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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
They need to replace the Le Fornet Gondola!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
welshflyer wrote:
They need to replace the Le Fornet Gondola!


The plan had been for this Summer to take both the Cable Car and the Gondola out and have a two stage gondola put in making the whole are more accessible and bring the sect up to date etc... however I dont think those plans are happening anymore due to a huge gap in the funds after last season let along this season!!!!! But standby it might still happen!
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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?
Quote:

My understanding is that the damage is quite severe and they are having to splice two pieces of cable in

Splice! I spend my time in lift queues watching out for the knot coming around. I thought they tied the cables together with a double fisherman's Embarassed
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Quote:

I thought they tied the cables together with a double fisherman's

I have heard that there is only one bloke who can splice the cables properly, and he charges an absolute fortune.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
One of the problems with a poma cable is that they get worn quite quickly which means they carnt be repaired after a while by splicing in a new section. I imagine that the gondola and chairlift grips are kinder to the ropes and can have new sections inserted longer into their lives.
A new gondola will probably make Fornet more popular. Hope the restaurant underneath the cable car will survive ok.
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Am I the only one who looks for the joins in the cable?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
johnE wrote:
Am I the only one who looks for the joins in the cable?

This “how to splice a lift cable” video helps a bit -
http://youtube.com/v/rji4h0VpToA - Trade secrets and smoke and mirrors.
The show-man splicer reminds me of Tom Cruise in Cocktail.
Re-title the video as: “The Reel Cable Guy” - what thread is this?
Remarkably, I think that is only two puns.
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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,
Quote:

It was the gondola not the cable car.... so thats the '2nd' lift up FROM the Signal restaurant upwards.


I hope they don't rely longer term on the alternative chairlift/short ski down/button drag lift instead. Damned cold last time I used.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Steve Angus,

Thanks for clarification about the postponed replacement of the Le Fornet gondola, I thought it was supposed to be replaced. The main problem with the gondola is that it is very old and unreliable, it breaks down.

The problem with increasing the lift capacity from the bottom of the Le Fornet valley to the glagier is that the pistes will become too overcrowded.

The drag lift, although very cold, means you can get to the top of the gondola from the up and over lift without having to ski to the bottom of the gondola.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Grinning wrote:
This “how to splice a lift cable” video helps a bit


I love the way everyone else in the video has to wear a safety helmet, while the guy in charge only wears a baseball cap.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
welshflyer wrote:
@Steve Angus,
The problem with increasing the lift capacity from the bottom of the Le Fornet valley to the glagier is that the pistes will become too overcrowded.


I don’t think so. When Laisinant opened that allowed a new access point into Fornet AND increased capacity in that sector. it didn’t have too much effect and Fornet will always be somewhat out on a limb!

Faster access will mean it gets skied out even quicker on tree-ski powder days. I’d rather that than be stuck swinging and not skiing!
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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.
johnE - I can't admit that I look for the joins - can be tricky to spot them at the best of times!
john2 - Where did you hear that.... ? I am sure he would charge a fortune if that is the case yes!
Peter S - Didnt know that!!!! Well there you go. As far as the Signal is concerned - I doubt it will have much effect on it to be honest... there will still be a mid station there so won't matter. Its pretty popular so should be just fine!
Grinning - Fascinating video thanks! And yes john2 that is so ironic indeed!
PeakyB - No that won't be the only solution - it would be if the resort was open for skiing now but its not!
welshflyer - I only 'think' its postponed - talk about it has gone very quiet so thats my assumption! Yes it is unreliable! In terms of pistes becoming overcrowded then that is the problem yes indeed! And yes the drag lift (Col) is there mainly as access on windy days when the gondola can't run! I do think Grinning a new lift will pull more people Fornet way for sure but the Fornet is quite 'specialist' anyway... the 'destinations' within the EK get well serviced.... tonnes of traffic to the Motte and less to Brev for sure and even less to Fornet but everything in between is so busy... Its why I always say to people to 'work' the mountain in their favour especially during school holidays and consider busing to Fornet and working backwards... with a new lift up from Fornet it could make it a quick access first thing in the am! Laisenant really didnt change anything as its not a 'destination' in itself in the same way Boisses doesn't really get more traffic (bar the new nursery slopes) with the new lifts in the area now! I do love the remoteness up at the Fornet for sure thats for sure though!

Yay balcony evenings!!!!

