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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

Who can tell me why I took this photo in particular; who and why?


Is there yellow snow...and you were the culprit ? wink
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Apparently Tony Blair is in town.

@Steve Angus, was your photo showing his bodyguards casing La Daille before he arrived?
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Quote:

Apparently Tony Blair is in town.


What's his snowHead moniker?
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bar shaker wrote:
Apparently Tony Blair is in town.


Apparently there were WMD in Iraq #justsaying
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GeorgeVII - yes you're right its the army skinning up. It happens a fair amount especially at this time of the year... skin up with a massive pack on your back (full of bricks probably) then ski down, then back up again... all the while whilst the officers in charge split into two groups, one lot at the top enjoying a nice picnic and drinks and the others at the bottom doing the same... making sure everyone arrives and departs! (Perhaps not in those conditions yesterday though!)

PeakyB - ha ha

bar shaker - yes you are right and I also saw Lizzie Yarnold today too!



Another grey day

Despite the start of the day and a chance of some sunshine it certainly didnt turn out that way! For most of the day the light was flat, the wind was pretty punchy from the south and snowflakes were falling.

I met my team at the normal meet time but things were slightly different today as a second family had arrived to stay with 'my' family and so there was a mix of members of the team. However it was a little confusing trying to keep on top of what exactly was happening but we got there. I had the 'girls' team initially although we dropped a couple of the girls off initially and then we had to pop back down to the bottom to meet the others but they ended up being very late back so lunch turned into a very long affair indeed!

Alas lunch at the Sun Bar was about 2 hours long however I did take a double take at one point when I thought I saw Lizzie Yarnold walk past (the GB double Skeleton Gold medalist from the last couple of games)... indeed it turned out that a friend of a friend was indeed talking to her earlier in the day in town and it is her. Just out here on holiday with her husband!

In other celebrity spots in town this week Tony Blair is definitely here in town although I am not sure whereabouts he is actually staying though. No sightings so far I dont think!

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1OwGWEnvlbQxQ
My periscope from today.

The afternoon the weather had rapidly worsened and we attempted to head up to the Madelaine which we did but only for a couple - it was just too miserable really and so windy. No one was feeling the love so we skied back down and called it a day!

I headed to Blue Note for a few family drinks and it was a nice couple of hours before taking a takeaway and heading home!

Sorry not the most interesting of updates I am afraid!

Passed the 500 hours of teaching mark today so just under 100 hours to go this season!

TTFN


It was another grey and snowy day out there again!
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That was special







So there was blue sky this morning and it was lucky that I had the Dad and older kid this morning for a blast and gave the younger one and mum a morning off... so with fresh snow and a change in direction on the cards we headed towards Tignes for some powder hunting on piste... it was much colder this morning but there was a decent amount of fresh snow at altitude (about 10cm in town) and so we looked towards the Motte. After a few warm ups on the Vanoise lift where there was some decent snow we waited until they hopefully opened the top... I knew it was going to be soon as we watched the chopper come in and hover at the top of the motte to let the team of pisteurs out to do some heli bombing. If you look in the top photo you can 'just' and I mean 'just' see the image of the chopper hovering dropping the pisteurs out. Anyway not surprisingly the slope released and we could see the whole lot go.... it was not going to be long before they got things running up there and after a little more clearing lower down we were in business and on the first cable car cabin up to the top... you could see in the second picture and then up close the amount of snow that moved (this would be a category 3 avalanche and enough to kill several people if anyone was in the way of it!)

Anyway we did a few laps on very nice, deep & cold powder down to the bottom and back up again! By the end we were all pretty tired and made our way back to Val for some lunch and a swap to the other half of the family! It was a late lunch about 1400 at Artic Cafe but a really nice lunch non the less!

The weather had been moving in all afternoon so by the time we got going this afternoon after lunch it was pretty nasty out there and it was best to stay low so we lapped a few times down to La Daille and L did so well!!!! Well done son!!!!

I got home about 1700 to lots of happy faces as the kids had been skiing with Clare this morning and the brother in law had had a great day off piste. So the kids were in bed (so very tired) nice and early and Clares mum headed back to the UK on the overnight train leaving the house pretty quiet this evening!

