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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Steve Angus,
Was your colleague in Pays desert?
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Knackered beyond belief

sno trax & chocksaway - yea basically a problem last night (EDF were up the mountain at midnight with the pisteurs) and so today Olympique lift was late opening (and other electrical problems all over the place) as well as some of the phone networks being down... that coupled with the water problem (which is being fixed currently although no idea when all will be sorted) means we are having quite a week of it!
swiftoid - yup... haha
bar shaker - excellent to hear it!
compostcorner - thats cool - everyone needs to find out what makes them tick!
Kenzie - a very sensible and well organised way of doing things.... was a colleague in the PD today - possibly but I doubt it as the snow up there is stripped and not worth it! But there could be a secret line someone knows of.

Anyway as the title suggests I am rather tired so I will make it a quick update this evening!

It seems to be day 154545 in a row on the mountain teaching today and I really am looking to some time off tomorrow afternoon and Sunday!

Anyway today started nice and early once again!!!! After dropping Ben at creche and heading to the meeting point I was glad I had plenty of layers on as there was a thin cloud veil that was always going to block out any of the power of the sun today! At the get go time there was some confusion which related to the power problems on the Bellevarde side of things and this meant that the funi and the Olympique lifts were out of action to get people up the mountain and this in term meant everyone was heading Solaise way and of course this meant large queues - arghhh!

Anyway I was back with P and we headed up the Solaise and worked on placement of pole plants, body position and a few other tweaks (I am pretty impressed with her skiing she is making big improvements all the time!). We decided to ski the Arcelle and the top half of the run was in AMAZING condition - some really nice snow on it... however the lower half was perhaps the worst I have seen it (in years!). What with yellow and black warning poles everywhere and areas of grass and rocks sticking through the piste at the bottom is dreadful - in fact I dont think it should be open actually! Its that bad! The issue is that the last stretch is steep and there are always idiots skiing way too fast down the bottom bit... I just know there is going to be a bad accident before too long down there! What makes matters worse is that as it flattens out at the bottom near the lift there are real thin patches and stones and basically an area that you can't ski on at all which is in the fall line and the line that everyone takes so you have to take it wide out to physically get to the bottom - now that is going to cause problems!

Alas after some more work we headed down the Solaise and did quite a few laps on the Combe Martin piste off Rogoney - why?... well as the other black runs like the Face are basically not worth skiing (read that is also possibly shouldn't be open as they are very bad) and as it is short piste with nice snow on it we could take laps on it. She skied it really well I was most impressed - see you next year P!

I treated myself to lunch at Chevallot and got a call from the parents of my PM snowboarding kid to say he was tired / slightly ill / dodgy knee today and could we do some swapping about of the lesson - well no unfortunately as there is no where to move it to time wise or personnel wise... so ultimately they understood our hands are tied and suddenly he was well enough to give it a go but with a later start of 1400. So I had a very long 2 hour lunch break and then we were off for some boarding.... yea! In fact the long lunch break had sparked him up and he was raring to go! So we did the session (well the last 2 hours of it) and he did pretty well all things considered as his knee was a little sore from a fall he took on his skis earlier in the week! He is keen to come back next year fitter and more ready than ever to crack and get fully into his boarding - harrah!

I got Olivia and headed home and between Clare and I we survived bath and bed time. We enjoyed a Friday night treat of fajitas (thanks Clare one of my favs there) and now I must head to bed.

Quickly to finish another common error / bug bear of mine:

7) FIS Rules and common sense either being forgotten or left behind on the slopes: I know I know it is to be expected but why can't people adhere to the FIS rules of the mountain. The main reason for the 'rules' apart from keeping people safe is so that everyone knows where they stand but you always see people doing crazy things like walking up the middle of the slopes / attempting to claim that someone cut in front of them just before the crash and therefore the crash was not their fault (when there is no provision in the rules for that - the person behind should always 'be prepared to stop / change direction etc). The rules are designed to level the playing field so that everyone on the slopes are equal. The common sense is often totally forgotten about e.g. a ski lift with 6 seats and 5 of the group of six make their way to the front of the loading area for the lift and realise the 6th person is 3 rows back and then wait for 3 lifts to go past whilst person number 6 makes their way to the front - erm why not sort out your group of 6 long before you get to the front and therefore the lift queue will not be held up whilst you sort your sh*t out ! Arghhh!

