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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
moosepig - yea and endoman - hee hee!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Devastated to see fatalities on the Pisaillas glacier in an avalanche. Were they on a closed piste from what I can gather? Steve Angus do you have the inside info?
A reminder that it is a dangerous pastime. Thoughts with their family 😓
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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?
Sad news

Well folks this evening I will start with a stark example of ignoring signage on the mountain to report the death of a 44 year old father (from the Paris region) and his 11 year old daughter this afternoon in Val d'Isere. So today the temperatures felt warmer due to the sun beating down... making the snowpack warmer. Anyway with the wind we have had (not strong but persistent loading the south facing slopes) and the 40cm of snowfall over the last 72 hours or so the 'conditions' were ripe for avalanches. Anyway the piste from the top of the Pissaislas Glacier (Combe du Geant) which is lookers right off the side of the top t-bar was closed today... this was due to the 'overhanging' slopes above the piste that could slide. Anyway a family headed down this (clearly) closed run - pisteurs put signage all over the mountain if people look at it, and half way down the mountain purged itself. Cutting a long story short the wife was partially buried slightly out of the path of the slide but the husband and their only daughter were totally buried and 40 minutes of so later after a drafting in of all the av dogs on the mountain and about 20 pisteurs by chopper as well as any 'professional' in the region the probe line revealed where their (now lifeless) bodies were located. The CRS chopper was on site with the doctor but despite the paramedics and doctor at work they could not be revived (of course they were 'naturally' not wearing transceivers). The SAF chopper was acted as backup flying the dogs and pisteurs etc to the site.

This is Radio Val google translate version of what happened:

"Good weather and beautiful snow are not synonymous with safety. The beautiful weather of this day did not make forget that it had fallen more than 40cm of snow in altitude during these last 48h. The trackers are well aware of this, and it is for this reason that they took the precaution of closing a certain number of tracks because of the danger that can be represented by the sun-warming castings. The track of the Combe du Géant on the sector of Pisaillas was as such prohibited to skiers and ungroomed. A group of friends, skiing together, entered this closed track and around 12:40 pm, was surprised by a plate that had unhooked naturally in the vertical rock wall located about a hundred meters upstream of the track. She buried 3 skiers from the same family. If the mother, a little away from the avalanche's drop-off point, exited the mass of snow, the father, aged 44, and their only daughter, aged 11, were completely covered. About twenty trackers arrived very quickly on the scene and began to probe the foot of the avalanche to search for victims buried under the snow. 4 dog masters with their animals were also present. Cédric Bonnevie then asked to close the entire sector of Pisaillas to ensure a good quality of relief. The use of DVA avalanche search devices was useless because these skiers were not equipped with them. The 2 victims were extracted from the snow some 40 minutes later and the rescuers proceeded, in vain, to long cardiac massages. The CRS mountain helicopter arrived on the spot, with on board a doctor who could only note the deaths of the 2 unfortunate victims. Another helicopter, that of SAF, was also used to manage the material logistics and that of the men of this relief. The place is known for its dangerousness in case of avalanche risk. Last December, the same plate was part of the entire wall above this track. It had completely covered a large part of the foot of the Pisaillas sector. Tonight, in Val d'Isère, the avalins, though accustomed to these dramas, say that they will never do this type of hardship so much sadness and sorrow are great. (Our photo: The slopes above the Combe du Géant subjected to avalanches today)"




RIP

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyway back to todays news this end.

I had this morning off (just as well as I needed a little time out of boots and since we are hosting (as of this evening) a French language exchange student which has meant that Ben has come into our bedroom: since he makes one heck of a racket all night long with his gargling etc the nights sleeps are less sleeping and more waking time once again!) and managed to catch up with a whole heap of jobs and admin that needed doing... and of course watching several hours of cricket (go England) and Sky+ Winter Olympics.

I took Olivia up to the meeting point as she is starting a whole new week of group ski lessons (go girl) and then popped home via our little apartment we rent out to see the guests off and then home.

