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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
On my Way to Val D - Can anybody confirm that Val D isn’t open on friday ( tomorrow ) ? Hotel says only Tignes Will be open Friday ?!?!
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Philip1972 wrote:
Steve Angus wrote:
Philip1972 wrote:
Steve, if the funi is not open next week, where would you like to meet?


I was thinking that and since I know things could change lets keep the meet point same place and can always walk the 100m back to the La Daille gondola and head up that way IF the funi is a no go! That OK?


Yep thats ideal.

Phil


Cool
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@Steve Angus, welcome back! Very Happy
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Jobs and snow

Well the snow has been falling steadily all day - a decent amount has now fallen and settled today and it will continue on and off for the next few days - yay! The roads (as well as the poor workmen) have been getting a thrashing too!

Anyway I spent the morning running errands around town as Clare went for a coffee morning with her friends in Bourg! Doing a couple of maintenance jobs on apartments I manage in the Summer, then collecting my uniform for the season (amazing Planks kit this year) as well as picking up our seasonnaires discount cards and then walking home - it was a long morning!

Unfortunately Ben would not sleep at lunchtime so it was a hectic hour or so instead!

After the kids got home from school (in Olivias case) and after their tea and an early night here I am.

Not to much else to report this end really this evening - most of it has been convered... however I have a couple of other local pieces of news I found out.

1) the buses they trialled last year with the electronic info screens in them - well anyway they have extended it to a total of 6 buses with the screens this year.

2) The Solaise ticket office this year is going to be a 24/7 operation - not because there will be someone there 24/7 but because there will be an electronic screen to get your tickets printed from.

3) Also there is going to be a flexible lift pass option - so you can purchase a '5 of 6' days option. This is a great step forward.

.... and I also had confirmation today that they have remodelled the base of the Verte piste coming across to the base of the OK and therefore down to the gondola - goodness knows how user friendly it will be (and of course by the time you get there you have already done the tricky part of the piste anyway - but better than nothing).

Anyway those bullet points are extras that I heard about on the grapevine today!

Anyway folks I liked this photo I took to show the mood of the town as the snow falls this evening down here in La Daille.

TTFN

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Minor flaw in my Plan - was 110% sure that Val D would open friday, but i was wrong. Guess it is Tignes tomorrow !
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Hi Guys. I will be in Milan next week and really wanted to enjoy all the snow is falling in Tignes/Val D.
Will be free from 03rd to 8th to go skiing.
Any ideas what would be the best way (and also a cheap way) to get to Tignes from Milan?
I know there are a bunch of easier resorts to get to from Milan, but I´ve been waiting for a chance to ski Espace Killy for a long time now.
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@Koleoptero, get a train from Milan Garibaldi to Bourg St Maurice. 2 December, 08.44 depart, 15.48 arrive. About 70 euros one way.

Altibus for bus from Bourg St Maurice to Tignes/Val D. Buses immediately outside station, about 5 minute walk from platform. €13.5 one way. Or you could get a taxi but that’s about €80.

See snowcarbon.co.uk for transfer info and easy link to 2019/20 bus timetable.
snowHead
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Heading out tonight. Can't wait!!
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@steve angus thank you for the recommendations - I am sure Ross was proposing we try Descente first - we were due to go up the glacier in our second week but the weather wasn't great unfortunately. Am keeping all fingers and toes crossed we get decent weather in March 2020. Am super jealous of those of you going skiing in the next few days!
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Koleoptero - exactly as PeakyB says!
Mogmogmog - Very Happy

Snow and more snow

Well folks it really felt like Winter has arrived today as it has now stopped snowing all day. There was blasting this afternoon and all the final details such as the removal of cranes etc done. The snow ploughs were going strong and the snow kept on coming.

After the kids were off to school and creche I had a good day of admin and catch up getting lots of jobs done.

I did have to dig the car out this afternoon which is a good sign at this time of the year but apart from a quick trip into town it was back home as the kids got home.