Anyway a lovely photo from today to finish on... more of the same tomorrow weatherise folks!

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?
@bar shaker, thanks - I will pop in there when we arrive Sunday evening...
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Well that was an eventful week, things have gone bad to worse.

Yes some of the runs have been dangerous.

Yes it was busy but there is no excuse for colliding into people from behind then fu£&)ng off.

After a late lunch we headed from the marmotte restaurant to catch the tommerse lift. Even before I got 200 m along the flat on verte somebody knocked me over from the side my skis bindings released and they just carried on. I was ok swore a bit and put the skis back on as I was with my daughter and carried on.

a minute later as we head towards the lift I dropped over the brow of the hill and my daughter didn’t. We waited for a minute and nothing then one of those phone calls you get, she was in agony just over the brow and had been taken out by somebody who again didn’t stop. She didn’t even see them as she says she was shoved form behind.

She was taken off by the pistuers in the sled and an ambulance to the medical centre. She has a suspected cruciate ligament injury and is in a full leg brace, the way people have gone on this holiday has really kicked the stuffing out of me.

I don’t know if I want to go on a family ski holiday again, earlier in the week I had decided that I only want to be coached/ learn new things like off piste or to instruct - after yesterday don’t even know if I want to continue instructing.

I’m sitting on a coach having had to rearrange flights with easy jet through the insurance company as she needs extra seats for her leg and TUI couldn’t accommodate. To top it off I don’t think we are going to make it as Crystal we’re 40 mins late picking us up.

Im sorry about the rant but I’m so pi??ed off with everything and I’m worried about my daughter. I hope the two individuals who wiped us out rot in hell.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Steve Angus, @Curtains,
this makes sad and frustrating reading. A rant is well justified.
Can only agree, sympathise and hope your return journey and daughter’s recovery go well.

@Steve Angus, again share your anger and frustration. Reckless skiing just one example of an increasing number of people just behaving inconsiderately. More enforcement needed by resort management?

Compounded it seems by reckless resort management, leaving dangerous pistes open.
Arcelle and Face de B are 2 of my favourite runs but when thinly covered and icy can be lethal on the lower steeper sections.

I imagine you’re not the only instructor who thinks they should be closed. Are resort managers not listening to you instructors? The people who know the area best on a daily basis? Or are they just motivated by euros?
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@Curtains, I feel your pain, how awful.
After a crowded half term trip one year we picked quieter resorts in future while we were restricted to school hols.
Now, I would even dream. If skiing during a holiday period. It can be a frightening experience as high capacity lifts deposit huge numbers on the hill.
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@Curtains, sorry you've had such a sad end to a week's holiday. There really is no excuse for people behaving that way. Skiing on busy pistes always makes me nervous because you see so many reckless idiots speeding through - and I've been knocked flying from behind before (by a snowboarder in Val Thorens) on a crowded home run.

It's bad enough crashing into someone, but to then just leave without checking they're OK is disgusting behaviour. It's a shame it generally goes unpunished because at the very least they should have their lift pass taken off them.

I hope your daughter makes a full and speedy recovery and you're not put off skiing for life.

I can really understand why a lot of people prefer to stay off-piste the whole time.


Hopefully Arcelle will be closed until there's some snowfall, it sounds nasty - and it's one of my favourite runs.
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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!
@Curtains, so sorry to hear about this. It is definitely becoming worse-we just don’t ski in school holidays at all any more, but we are retired and have that luxury. Most don’t.

It’s better in Canada as there just don’t seem to be such crowded pistes.

Val d’Isere/Tignes is still one of our favourite resorts but the crowds and reckless skiers are causing concern for many.