I started work at lunchtime and just before I did I fitted in my periscope (it (the avalanche mentioned above) must have been happening at the same time as I broadcasting):

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1OwGWEBylyZxQ

... and then it was off to teach an interesting lesson... it was a mother of about 40 and her 12 year old daughter. Normally if I am being honest as an instructor you pretty much know how lessons like this are going to pan out.... the daughter will progress faster than the mother but today broke the mould... Anyway we lapped around on the Savonnettes and little by little things progressed although the daughter really does not like standing on and using her left leg... It was warm therefore I stripped off 2 layers which was saying something as I had already shed one layer from yesterday!

By the end the daughter was starting to make controlled turns from the top (sort of) whist the mother really was doing so. More tomorrow girls!

After skiing the language student arrived (the set up is that she is fully immersed for a few days in an english family here in France). She is a lovely 12 year old girl from near Annecy. So most of this evening has been devoted to getting her settled in and welcoming her into family life... starting with a nice family roast dinner this evening.

So back to a full days teaching tomorrow. Not much else to report from today... perhaps a little photo from the Savonettes to finish!



Ps Meant to share a couple of the pisteurs photos of the work they did yesterday (they do it quite regularly) to secure the slopes above the 'up and over' chair (Leissieires Express)





TTFN
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Oh that is grim Shocked Sad
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Absolutely tragic news, and sadly another grim reminder of why you should never go down closed pistes. I've skied Combe du Géant many many times when open, and it's scary to see it covered in avalanche debris.

It always amazes me the number of people who risk Santons and Piste L when they're shut (which they always are in the afternoons when I go in March).

RIP to them both and condolences to the family.
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horrible news. I guess it must have gone from the south facing slope above as it warmed up through the day. Those whale mouth things like on the exit from TD charvet As above, don't ignore closed runs!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Beware of the 'expert'

After yesterdays tragedy it felt quite sombre the mood in town... I have heard and I am not 100% sure how accurate it might be as these things turn into mutated stories in the aftermath but apparently it was the mothers idea to do down the closed run; the father was wearing a transceiver but it was turned off at the time and finally as the slide started to come down the father hugged the daughter to try and protect her and they ended up buried together.!!!!!!!

endoman - no no 'whale mouths' involved just classic slab release due to the sun heating the snow pack up over the day but yes south'ish facing!

Anyway back to today. It was a frantic start to the day getting everyone ready and to the meeting point to drop Olivia off for her lesson and then myself to my lesson. Clare had Ben and the language girl so it was all systems go as they were meeting a friend of Clares in town for a coffee too!

So I met my lesson (a nice young lad from Manchester) at the normal place and time and we headed off up Solaise and had a nice ski around. For someone so new to skiing he skied well and we had a fun session. However the session was marred by what I call the 'expert' factor. How often do you hear of the 'expert' in the group / chalet? Well the 'expert' factor came through once again. I came across a woman in agony and a bloke further down the piste (it was on the magic carpet Pim Pam in actual fact)... cutting a long story short he had given her a 'lesson' but totally over judged her ability and she was sent flying down the run and took a big fall... the pisteurs were on their way already but she was in some discomfort and that will have been the end of her skiing for this holiday and on the first day.... perhaps the 'expert' should leave it to the experts!

I took lunch at the bottom of the mountain and fitted in my periscope:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1mrGmRXmqyNJy

After lunch I was back with the mother and daughter team I had taught yesterday afternoon and we started on the Savonnettes before moving up the mountain to the magic carpet and spent a good couple of hours working on improving their turns and had a lovely time. Despite the daughter being ill and up half the night and not really eating we had a successful time and I am hoping that we will make it up the Madelaine tomorrow afternoon.

I headed home straight after skiing as I knew that there had been some cupcake making this afternoon - with a cuppa it was a welcome treat at the end of the day!



Don't think anything else to add today.

TTFN
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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!
Ps Forgot the TDC snow report link from this week, published today

https://www.facebook.com/tdcski/videos/10156107009498607/
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
It's not what's at the sides of Combe du Géant that avalanches, it's what is above the cliffs. The avi comes off here, drops a big distance and crosses the area between the cliffs and the piste. You can ski off piste to the right of Combe du Géant totally oblivious to what is above you. Have a look on the Pisaillas webcam for a better picture.