The evening was a slight change of plan as our friends Snow-Trax have just bought a place here in La Daille and when they arrived in Val this afternoon they found out they had no electrify! Arghhh. So anyway we had the evening helping them get their power sorted and also threw a pizza in the oven. It was lovely as the kids just love K and A. Anyway apart from Ben suddenly being sick in his sleep which took some clearing up it all went according to plan!

Anyway folks I haven't really got my thinking straight this evening therefore can't think of what else to say.

Tomorrow is the big one as the lifts start turning so I'm looking forward to a family ski - yay!

TTFN


A snowy view all day!
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^ you have a great view of the bottom of Triffolet.

So glad I finally got to ski that last year. Maybe one day I might even do the Vallee Perdu...
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Wow what an opening day

We awoke to blue skies and cold temps and with the amount of fresh snow I would say that today must get the award for the best opening day that I can remember and one of the best in history (I didnt get to sample the wonderful snow as was skiing with my little ones on the nursery slopes instead).

Anyway they came from far and wide for opening day. Opening weekend is always an event in itself what with the ski test etc and then gets quieter again after opening weekend. Anyway right from the off this morning with the ski locker room it was HEAVING! We had had an early start as Ben was sick in the early hours once again so I was tired before the day had started really! Anyway the queue for the bus was off the scale (we are talking Folie kicking out time on a Wednesday or Feb HT busy (it seemed!) and then the queue for those that needed to get a lift pass was huge too! Anyway we got up the Solaise and had a really nice couple of hours family time skiing (Ben can now slide by himself a few metres forward - go boy go) and including a MASSIVE hot choc at the Lounge at the top of the Solaise gondola.... they are now doing a family sharing chocolate - it must have about 2 litres of hot chocolate in it - AMAZING!

Since Ben was slightly off form today I took him home early whilst Clare skied a little more with Olivia. It must be said I could not believe (given the lack of skier compaction so far this season and the danger of 4/5 avalanche risk out there) that so many people skied so many aggressive and dangerous off piste lines - fools!

After an hour or so at home Clare was back and I headed out to give another one of my avalanche safety talks - this time to the new VIP Tour Operator staff.... all in all that was a couple of hours. This was followed up by a sledging session for Olivia with one of her old little buddies (and her Dad who used to work at TDC with me (Gav) and hot chocolate - since it was her little friends 6th birthday today. So that was in town!

By the time we got home and gave the kids and bath and got them into bed it has left both Clare and I knackered so we will be in bed early that is for sure!

The forecast for tomorrow is lots more snow and wind but I wont be skiing tomorrow and I think we are having a chilled day at home instead.

Stay tuned for more info.

TTFN

.
Me in our shiny new uniform for this year - Planks kit this year - its pretty damn awesome I have to say... I am impressed!


Ben concentrating hard about to get off the small magic carpet atop the Solaise with mummy giving a helping hand - he just loves the sensation of sliding which is a great sign!


I promise you that is a HUGE chocolate - has about 2 litres in these sharing family mugs!


Studying the lay of the land as we downloaded!

https://www.facebook.com/steve.angus/videos/10162727038225416/ - I hope this works (as in you can watch it from this link?) but it is a time lapse video of the traffic coming into town at 9am this am - it went on like this for hours!
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I’ve never seen the town so busy at this time of year.
We have uni aged “children “ staying with us due to the UK strikes but they were up early. Thank goodness we didn’t need to queue for lift passes as the wait was nearly an hour.
Fantastic day on the mountain.
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You know it makes sense.
@Steve Angus, ooh, new boots! Are the old white ones consigned to flowerpot status? Would be good to share a beer if I get to VDI in January...
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@Steve Angus, inspiring opening day update, thanks.

Well done to young Ben, he certainly looks the part!

Where are all these hordes of people coming from, any idea?
I’m guessing (hoping) most are up for a day or weekend trip only? If so then from the closer big urban areas, like Lyon and Grenoble?

