraded the ground in the run down from the Glacier Express to the lift which will be a godsend for lower intermediates and gives us instructors an alternate progression in lessons from the Madelaine to the Glacier Express / Datcha Express!

Work on the roads has been happening a pace too. In fact the road to the La Daille is shut at night the next couple of nights therefore if Clare does go into labour tonight or tomorrow then we have to call the pompiers who will decide what to do... theoretically it might end up being a heli evacuation to the hospital if necessary!!!! So lets hope it is not until Thursday at the earliest now... that will also coincide with Clares mum being available at instant notice to come out and help out with Olivia etc... at the moment we will have to rely on friends and Olivia needs to get to school etc.... all the time whilst the nearest hospital is 45 minutes away!

So I think that is all my news... as usual Radio Val d'Isere provide excellent photos and videos so check them out on www.radiovaldisere.com but for now a selection of what they provide forms the basis of this photo cataloguing the past month or so in Val and surrounds:


Scary work for the dedicated few working on maintenance of the various lifts in resort... here the Puma chopper winches a bunch of guys up to the top of the 'up and over' chairlift to do routine Summer maintenance.


It seems a long time ago now... the Summer holidays, but there was the annual Ouillette angling competition up there in late August!


Before the Winter sets in all the cows, sheep etc all have to be transported back down to the valley floor and many of them right back down to MUCH lower altitudes e.g. Bourg.... others get housed in the Val farm buildings for the Winter months!


A firm favourite for many years... the Arolay in Fornet has decided to close its doors once and for all!...


... but the new l'Etincelle on the snow front is ready to open for this Winter... near the bottom of the old Solaise Cable car station... meanwhile the owners of this new restaurant, are contemplating shutting up shop up the Manchet Valley permanently in place of this new offering!


Work progressing well on the new Datcha lift.


It only took 3 weeks but the petrol pumps at the Spar petrol station in town stopped working and have only just yesterday finally started working again after being totally replaced with new pumps!


Look closely - some prankster has painted the stone pink - you can't miss it as you enter Val from the tunnels - some people have too much time on their hands!


I made Radio Val.... centre'ish with red baseball hat on and green winter jacket! Olivia first day at school or 're-entre' as they call it over here!


There is way more snow now but these were the first flocons falling at the Col about 2 weeks back... the road is barely navigable now!

So I think that brings you all up to date now... If this time in a month the baby has not arrived then we have a problem therefore I will leave you now in the assurance that the next time you hear from me the baby boy will have arrived.

Stay tuned and in the mean time if anyone has any lesson requests or accommodation requests for this Winter then please get in touch!

TTFN
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Steve Angus, great update and pics as always. Encouraging news about early cold and snow. Hope all goes well for you all, over the next few weeks in particular. snowHead
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Arolay closing Shocked

My favourite, that's a disaster! Could the youngsters not cut it? Where does the gay waiter go? No more wine 'a volonte'.

Best wishes to you both for the new arrival and the season, will enjoy your blog as ever
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Val Desire, something to do with the owners retiring and the son not wanting to carry it on. Not sure why someone can't buy it as a going concern mind.
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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!
@Steve Angus, we were going to come over this weekend but decided the weather wouldn't be much fun. 29degC in Greece won, instead.

With the road being dug up too, I'm really glad we didn't come over.

Cyril's place should be finished this week, we are looking forward to seeing it. His old place is what inspired us to refit ours.

Good luck with all things maternal, hope it all goes well.
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I'm looking for some information on le fornet, whats it like for bars and restaurants, and can a leisurly intermediate skier make it to tignes les breviere and back including drinks stops.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@compostcorner, Le Fornet has limited restaurants but some good ones, including l'Edelweiss and Signal (top of cable car). There's also a newish one right up near the glacier, which gets decent reviews, can't recall name. Unfortunately another good one, l'Arolay, has recently closed. Easy enough to get free buses in and out of Val D centre at night.

Le Fornet to Les Brevieres return on skis depends on a) how leisurely you ski, b) length of drinks stops, c) weather conditions and lift queues. Perfectly doable most days if fairly direct route taken. Might not leave much time to enjoy the many other pistes you'd see along the way.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@compostcorner, easily doable, and if you run out of time on the way back make sure you get to the top of toviere last lift, down to la daille, couple of jolly rewards in roses then get the free and frequent bus back home.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@compostcorner,
Yes a leisurely skier can make it with plenty of time to spare. Done there and back in under 4 hours easy. In reality you just need to make the ridge above Tignes Le Lac before the lifts shut. So you could leave Le Fornet say 90 mins before the lifts shut and make it back.
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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
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
thanks everyone
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@compostcorner, There isn't much in the village, but there is L'Atelier d'Edmond which is a Michelin 2 star jobbie and worth both of the stars. Take a big wallet but prepared for a gastro overdose that you will not forget.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
A boy!

Hi folks... what a month it has been. Within a week of the last post it was all action stations for us down at Bourg hospital! A long night in a VERY quiet hospital - in fact we were the only people (apart from staff) as best I could see.... and at about 0530 Benjamin (Ben) Anthony John (middle names share some commonality with both myself and other family members and also my late father so there is sentimental value in those middle names) Angus made an appearance into this world... he is rather long for a newborn therefore is likely to be quite tall it would seem and was 3.6KG (just under 8lb!) so a healthy weight!