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Ski the Net with snowHeads
What's very noticeable from the pics, is that a lot of skiers had skied the same piste before the slide happened... every one of them lucky and silly. It's also next to a well known access point to off piste routes. Ski safe out there!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
A surprise

It was a little crazy start to the day as I was taking Olivia to her ski lesson and also needed to get myself sorted. However with the sun trying to dominate the sky was a mix of clouds on one side (mainly the Italian border side of things) and sun the other side. The main thing at the meeting point at the start of the lesson that had to be decided was which side to ski. With the sun dominating on the Bellevarde side my young gun decided that the Solaise side with the clouds would be the better option. So we headed that way. The father decided to come along today and we went on a little circuit up the Solaise. The Arcelle piste was showing the first signs of Spring on it with some death cookies on it but they are very localised and I dont think they will be present non stop for a few more weeks but they were present today!

However the surprise of the day was that they somehow pisted the Marmottons black run down into the Manchet Valley. There are no winch points on the piste therefore they must have used another piste basher as the anchor point. Anyway the piste which is rarely skied anyway was in top nick with no-one on it and we lapped around and around on a mix between chalk snow and groomed snow - nice!

C loved learning how to do some grabs too.

Lunch was a quick affair... a sandwich under the Sun Bar before meeting my pm lot... and the plan for the afternoon was to get them onto the Madelaine for the first time. As it turned out they had not managed to get any practice in but the teenage daughter was feeling better and the mother was feeling nervous. So we headed up and after a couple of practice runs on the magic carpet we took on the Madelaine. A couple of runs later and they were feeling pretty good... so it was a successful afternoon!

After skiing I did a few chores and also fitted in my periscope:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1YpJkErZVpMKj

...and then headed to the pub (Blue Note) for a beer and nibbles before we all headed up to prepare for the torchlit descent which was a good social as usual.

I got home to eat some homemade pizza that Clare, Olivia and the language student girl had made and after some more household chores here I am!



Tomorrow should see similar weather as today but with more sun although there might be more (proper amounts) of snow on the horizon .

TTFN
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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.
I've never seen Marmottons pisted, ever! I've also never skied it as Arcelle is such a great run, I'd rather do that.

Saw some sad news today that someone died falling into a crevasse somewhere off piste on the Grand Motte.
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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
Chilly

HoneyBunny - no never seen it pisted either... get down that Marmottons piste before it gets bumpy as it was awesome yesterday... more info on that death coming up below

So today there was not a cloud in the sky but Olivia was not really playing ball to get out there and enjoy the snow! Anyway to say it was a stressful start to the day to say the least but we got there.

Anyway I got to the meet point to meet my lesson and we were off. A nice group of friends from north Wales on there 4th trip... however it was mighty chilly up there... the air temperature was cold but it was the punchy breeze that really got us. However we did some laps of the green triangle and eventually via a coffee stop at the Bellevarde restaurant ended up at the Folie! Some good changes starting to happen - more work to do tomorrow!

I bussed it back into town to meet Clare, Olivia and the others at Crazy Barmes for lunch. Olivia had a good morning at ski school in the end despite having very cold feet.

This afternoon I took our language student girl out for a slide around and showed her the sights of the Espace Killy. It was a nice afternoon in the sunshine and we covered a lot of ground that is for sure!



Anyway not too much else to report.... however it does now look as if we are going to get some snow later the week / weekend - we shall see!

The other thing to report is the death on the Grand Motte yesterday - only found out about it this morning. Essentially someone (well equipped in terms of off piste gear) lost control and slipped and ended up falling down a crevasse and ended up perishing!

Oh and there was another interesting event today... check out what happened in Super U in Bourg this morning - no one seriously injured but the store was closed most of the day whilst they sorted it out - still dont know what caused it but looks pretty awful.



My periscope from today too!

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1jMKgqzjbdAJL

TTFN
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I always thought that you were relatively safe in supermarkets.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Perhaps we need a new thread on whether you should wear a helmet in the supermarket.
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Poster: A snowHead
Shocked Blimey!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Alastair, Laughing
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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?
Transceiver as well so they can find you under the debris!!
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Tremors !
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Its trying

Gonna be a real quick update this evening as it has been a mega tiring one...