Fingers crossed your daughter recovers quickly and without lasting issues.
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Sorry to hear about the bad experiences. It really does sound like it's time for some " policing" of the pistes as they do in N America and some lift passes being removed. Wouldn't take long for word to get around and people to slow down / be sensible, or are people in Europe conditioned not to change? So much more organisation / politeness in lift ques / slopes in Whistler for example, almost to the point of overdoing it!
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@Steve Angus,

You have to remember how the average Parisian thinks - 'The rules were made for you, not me' (other arrogant skiers do exist). Sad
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Not widely reported on Sh but the reckless behaviour reaped the ultimate result over in Lenk.
I think it was boxing day a child was struck in a collision and sadly died 24/30 hours later. I do not know any other details.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Im sorry to hear of all this Curtains and good to hear some of everyones thoughts etc on the matter! It is of course totally understandable to have a rant and I would be doing (and have done similar on occasions) the same I am sure! Should there be more enforcement by resort management?... well you must remember that in Europe v North America (generalising here) you are on public land here therefore the only enforcement that can legally really take place is what applies by the letter of the law... i.e. if someone was killed (sounds awful saying it really but its the short and curly of it) then the police would investigate but short of that then in reality there is no enforcement that can really take place. HOWEVER that doesn't mean that their conscience shouldn't allow them to at least try and enforce fear play! The topic of pistes being open when they shouldn't essentially comes down to the tussle between marketing departments and the pisteurs... last year when we had the bad weather the pisteurs were loathed to open anything on a couple of occasions but did so and if you remember that avalanche that came down across the piste (Carline) in tignes a couple of years back that was a case of the marketing department pressurising the pisteurs to get something open so refunds didn't need to be made! It doesn't really affect the resort what instructors think as they inflexible way of working means that the opinions are not really taken into account... unfortunately yes the world over € is more important than anything! Remember that the concept of liability really applies differently over here the attitude of the nanny state if you wanted to call it that does not exist it is all very much 'user beware' and therefore you partake totally at your own risk! One of the unfortunate drawbacks that is perceived on the face of it as a good thing is modern lift systems such as here in Val that spills more and more people onto the slopes at faster rates... the market demands faster lifts without looking at the consequences.... interestingly some stats are showing that injury rates are going up on the slopes BECAUSE of modern equipment, skills are easier to pick up (well they're not they just seem it) so people take on 'bigger' slopes without really developing the tools AND more worryingly faster lifts etc mean people have less rest and recovery time during their day on the mountain so more accidents happen! Endoman yes some good points there... what you might also be missing is that often lift pass prices are MUCH higher in NA to pay for the policing etc... cheaper prices for lift passes etc is crucial for the 'model' of skiing in Europe! However id be keen for better policing that is for sure! Kenzie most definitely that IS the attitude... unfortunately. Now that IS sad Rogerdodger.

Ultimately I think the culture of skiing is certainly changed for the worse and dare I say it I think things like 'modern' skis / extreme skiing films etc dont help. The concept of good skiing and behaviour on the mountain is being squeezed out. The focus on apres ski perhaps feeds into it as well... 'drink and ski' is the norm unfortunately now too!

Bah humbug people might think but so many people are oblivious to the problems all across the industry these days! The commercialisation of the industry brings with it plenty of problems!

Anyway onto to todays update...
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Some time off

So it was nearly 0730 before we woke this morning (although Clare had had a Ben issue about 4am requiring some cuddles and medicine) but it was nice that it was over an hour later than normal! A welcome change! So it was a leisurely start to the day and then at 9am I only needed to walk across to the funi as that was where I was meeting for my final session of the week with L!

We had a really nice morning on empty pistes working on carving. I thought she did blindingly well... we looped around and around on the Grattalu piste and every run she got better and better. Absolutely amazing to see how well she progressed - well done!

I got back home at lunchtime and it was fairly peaceful for a couple of hours before we all headed out to a friend of Olivias birthday party.... that was fun and nice to catch up with some of her friends parents etc.... and eat some cake!

This evening I have enjoyed a takeaway and am now looking forward to a good nights sleep! Tomorrow with a family swim etc on the cards it should be a nice day!




TTFN

P.S. Looks like the water leak issue on the nursery slopes has now been sorted. yay!
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@tonyswift, try the Mountain Pro Shop for servicing. Brother and I usually drop kit in there late afternoon and get it back the next morning when we're in Val d'Isere. On the main drag into town, at Les Cimes on left hand side next to Bar le XV.
You'll be 25 Euro for a wax and edge.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Following on your comment @Steve Angus about the area being public land, does that mean you would be allowed to skin up and then ski down on piste without a ski pass?