I realise the fantastic snowfalls and anticipation of first day of new season will have motivated many to get from under their duvets. But reports of constant traffic and 1 hour queue at lift pass window seem completely at odds with PSB week experiences AFAIK.
Puzzled
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We are setting off on Saturday- should arrive Sunday lunchtime strikes notwithstanding.

Are you over in Tignes at all next week Steve? Fancy a coffee somewhere? Maybe catch up soon. All the best to Clare and the family.
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I have to delay going over, but am leaving at 10pm Tuesday night. Will be there just after lunch Wednesday and then lesson with Steve at 9 am Thursday!!!
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@Steve Angus, the video link doesn't work for me. I think it might only be shared with your Facebook Friends?
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Steve Angus wrote:
Another month passes
...

Of interest to us skiers they are trying to do some earth works on the verte piste down to the Folie Douce so the gradient is more gradual... but in typical french style the batteries for the earth working machines were removed by the owner of the Folie the other night as he was unhappy that lots of business might be lost as skiers ski past and miss the Folie and the gradient would make it hard to cut back right - talks are happening between the Marie and the Folie now - haha !...


I’m interested what result the remodelling above Folie has had - son was lapping the FuniVal yesterday and he didn’t “notice” any change, perhaps he was distracted or is there no real change?
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muppet - I know it was crazy busy out there yesterday.... apparently the figure of 9800 uploads on the Solaise compares to a 'busy' week in normal season time - but that was not qualified anymore than that by my source! But yes it was busy and LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of people had driven in for the days skiing so there were cards everywhere and since the car parks were free for opening weekend everywhere was rammed. An hours wait for a lift pass - that would make me cry!

sproggski - you are observant - yes (I actually have two new pairs of boots this year (woooo hoo look at me)) they are new. They are cool new touring (pin) / normal boots but they have a soft rubber sole for easy walking in (and safer) and also walk mode - so I might stay in them all year round - ha ha - my other ones are a totally normal race boots again - so not looking forward to putting them on one day - like concrete blocks - ahhh! Yes beer in January and catch up for sure.

PeakyB - thanks! Yes people driving in from all over the region would be my guess - plenty of local school kids coming in to... but the resort has emptied this evening and the traffic jams to get out of town were there! You have to remember that opening weekend is just that - a phenomenon in itself - it ALWAYS quietens right off from (tomorrow) the Monday onwards and the place is deserted for a couple of weeks - fear not!

lynnecha - yes I am over Tignes way next week for the PSB - teaching that daily! What are you guys doing this season then? Thanks - yes the family are well! Lets try and work something out for next week.

Philip1972 - blimey full on go, go, go!!! See you then!

thelem - thought it might have been as much as that - it basically was a 10 second timelapse video (so 2 mins or whatever in real life) of NON STOP traffic flowing into Val car after car! Thats all!

Grinning - TBH dont know yet as not skied that way yet BUT I should think there is a noticeable change if you are looking - like a nervous beginner or whatever BUT if you are happy on any terrain you might not notice the difference but I shall report back when I have been down there.



Snowing again

Well after the blue sky of yesterday we had a return to the snow and WIND (especially the wind) today!!! Anyway Clare went for a sledge and mini ski with Olivia and her friend who is still over from Morzine and that was a nice morning. Meanwhile Ben and I had a chilled morning at home.... we went for a walk and he helped with the bins - ha ha!!!


He was a very useful carrier on his sled of the recycling!

.... oh and we went to pick up some fresh milk and was reminded why we collect goodies from the UK en masse when we are back there including Yorkshire Tea in catering quantities... BOY EXPENSIVE!!!




The new Tufs development looking from the Funi loading area!


... and looking more up the slope... the accommodation areas obviously will NOT be finished for this Winter!

We had a nice family lunch all together at home before Ben and Clare had a sleep and Olivia dozed off on the sofa for an hour having refused to go and sleep in her bed - which meant that yours truly caught up on one of my favourite 'rubbish' programs I follow - The Apprentice! That with a cuppa - wonderful!