OK most of it was self inflicted as I got up very early to watch the mens slalom... I had to watch the first run (previously recorded) first though so skipped through that on fast forward apart from a couple of the big names and then watched the whole of the second run live.... all I can say is well done Dave and Laurie... interesting that Laurie has finished in a higher spot than Dave did on his first Olympics 8 years ago!

I was also interested to see how 2 of the Val Club des Sports boys would fair - 2 top 10 finishes and just off the podium for both Victor and Clement... I remember seeing Clement ski when he was 13 / 14 and been amazed then so congrats all round!

Over at the Club des Sports they opened the doors for a special breakfast and coffee and about 100 people turned up to cheer the racers on:



So anyway not only was it a very early start but I had a full days work including some off piste this afternoon which is always tiring too!

The clouds were building from the south and east all days long and at times the vis went pretty flat (the further towards the Fornet you went) and other times you thought the sun might win! For the most part no snow fell from the sky although we had a few cms at altitude. If this weather system gets its way it could turn into a super retour and that can lead to a lot of localised snow... perhaps... however it can easily go the other way and lead to nothing at all! Time will tell.

More on that in todays periscope... however for some reason once again the twitter link doesn't seem to have come up on my feed so can't post the link I'm afraid!

I had lunch at the office and then this afternoon I was with my seasonnaires once again and it was off piste time. After the obligatory safety chat we headed up and found some nice variations in the Jardins de Borsat... some blown in wind, some sun crust and some wind compacted and some lovely natural powder... a whole host of conditions but generally really nice! After that we dived over the back to do the Tour du Charvet and I was somewhat surprised in a bad way as to the quality of the snow on the flats at the top... way worse (even with me working the expositions) than I thought it was going to be. A few nice turns here and there. The steeps were a right off but that is nearly always the case. However the bottom was nice and all in all they loved the solitude (the weather being cold and less than ideal put the masses off) of the trip!

I headed home and with our language student on the way home it has been nice having the house to ourselves once again!

Final thing to say is that the traffic forecast for this weekend has been published - similar to the last couple of weeks therefore traffic jams most likely on Saturday in both directions so as always arrive / leave early or late if you can... however heavy snow could also be problematic!



Right off to bed... another day on the hill tomorrow then I have a whole day off the hill Saturday - wooopeee. But just as I thought things would calm down a little Clare has her best friend coming to stay with us for a week - eeeeek!

TTFN
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Buzzing to be out there in just over two weeks!

Snow forecast looks solid until then.

My friends and I were looking to start getting more into off-piste skiing (can comfortably handle anything a piste throws our way), and were hoping to get some introductory guiding when we're out there.

Given we've not ventured into much serious off-piste before, we don't have skins, transceivers, or shovels. Can anyone recommend a guide or instructor out there who would be good for an introduction to off-piste? Not sure if most of the intro lessons/guiding would require us to have all that equipment?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Steve Angus does a great intro to off piste session, and kit is supplied. If you’re lucky he might still have a free slot Happy
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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!
@Pending, yeah I actually just stumbled across him and his (I think) wife on the TDC brochure. Might go the three day clinic route
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Bennisboy, if he's free I think you'll have an amazing time. I'll be in Val same time as you, from March 11th and cannot wait to be back!!

See you in Cocorico.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
HoneyBunny wrote:
@Bennisboy, if he's free I think you'll have an amazing time. I'll be in Val same time as you, from March 11th and cannot wait to be back!!

See you in Cocorico.


Hell yes, Cocorico at the end of every day!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Bennisboy - thanks and as Pending and HoneyBunny say I can help (Thanks you two for the endorsement). Which week are you talking about... I'm thinking you probably mean the Monday 12th March week? If so then that week I'm fully booked up but one of my colleagues is running by the looks of things an Intro to Off Piste course. Best bet is drop me a line for more info - how many people is it for, all on skis? Ironically I am running an Intro course next week and and Off Piste Adventure course the week after that!