Presumably similar considerations to dangerous use of bicycles would also apply to skis? However I completely agree about reckless fast skiers and I always try to make myself as small a target as possible.
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@bolderz, You are allowed to skin up and always see people doing so. The lift pass is only for that - the lifts.

@Curtains, The junction at the bottom of Verte and Diebold is a notorious area, made worse by people crossing the slower/flatter Verte piste to get on Marmottes lift. All of them think they have the right of way. I hope your daughter is OK and/or recovers quickly.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
bar shaker wrote:
The junction at the bottom of Verte and Diebold is a notorious area, made worse by people crossing the slower/flatter Verte piste to get on Marmottes lift.


The code covers overtaking but not convergence of skiers and that's an omission that can cause unpredictable behaviour in that area.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@tonyswift, got skis done at Killy sport by the tourist info in town....dropped them at 6 last night and picked up at 8.30 this morning for first lifts. Great job for 31euros. Skis went well today on a wonderful day's skiing!
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Thanks all for the get well wishes , off to see the GP tomorrow to get a referral for a MRI let’s just hope it’s not as bad as the medical centre recorded.
We made it home thanks to the insurance company although it was tight, they didn’t load our luggage until we got to the gate as they didn’t think we would make it. We checked in 40 mins before departure and they said we were too late for easyJet assistance, luckily we had a wheelchair and I ran, it’s amazing how useful they are at security as u skip the queue.
I got a nice message today from the family of a snowboarder we helped on Wednesday saying he had been released from hospital on Friday night having sustained 4 broken ribs and concussion. When I arrived at the scene he was just coming round having been unconscious for a minute and struggling to breath. He didn’t have a clue what had happened but his helmet told a story as it was cracked for about three inches at the back, it probably saved his life but that’s a whole different conversation.
I had the Valdisere app on my phone so new where we were and had the emergency number at hand which probably saved a few minutes messing around.
I have been impressed with the speed and quality of the pisteurs on the two occasions I had cause to use them last week.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
bolderz / bar shaker - yea exactly a lift pass is just that. You can do what you like on the mountain as such. However the lift pass money does also put a contribution (here in Val anyway) towards the cost of the free bus service around town, the pisteur avalanche control work costs as well as a retainer for them being up the mountain day in day out too! Yes the bottom of the Verte and Diebold is one of several bad areas for sure!

dogwatch - it does cover joining a piste (entering them!) though!

Curtains - thanks for the update... lets hope it is good news. It really does sound like quite a week for you.... and yes the pisteurs are first rate... the world over id suggest. I would never have anything other than confidence in them doing their best to help a person out in need wherever you are on the mountain! And if they can't help then they will call in PGHM rescue who certainly can!
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A nice day

Despite the 6am wake up call from Ben (and we are expecting a bad night ahead as he has an upset stomach) I managed to get some sleep with him on the sofa as if we had waited much longer then Olivia and Clare would have been totally awake at 6am too. So by 8am we were all up and rating to go...

We all headed out for a family swim at the pool (I had to run a few errands on the way there first) but anyway we had a really fun hour or so in pool... luckily we got the timing right before a meltdown of the kids and got home for a light lunch and then the kids had a sleep!

An old acquaintance from my school days is in town this week so she popped around with her fiancé and it was a nice couple of hours catching up.

Apart from all that it has been a very quiet day!

I totally forgot to get photos today and did very little on the social media front today either... so back on it tomorrow. Todays photo from Radio Val instead!

TTFN



P.S. Another sunny day tomorrow before a few cold and grey days coming with little snow forecast - it could be a deep and dark week for Val's season coming up!
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Uh oh

Well it was back to the norm today... it was jolly hard getting out of bed with the alarm and the day started with a thud... Ben obviously had a dodgy stomach as it messy (shall we say) in his realm - quite a way to start the day! Anyway after getting Olivia off on the school bus and then I took Ben to creche - he seemed happy and chirpy and ate a good breakfast, it was time to get to my lesson.