With some family time and then dinner together it has been a really nice end to the weekend!

In other news - one of the first jobs the pisteurs had to do on the slopes this weekend was the recovery of a lost (long lost since the rest of the heard was taken off the mountain a few weeks ago!) sheep!!!! They took it down in the normal way - bless!




Oh and by the way that new cut through avoiding the steep icy bit on the lower part of the OK DOES indeed exist as a piste!

And another thing - the strong Foehn wind we have blowing again today with the snow that is falling might once again push the avalanche level risk back up to 4/5 tomorrow - as it was 4/5 for opening day yesterday (3/5 today!)

TTFN
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Steve Angus wrote:
...yes I am over Tignes way next week for the PSB - teaching that daily!...


You do mean the week after don't you? Week from the 7th?
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We spotted the price of Yorkshire Tea on Friday, thank goodness we have plenty.
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Awwww they saved the sheepie <3
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@Steve Angus, thanks Steve, reassuring that those opening day crowds will evaporate and we’ll have no lift queues all week on PSB, except for the Taos bar Very Happy

On another theme, I suppose ground work to make the Verte piste down into La Daille less scary for beginners and intermediates has to be welcomed.

Also the work in recent seasons to make the top of the Solaise very beginner and user friendly has been a great success I think.

As for easing the gradient above the Folie Douce...was it very steep anyway? Puzzled Now ‘new cut through to avoid the steep icy bit near the bottom of the OK’. I’ve skied the OK hundreds of times and am struggling to think which bit that is.

I hope Val D isn’t trying to become another Courchevel 1850. Being a bit more challenging, gnarlier and less cosseted is one thing that distinguishes Val D from most other ski areas.

Don’t sell out.
snowHead
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@Steve Angus,

Shaun the Sheep 3:Snowmageddon?
snowHead

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Heads Up, the only way out of La Daille this morning is bus. The Funi is still under maintenance and the Bubble has had a 'technical incident'.
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@PeakyB, oops. Hadn’t realised when I first looked, in a bleary eyed state on a compact phone, at Steve’s rescued sheep pic that it was Shaun the Dead Embarassed

No distress or offence intended to animal lovers or Shaun the Sheep fans.
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@PeakyB, I believe Shaun was ok Smile from the pisteurs facebook page

Quote:
First intervention for this new season, an unusual rescue, the recovery of a sheep blocked for several days, by the heavy snowfall in an area off slopes, unlocked, then installed in a sleigh, she was able to reach the village, very Weak, the sheep will sleep well tonight.....
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You know it makes sense.
Ahhh. Happy about that.
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@chocksaway,

The new La Daille Bubble had a number of "technical incidents" last year, I was stuck in it for almost an hour, thank goodness it isn't an open chairlift.

You would have hoped that the teething problems with the lift would have all been sorted out by now.
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@kitenski, thanks, that’s great, I like a movie with a happy ending.

Tough cookie then, Shaun.

Clever, too, having bought Carre Neige insurance. Tricky getting credit card out of fleece,with cloven hoof, when part buried in snow.
snowHead
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PeakyB wrote:
Carre Neige


Carré de Mouton I think you mean...

Mmmmm
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adithorp - yes I meant that whilst typing - this coming Sunday onwards ill be there.
PeakyB - I think the changes have been very positive for the resort but I dont think we are ever going to be too alike Courcheval - I just dont think our mountain will ever lend themselves too much to that! As far as the bit you can't remember... so about 80% the way down where you have that final track off to the right where you could go to get to the funi (as always) - well take that and head down towards the funi - then above the highest chalet (YSE ones) cut left back towards the piste you were just on and it is this bit that is new and avoids the icy bit above you! Make sense now?
chocksaway - yes indeed - in fact I heard a rumour this am that the problems with the funi might be bigger than anticipated - apparently over the Summer lots of water has made its way down through some cracks in the concrete 'tunnel' structure itself and now the cold weather has led to expansion and parts of the tunnel are in danger of falling in - something like that - this could be a problem that has to wait until next Summer to be fixed!!!! DONT quote me on that but a rumour from a French instructor this am!