Weather still not made its move yet

All day today the weather has teased us... it looked as if it was moving in and the light went flat etc but nothing really materialised!

Anyway after the usual of dropping Olivia off for her lesson (I was to bump into her group later on as they skied to La Daille - just as she took a tumble so I gave her a hug and put her ski back on and sent her on her way) I met my team for one last swan song! With B taking a last day challenge of a ski with his mates and taking on the Face I just had the ladies.... so we did some work up the Bellevarde side before taking an early hot chocolate and then some more skiing all the way down to La Daille. I think there was some good success achieved even in the weather today.

I treated myself to lunch at the Sun Bar before meeting the guys at SkiBro.... we spent the afternoon filming for the Zero to Hero films - a couple have already come out which I have shared with on here so these next few will show Sean going up a gear towards parallel turns. As he has been out practising a little over the past few weeks it was quite easy for me to develop him and move him on... lots of good footage was recorded over the afternoon.

After skiing I fitted in todays periscope:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1vAGRVlErePGl

... and then I went to Killy Sport to finally get my new airbag cartridge replaced - boy that was a long drawn out process but all done now!

... then it was to the EV2 meeting point to see Olivias medal ceremony... she did so well this week as she had some pretty large kids in her group (up to about 8 years old)

... then it was off to a birthday party - one of Olivias little friends... nice to catch up with a few friends.

Finally got home, dinner and hey presto that is a wrap for another week.

Im so looking forward to my First day off in a long time tomorrow - no ski boots for a whole day for me... not sure what we are going to do but certainly a family day. In the evening Clares friend will be arriving to stay with us for the week and then I'm back to work all day Sunday so I had better make the most of tomorrow!


Pretty flat up there


Pretty crazy busy this week for hot choc stops at the Bellevarde Restaurant and the slope above from the top of the hill - bonkers busy - dangerous!

TTFN

P.S. JUST this second released is this weeks TDC video snow report...

https://www.facebook.com/tdcski/videos/10156120151973607/
ski holidays     
 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.
Yikes Steve!! I still feel bad about your air bag Sad
I'll be back in a few weeks - I'll look for you on the slopes!
Cheers, Vicky
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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
My brother and I will be in Tignes and are hoping to book a 3 day intro off piste course march 11-13. @Steve does your colleague's course run the whole week?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Steve Angus, hey Steve, yes week of 12th march. I spoke to Natasha via email, she said there's a few slots for the Tuesday to Thursday afternoon beginner off piste clinic. Just need to convince my mates to sign up now, would be 2-4 of us (maybe one snowboarder interested as well, but I gather the intro clinic can't really help boarders).

One of my mates is keen, but doesn't want to commit until he knows what the snow is going to be like, and is worried if we go in a random group including others that there might be someone slow holding everyone back (I told him this was silly especially as we are new to proper off piste too)
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ Bennisboy: I will offer a quick plug for the Off-Piste intro clinic run by TDC. We did it in January and it was a great experience. The group size will be limited to a max of 6 (possibly less - but certainly no more). We were lucky enough to ski with Rich & Ben and did an extra afternoon with Steve as well. These guys know the resort like the back of their hand, know where the good snow can be found and safety is paramount. The kit (packs, transceivers etc.) will be provided. You are only 2 weeks away and they just had a top up with probably more snow on the way next week. You may want to book before it fills!
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Vasta - ha ha no problems.... all sorted now. Righty yes will keep my eyes open too!
Thighs - first of all the course is running in Val that I am talking about - my colleagues over in Tignes might be running a parallel course over there... if you contact tignes@tdcski.com then they might be able to help! Anyway our clinics run for 3 (half) days typically but if there is demand / on request / availability then we can extend them to 5 days!
Bennisboy - cool - yes Tash works in the office and co-ordinates it all. I can see the clinic you are talking about (the one I had in mind when I replied beforehand too) and yes it is not full and runs those afternoons! Sure re convincing your friends. As I am the only person in the school who teaches snowboarding it means when I am doing the course I can take boarders and give them some tips on how to get into the off piste but it looks like Terry is taking the group that week at the moment (I have a corporate booking that week so not available). The snow will be what it is and of course learning how to ski off piste a) gives people the best chance of finding what nice snow there is out there and b) the technique is required to take on whatever 'type' of snow it might be therefore time is never 'wasted' if you like. Our groups are intentionally small (limited to 6 max) to stop massive splits and we work carefully to make sure that there are never massive splits... however there will always be people at the 'top end' and the 'bottom end' of the group ability wise but it should be minimal! Either way I think our coaches are pretty skilful of making sure everyone develops effectively either way so everyone will get VFM.