So as one booking finishes it will be a just a 'filling' day tomorrow with 2 new clients before I restart a week long worth of bookings with a couple of different 'family' style bookings... bring it on. However I must say that suddenly being the start of April tomorrow (can you believe it!) I only have a couple of weeks left until the EOSB in VT. However in the meantime Winter continues as it is very cold (for this time of the year out there still) and there is no sign of the weather fronts stopping any time soon and we could have a lot more snow this coming week! I can't believe that as I am off piste tomorrow I am thinking about Winter powder as opposed to anything else (and it will be April - incredible).

Anyway apart from my periscope:

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

it is TTFN once again!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Surely that can't be an Easter fools joke!

Well it really must be the only time I will ever say that the 1st April was one of the best powder morning turns of the season... well for a while anyway! We woke up this morning and it was grey, windy and not very inviting but there was the prospect that it was supposed to break up. So I had my team of a husband and wife (and long time clients of TDC and very au fait with Val d'Isere off piste) and I got the heads up that there was going to be a delayed opening of the Fornet area whilst PIDA took place! So I opted instead for a trip up the Bellevarde side. We really couldnt see a thing for most of the first hour... opening up on the Verte then off the Borsat. It was clear that with the winds continually shifting and the temps bouncing around we could and should expect everything snow wise but all in all we got some nice lines... next up was the Grand Pre and boy was the snow off the sides of the pistes up there AWESOME... I mean seriously good. We ended up doing about 4 laps - each time taking a slightly different route but each time getting some impressive light snow. It had snowed about another 20cm of fresh snow up top overnight so that on top of what had fallen the past week meant there were some areas of snow about 60cm deep... in fact there were areas when you could almost come to a stop it was so deep. And you know what the weather started to clear up... we had another great lap under pisteurs couloir and WOW - just WOW...

https://www.facebook.com/steve.angus/videos/10160246926380416/


Anyway after that and with timing running out I thought we might get lucky and ski the Cairn - hmmm it was not the best choice as the snow was not nearly as good as I thought it was going to be... wind compacted and all over the place. Ironically it was better lower down and by this stage the sun was starting to really take hold therefore we ended up doing a Spring slope back to the Face to finish with - talk about 4 seasons in one mornings worth of skiing!

I treated myself to lunch at the gourmandine but I think they really overcharged me for what I had and then they were so busy that they forgot to get me my change and I couldnt be bothered to chase them up for the 2 euros or whatever it was!

The afternoon was a group of 4 siblings / partners and again the plan was to search out the very best conditions for off piste. So after a couple of testers (me checking their ability level out basically) off the Madelaine and the bus stop (which was in excellent condition it must be said) we headed up top for a trip over the Col... fortunately a) being a Sunday (not many groups / lessons in general about) and b) some cloud lingering about meant the Col was deserted! We found some lovely (and a small area of awful snow I must be honest about too!) snow and it was a lovely trip... they were over the moon. What made it even better was that we saw a couple of Chamois in the gorge - lovely!

Back at home and with the cousin still here it was carnage - toys everywhere amongst other things! Anyway it took a while to sort it out and get the kids bathed and into bed but somehow I got a 10 minute window to do my periscope!

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

In other news and I am 100% sure it is NOT an April fools joke amazingly... the town council have decided that due to the amount of snow that has fallen this Winter it has become dangerous for the chimneys and the fire risk of snow stacked up against the tops of the flumes... so from next year onwards everyone has to have their chimneys raised by a metre from next Winter onwards... it will affect 3500 chimneys in the resort apparently.... goodness knows how this is actually going to be implemented in practice?!!!?

Anyway I think that is all for now!

TTFN
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Simples - will look fantastic on the skyline - https://www.gr8fires.co.uk/1-metre-straight-5-plain-black-flue-section?gclid=Cj0KCQjwhoLWBRD9ARIsADIRaxQIBYzvHL-zroOgBj9YfmnezM_ImpB3dlejRdoCR0YjiNFznD0B19UaAs2rEALw_wcB
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Fish for supper tonight, Steve? Laughing
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A hospital pass!

Sometimes you get em in this job and there were moments today when it felt like that a little! Enough said... in fact there were a few hospital passes all around amongst my colleagues today - not sure what was going on today / this week!


Now what is 'wrong' with this photo?