Clares mum was on the first train over so even by the evening we had an extra helping pair of hands! In France it is normal for a baby and mother to stay in hospital for 5 days after birth to allow for various checks etc to happen but there was no way that was going to happen - logistically it was not going to be possible. Anyway with Clares mum it was much easier as she could help with things!

Anyway after a few days of form filing and general bureaucracy as well as some great times over those first few days Clare and Ben left hospital. Much of the last month has involved attempting to settle into a routine / not too much sleep but not too bad really and plenty of nappies to change!

On the work front I have spent a couple of weeks now back at work and am working on a some property renovation works and as is usual at this time of the year everyone wants their jobs and projects completed so there is no shortage of that sort of work around! Clare has really settled into looking after a newborn once again.

On the weather front we had a week or two when it was jolly cold and there was snow right down into town (for a short period of time) and then the last week or so has been pleasantly warm - not quite shorts weather but not far off it! This weekend however it is supposed to once again return to snow!

We had a bit of a nightmare with our car though as we got a puncture and could not get the wheel off (the locking nut for the alloys threaded). We ended up buying a replacement online but that did not work as the wheel had been overtightened when the Summer tyres were last put on. The problem with this was that we were stuck in La Daille with a new born baby and not much opportunity to get anywhere without walking!!! We ended up having to get a tow truck to take our van all the way to Bourg to get the garage to loosen it off - so that all took an age to sort out!

So there we are with personal news....



Meanwhile in local news there has been some snowfall - up high in particular but for a short while it also snowed in town... quickly melting away within an hour or two!




All the cattle traditionally get taken off the mountain at this time of the year... it takes many weeks to round them up and get them to lower grounds!


NOT my daughter in this photo but some of her cohorts from her class - learning how to do stop go animation for a school film - what a cool thing to do in school at that age!

So that pretty much brings you up to date with the last month. Sorry not too much to report but at this time of the year there is not too much happening in general - just preparing for the start of Winter and everyone has their heads down. Of course with the arrival of Ben that is pretty much dominated the last month personally.

However as the season starts in a months time you will all be pleased to hear that from next month onwards (around about the week before the lifts open) I will be back doing my daily updates etc so get ready for Winter 17/18!

TTFN
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Huge congrats!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Steve Angus, Congratulations to you, Clare and Olivia on the birth of Ben!
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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?
Congratulations and best wishes to all.
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I always look forward to your updates but this one is special. Hello Ben and good wishes to your family and for the upcoming season. It’s very interesting how you spend the non skiing season but I guess that’s pretty much how most handle it all.

Just to clarify, that wasn’t meant to mean that you fitted in the birth of Ben in that schedule. wink
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
great news Steve, congrats to the 4 of you!
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Congrats to the Angus clan
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Congratulations to all your family.
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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!
WOOO-HOOO Many congrats Steve and Clare, baby Ben is absolutely beautiful.

May I just refer you to my post of April the 3rd...

HoneyBunny wrote:
Many congrats on your wonderful news Steve!! Best wishes to you, Claire and Olivia.

ps - I predict a boy Wink


If you would like next week's lottery numbers, just let me know.

Thanks for the updates and the pics, I had no idea French cows looked so much like sheep wink
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Congratulations Steve and family.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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Is it going to be a boarder or a skier? Well done Exclamation
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Hi Steve - many congratulations to you and Claire. Hope to catch up over Xmas when I am in Val with family and friends (think David mentioned to you that I was making a change from the 3V for this Xmas !)

Cheers, Tony
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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.
Congratulations Clare and Steve!
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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
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
Hyst wrote:
Is it going to be a boarder or a skier? Well done Exclamation


Hmm, Steve, please clarify this Laughing Ben looks very happy on the pic (so must be a skier!) although the fancy outfit is more in a boarders' domain ... confused. Anyway, Ben looks very happy on that pic, so who cares? Smile
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Possibly one for @Steve Angus, but what's the form for skinning up pistes on days before the lifts open on 25th November? Help yourself or discouraged? Would be nice to test out my new touring kit.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Dr John, Go for it!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Markymark29, as well as touring kit also need to test new gloves, jacket, pants, mid-layers, base layers, socks...... you get the picture.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Steve Angus, Loving the snazzy outfit, he's a proper cutie. Well done and congratulations to you both from mrsthecramps and I. Madeye-Smiley
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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?
Got to be time for an update @Steve Angus, ??
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@scorchio, perhaps @Steve Angus is busy with their new arrival, not to mention work! snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Steve's monthly update not due for another week or so yet. Give the guy a break Laughing Laughing
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Congratulations to you all. He is so cute!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Paging Steve!!

Nearly opening weekend, woo-hoooooo!

He must be busy with dad stuff and pre-season prep Cool
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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!
@Steve Angus, ooh, I missed this! Many, many congratulations, Ben looks extremely cute! Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Congrats Steve.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Val d'Isere opening tomorrow (Sat).

However, it is very hot in resort (+10c) today and may rain tomorrow.
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