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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Steve Angus, any chances of posting the vids to a Facebook page? I don't do Twitter and am reluctant to start doing Instagram.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Cromptonmj,

Hi Mike,

When will you be arriving in Val d'isere for the start of the season?
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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?
@lgrant,

OK, the route we took (January 2009) was 1st lifts up to Col du Palet in Tignes - those from Val D'Isere had been brought over by minibus - (https://en.tignes.net/what-to-see-do/skiing/ski-map), then off-piste 'over the back', below Le Grande Casse mountain towards Champagny en Vanoise in the Paradiski area (https://winter.la-plagne.com/images/pdf/plans/plan-des-pistes-paradiski-2018-2019.pdf) - there was about 20 mins polling/skating along a cross country track to reach Champagny. We then used the Paradiski lift system to get around the off-piste runs in La Plagne and Les Arcs. There was about 10 mins of walking to get from the bottom of Bellecote to a bus stop. The last run of the day was a 2000 m vertical legburner from Aiguille Rouge to Villaroger, where we were picked up (from a bar, of course) by minibus to return to Tignes & Val D'Isere. Of the approx 80km we covered on skis about 75% was off piste & 25% on piste (that was according to our 2 guides from Evo2). snowHead

Should have added that it was the third time in three weeks that I'd booked on. First cancelled due to conditions, second due to lack of numbers.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 29-11-18 15:16; edited 1 time in total
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Looking good - bit more snow needed to cover those tyres though!!

@bar shaker, Insta is great, much better and friendlier than Twitter. People don't go on there to argue or be controversial, which is rather nice - and there are some great skiing accounts to follow. Tignes and Val both have official accounts.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@welshflyer
Chris I presume?
We are in our way so skiing on Saturday maybe even Friday if weather ok?
See you soon.
Cheers
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@Cromptonmj,

See you on the 16th.

Laurence.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Val on thursday evening - ready for friday morning. Some suggest the Tignes link will be open on friday - good planning on my behalf:-)
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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!
See you then Laurence.
Cheers
Mike@welshflyer,
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
bar shaker - ill try and look into setting up a professional Facebook page sometime yes... at the moment its just my personal Facebook page I have and dont want to bombard all my friends on their each day with videos etc... but when I get around to setting up a page then ill get that running. In the meantime you have my weekly Periscope... and I think I am right in saying that you can just open the Twitter and or Instagram accounts without an account (so no ties) and just look for @SteveAngusSnow and my content will come up - no strings attached that way... perhaps Im wrong?

Kenzie - sounds like you did a good route that way... sounds fun
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Bluebird

Even though this time of the year the slopes are empty I never seem to get out on the slopes much what with all that is going on at home... the jobs etc that need doing etc. Today was one of those days. But I'm not complaining or anything its just gotta be done.

Anyway after getting Ben off to creche and with Clare taking Olivia (they dont do school on Wednesdays here in Val anymore - just 4 long days instead) I cracked on with some jobs at home that needed doing. It was a bluebird day out there and there was a temperature inversion with temps about -10 in town at dawn and -6 at the top of Bellevarde. However as the day progressed it certainly seemed to warm up.

So there was a number of jobs I got done around the house. The day seemed to evaporate though and suddenly I was heading back into town to collect Ben from creche again!

Anyway I did manage to get some photos but apart from that it was not the most exciting day for me!




TTFN

P.S. FIS are coming on the 8th and 9th December to make a final decision as to whether to run the mens events on the Face in mid December. 1st December is when the Womens decision is made re the womens races to La Daille

P.P.S. YES as predicted they are planning (unless something dramatic happens) to open the Tignes link via Tommeuse on Friday.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@bar shaker, this link: https://twitter.com/steveangussnow should show you the twitter feed and you don't need to sign on to see it, as far as I am aware.
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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.
Alastair - thanks for that
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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
HoneyBunny wrote:
Looking good - bit more snow needed to cover those tyres though!!

@bar shaker, Insta is great, much better and friendlier than Twitter. People don't go on there to argue or be controversial, which is rather nice - and there are some great skiing accounts to follow. Tignes and Val both have official accounts.


I've set up an Insta. I feel so down wit da kids Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Warmer

Well folks today it was somewhat warmer than it has been the last few days... however there is definitely snow on the horizon as the clouds rolled in for most of the day... I am hoping that we might get a little overnight - we shall see.

Anyway the warmer temperatures have meant that snow making has ground to a halt. The womens world cup race is now in question and they make the decision in the next few days as the lower slopes are lacking in snow in any depth. The mens race on the face has a better chance of happening as slalom and gs need less slope area primarily! We shall see what happens in the next few days!