Hmmm not ideal

Well folks today should have been the day I get back into full swing with the blog as well as the other social media things... however I had a really bad nights sleep and even at breakfast time I felt pretty awful. Anyone that knows me well will know that as soon as I am even slightly off my food then that is a bad sign... in the grand scheme of things I was not really that bad but all I know is that I was about 50% all day. So anyway I finally summoned the energy to do my daddy duties and get Ben off to creche (Clare is doing a 3 day CPD course! so was off out skiing first thing). Then I popped to the lift pass office as for some reason Bens pass on Saturday did not work. Well I picked it didnt I... the queue for season pass enquiries was quite long so I waited for the queue to die down a little and when it did I joined the queue (chatted to a friend before).... within a couple of mins the OTHER booth (there were 2) dealing with the season passes shut which meant it was slower going and then the girls in front ended up holding places for pretty much every seasonnaire in the Alps it seemed so I ended up waiting AGES.... anyway the actually sorting of Bens pass took about 30 secs in the end!

I got myself home and pretty much spent the whole day chilling, dozing and doing a couple of very simple chores. It was SOO nice having a whole day just to myself - if I hadn't had to get dressed to go out I would have stayed in my PJ's!

Anyway after skiing and Clare was home I was on duty to collect both the kids and then did bath time etc... I was pretty knackered and ready for bed about 3 hours ago... until I got a phone call from a friend to tell me she had just seen a french car reverse into our car in the Cret Parking where we park for the season... arghhhhhhh! Anyway so much time then spent writing a note in French, completing paperwork etc and then going to the car park to place under said windscreen of other vehicle (I dont think they realised they had damaged our car!). So that was 2 hours id rather have spent on other things - arghhh!

So that has been my very uninspiring day. Right I'm off for an early night and hope tomorrow is a good one and can get this start to the season back on track!


TTFN


They're getting the red netting up for the Womens WC races already.


They will have gotten a huge fine (cause the crane is still up as the season starts!) but these new chalets are nearing completion on the Rue de la Balme down from the Fall Line - lovely windows with views!
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PeakyB wrote:
@kitenski,

Tough cookie then, Shaun.

Clever, too, having bought Carre Neige insurance. Tricky getting credit card out of fleece,with cloven hoof, when part buried in snow.
snowHead


Laughing Laughing
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I assume that Shaun was brought down the mountain on a specially adapted Baaa-quette!
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@chocksaway, someone pass him his coat...… Taxi for chocksaway!
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Steve - reading your latest posts, it feels like the ski season has now officially begun. We are not coming over this season as we have the chance to go back to Colorado instead. All the best for the season and please keep posting, i love reading about what you are up to and what's happening in EK.
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I notice that many folk still refer to EK, in spite of the rebranding over the last few years that means that Espace Killy is now Tignes - Val d'Isere. Is it time to rename this wonderful topic?
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Just back from an amazing weekend.

Saturday - wow, wall to wall blue skies, powder everywhere and busy but didn't queue more than 5 or 6 deep for a single lift, most were deserted. No queuing, well that was until we went to Ouillette for lunch. It was a 45 minute wait for quiche (the absolute best on the mountain) and that has tempered my desire to go back to what has been my favourite lunch spot. Apres at Le Roseé Blanche and later Chateaubriand at Lodge and a couple of hours at Club 21 in Doudougne finished off a perfect day.