So we awoke to blue skies and lovely conditions but it was set to be a busy day on the slopes as it was one of first nice days in quite a while really coupled with the start of a big school hols week!

I met my team of kids and it was nice seeing them all again... we headed up Solaise and got some good runs in. The queues were big and the kids needed to load one at a time (just about) which slowed things down but we got there. Hot choc break was at the Datcha... well in fact I went to the Ouillette initially but they were less than helpful insisting that the only seating was outside despite the fact that it was packed outside and there was all the seats (well most of them anyway) available inside. I dont know why but the insistence that we HAD to go outside really got my back up so we took our business elsewhere and headed to the Datcha instead!

I had a rushed lunch as I needed to start my afternoon session at 12.45 and it was nice to see the kids again - has been a few years now! There was a mix up with the nanny situation I think which was why the lesson had to start at 12.45 but the poor girl literally had to drop and run to get to the next pick up point for her afternoon kids.... the Signal restaurant by 13.00..... well there was no way that was going to happening that is for sure!

Anyway I am not quite sure how it ended up happening but I ended up having several sets of poles to carry around all afternoon - its a long story! We did the green triangle and it was unfortunate that the snow had gotten so very grabby this afternoon! It will be better tomorrow me thinks!

After skiing I did my periscope:

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

...then headed for a drink and then a crepe with the brother in law and son as well as Clare and our kids. It was a fun couple of hours!

As soon as we got home it was bed time for the kids and all went pretty well apart from Olivia not wanting to go to bed so it turned into a battle - a long one which I could have done without.

The weather clouded over this afternoon BUT the warm temps have meant that the 'big drop' of snow at season end has started... check out the second photo below to see one of the many full depth slides that are starting to come down ON ALL ASPECTS little by little. In fact with another warm day tomorrow and possible some rain (arghh) about the avalanche risk will be rising to 4 as the day progresses - be careful!




Anyway I am rather shattered this evening and there is a rather long run to go before the season finally does wrap up so I think ill call it a night now!

TTFN
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Quote:

Now what is 'wrong' with this photo?


Person standing in 'firing line' on piste, rather than safely out of way?

More great pics from you over the Bank Hol weekend Steve, thanks snowHead
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Someone appears to be building a freestyle park, or at least some kickers at the bottom of Le Face. Have seen an evening freestyle event there once, so I guess something similar?

That slide looks almost directly behind where we stopped last year, sort of opposite the UCPA?
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@Steve Angus, we've had the same at Ouillette and have come to the conclusion that the fur rug covered seats are for decorative purposes only. The Datcha hot choc beats it hands down, anyway.

What's wrong? The display ramps aren't fenced off from above and aren't supervised?
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You know it makes sense.
PeakyB - ha ha no problems. Nope to the question I'm afraid!
endoman - no to the freestyle park... but good spot! Yes that slide is not far off the Skadi - there are paravalanche barriers immediately behind the buildings there especially for these reasons!
bar shaker - yea was not impressed at the Ouillette.... yea good point about the jumps but no I'm afraid.

.... perhaps I should have phrased it differently... look closely there is a hovering cabin in the middle of the photo suspended below a helicopter which was about to take it up to the top of the mountain as part of the preparations yesterday for the Scare junior races which started today!

Not too much of a stinker after all

The weather forecast was not promising much today but in all fairness for the most part it turned out OK!

After getting Olivia back off to school today after the long holiday weekend and seeing off Clares brother and son I headed off to work! The team were ready and raring to go and we headed up the Bellevarde side and despite some pretty horrible weather for moments it was nice morning. We looped around the green triangle and played lots of games and there was some really good skiing to be had! Well done kids! Hot chocolate stop was again a false start as the Bellevarde was SOOOO busy given the weather and even at the Marmottes it was rather busy but we got there!

I took a snack lunch in town before heading up the Solaise with my pm team! The boys were on fire and we had a fun afternoon and again plenty of fun games which they loved... I'm not sure which of my whacky games I play with kids on skis they like the most!!!! Ha ha! As I mentioned above the weather was coming and going all day and one moment it was like a blizzard and other times the sun was trying to come out.... ah the joys of this winter!

After skiing I headed home to get the domestic chores back on the straight and narrow now we have an empty house once again and again here I am.

Tomorrow the weather should be similar to today before we have a few days of warm Spring temps with the sun!