There are also other problems as I have heard rumours that the pipes that feed the snow cannons on the bottom part of the Solaise were severed as part of this Summers buildings works for the new Brussels hotel development! As a result the coverage on the lower part of the Solaise is non existent at the moment - oh dear!

The latest pisteurs price list has also just been released... be well insured thats all I can say. So if you need rescuing from the snow front for example then it will cost you €56 all the way up to €766 for a gravity assisted off piste rescue... if you need finding / skidoo help to get you to the ambulance etc then that is another €50 per rescuer per hour and finally if a helicopter is involved then that is €56 a minute extra too. As I said make sure you are well insured! Of course there would be the ambulance fee to the surgery cost too as well as the medical costs themselves so it can all add up quickly!




I forgot to post this photo the other day - my finished ski bench I made... it has been on my to do list for about 10 years now but it is finally finished... quite simply a normal (and cheap as I new I would be reinforcing it with the skis over the top) garden bench with old skis (and a snowboard) cut to size and screwed on... I am rather pleased with it!



So I spent the day mainly underground sorting out our underground parking space... I had all my tools etc to clear away and get stored away for the Winter as well as spare wood etc to sort and store etc. Then someone came around to collect some items I was selling and finally a colleague is actually renting that parking space for the Winter so I needed to help them move in. It was a long and bust day. Tomorrow I am once again off skis and heading down the valley to do some shopping and bits and bobs... I think Saturday will be a family day before I start my seasons teaching on Sunday with the Snowheads PSB.

I think that is all for now.

TTFN
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Steve, love the bench - hope the edges aren't still sharp or you could be singing soprano at the next Musicalp!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Great use for old skis and snowboard Steve. A recycling idea that might catch on snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Nice bench - maybe a sideline?
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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?
Steve's talk about parking has reminded me... be very careful about trying to use the free parking in La Daille.

Because abandoned cars and vans stopped the ploughs from clearing the avalanches into our car park, last season, the Syndic have had enough and parking is now restricted to 30 minutes maximum for the whole winter. The reasoning is to keep the road clear for the fire brigade but I suspect that many residents got fed up with our car park being a dumping ground for seasonaire and camper's vehicles. We are told this will be heavily enforced and the tow trucks will be visiting several times a day. You've been warned.

Good job I have a season ticket for the underground car park under Steve's building Little Angel
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@Steve Angus, see you Sunday.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
chocksaway, PeakyB, HoneyBunny - No the edges are as blunt as a blunt thing now.... and yes I considered years ago trying to set a little business up doing it but never got around to it but finally completed this bench on our balcony - just in time for Winter arghhhh!

bar shaker - top tip thanks!

adithorp - yup!
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So that was a busy day

We woke to grey and overcast skies but I was due to spend most of the day in shops down the valley! After the usual scramble to get the kids to school and creche I grabbed our car and headed off to do a to do a 'to do' list as long as your arm! First thing was to collect a 'patched' up ski school jacket from last year... one of the problems we have as instructors is that (in out particular ski schools case anyway) after the Winter is over our uniforms (which we have to buy) are normally still in pretty good nick but we dont get a chance / want to wear them as they are still branded... so what do you do with them. Well I have jackets going back about 10 years and this year one of our colleagues had the good idea to ask one of the seamstresses in town (Kurt Cuave) to butcher our spare school jacket up to make patches to go over all the logos for those that wanted to re-use the jackets. So anyway the jackets came back to day with patches of the same colour as the rest of the material over all the school logos.... so now I can either sell the jacket and trousers which are excellent quality and have a lot of life left in them OR keep them.... hmm decisions.

So anyway that was the first job of the day to collect that. Then I had to go and sort a problem out with our seasonal parking pass thing. I should explain that we own a garage space underground in town but we have rented that to friends for the Winter as we want our car nearer us this Winter so have a space in the new Cret parking block near here (the roof is less than 2m (we have a van!) for the underground parking here in the La Daille!). So anyway our garage in town has space for storing stuff as well as our friends car but we are officially customers of SAGS the parking people here in Val.

After that I went down to Bourg... I pretty much visited all the shops down there from hardware store Weldom to the home electronics shop (needed to buy a new hob for our flat as Clare managed to drop a jar on it and smashed the glass to pieces!!!!).

So by the time I left Bourg about 2pm I was pretty whacked but had to get back up and unload and put away all the shopping as Clare was out doing some teaching work.

That left a little time to do a live Instagram broadcast (however I accidentally forgot to share the broadcast on twitter which means that I can't post a link to it here BUT it is still on instragram for another 20 hours or so if you want to tune in!). Must do better sorry!