vasta - have just seen your response there - thanks for the plug... you've said what we find a little difficult to say ourselves I guess!!!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bliss

Not really too much to report from today really as I didnt put ski boots on all day! Not only that but Olivia and Ben gave us a lie in - it was nearly 8am before we were well and truly awake - yippee!

After family scrambled eggs (one of the few things I can cook) and umpteen cups of tea it was such a nice start to the day. Looking out the window it dint look too appetising anyway! Radio Val were reporting 70cm of snow towards the Fornet and 130km/h + winds - down this end of town and the further towards Tignes you went there was MUCH less snow - in fact down here in La Daille (town of) there was basically no fresh snow at all! This is the 'power' and the phenonemon of the 'retour' where loads of snow on the border and nothing further afield! The wind will have meant there were large accumulations in some places and nothing elsewhere. They basically could not get the Solaise and Fornet end of town running for most of the morning but did this afternoon. The av risk was raised accordingly to 3 but I suspect in places that will have been closer to 4 and in other places closer to 2 so be careful out there!

Anyway I went food shopping to Cash 2000 and to run a few errands in town before family lunch at home.... then this afternoon is a combination of playing with the kids, watching the rugby (and curling) on tv and generally putting my feet up!

A few hours ago one of Clares besties arrived to stay with us for the week and as the two of them have been drinking wine most of the evening I have been further enjoying a day off with a couple of beers and the tv remote all to myself!


One of my colleagues snapped this photo off piste somewhere this afternoon - pretty much sums up the weather out there today - gloomy for the most part until the sun made an appearance late on!

It is about to turn very VERY cold for a few days but Im off piste for the most part (certainly mornings) this week so that helps keep me warm.

Finally my periscope from today...

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1RDGldBzlDdGL

Back teaching tomorrow - over in Tignes in the morning with a beginner then in the afternoon off piste so we shall see.... lets hope for good weather thats all I care about.

TTFN
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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?
Thanks for all the input guys. I'm very keen to book, just remains for me to convince the others!
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@Bennisboy - just book it yourself, you will have a great time. If you friends book later on, great. If it's full by the time they try to book, too bad! Do it! You only live once.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hi @Steve Angus, back home now after a pretty good week overall ... great to see you briefly at the the top of the Borsat Express and big hugs from 9 year old Tilly to Clare. We were lucky enough to stumble across the freshly pisted Marmottons - amazing !
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Bennisboy No worries... hope it all works out.
scorchio - I am sitting next to Clare now - hug delivered and a hug being sent back. Yea Marmottons was good eh!

Hmmmm a mixed day

So it was a relaxed start to the day (last day of the hols for Olivia as she is back at school tomorrow) and Clares friend Toria was off out the door first thing to go meet her group that she is off pisting with this week. All I had to do was get over to Tignes for 10am. All was going well until the client, whom I was in text contact with, messaged me to say that he had it wrong - they were NOT staying in Le Lac but in Val Claret.... the problem was that he was a complete beginner and there are no suitable pistes there to learn... so cutting a long story short he bussed it to Le Lac and was 15 mins late... that is the problem (understandably) when people have no idea about the resort and what to expect as a beginner - they end up in the wrong places like this morning! Anyway it was one of those lessons whereby despite the best intentions of the office trying to warn them, that a two hour lesson is most definitely not really enough time to learn all that you need to learn about skiing. He was out with mates who had a weeks worth of experience behind them so goodness knows what is going to happen next! So in the time I had with him I rushed through to get as much done as possible. It was very busy on the magic carpet and Rosset lift areas of Le Lac but I really wanted to try and get him on the chair so that he could understand the doing it by himself would probably not be a good idea... so by having me there I could act as a 'buffer'. Anyway he seemed pretty chuffed but realised that there was still a lot more to learn and I am hoping after practicising for a day or so he will realise that for safety if nothing else that another lesson with an instructor would be the best way forward!