Sunday, the promised snow did come in, so we stayed in the trees above La Daille, looping round many times. We even got the VIP gondola which pleased the girls. Much to our surprise it cleared frequently and we were treated to empty slopes and great powder off the sides. After taking Mont Blanc up to the restaurant for lunch, we got to see the new terrain near the Folie Douce. I can understand why they aren't happy, if you are using the Vert side of the piste, the groundwork now pretty much hides the Folie until it is almost too late to cut across to it. As the snow fall had increased, we sacked off at 2.30pm and headed into town to look for some powder skis for one of our group. She got good advice but didn't buy so we hit the Garage for some apres. Dinner was at Baraque. If you go (we love the place but avoid Saturday nights - too busy) you must try the lamb. Just incredible.

Monday was cloaked in cloud but the webcams showed the top of it was quite low so we headed up to Grande Motte. We went up the La Daille gondola around 10am and it was working fine. Everyone had gone home, or was stuck down in the gloom and we had the most incredible day making fresh tracks through deep powder or just cruising from the top down to Vanoise on near empty pistes. When we eventually had to head back for showers we headed down from Toviere via Edelweiss, Diebold and Criterium. That's where it all went a bit wrong. I skied through several clouds of snow coming from the snow making machines but something in the machine cloud at the start of Criterium caused my skies to stop dead an me carry on, mostly on my face. A cut nose pouring, with blood and a hamstring strain couldn't take the shine off a perfect day. I dusted myself off, my mate confirmed I would live and we headed down for our showers before going to GVA.

I've been lucky to get off piste on the last three opening days. Last year was pretty amazing with deep powder off Solaise but this whole weekend must rate as the best ever.

Today my leg and nose feel pretty much OK and it looks like I will be fine when I get back out on Friday night. Not much snow due this week but I can't wait to be back!


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 4-12-19 13:55; edited 1 time in total
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Bad luck comes in 3 - oh dear

Firstly can I say thanks (like all those people that say nice things about this thread) to London_Falcon for your kind words - I shall do my best!

MSG101 - suppose renaming could be done... but its a habit of a lifetime and most people still call it the EK - I dont think ill ever think of it anything other than the EK - so in a word 'no' I'm not gonna rename it - it'll always be that to me - ha ha!

bar shaker - wonderful report - sounds very eventful! Im looking forward to getting on the hill - tomorrow with my little girl for a ski and then have the first real lessons of the season coming up soon too! What you describe about the Verte makes total sense and what I am expecting to see tomorrow - shall try and get a photo from the correct angle tomorrow so we can see for ourselves! It was a death trap that pitch so probably a good thing all in all id say!

Anyway back to today folks... you might be thinking 'what does he mean about the title' - well last night it was the damage to our car, today I got a call to say that our tenants in our flat had had the door handle snap off in their hands - arghhh! Well anyway I ended up spending a few hours trying to sort that all out... semi sorted (for now) but need to go again over the weekend to totally sort it out - arghhh!

So that was todays drama.

However today on the whole (apart from feeling physically better again - yay) has been very similar to yesterday! Have caught up on plenty of paperwork - email etc. Wonderful.

The only real downer from today was that the sudden panic and problems with the handle meant I didnt get a chance to start my Instagramming etc today - right aiming to start tomorrow again! Hopefully! The other downer was that the spread of the general French strike this coming Thursday has meant that the creche staff have decided to join the strike - therefore they too are on strike - darn it. Need to rearrange plans for Thursday - so that was sorted today. I suspect that this is going to turn into a huge Winter of striking here in France - joy oh joy!

In local news the town council and local shop keepers etc have today been meeting to discuss the latest plans for the 'square' outside the tourist office right in the centre of town. Essentially they have decided it needs tidying up and the whole area needs to be improved so it looks like they are going to a) build a (small) underground (and entrance to) car park under the Hotel Val d'Isere which is above the Tourist Office b) pedestrianise the whole area much more so linking between the square and the already pedestrianised area of Val Village together much better (still 2 way traffic but narrower and perhaps raised road etc with traffic calming etc) and reducing the road area by about half and c) removing the roundabout totally. Anyway the plans now need to be visualised so we will have to see how that pans out... watch this space I guess!

Think thats all for now.

TTFN

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