One of the main pieces of news on there is that FIS have today confirmed the Mens World Cup race events - on the Face in a few weeks time... so we are just awaiting the news on the Womens event at the moment!

I dont seem to have stopped today and just realised that I never got any photos from today... so I will have to use the photo from Radio Val... that of the crane building the Brussels Hotel being taken down but another crane today... now we move into December tomorrow all the outdoor building works are finished for definite!



So tomorrow will be a nice family day (no skiing planned) and then the season of teaching starts for real on Sunday with the Snowheads.

TTFN
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Making the most of the weather

If the forecast is anything to go by today will be the last day of sunshine before we get the best part of a week of precipitation... probably snow down to about mid mountain but lower slopes will be hit and miss.

I wish I could be saying that we had a lie in this morning but no chance of that happening. However we had a lazy couple of hours before heading out for a family slide about on the sledges... that was Bens first time sledging and he seemed to love it.

The lower slopes of the resort are still not open for skiing yet although they have been working hard to make artificial snow. Even walking about on the slopes of La Daille you can see that they have been trying hard to make artificial snow but the quality varies so much. I dont think if we get rain (and there is a good chance that it could be very wet snow that falls) that it will mean that we get the lower slopes open anytime soon.!!!

On the plus side the link to Tignes did indeed open today via Tommeuse and the quality of the snow at altitude remains very good indeed!





So we had a lovely couple of hours sledging about before having a relaxed couple of hours at home and then some friends came around with their dog (Olivia was very excited) for a cuppa and a catch up. It is nice to spend some time chilling out when you can and the season does not present many options normally.

Anyway a family meal (not to self Olivia does not like curry!!!) and then I have just been sorting out my things for tomorrow... it is going to be quite a crazy first day... the weather will be one thing but I am starting with snowboarding first up and then a group and then off piste in the afternoon... a lot going on that is for sure. I am driving the first day so hoping the weather is not too horrendous!

Anyway we are still awaiting for the decisions as to whether the womens racing is going to happen but the Face de Bellevarde today provided a training ground for the French Mens World Cup team as they are getting ready for the racing next weekend.

So I think that is all for today... more info tomorrow and I should be able to get some on mountain updates happening now I will be on skis! Yay!

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!
What a day

The first real day of the season teaching wise is always a hectic day and this year was no exception... it was an early start not helped by Ben getting up early too. By the time I had packed my snowboard stuff, off piste gear etc all in the car and gotten over to Tignes I had already been up for a several hours! Anyway with the weather moving in I was on my snowboard first up and had a good session doing laps on Tommeuse! The snow was really very good but the visibility was pretty awful.

The worlds quickest change into my ski gear followed that for my group lesson. My group had a few familiar faces in and again we were up the Toviere side and worked on some general piste technique which was tricky for us all because the weather was getting worse and the snow coming down hader by the second... it didn't help that the snow was also getting very wet too - booo!

It was a fun session.

I ate a very quick sandwich in the Maison de Tignes for lunch before getting out for the third and final lesson of the day.... by now I was totally drenched as it was almost raining!

So the final session of the day was the off piste group and we found some nice snow off the side of the Verte piste and apart from not being able to see anything it was a fun session.

I was so cold and wet by the end of the day but it was nice to get home and dry off and embark on a million domestic jobs! Only in the last hour or so have I finally caught up... I am totally whacked therefore heading off to bed early before doing it all again tomorrow!

A few photos of the day to finish with.






The nice new uniform


Until I suggested that walking down would NOT be a good suggestion this family (in jeans and non waterproof gloves!) were raring to go! Idiots!

TTFN
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The Women's downhill is cancelled.
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One of those days

It was like one giant puddle out there this am and the rain was still coming down... somehow I had managed to get my gear all dry overnight which was a minor victory in itself.

So I headed up the La Daille gondola hoping that with some luck there might be a slight delay in opening of the link to Tignes so that I could get across to for my first SH lesson of the day... well they were still blasting and it took ages to for any updates to come through on the grapevine (website etc) as to how long it might take... in actual fact the avalanche risk was 4 over in Tignes and the heavy snow made it very dangerous in general. It seemed to take them way longer than it should to get things moving in general even though the weather was not as bad as yesterday I didnt think... OK it was raining and snow at altitude but there was less wind (certainly below about 2700m) than yesterday. Anyway there was also some technical issues with the Tommeuse. Bearing in mind that Tignes is generally busier with skiers at the moment and there is very little open in Tignes at the moment too without the link open the slopes of Val were VERY VERY quiet for a couple of hours! News filtered through that it would be nearer midday before the link opened... cutting a long story short my am group session has been re-arranged for later in the week (others in Tignes hardly got much of their sessions either as the lifts in town there were late opening anyway too!) and I hung out at the Folie for a couple of hours killing time!

