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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
What wasnt to like about that then

It was a pretty good nights sleep at home but at breakfast time the kids were both still fast asleep so I had breakfast by myself in total peace - wooopie!

Clare was to spend the day with the kids going up the Solaise to Val Kids and having a picnic etc and I was working all day on an all day booking.

The avalanche risk in this crazy heat was to go from 1 in the am to 3 in the pm's from lunchtime onwards! I met my team at the meeting point and I had a father and grown up son... we had some things in common through his line of work and my brother in laws and a few other things but they really wanted a 'maximum turn and maximum exploring' type of day. They knew that without a massive walk there was no way that we were going to get powder (and it would be old winter pow at that anyway) but it was always going to be a case of tackling today a little like we might tackle a 'classic' Spring ski day!

Anyway without snow for a couple of weeks now and with the half term crowds it was going to be 'get what we can get.'

So the Familial, Campanules, Chardonnet, Lavachet, Cairn, Cugnai and Grand Vallon were all on offer and of course as the afternoon progressed with the avalanche risk increasing we stuck to north only slopes.

We did get some fresh winter powder snow turns - a handful which was nice but generally it was chalk and more chalk and very nice it was too!

We had lunch at the Datcha and ended up finishing a little early as one of the team had sore feet in his boots!

So it was a nice day!

It was the usual evening antics with the kids before bed time but of course Olivia has a whole second week of school hols coming up so bed time was not quite as early as it would otherwise have been but oh well!

The Fresse lift in Tignes will be out of action until the middle of the week at the earliest as it has a technical fault!

TTFN


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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
SOOOO hot

It really is the most intensely warm period out there at the moment - it is bonkers. I feels like the middle of April not February.

Anyway it was action stations out there this morning with getting Olivia to the Village and Ben to creche, Clare had to get to Tignes for a lesson and I was meeting at 0900 too.... oh well we got there in the end!

The sun was shining and the birds were singing (they really were at times) so I met my new team for the week. I had a couple of sets of parents from Wales (it is Welsh school holidays this week which I was not aware of) and a firth friend and their skiing experience ranged from 'none' at all up to a weeks worth on a previous holiday. So ultimately it was a into to skiing sort of lesson.... by the end of the session they did well and most of them were coming from most of the way up the Savonnettes drag so it will be a case of onwards and upwards tomorrow. I just hope they took on board my suggestions as to where to ski / what to do / not to do this afternoon so we are set for tomorrow.

I actually sheltered from the sun for lunch and managed to drink a LOT of water (I was de-hydrated that is for sure).

The afternoon lesson was with a guy who was lacking in some confidence but generally quite a strong skier for the most part and having skied the Solaise side in the morning he took my advice and we headed up the Bellevarde side. We basically skied the green triangle and then did some blues at the end to complete a successful afternoon!

After skiing I collected Ben and then had to pop to our rental apartment to sort something out and then it was home for the usual evening chores. Meanwhile it turned out that one of my colleagues seems to have fractured his heel and is out for a while at the very least so the planner has been shaken up for the rest of the week so now I am running some other lessons including an off piste adventure clinic at the end of the week - just need to find something they WONT have skied at the end of the week to keep them entertained - hmmm could be interesting!

Meanwhile I saw a stat today that said that Val and Tignes between them throw away some 31000 plastic bottles a day on average - incredible!



TTFN
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Steve Angus wrote:

Meanwhile I saw a stat today that said that Val and Tignes between them throw away some 31000 plastic bottles a day on average - incredible!



TTFN


Guess no-one trusts the tap water?
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Kenzie wrote:
Guess no-one trusts the tap water?


Foreign tap water. Bound to be dodgy. I mean do they even have water treatment plants abroad?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It must be the restaurants maybe disposing of the bottles?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought a plastic bottle of water.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Encore

^^^ I always drink the tap water here year round and it has never caused me (that I know of) any problems!

Well with similar weather once again here it was ground hog day once again. I still have a bit of a sore throat so I have been going through medication like no-ones business but the show must go on as they say! So I dropped Olivia at the Village and then met my team (same team as yesterday morning) ready for round 2... with 1 person complaining of sore feet but the 12 year old daughter of one other member of the team joining there was a few tweaks to sort through! Anyway little by little we made some progress and before long we were able to head to the Village lift for the first time and then it was not too long before we were able to head up the Solaise and utilise the magic carpet. Bravo folks some good progress made!