I had lunch on the go (aka eating it on the lifts) as I made my way back to Val and then it was pretty much straight into my pm lesson. C (who was about 7 foot tall!) and normally a snowboarder but determined to develop his skiing off piste. As he had been skiing and snowboarding all his life he was pretty handy on his skis but the problem was that the visibility (as it has been all day) was going from overcast and grey to a COMPLETE whiteout... and whenever there was an opening of visibility and I made a decision to ski here or there it seemed to close right back in again by the time I actually got to where I was going. Anyway it was a really frustrating afternoon because of that as there were some places I really wanted to get to but just didnt want to venture too far from the piste in case we really could not see a thing - argh!

After skiing was rather hectic - heading to see our new guests in our chalet apartment and then coming home to try and give my mum a call and then kids bath time etc... anyway I totally forgot / ran out of time to do my periscope! Sorry!

Now it turns out - I knew it was going to be a busy one anyway BUT, it turns out that it is officially the busiest week of the season (just by a whisker) in terms of number of people in resort - nearing 12000 people! So there are going to be some big lift queues - if the queue for marmottes is anything to go by, this week! However I am off piste all this week (well at the moment I am therefore hopefully I won't see the crowds!)

After dinner it is this time of the evening once again!


Even though this was actually yesterday I quite like this photo - pretty much sums up the chaotic nature of that top part of the Bellevarde mountain!


Gloomy in town this morning - not enticing for skiing BUT it was not that cold... little wind etc. However tomorrow the temps are supposed to PLUMET - they are talking -25 before any wind chill (there might be a little) for several days on the trot... ow!


Tignes this morning - rammed it was!

TTFN
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
kditrj2d wrote:
@Bennisboy - just book it yourself, you will have a great time. If you friends book later on, great. If it's full by the time they try to book, too bad! Do it! You only live once.


And if they miss out you can tell them all about it. That'd learn 'em! Toofy Grin
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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!
Well that was a good morning

I think some photos sum the day (well morning anyway) up nicely:



A field of powder just waiting for us to tear it up!

Thats out tracks on the right

Sorry folks that is my smug moment over and done with.


OK then one more smug moment then!

So it was back to normal - up early, Olivia off to school, dress and out the door to my lesson but in my case via the office to collect some off piste gear. It was cold but NOT as cold as we were expecting. It was 'only' about -10 HOWEVER the sun was shining and it was looking promising. It would be a few hours of sunshine before the clouds moved in again and there was lots of anticipation all round the resort... it was the first full day of most peoples holidays therefore everyone was keen to get up and make the most of a true bluebird day as we had for the most part about 10-15cm of fresh snow out there - however if you could brave the cold (and it was much colder up high and got colder as the day progressed) up at the fornet there was more. It was strange talking to my colleagues this afternoon that they reported (as I found) complete variations in depth of this light, dry fresh snow... some places it was 10cm deep and a solid supporting base and in other places about 30cm and felt bottomless - such strange snow characteristics out there at the moment! Anyway with an avalanche risk of 3 and everyone keen to get out there and enjoy it we had to be careful not to be swept up in the hype!!!!

Anyway I met my two lovely American / Canadian couple (he is from Texas so not that used to seeing the snow) at the meeting point; it was a little annoying that they were 10 mins late as I wanted to get up there for first turns but hey it wasnt to be I just had to dig a little deeper to find the goods as we were behind the hordes after I had done the safety briefing. The interesting thing is when you teach Europeans they are aware of the 'dangers' and the free and un-tamed nature of the mountains in Europe however when you teach north Americans they are totally unaware of the implications in Europe of off piste being 'uncontrolled'. Anyway without scaring them to death I think I got the message across and we were free to head off for the first of 4 days of off pisting with them... some technique, some safety awareness, some fun and some improvement and some adventure are all on the cards!