I had a happy guy from the home counties (he'll be reading this so 'hi') here on holiday with a group of mates and the plan was to help him up his game from the plateau he was on. Having had a session with a colleague yesterday it was my job to take him onwards and upwards. Although his legs were a little tired from yesterday we decided to head Solaise direction to work on some nice simple terrain (hard drill / easier terrain scenario) and after a few laps on the Glacier Express doing some technique we took on the Arcelle to test ourselves a little more. The last time I reported on the Arcelle I was rather negative as the lower section was awful... well it turns out that a) there was actually a problem with the snowmaking down there that has now been fixed and b) they have worked hard to get better down there in the last 24 hours and it was much better. So anyway it was much better skiing down there and is actually OK now so it is off 'why is this open' list.

So after some more runs and work on the Solaise side we finally skied down the Plan M. I thought we did some really development work today and it will tee us up nicely for tomorrow!

With Clare working over in Tignes I took the opportunity to catch up on some things at home...... HOWEVER we got a call from the creche mid afternoon to say that Ben was not well so it was all hands on deck rearranging things so that he could be collected and brought home whilst I collected Olivia and took her to her music class! And since then it has been kids bath and bed time with a certain young man rather unwell so that has made for a crazy evening!

Anyway I have a few things I need to do before hitting the sack tonight - mainly getting out the millionth load of washing out to dry.

So apologies for not being the most exciting read tonight!

TTFN


The pavements are in AWFUL shape around town at the moment - they really should sort them out - I personally think that given the danger posed they really should work harder to keep them clear but thats my opinion!

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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, urggh, sorry to hear Ben’s unwell and speedy recovery.

See what you mean about pavements. I often feel more at risk of injury walking in town than on piste. Do you wear anything over footwear soles to help grip? Anything you recommend?
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Great lesson with Steve, although that lifting the back of the ski is a killer.
Legs were burning by lunchtime.

Some really nice conditions, although the runs back into town can be a bit icy.
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Better safe than sorry!

PeakyB Thank you. 'Over FOOTWEAR soles...' - no but I wear cat tracks on my ski boots! Cat Tracks are really good! Great investment!
LisztOn3Pints - thanks ever so much! Well done today too... your first trip down Le Face - awesome work... I could tell you were shattered by the end!

So the night passes reasonably OK... it could have been better but we survived. Funnily enough with more washing and nappies to sort out first thing it seemed to be more of a rush this am than ever! Arghhh!

With the amazing Kellie from https://www.themountainnanny.com turning up spot on 0830 both Clare and I headed off for work.... Clare had to get over to Tignes and the wind was threatening the link to close (it never did thankfully). With clouds and a tiny (I mean a TINY - really TINY) bit of snow in the air but with a stiff wind blowing at altitude (strong enough for everyone to reconsider how high they wanted to ski today as it was nippy!) it was a welcome change (did I just say that) change from the blue skies and still conditions of recent!

Anyway I got to the meeting point and we headed up the Olympic a little apprehensively as the weather was going to make seeing at altitude tricky. Alas it didnt turn out that way in the end... for within about 20 mins of getting to the top there was a break in the clouds which was to get bigger for most of the morning (this afternoon and into the evening it closed back in again and we are finally getting some snow this evening now!). After some work on the blues then red runs up top we dived onto the Face (it was M's first trip down) and boy it was in good condition... the snow was nice and grippy for most of the way down and there were not too many people around on it. Apart from one little trip on the steep bit which was unfortunate it was a really good and impressive first descent - well done!

This took a fair whack of energy out of his legs so we eased off the intensity a bit and did a few laps on the Fontaine Froid and then ultimately on blues down to La Daille. We mainly focused our attention on the second half of the turn - so some 'settling' on the downhill ski / lateral sep and some rotational too.... anyway it was a good morning!

I headed home at lunchtime to take over looking after Ben duties and he certainly seemed better than he was (in fact he has gotten better and better) as the day has progressed. Clare got home shortly afterwards... So most of the afternoon was spent with Ben and getting bits and bobs done at home (as best you can with a sick baby around!).

Anyway the weather is getting more intense this evening so hopefully we shall have some nice snow by tomorrow! It is supposed to get mighty cold though!