The rest of the days sessions went off just fine... a private followed by a moguls clinic. The weather played funny business all day long... about lunchtime it looked as if it were going to clear up but by later in the afternoon it was horrendous again. It was rain one minute then snow the next... however back home this evening it has gotten really bad with really strong winds - it looks like a monsoon out there now.... arghh it could be another tricky one tomorrow until later in the afternoon when it might clear up. We will then have a dramatic rise in temperature for a few days and more sun interspersed with rain and snow and finally at the weekend some snow coming in!

Anyway quite an interesting day on that front!

The big news in town today was that the Womens World Cup race events for a week and a halves time have been cancelled - that is the Womens downhill - the snow lower down will never be ready in time for the race especially with this current rain!


The growing Folie!



I think that is all for now.

TTFN
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Wow, the Folie terrace has doubled in size! It looked that way when they posted a teaser fly-over on Instagram. It changes every year, but now more than ever.
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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.
How much snow did Val D'Isere get last season? I ask because of this:-

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/abroad/buy-val-disere-snowiest-spot-alps/
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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
@Kenzie, VDI is the top destination. But promotional articles like the one you linked is marketing BS. There are many “best”, “pretiest”, “snowiest”, etc, etc resorts.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@mooney058,
I actually saw the article in Saturday's Telegraph. It was the 'Last season 79ft of the white stuff fell in the resort' claim I was surprised at - lazy journalism or fact?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
https://www.snowpak.co.uk/france/espace-killy/val-disere/snow

According to this site the season's snowfall was just under 23 feet (273").
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HoneyBunny - yes it changes that is for sure. However FYI the terrace doesn't look like it will come around (certainly not set up for it so far anyway!) onto the snow covered bit BUT certainly it has grown massively this Summer
Kenzie - 79 foot is 25m or so... it was about 7 metres I think. HOWEVER there are statistics and dam lies aren't there. Depending on where and how you take measurements (in this case of snowfall) you can make up what you like... perhaps atop the Val glacier over the full calendar year that could be closer to the truth but Val (unlike many other resorts especially those in North America it must be said) take their measurements of snowfall down in the TOWN.
mooney058 - yes it is soooooo subjective. I often get asked which is the best resort I have been too... my usual reply is how do you qualify the best... each place i have been to has something over the others. However I do think Val and Tignes have it all!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Getting colder

It was certainly colder today but crucially the storm seems to have passed... yay! Interestingly enough the weather outlook for the next week or so is several warm days and some rain perhaps and that will be followed by a huge and cold storm depositing loads of snow our way - it is going to be an interesting week weather wise that is for sure.

Anyway back to today...

Things more or less opened on time which was good - I thought there might have been some delays as the winds and weather last night were horrendous. Anyway on anything that was east and northerly facing today there was a lot of avalanche activity - often pisteur initiated but also in some cases natural. So I was hanging at the bottom of the Tommeuse lift for me first lesson but due to some miscommunications at the Tignes end of things the client never turned up until 10am... whoops as I only had about an hour to deliver the lesson... so it was a whistle stop lesson instead!

The lunchtime slot was the off piste group and I tried out a few of my secret stashes including a first trip of the season through the Jardins de Borsat... what was immediately apparent was that the snow varied so much off piste... there was wind crust, rain crust and about everything in between... a few nice turns here and there and that was about it. Anyway we had fun!

The last session was my piste group and we did some carving and there was some significant progress made that is for sure - well done folks!

I got asked for my recommendations regarding mountain restaurants in the EK... so on that front I have my budget, mid value and prestige recommendations.... I am sure others will have their opinions and I am sure I will have missed one or two but here goes.

Bearing in mind it was on mountain eateries we were looking at here:

Budget restaurant: Cascade (Val glacier) or Marmottes (on Bellevarde).... good VFM self service... especially the 'pile em high' for set price salads!
Mid priced: L'Armaille (ok not strictly on mountain but I am going to bend the rules as it is so good for good price)... down in Brevieries... such yummy food and a real setting... well worth a trip
High priced: Panoramique on the Tignes glacier (the restaurant) - amazing food and a theatre of food but at a price... and there is also the Peau de Vache half way down the Face which is good value really but quite a spectacle too!

So I will finish with a collection of lovely photos I got from today including an interesting picture of the skier triggered avalanche that took place under the Tommeuse lift - there were a few skier triggered slides that took place today as the snow pack is unstable but more importantly it is quite hap hazard the danger out there at the moment and already a complicated picture that will only get more complicated in the coming days I should think!