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


Looks like they are doing special hot chocs at the Lounge now too for the kids especially - with smarties!!!




Especially for Endoman - better angle to see where the slides have come down but also notice if you can see up close the paravalanche barriers protecting the houses etc

The SCARA junior kids races started today... essentially the French qualifiers today and tomorrow for this HUGE international juniors ski race (today the 15/16 year old kids and tomorrow the 13/14 year olds before on Thursday and Friday the international non French racers turn up and by the weekend the champions are crowned in this unofficial world junior championships which happen every year right here in Val on the OK piste on the Bellevarde!

Anyway I think that is all for now - TTFN
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Didn't spot that cabin, good one. Hopefully back to see the Skadi again next year.
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@Steve Angus, a mate and I have Gav L for Sat and Sun, for some ski lessons this weekend.

The weather looks perfect... a dusting of fresh snow on Thursday (like it needs a top up) and then solid sun and light winds until Monday afternoon. Perfect spring skiing conditions.
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endoman - great!
bar shaker - yea should be good although there are still a string of fronts backing up over the Atlantic so anything can happen before even the weekend let alone next week - he he!!!

4 seasons in one day - I mean seriously!

There were times today when it felt like mid Summer temperatures and the sun was shining full force and there were other times when it was the thickest, heaviest, windiest, most horrid weather of virtually the whole season - I really felt as if it was 4 seasons in one day today... in general it was nice this morning and awful this afternoon apart from a brief reprieve about 1700 but now once again it is horrid out there again - WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS WEATHER!

The wind was strong and from the south (although has now swung around and is coming from the north) and it was pretty pleasant this morning so I decided to head toward Tignes with my team.... we had a great and successful morning although one person was missing (ill). Anyway I managed to tick off quite a few things that they wanted to get done... crocodile alley, the park amongst other things... although they are still asking if we can take a run through the big half pipe in Tignes sometime - perhaps tomorrow?

Hot choc at Planks in Tignes went down well too!

Coming back was chaos and it is not often that I have a mega rant against Val itself but I mentioned it on my periscope earlier. The Scara race that is going on this week means that the queuing for the Marmottes lift is nothing short of disastrous... the racers and coaches and all the hangers on for some reason dont need to go through the turnstiles amongst other things but that is not that important really as there are such large numbers of them that they effectively not only block the lift in its own right but push to the front AND worse still as they load on the side of the ski school line it means that getting kids on the lift when they need to load one at a time is next to impossible AND this is on top of the fact that the paying public need to get on the lift too. I think it is a farce and I dont know why they allow it. I am never a fan of the way Europe can't seem to sort out a lift line and it is one of my MAJOR bugbears of skiing in Europe. I truly believe (having spent hours and hours and hours of my life on lifts in this country) that if lift lines were properly organised and 99% of seats etc filed up that there would be NO lift lines anywhere at all! Come on Val d'Isere you are really really letting yourself down.

After lunch I had the twin boys and the parents decided to come along too which was fine as they back marked which is fine but boy the weather moved in somewhat! Madelaine and the Glacier runs were on the agenda before hot chocolate at the Lounge! We played lots of games and they really came on well today although with mum and dad around they played up a little.

The temperatures and the winds and the amount of snow we have had have meant that the avalanche risk as has been somewhat higher and more complicated than it could have been.... to illustrate look at just one of the slides that came down late afternoon yesterday near the Face.... above the Chatelard part of town... in fact the walking pass was (quite rightly) closed there at the time and the slide almost came down to the road! This is just one of many slides.



The resort have also released updated attendance figures for this season - slightly down on last year... there are some theories floating about as to why this is:



Which lift is this?


Why WOUNDNT you normally see this anywhere else in the world?


Pretty awful Val d'Isere - come on people are paying good money for you to not give a damn!


....and back to Winter this afternoon!

Talking of the Scara racing - after the French qualifiers today and yesterday it will be the main event from tomorrow onwards and some 32 nations will be represented.

TTFN
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https://www.pscp.tv/w/1djxXdvPBkExZ
Whoops my periscope from today!
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Which lift?......... Mont Blanc?
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Quote:

I am never a fan of the way Europe can't seem to sort out a lift line and it is one of my MAJOR bugbears of skiing in Europe. I truly believe (having spent hours and hours and hours of my life on lifts in this country) that if lift lines were properly organised and 99% of seats etc filed up that there would be NO lift lines anywhere at all! Come on Val d'Isere you are really really letting yourself down.