In local news it has been confirmed that the Stade Francais rugby players are going to be in town doing some altitude training etc from the 28-31/1!

I also managed to snap some useful photos of the various bus timetables... for Geneva and Lyon Airport, over to Tignes as well as (what I think is) the Paris public bus route.... and of course back again!







The glimmer of the light bulb above our heads this morning!

TTFN

P.S. Not filmed in Val but over in Chamonix but some dramatic footage of a PGHM heli rescue - those guys and girls do an amazing job eh!https://www.facebook.com/EmissionLaPlaceDuVillage/videos/514373199050076/
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Wow, that is amazing flying! Shocked The rotor blades are so close to the snow. Chapeau!
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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 know this was the talk a few days ago but I managed to get this (hopefully) useful snap today!

Snow at last

It was groundhog day once again afa Ben and his gastro was concerned - arghhhh but on the plus side with Wednesday and no school here (they do 4 longer school days here in Val rather than 5 'shorter' (traditional' school days!) and Ben clearly not going to creche I got a 'lie in' until 0730 - yay! So I got to the meeting point of Snowberry for 9am and I was taking a father and his grown up son for a freshen up (it was 10 years since they last skied) and a show around the resort style lesson.

It was a windy and cold day and the clouds were thick and the snow was falling (not too intensely it has to be said but better than nothing!) so we started on the Village lift. One thing you learn quickly in this job is to take peoples self assessment of abilities etc with a pince of salt (even more so when they dont know Val and its slopes!) so the Village was a good starting point. However on this occasion I knew that with a little work on the nursery slopes we could get up the mountain but the problem would be the visibility etc as I dont think they knew how bad it might be up top, how windy it would be AND the fact that one of them didnt have any goggles it could prove interesting!

However we did get up the Solaise and ultimately we did the Madelaine as well as Glacier runs before coming home. The main problem they had was that they were under-dressed so we needed a coffee warm up at The Lounge mid way through the am!

I headed home at lunchtime to do my share of the child care duty... the plan had been for Clare to take Olivia skiing but with the weather etc we decided that we should knock it on the head!

So the afternoon was a chilled affair with lots of movie watching and glad we werent outside in it as it was pretty miserable for most of the afternoon! Clare did take Olivia out for a hot choc for an hour though which was the highlight of her day!

So tomorrow I start the first of 5 days of all day bookings with a new client and his family (I think they are from Australia) so who knows what will happen with that... could be an interesting one! However my stomach is groaning at me so Im hoping that I am not coming down with anything! Arghh - an early night it will have to be now.

Couple of things to report... Radio Val have reported that apparently someone crashed a stolen car the other night having tried their hand at trying at the ice driving track... they broke through the barrier in the stolen car but dont think they managed one lap before crashing - whoops. I believe the culprit is still on the run from police!

Also the resort is so far about 1% up on visitors numbers as to this point this season which is good news for the resort although I'm a little surprised as this snow has not been outstanding so far... ho hum!

Anyway ill sign off for now.

TTFN

ski holidays     
 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
I will be in Val D in March. Looking at the lift ticket purchase options will they actually mail the pass to Canada upon order? If I buy when I arrive will the ticket pricing be the same? What is generally best practice?

Flights, transfers and accommodation are all arranged so just need the pass to be set Smile
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@xtr, I am usually in Tignes, but same area as Val. For a visitor there is no real advantage to pre-ordering in my opinion.
You can just rock up on your first morning and buy it. Remember to also add insurance which means the pisteurs will take you down the mountain to Val free if you have an accident.
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
GreenDay wrote:
@xtrRemember to also add insurance which means the pisteurs will take you down the mountain to Val free if you have an accident.

All such costs are likely to be covered by your ski insurance. Adding this extra insurance means that you don't have to pay up front and then claim back. I never buy this extra insurance - instead, I make sure I have adequate insurance and carry my credit card.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@xtr, I'll second what GreenDay says about insurance (carre neige). Even if your own insurance technically covers rescue off the mountain, having carre neige means there is no delay while ski patrol confirm details, and you don't have to pay anything about of your own pocket and claim it back.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
xtr - just buy when you arrive - no cost saving buying like for like in advance (unless things have changed and I am missing something!). Unless its school hols there is generally no queue to purchase passes especially if it ISNT a Saturday / Sunday am!