So without giving the game away I did some variations in my various secret stashes around the Madelaine, Datcha, Glacier Express lifts... and got probably about 200 completely fresh powder turns in over the morning and even managed my bus stop variation too which was good!

It was a nice morning... smiles all round! Bring on tomorrow although it will be much colder and I should think it will be about -25 air temp tomorrow... if there is a breeze and no sun which might happen then boy it will be SOOOOOOOOOO cold tomorrow - ouch!

Anyway I was back home for lunch and then had a very relaxing time at home catching up on lots of little jobs that needed doing. It is not the busiest week ever this week which is just as well after several VERY busy weeks on the trot and with only a couple of weeks until Easter starts looming on the horizon I better make the most of any time off.

I was able to do my Periscope this afternoon:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1dRKZepbQZQxB

Not much to report in local news apart from cold, lots of it.... hopefully a little more powder around and more fun and games tomorrow.

TTFN
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We are back on the 9th. Feeling much more excited about it having just seen your photos!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
bar shaker - Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin

Just one word - COLD!

It was registering -20 (right next to an external wall of my flat so probably a couple degrees colder than that in reality) at breakfast time this morning and Radio Val were reporting it to be -25 at the top of Bellevarde. I had everything crossed that it would be sunny otherwise it was going to be unbearable up there.

The usual getting Olivia ready for school (they are doing cross country skiing (during normal school hours) each day (mornings) this week so we wrapped her up warm!) followed by the bus journey up to the meeting point seemed to rush by - I'm not really sure what happened but suddenly this morning it was action time! The thermo on the Olympic lift was showing -19 but the sun was shining - it was show time.

I hardly recognised anyone at the meeting point (colleague or client alike)... everyone was far to well wrapped up!

Anyway C and J arrived and we headed up the Olympic... I did the classic variations all round the Jardins de Borsat area.... as it was so cold the snow was sticky and slow but nice and light non the less. I think the extreme cold was keeping lots of people inside as it didnt seem to be as cold today as it was yesterday and there was hardly a lift queue anywhere! Anyway we found some nice lines but the cold is starting to lead to a crust forming and surface hoar could lead to some serious issues if lots of fresh snow falls on it AND then we also have a large temperature change which is highly likely as we move into Spring! Watch this space!

Anyway after the variations and some technique work we dived over the top into the Tour du Charvet (Ed: you might notice that I have been doing lots of introductions to off piste this season lessons / clinics and with the snow and weather as it has been there has been no need to vary too much the routes I have taken and today was a usual routing). Again we found some nice snow and it was a truly lovely trip (albeit cold). I finished atop the Manchet Express ALTHOUGH once again I was truly surprised to see so many people down the tour with absolutely NO off piste kit at all - parents and kids (not just French (not being funny but it often is)) and all sorts. Scary folks - it is Russian Roulette you are playing. I often say to people, "just because you have driven the route from home to work 10,000 times before and 10,000 other people have already driven the route today, would you not bother putting your seat belt on?"!!!!

Anyway I was glad to be home and in the warmth for lunch and like yesterday had the afternoon at home putting my feet up so to speak!

My phone battery died this morning in the cold but by mid afternoon it was back in action and I once again did my periscope from the balcony at home:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1MnxneokpPdJO

A little bit like last night I have some photos to cheer (or anger) you - ha ha!


It was interesting to see that the snow cannons in town firing this morning (I really am not sure why????) anyway the moisture in the air was warmer than the air temperature therefore the 'snow' was actually rising up into the air, conglomerating together and then finally falling to the ground!


Smug!


Oh yes I took this photo (not the best photo) to show the snow barrier they have built down the side of the left hand side of Piste L as it narrows... I reckon they have built this in anticipation of snow coming down as the temperatures warm up on the east facing planks above and by building this channel it might give protection of small early Spring slides that come down - that is what I am guessing.... and in doing so it should make any pisting easier!

So tomorrow it should be just as cold if not colder - arghhh!

I think that is all for now!

TTFN
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