Couldn't agree more. Although lift queues here in Les Arcs aren't usually an issue, when there are big queues it really bugs me to see so many seats going up empty. Why spend so much on fancy lifts and then not make sure they're used properly?


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 4-04-18 20:05; edited 1 time in total
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Steve - I agree with you about the failure to manage lift queues at Marmottes. It is very annoying also that some skiers insist on leaving seats empty so that they can sit with their friends. It was good to see you this afternoon on Solaise just before the sun came out and we had a happy hour making fresh tracks.
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Which lift... Glacier express?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
lift, Borsat. The other bit, there's a Gazex that hasn't been fired with fresh snow and a piste beneath???
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The European resorts could learn a lot from the USA about queue managements, they actively encourage people to come forward to fill 1/2 spaces on chairlifts.
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queuing in Whistler very polite and disciplined, but it needed to be, cos sadly there was too much of it. They got the ski school kids on very well.

EK benefits from a massive lift system, but the lifties etc need to put a bit more effort in to fill the chairs etc at busy times. Customer service etc. Sometimes the customers don't help though........
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I think the lift is Fresse up from Tignes.

Regarding the question, I reckon it's the fact that a green piste has a chain host for grooming. Nothing like a steep green for beginners Shocked

Still can't believe Spring hasn't really started yet.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Fantastic skiing today after more snow overnight and during the morning. Powder superb up high. Blue skies in the afternoon.
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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
Lift: Pyramides chair on Fornet?
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You know it makes sense.
GeorgeVII - nope
Alastair - my sentiment exactly
Jehu - you too... yes the weather was very strange wasnt it! As for today - yup good day!
moosepig - nope
endoman - nope; Gasex - where? - as to the other points... yup food for thought!
kitenski - yup exactly. Over the years teaching in USA / Canada and the southern hemisphere where it is all managed it is so much more efficient!
sno trax - we have a winner on both counts - you got it! Well done.
retsil - nope

A lovely day

We woke up to another snowstorm this morning... heavy snow and pretty strong winds! There was a pretty strong breeze too!

Anyway it was a good 20cm of fresh (and pretty light) powder out there so I suppose it counts as yet another powder day - the 3 millionth one of the season - ha ha!

I met my team and I decided that it would be best to head the Tignes direction once more with them. The snow was lovely and light and plenty of it and the kids loved their first few turns in pow!

Hot choc break was once again at Planks in Tignes and they do a good trade in there! Well worth a visit - its in Val Claret just up from the slopes near the Aspen burger place!

By late morning the sun was starting to come out and it was getting warm! I took lunch outside at the Sun Bar and it was lovely there!

I had a slight problem with the brakes on my skis as one of them had basically broken away but some DIY at lunchtime and I got them fixed up ready for the afternoon with my team. They were on form and the sun was coming out too so we had a really good afternoon and some good changes are starting to appear in their skiing which is great to see! Bring it on!

So with only about a week before I head off for the End of Season bash over in Val Thorens I thought id let you all know of my plans for my broadcasts etc going forward. I shall be doing them for on periscope for another week along with this written blog... so next Friday will be the last of the season. After that then it will be an update about once a month!


Forgot to take my photo today - so this photo from Radio Val will have to do - it gives you an idea as to what it was like today and so does my periscope from today too!

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

As I mentioned yesterday I have been pushing my Twitter post I put up whereby I essentially criticised the resort for the poor form running the Marmottes lift line yesterday... essentially I just want the resort to realise that it should buck up their ideas a little... so far with re-tweets etc the message has gotten in front of something like a potential 150k people!!! All good! Please if you do get a chance please re-tweet for me please!

Don't think anything else to report from today!

TTFN
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My Gasex was the chain point for the cat! Idiot! I'll have to look out for those, cos I've never noticed them before, or clearly thought they were something else.
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If you fancy a bit of fun, the Step Up event is going on under Thomeusses lift today. Starts at 11am.