Makes me happy

Sometimes in this job you get to introduce people not only to resort for the first time but sometimes to the alps in general and sometimes it is a whole family that have travelled half way around the world to be here and today was (the first of several) one of those days.

Ben had a better night and I had an OK night - could have been better but felt OK this morning which I was relieved about. So after getting O on the school bus and ready for work myself I was off.

I meet the clients who are staying at the Tsanteleina hotel in the centre of town and the first half hour or so was a little hectic getting some of the other kids in the family off to their lessons and things like lift passes sorted.

Anyway it was this Australian families very first time ever in the alps for skiing and they were blown away by the size and scope of terrain. However with sessions and bookings like this there is so much to educate people about... from the 'form' about going off piste (they are used to controlled 'areas' in north america etc) to getting used to lift line (lack of) etiquette in Europe...

Anyway we had a lovely morning although it was 'baltic' out there - nearly -20! At least the sun was shining! Yay!

We mixed up sight-seeing and showing the dad and 10 yr old son around with some technique (and a warm up hot choc mid morning) as well as some fun. It was a really fun day and they are so looking forward to tomorrow - I will have the dad and 13 year old daughter tomorrow and I can feel a trip to Breviere coming on!

A few other things tonight.


An interesting graphic published by Radio Val today showing numbers of bed nights etc in resort for this season (predictions for the most part)... one of the key things to note is that the number of beds available has actually gone DOWN again this year as bigger and crucially more spacious properties are developed... so you would think with the amount of building works going on in town that there was going to be an increase in beds but alas it is the opposite!

Secondly did anyone see GMTV this am... Alison Richmond (??) was up the Solaise doing some interviewing and generally being the life and soul of the party. Especially the bit when Raff tries to have her ski down on the back of her skis! I am surprised he did not do his knee in when she stacked it! A lot of us got the heads up that they were going to be filming up there today and whilst I chose to stay well clear quite a few of my friends / associates turned up - hence the 'backing crew' in the shots... either way it was a pretty good PR exercise for Val I thought! I am sure if you missed it you will find it somewhere on YouTube by now!

A well know ski school wearing red did themselves no favours this morning as they were allowing group after group after group of kids to get on the Olympic lift (no problems with that in itself) BUT crucially not getting the kids to move to the far side of the lift and this meant that the cabins were either going up half full or you had to trip over yourself getting past the kids to the far side to catch a seat. Why oh why are they so ignorant and arrogant that they can be so lazy and self assured to let that happen... no wander people get frustrated with skiing in Europe sometimes! Rant over!

Oh did I say it was cold today and will continue being cold for another day or two! At least there was sun today which warmed it up when in the sun!

https://www.facebook.com/Sbituk2/videos/221044585447990/?__xts__[0]=68.ARBVsy7Mfukpa1_nM-Nam-3x8l4knOSJMtDJJSGNl_EmNzQjcBwXlycU5aIYeWE3kQD2q_rB9XDlOqDUg7dnrQX2w--6jzvak8CV9P_BjSBwhXZu2tBcxQjcM6zW0gGLF711YccGrsMiWaJwcxZC4QgWAhihEGSyRNUjNeyj0TTTNUCRlB4FPa18Z8jdtU8VN8LJdRN7RtaCvDNEJzICiOpsLuyPP-gJrmxZ8L8dFGs8lT-2JBv9MDqR5JVrLLz96pb2FkQnbMmhErNs1l5K4I6RBvs4Gda2nTYLNw2PcemHF0zBcLyy-p2HR9Zxpctg_QouzJOfahiTYw8SdApiQbpw3iHaTkDNq0U&__tn__=-R
Finally and without imposing my opinions (as I have stayed quiet for an awfully long time on the matter) I thought this interview on BBC News does summarise some of the worries regarding Brexit that many in the industry are fearing at the moment!

Thats all for now!

TTFN
snow report     
 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?
PS Couple of photos...


snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Back in a couple of weeks and sad to hear how new year week was.
@Curtains really hope your daughter has a speedy recovery and isn't as bad as you think fingers crossed on the MRI results.