I took lunch once again down at the bottom of the Olympic before gearing up for the afternoon session. Once again it was back with the same guy as yesterday afternoon and I decided that heading towards the Solaise would be the best course of action. So little by little we worked on technique as we headed our way up to the fornet glacier and ultimately did the Moraine red before skiing to the Signal and then downloading and home.

Meanwhile Clare picked Olivia up at lunchtime and they went up the mountain for a picnic lunch.

I collected Ben after skiing and headed home and it has been the usual evening routine!

Sorry my updates are not that inspired at the moment folks - just a little jaded but a couple of lower key days should sort me out HOWEVER after one of our colleagues picked up an injury yesterday (his own fault; he had the afternoon off and went to the park and knuckled a jump!) with a broken ankle (yea I know!) suddenly there is loads of extra work that needs to be divided up and shared about - arghhh!



The heat by the way is still leading to lots of the mountain falling off... there has been more and more big warm weather slides all over the the place so caution is urged on those south facing slopes especially!

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!
@Steve Angus, thanks for your commitment to keeping this going - I enjoy your posts though just reading them makes me feel exhausted! I love your enthusiasm (and I've enjoyed your lessons) Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Steve Angus, +1 enjoying your posts as ever.
Really appreciate the nuggets of news, information and advice that you don’t get from anywhere else.

Hope you shake off the bugs and fatigue very soon.
snowHead
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Just back from an experimental long weekend in Val. It was our first weekend in Feb, to see just how bad the school holiday season is.

The answer was "where is everyone?"!

Saturday we decided to head over to the Palet/Aiguille Rouge area. No queue at La Daille, Tomeusses or Tichot. None at Grattalau either, but we decided to stop for coffee. When I say no queue at Grattalau, I mean sweeping around the entry and skiing right up to the gate. Even a trip up to the glacier only saw 20 people queuing for the cable car. Everywhere we went was the same and we got so much skiing in that we stopped for aprés at the Folie at around 4pm.

Sunday we bussed to Laisinant with a view to going to Pissaillas. Hmmm, no queue for Pyramid - OK, lets do a couple of laps. There was a 20 person queue for the Valon gondola but that's standard. Once up at Pissaillas there was probably 50 people queuing for Cascade, so we stopped for a coffee. By the time we had finished, the queue had gone and there was never a queue again for the next 6 laps. Thinking about lunch around 2pm, we found where everyone was... they were at Ouillette. OMG the queue for food was back out of the first door and along the terrace. We departed for the Refuge de Solaise, the new hotel. Got a table straight away and enjoyed a superb lunch in the sun. For the afternoon, we lapped Plan and Rhone Alpes, with the slopes almost to ourselves. Aprés was a great afternoon/evening at Cocorico with Muppet and her husband (love your new apartment!!).

We thought Monday, would bite us and we would find the queues... and we did a bit, but only where we expected. The morning was spent over at Palet again and it was once again deserted. Remarkable. We then decided to do Double M so went down and took Lanches and dropped down to Vanoise. At the top of Vanoise, we couldn't believe our eyes. There was no one queuing for the cable car! I have never seen no one there, in 15 years. Once loaded, the car went up half empty. OK, it was 13:05 but still remarkable. Eventually though my GF (who has no sense of direction) wanted to get very familiar with the Green triangle for an impending Girls Trip. Marmottes and Borsat were 5-10 minute queues, it could have been much worse though as I'd expected the triangle to be mobbed. A late lunch saw us finish for a flat clean, shower and scarper to GVA... only for my GF to realise she had left her new tiny rucksack on the seat at the Bellevarde restaurant. Although just about to get in the shower, I volunteered to get dressed and go and find it. I got on a 25% filled Funi (this was now 15:45) and to my amazement, it was where she had left it. Result. As this was a bonus ski, I set a new PB from the top of Bellevarde all the way down to the door by our ski room, via Orange and Stade. As everyone was in the Folie (rammed wouldn't describe it!) the pistes were empty. Stade had just been cleared from competition and was untracked, giving me enough speed to glide around our swimming pool and up to the apartment building door. A great finish to a great weekend.