Ramps, BBQ, hilarity and all to raise funds for protecting eagles.
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Which green run was that?
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@snow_mac, Top of Fresse lift, head pretty much dead ahead as you get off the chair, then over the ridge down towards the green under the Borsat chair. It's a very short section but quite steep. I think the run itself is called Fresse or Col De Fresse. The lifts you can see on the right of the photo are Borsat (near) and Marmottes (far). Unless I've got it wrong again Toofy Grin
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Lift line management? In France? Bof. Je m'en fous.

And yet, dear French lift operators, lift queue management offers a USP to bring in the punters.
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snow_mac - yup as moosepig correctly says.... there is also a winch point above the steep slope from the top of the Borsat (Genepy piste) run... what I was getting at was that it is very rare for a winch point to be on a green run, but 'only in Val'!

Glorious day




It was a lovely day out there today... the sun shone all day... it got soft but it properly felt like Spring that is for sure. I ditched a layer before the day started which is a sure fire sign that Spring was here.

The weather for the next few days might show a slight deterioration but looking further ahead to middle of next week then we could have yet more snow on the way - arghhh!

I had the same team morning and afternoon as I have had all week and in both cases they kicked butt. The am we headed towards the Val glacier and the afternoon we lapped the green triangle with a trip down Crocodile Alley thrown in for good measure and a run on the fun run too!

There is definitely snow moving out there and stuff continues to pop out all over the place... in fact this evening in the warm temps they decided they needed to release quite a lot of snow above the main road in and out of Val / Tignes below the dam so it was closed for a while as they heli bombed it... not sure what / if anything came down...... in fact I dont think anything did come down as it was only closed for 30 mins in the end!

The large 'Step Up' charity event took place today near the Tommeuse lift... effectively come and have a go at a huge jump and have a few beers and a BBQ and all proceeds go to charity type thing... I didnt see it but I think it was a huge success!

My periscope was done first thing this morning:

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

In the photo above you can see one of the many groups of instructors undertaking further training in the French ENSA system... as has happened each morning this week they have been 'warming up' at the bottom of the lifts... interesting viewing in the morning. Most of the people doing the training / exams are of course part of the ESF but you do spot a few non ESF uniform hanging about.

After work we went en famille to the Roxy Quicksilver burger bar in town to celebrate both the end of the term for Olivia but also to celebrate her getting such a nice set of comments from her teacher. It was lovely sitting outside in the sun for an hour! Ice-cream and milkshakes all round!!!!

We have some guests arriving into our chalet apartment this evening... however they have been somewhat held up en route and are not likely to be here for another hour or so so it will be a late one tonight that is for sure!

Oh and whilst I remember I watched pisteurs drag (in a nice way) a very drunk girl down the slopes... it would appear as if she was too drunk to ski down from the Folie so they were pulling her poles and she was on the other end of them sliding down the slopes. I bet the pisteurs loved that - not!



Sorry folks not the most interesting of updates this evening... however a busy evening so gotta dash!

TTFN
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Big rock avalanche today at 4.30ish at La Daille distracted the queue for the bus. Mrs Jehu nearly failed to join me and her skis already on the bus.
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Hi Steve, you didn’t mention in your periscope about traffic for this weekend. Any ideas how busy it is expected to be?
Thanks
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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!
rocky79 - sorry forgot... its supposed to be pretty OK actually - some short delays but nothing too serious by the looks of thins!
Jehu - really wow! Was in town when that happened!
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Gonna be short and sweet

Im gonna be very quick this evening as I didnt sleep very well last night; then had a VERY early wake up call from our little Ben who is slightly under the weather and all that comes with that as a little baby; then on top of all that I have felt slightly under the weather too. So it will be quick this evening.

You might have noticed that I didnt do my periscope today either... never stopped all day and with Clare at home on her own all day with the little ones I needed to do my bit when I got home too! Apologies!

Anyway I thought I would utilise an OLD PHOTO from about 7 years back I think it was.... taken on this day. The weather was similar today as when this photo was taken all those years back BUT crucially there is a hell of a lot more snow about this year when you look down the valley! Anyway this was NOT today I re-mention (but could of been if you get my drift).


The French 'Red Arrows' did a fly past on the first day of the Scara race in Val on this day in 2011!