It has been a great weekend. Olivia off at club yesterday and Ben having some play time at home.... then Olivia in the evening went off for a sleepover at a friends (I love the French phrase for sleepover 'soiree pyjama!' - its so 'romantic' for a simple pleasure isnt it?). It meant a very quiet evening at home... a few beers, a movie and generally very quiet! This morning Ben had a sleep in too on top of the clock change which was awesome! The sun was streaming in and with the temps set to be warm all week I was looking forward to a nice walk in the sun....

As we are moving into the last couple of weeks of term and the kids at Apex have probably done more skiing than they otherwise might have on balance it means the last couple of weeks of term coming up there is a strong academic balance to fulfil - queue my hours increasing. So it also meant that when the timetable came through last night I had a little bit of shock as lots of extra lessons to plan earlier in the week than I had planned.... so that meant I was having to work this afternoon - boo!

So anyway this morning Clare took some personal time for herself and Ben and I went for a lovely walk in the sun and I promised him that if he managed to walk all the way to the Spar petrol station in town that I would buy him a lolly pop! He didnt need tempting more than the once and apart from a short stop off to look in the Cret parking (he loves the echo's in there) he walked the whole way. It was thirsty work so he also earned himself a cold drink too... I enjoy a treat myself and then he was full of beans so walked all the way home too!!! He loved looking at the parked up helicopters and we bumped into a friend with her dog so Ben loved playing with the dog too. Good lad walked all the way home again too - awesome!

When we got home Ben then consumed about 6000 Kcal in pasta too - he needed that energy replacing - bless him!

It was shortly after lunchtime that Clare headed off and left me to lesson plan (and of course watch the cricket in the background - what a last afternoon of the tour to watch on tv and I think the 'lost the Test, iT20 and ODi series stats dont do it justice - next time England (well this Summer really)!). So Clare picked up Olivia from Brevieres where she was last night and headed to Bourg for the party. It was really warm afternoon so they had a wonderful afternoon playing in the playground and eating cake etc. When they got back home at about 1800 it was 2 very tired, grubby kids so a cold refreshing shower followed by dinner and bed... they have been very good so that has made it a nice evening!

So the resort is once again pretty quiet now the Scara is over (2 kids I teach from Apex made the podiums which is a MAJOR achievement for any kids aspiring to great things in ski racing!) and the threat of a national lockdown is looming again - booo! Also there are no school hols here at the moment either! The chances of the lifts opening again this season now is about 99.9% gone even for locals so everyone is now thinking towards the Summer and 'whats next' as well as what to consider for next season if things are not back to normal! Ho hum!!!

Anyway must dash.

TTFN


The Scara took place against lovely blue skies - 250 French kids raced in total!
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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
I can't remember who told me about the bloke who splices the cables, Steve. It may have been a ski guide - I'm not sure. These things sometimes turn out to be slight exaggerations, of course.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hi Steve, hope you’re ok. I’ve booked Val with a big group for next March in a chalet in Joseray, I hope it happens!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
john2 wrote:
I can't remember who told me about the bloke who splices the cables, Steve. It may have been a ski guide - I'm not sure. These things sometimes turn out to be slight exaggerations, of course.
- sounds like its 'one of em' stories eh! Probably semi true non the less!

HoneyBunny - great to hear from you... awesome news - I like good news!. Pretty depressing this end losing best part of 1.5 seasons / years until we get going again. Look forward to seeing you next year!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hope but a change of scenery

I slept so well last night and Clare did not get in until after I was asleep which only happens about once a year! She had been out baby-sitting for a friend next door so I got tonnes of stuff done at home and treated myself to a pizza.... yummy.

Anyway after a monster sleep the kids did not disappoint and slept well too! Good start!

As usual the sun was shining and after a slowish start to the day Clare headed off for her day of English lessons and I was on daddy day care. After lots of naughty behaviour and the enforcing of one of the consequences of said bad behaviour Olivia was not allowed to take her bike for our walk this morning... Ben was.... anyway it turned out fine as Olivia went on her roller - blades and had a great time - crisis averted! So we had a really nice walk / bike / rollerblade in the morning sunshine before coming home for lunch - the kids had a nice lunch including one of their favourites so that made me popular for a couple of hours..... and then the kids really got into a nature program on Sky Nature all about Kangaroos so that was a good build up to the main event of the day which was one of Bens best friends birthday parties... WOWWWWWWW what a party it was too.