Skier triggered slide

Where is this? A definite 10 min hike, push and pole to get to where we wanted to get to.


Pisteurs been hard at work blasting the wind loaded slopes all round the resort during the day!

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?
@Steve Angus,

Thought 79 feet was a 'bit' more than fell. Strange that an article about buying property in Val should claim a seasonal snowfall that would bury without trace many properties, cause structural damage to them by it's weight, and flood the entire town in the spring/summer melt. snowHead
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Weekend snow forecast seem to have increased again to quite a lot! (If it comes as forecast).

Pretty typical, as I am coming out for 4 days on Thursday PM-might get a day on Friday and possibly Monday, but more likely will be in a bar for most of it!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Kenzie - quite!
Philip1972 - could be epic!!!!

Colder one day and warm the next!

After being cold yesterday there was a wiff of Spring like temperatures about and the snow even started to turn at one point on south facing slopes - quite incredible. But that looks like it is all going to change very soon with copious amount of snow on the horizon (perhaps!).

So today started with the remnants of a very hard freeze... so in the photo below this looks like slush.... well it was thanks to the rain etc we received but now has frozen stiff!!!! It took most of the day before it softened up.



So anyway I did what I have done the last few days and headed up the La Daille gondola to meet my morning lesson at the bottom of the Tommeuse lift... everyone was on time and it worked out fine... so we worked on steeps and short radius turns for the time and it was jolly good successful session I thought! With a quick break I was on a 2.5 hour private lesson after that... we wanted to work on technique for variable terrain and it was a case of lots of challenges to balance etc for a couple of hours with a few dabbles in the tricky variable terrain we have available at the moment! It was a fun session.

The final session was on moguls and we actually had some bumps to ski from the top of Tommeuse as the soft snow is starting to chop up... there were some really good improvements - well done.


The reason why the Womens Downhill races have been cancelled... lack of snow at lower altitudes

Clare was out working this am so being a Wednesday with Olivia not a school (they do 4 long days (Mon, Tue, Thurs and Fri here in Val only) we utilised the very able services of Kellie from https://www.themountainnanny.com and BOY Olivia had the most amazing morning ever... she had so much fun and didnt want Kellie to go... so if you are wanting a nanny or babysitter etc then make contact!

Since skiing I have been catching up with some phone calls and generally having a more relaxing evening than normal as I am not skiing tomorrow so should have some time to do home admin!

Don't think anything else to report this evening.

TTFN
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A change of pace

So today I did not have to put my ski boots on... it was one of those early season days when you get a forced day off... it always makes the start of the season a little stunted and stop start... but that is the way it goes. I know from experience that in a couple of weeks time when Xmas and then New Year are upon us I wouldnt argue with any sort of time off at all.

Anyway with Clare off working I was in charge of getting Olivia onto the school bus (my normal job) and then Ben to creche.... however since we had a large snowstorm that had started in the early hours and would last for most of the day it was a tougher job than normal! Oh well the trials of life.

I then spent most of the morning sorting things out at our apartment that we rent out... the last few DIY jobs that need doing there all completed for the season and the arrival of our first guests. Talking of our place we do (due to a cancellation) have availability for New Year... it is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroomed place in pretty central Val. So if you are keen then please do get in contact asap!

I was home for lunch and have now spent the rest of the day sorting bits and pieces out at home but to be honest trying to relax as much as possible. Tomorrow should be similar.

Clare was off down the valley this afternoon so I was i.c. getting the kids from school / creche too and then doing dinner, bed and bath time... so now all is quiet on the western front!



Weatherwise it improved massively from the snow storm we started the day with and by late afternoon the sun was shining. The temperature is a few degrees under this evening but it should be warm(ish) tomorrow before the arrival of the main event which over the course of a few days will lead to significant amounts snowfall we think but could be coupled with rain AND high winds - we shall see.

I think that is all for now.

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...
Steve Angus wrote:


Where is this? A definite 10 min hike, push and pole to get to where we wanted to get to.


I've been racking my brains about this one for a few days. Is it on the ridge to the left of Lac piste and the lift in the distance is Grand Huit?
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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!
The chairs look too far apart for a fixed lift like Grand Huit. Not that I've any idea where this is wink
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Guesswork
Just a feeling could it be on slopes access from top of borsat express then long awkward traverse across heading left that heads towards off piste itinerarie
but drop down off traversed halfway across brings you back down to grand vans Fontaine froid lift???
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Skier's left off glacier express?
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