So my am lesson started early as I bumped into them on the bus but alls good. We had a requests morning and did some lovely runs (some challenging) over in Tignes and via the Val park etc. Nice to see these guys again this year and looking forward to Easter next year when they are booked to come back once more!

Lunch was a quiet (saving my energies for the afternoon) one at the sun bar - sipping more than one energy drink! However my afternoon booking came in for lunch too about 30 mins through my lunch break so I was sort of back on duty from that moment onwards sitting and chatting with them which is fine by me on a normal day but I could have done with a little down time on this day of all days. Anyway we headed high (it was so warm and there had been no re-freeze to speak of overnight!) to the Val glacier and the place was deserted. It was a nice afternoon in the end but I am certainly glad to have some less energetic clients for the next day or so (i.e. not kids which keep you on your toes permanently - instead some adult chat and (hopefully) less constant supervision if you get my drift!!! ha ha!)

Anyway not much else to report although I am glad the kids are now all in bed and asleep as I am about to do the same although would LOVE to sit and watch the Masters on tv... gosh I just love watching that... its like watching a fantasy on your tv sets.... so far away (in more than one way) from the fair slopes of here in Val!

Right TTFN.... oh one last thing - looks like middle of Summer temps this evening... after being warm all day it clouded over late this afternoon which will mean that the 'heat' will stay in the valley tonight and I doubt we will get much / any freeze overnight.... with potential morning clouds tomorrow it could be a VERY tricky morning for the off piste session I have booked in tomorrow - all the powder is gone on the northern most of north facing slopes at altitude so I could be using a lot of imagination! Anyway I do have my first slot booked off (i.e. time off) in about 2 weeks tomorrow afternoon so can't wait... Clare is taking Olivia to a birthday party therefore with some luck Ben will sleep and I can do just the same!

TTFN
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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A good sleep but not my finest

I slept pretty well last night so was feeling a little better this morning... but whilst I felt better I knew that it was going to be a tough one as I was off piste and conditions were going to prove (I knew this in advance to a large extent of course) tricky... in fact next to impossible! First issue was lack of freeze overnight so the snow would be cooked.... in fact the freezing level overnight was about 2800m which means the freeze would be light (at best at high altitudes and cooked below that! Second issue was lack of sunshine this morning and through the day in the end which meant that things at altitude would not soften up and finally there was a strong Foehn wind blowing.... option one for off piste was to stay 'low' and get soft snow but probably it would be way too cooked and soft to ski on OR way to firm and tracked out on north facing... option 2 was to go to the Val glacier and ski something like the Pays Desert whereby we might get some Spring far out wide... ultimately one of my colleagues went for option 1 and I went for option 2 - neither worked and we both aborted and ended up changing the lesson into on piste lessons! Arghhhh! The Pays Desert hadn't transformed neither was it supporting enough to ski it as a skiable crust which would have been quite pleasant actually and even north facing was wind compacted because of the Foehn. I was happy (in a perverse way) to see a ESF Mountain Guide and a Progression Instructor thinking the same things as myself and we were both watching each other to see if we had found pockets worth skiing. Ultimately it was game over and everyone was back on piste pretty quickly!

I fitted in my periscope:

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

... on my way home and then had a very quiet afternoon at home - I even got a snooze in for an hour. Clare took Olivia for a birthday party so it was just me and Ben for the afternoon and we had a very quiet afternoon indeed!

It is good seeing the IPL cricket back on the screens and I shall be watching every shot (hopefully unless I start to feel under the weather a little) from the Masters in Augusta tonight - come on Rory! I just LOVE the Masters!

Late last night a huge slide came down above the Pont St Charles beyond the Fornet and it was videoed... just gives you an idea of the amount of snow that is coming down (and will continue to come down) at the moment and as the temps stay high etc (and possibly some rain tonight) we could see things like the whole of the East Face of the Charvet releasing... be cautious out there.

https://www.facebook.com/1130303713650017/videos/2508145799199128/

In fact due to the temperatures they closed the Face this afternoon about lunchtime as they are worried about slides down onto the piste from the chutes all around it!


Interesting clouds from the Foehn winds hovering around the Fornet this morning - over the course of the day and with more fronts moving in it clouded fully over! I doubt once again the temps will drop much below zero even at the top of the mountain tonight - I'm glad I am (supposed) to be on piste tomorrow.

Anyway TTFN
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