It was 'digger' themed as Ben and all his friends are in to that.... it took place just under the bottom of the Bellevarde chairlift where they now have the mini electric snowmobiles for kids... the moto-neige circuit. So the 20 odd kids and various adults had the choice of a home made 'crane' thing where they could lift some buckets of snow, there was a 'roll the tyre' race around cones, spades, hard hats, the BIGGEST pignatta (sp?) you have EVER seen full of hundreds and hundreds of Haribou, the cake(s) (there was 4 types and each one was about the size of a large dinner tray) were in various 'construction site themes', the party bags had mini tool kits in them and of course they all got 2 go's on the moto-neiges themselves.... apart from when Ben and his friend took out ALL the safety netting it was a wonderful site seeing them zoom around in circles on the circuit! After 3 hours and SOOOO many sweets and cake etc it was time to come home..... Clare got back from work and we have just about calmed them down and they are not out for the count - I wish I was following suit but can't for a few more hours yet!

Oh and now we have got to hear what Macron has to say as we think he might be about to announce another full lockdown and closure of schools - stand by!


Wish could get up there and see the sights like this.

TTFN

P.S. 10 more busy days left before the school hols to go - head down and work is all I can say!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Steve Angus, well after saying you thought you were suffering from bloggers’ block (?) recently, the creative juices are certainly flowing now Very Happy

Soirée pyjama is a great phrase Laughing
I have a group of friends who’ve known each other for over 50 years. We all get together 4 or 5 times a year for a big meal and even bigger drink.

We self-mocking pretentiously refer to these booze ups as Soirées and to the group members as Soiréesters. Not sure we’d get away with a pyjama one but for sure the trousers wouldn’t feel so tight as the Soirée drew to a close.

The tyre rolling obstacle course sounds a good activity for kids. How big are the tyres? One kid or 2 kids per tyre? How’s it work please? Just interested for Cubs/Scouts.
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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?
PeakyB - thanks - thats good to hear! Yes a Soiree pyjama is a very glamorous phrase it really is! Haha! Not so sure pyjamas would be quite the look at your events! The tyre rolling... on slushy snow... half a dozen cones on the snow... tyre was about 30cm kids bicycle size thing... just one kid per tyre - relay race style! Some good competitive spirit!!!!!!!!! Hope that makes sense!

Proud dad moment

It was another long day of teaching yesterday and the day before so last night I took it real easy and ended up drifting off in front of the tv.

The news from town is that now we are going into a sort of third lockdown tonight although (as you may know) it won't really change that much in these parts as we already had the curfew, most things were already shut etc. About the only thing I think it will do is encourage second home owners etc to flock here... and with Tignes cases at 1000/100,000 and Val over 500/100,000 its not great news either way! However it REALLY doesn't feel like anything is going to change at all tonight at midnight! However the bad news is that the ski touring routes will stop being maintained / the mountain secured from a week on Friday AND the Train Rouge bus will also stop running at 1800 on Monday night (thats a slight annoyance out of all the 'changes').

Obviously now also Apex along with all the local schools are now shut (but with the school holidays approaching in a weeks time anyway its not a massive issue really!). So all my lessons are going to be online this week and with so many lessons on me and with Clare home schooling Olivia it will be a packed and busy house.... goodness knows what Ben will get up to! If only the weather and temps were not supposed to return to mid Winter conditions early in the week it would be even better news!!!!! Ho hum!

Today however the sun was shining once again and Olivia had a packed agenda with the club.... it was skiing this morning and snowboarding this afternoon. Clare took Ben ice skating this morning whilst I did some chores at home, got lunch ready and a few other jobs! In the afternoon Ben and I had a good walk and a play outside whilst Olivia nailed her snowboarding with club... in fact she got the highest junior snowboarding level award they can get at this age.... go girl, happy and proud Dad moment!

So this evening we enjoyed a yummy family meal and we are just hoping that the Easter excitement doesn't have the kids up at silly o'clock tomorrow morning!

Onwards and upwards to the last week of term and then.......... well lets see whats what in a weeks time when the dust settles and I can focus on getting the French tax return 'season' behind me!

TTFN

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@Steve Angus, thanks, the tyre rolling sounds good. We may have to substitute mud for slushy snow back in UK. That said the ground is quite hard this morning. No rain for a while and a good frost.