Ski servicing nobody has mentioned Mattis Sports , the intersport on the snowfront/corner opposite hotel Brussels building site. Great overnight service for me.

Hopefully the snowmaking and power issues are quickly resolved and it snows a decent amount before the start of Feb.

Thankfully we leave before half turn week.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Alison from GMTV was also at the Folie Douce later, Kely Starlight posted a video of her being filmed there..

Val looked beautiful in the piece she did on Solaise, great bit of PR for the resort.
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Steve - many thanks for the link to the interview about Brexit.
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
harvsurrey - yes you are correct Mattis are good yes!
HoneyBunny - it was 'good' yes. So if she was being filmed there then perhaps they will do another feature sometime soon! OMG that will be 'interesting!'
Jehu - worryingly interesting isnt it. In fact I used to work with the lady interviewed many years back! But the SBIT group are doing great things to highlight the potential problems! Eeek!
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Skied out

Its not that often (if I'm being honest) that I am totally whacked out from a day on the mountain teaching! More often than not it is tiring because of the mental work you constantly do on the hill but today it is not just that but also physically tiring....

It was -22 at breakfast time down here in town (colder up top) and it looked as if the mountain was smoking as they had quite a lot of snowmaking going on and in the still cold air and with finer particles (also used less water too) because of the colder environment for making snow in the snow was floating about in the air - surreal!

Anyway Ben had a better night and I slept well so we were set for a solid day.... with Olivia off on the school bus I got myself off to the meeting place which was back at the hotel and everyone was a little late but raring to go!

So off we went. I had the dad and the 13 year old daughter together and the plan was 'moguls' with some off piste (yea I know an interesting combination but hey they are paying) and a tour with some 'fun' and some 'guiding' around! So an investing combination of things to get together! So we did a LOT of skiing... all the way around Tignes and ultimately down to Brev for lunch (the new gondola back out of Tignes Brev by the way is great and fast! - just need to upgrade the chairs above Boisses / 1850 now dont they!). One of the highlights of the day was the skier cross course next to grattalu... haven't been down there for a couple of years now - awesome fun! Did several laps trying to outski each other and we worked out a time handicap system! Another highlight was the (probably my only descent of the season) ski down the campanules black... oh and the Sache piste as we were looking for black mogul fields all day was pisted (darn it) and pretty icy at the bottom - doh!

Anyway as usual the assiete d'armailly for lunch went down real well and we finished up with ski down the Face at the end of the day as the sun was setting - seeing as we skied down there was tricky in the light... but nice to go down the face when it is in such poor condition as it reminds you of how nice it can be when the snow is good!

So this evening I have gotten paperwork done and here I am - ready for bed!

Tomorrow I think I just have the 10 year old boy on his own for the day... so we can do some fun things like jumps etc he likes doing - we shall see!

In local news... the traffic forecast for this weekend is for light traffic so there shouldn't be problems on that front. The gorge de mallpasset at the fornet at the bottom of the col pers is currently unskiable but that didnt stop people needing to be rescued from there by heli yesterday (it is unlikely to be the only time that will happen this season!)... there are loads of signs up at the Fornet telling people this but as usual with signage on the mountain no one ever seems to bother reading and obeying signage!!!

So I think that is all for now. Bed time - shattered.com!

TTFN


snow conditions     
 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.
From that BBC interview: "We could employ French people but as many people will know that go to Meribel and the Three Valleys there are a lot of British people that go on their holidays and they like the fact they can go into a British bar, British restaurant and have British people serve them. It's an important part of their holiday."

You just know that the Brits who think being served by other Brits is an important part of their holiday would be the first to get pissed off if a French person was ignorant enough to come on holiday to the UK and insist it was important to them to be served in a restaurant or bar by a French person rather than a Brit!
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@swiftoid, it's a disgrace isn't it? I saw a quote from someone online the other day saying they like going skiing in Meribel "because it has a great British vibe". FFS.

For me, part of the pleasure of going skiing in France is enjoying the French food and culture (and same for Austria). I cannot stand the British attitude of going abroad and expecting everyone to speak English and serve pie and chips, and being offended when they don't.

Val d'Isere is overrun with Brits, hopefully not all rude ones.
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