Well done to Olivia for the snowboarding award. Another one for the Family Album! snowHead

Hope you all enjoy Easter and sounds like the grockle repellent needs to be applied after the suncream.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Chocolate and work

Well what a few days it has been..... Chocolate and more chocolate floating around the house over most of the weekend.... play dates and all sorts. However a friend of Bens Mum and Dad who happen to own a nice chalet in town invited Clare, Ben and Olivia (I was working as usual) around for a swim in the chalet pool on Sunday afternoon - the kids were so excited... they have not been swimming for ages!

Yesterday we made the most of the weather before the storm was due to roll in.... oh and I also threw together a family BBQ too - the first of the Summer... I did a yummy rack of ribs on the BBQ - slow cooked - amazed! But anyway the weather really has moved in since then and it is now about -10 out there, a blizzard and feeling very Wintery. And now the Easter weekend is over and Lockdown v3 is in full flow the resort is even quieter than it was before!

Today Olivia had a full timetable of home teaching and even Ben was sent some school work too... meanwhile I was stuck in the bedroom virtually all day teaching via the power of the internet.... and then had a virtual parents evening so it has been another busy day!

PeakyB Yes very proud of her and her snowboarding! Grockle repellent seems to have come in the form of bad weather - I won't complain!


A sort of return to Winter now! But it will only last a couple of days I believe.


With some yummy BBQ chicken it was one heck of a nice BBQ!


A change in the weather coming.

TTFN
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Was 'that' the season

Firstly apologies for not posting sooner but it has been a long week and very tiring!

Wednesday it was the usual daddy day care as Clare was teaching English so we made the most of it. However the trend for most of this week was temperatures dropping, winds picking up and a little snow on the grounds in the morning with a hard frost... so we didnt do too much on Wednesday!

But it was all about gearing up for Thursday and Friday as both were VERY busy on the home teaching for Apex front. I ended up having a very stiff back having sat on my back for pretty much non stop of two days!!!! 15 hours of lessons in 2 days - ouch! Anyway the kids did their best on the end of the wifi line and that is now that for this term. Meanwhile Clare cracked on trying to teach Olivia as much of the home schooling as possible and by all accounts she did very well.... meanwhile Clare tried not to let Ben have too much TV time / iPad time and whenever that happened he was generally trying to come and 'help' me - doh! Anyway we got there in the end thankfully! So I was shattered and stiff yesterday evening!

With the term now over I have a few weeks 'break' away from Apex and I am just waiting to hear my schedule for teaching from the Summer onwards. They have a VERY complex situation in terms of kids coming out at differing times and some following the Apex schedule of lessons for the year and others now... there is also the Covid situation too. So all in all we dont really know where we stand (well where I stand) as to when my next lesson and to to what extent (numbers wise) that may be. Stand by as it could be as late as Autumn before I'm teaching again there. Who knows.

So for the next few weeks it will be a combination of:

1) school hols (Olivia is luckily getting her week of Ski Club in which is great news - starting today for 6 days!)
2) doing my French tax return (eek its that time of the year once again!)
3) Projects at home - lots of odd jobs that need doing
4) Sorting out Summer work (employment - whether Apex or other (working on a few options!))
5) Doing work converting our van into a camper van conversion and getting set up for some camping trips this Summer!

.... and I'm sure plenty of other things but can't think of them now.

Meanwhile with the new lockdown in Val the place has TOTALLY cleared out now people cannot travel more than 10km from home... I imagined a million 2nd home owners would flood into town before the restrictions came in but that doesn't seem to have happened thankfully - the place is deserted. The car parks are all now free too - the town feels like a quiet inter-season now - very weird!

After being very cold earlier in the week and windy the sun has made a little return here and there but it is still a little cold for this time of the year but one things is for certain - thankfully it hasn't rained so we have been able to get outside!

So it feels as if a chapter of the season (was that a 'season') is behind us and therefore my updates are going to slow down as well. I think I will aim for perhaps an update once a week or so! Then when it gets to the end of April I will revert to my monthly Summer updates!

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, good luck with the uncertainties awaiting you - and good to hear the French seem to be taking this lockdown fairly seriously, there does need to be a public effort to reduce the problems of Covid. (And from a personal point of view, we want the country to be able to welcome visitors sooner rather than later).

I take it everything is over now? The webcams I follow (not VdI) show a lot of melting and I assume that is general, though in normal years I guess snowmaking and bulldozing by piste bashers would just about have kept the last week of the season going.
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