We've shied away from Feb unnecessarily by the looks of it, or were we just very, very lucky?
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@bar shaker, sounds fabulous!! Great result on the rucksack too Very Happy .
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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.
@bar shaker,
Sounds good
My own experience is that Saturday is always a quiet day. Also more than anywhere I've been France in school holidays the queues just fall away at lunch time.
The last time I went to ValD'I sere during French school holiday the queues could be pretty bad and quietened significantly when the holidays ended however that was over 20 years ago when I came over for a three week break from asia where I was living. The lifts have been improved a lot since then.
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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 skied the UK half term in Val D'Isere two years ago. We had a few queues but nothing too disastrous - certainly not enough to put us off coming back. We are heading out to Tignes in the Easter holidays this year. Also, wanted to add my thanks to Steve - I know the whole area pretty well and really enjoy his regular updates.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
motyl, PeakyB, London_Falcon - thanks so much!
bar shaker - glad all so positive and yes as T Bar says Saturday is by far the quietest day of the week that is for sure!

You gotta offer professional opinion

Im typing this this evening thinking of the words I use and wandering whether motyl is already feeling exhausted by what I have typed - ha ha!

Anyway I woke this morning feeling somewhat surprised as I had been awake in the middle of the night with a sore throat so it was great that it felt fine at breakfast time - yay and phew!

Clare had the day off to ski with Olivia (remember it is school hols for the local kids here too at the moment still!) so I took Ben to creche then hit the meeting point for the mornings lesson. The welsh team I have had the mornings this week consisting of somewhat varying experiences at the beginner end of the spectrum all showed up (I was somewhat surprised at this given a couple I could tell were feeling the pressure at holding some of their friends up and others missing yesterday with ailments!). Anyway they were all there therefore we headed to the magic carpet and did a few warm up runs and got different persons in the group doing different things getting the 4 stronger ones ready for their first trip up the madeline. After an hour or so it was time to take them up the lift and they did pretty well although they all elected for a sit down and a drink at the Ouillette after that whilst I went back back to the carpet run to work on a few things with the two weaker ones. However it was obvious that one of the two really wanted to go on the Madelaine run... I had to delicately say that it would not be a sensible thing to do! Sometimes you have to offer people advice that is truthful but without shattering dreams... at the end of the day you are the paid professional to make decisions like that!

Anyway all to soon it was lunchtime and I made my way home... it was a scorcio day so I was quite glad to be getting away from the sun if I am being honest! So apart from collecting Ben from creche I had a few hours at home, played with Olivia a little (when she got back from her ski with Clare) and caught up on some emails but to be honest was not very productive!

And here we are once again!

So the weather forecast is set to change and it looks like we might finally get some more precipitation starting from late tomorrow night / Friday but how much and whether rain or snow and with how much wind is still be seen but at least it will be a change of scenery eh!!!!

In other news the resort are saying that the local gendarmes are coming out on the slopes to try and educate people a little more about (for example) where to stop on the slopes, educate people who seem to be skiing with excessive speed in learner 'go slow' areas. They cannot and will not have the authority of for example patrollers in North America but I suppose it will be better than nothing but more likely than not too little too late!

And of course there is the obligatory rescue from the Gorge du Malpasset to report from yesterday too... a few people pulled out of there!

Anyway with my colleague Terry injured I am taking over his Off Piste Adventure group tomorrow!

TTFN

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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@bar shaker, Great to see you. I was right behind you at the Fontaine Friod lift on Monday but have completely lost my voice due to some bug going about so couldn’t speak. Thought hitting you with a ski pole a bit rude!


@Steve Angus, It’s still half term for some other parts of the UK apart from Wales. My daughter is currently over here for half term as her school in Yorkshire is also currently off this week.
Hope your throat infection continues to improve.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@T Bar, It wasn't the Saturday that surprised me (we do Friday night flights to always maximise our Saturday skiing), it was the Sunday and Monday. I've never not queued for the Tignes glacier cable car. By comparison, my last ski trip in school holidays was to La Plagne and I queued for 45 minutes to get on the Roche de Mio gondola. It was after this that I said 'never again'.

@muppet, you should have prodded me. We were heading to Bellevarde for a late lunch in the sun. So envious that you are still there!

@Steve Angus, Hope you get well soon. You've had every bug going this season! The apps are starting to show some decent snow over the weekend.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
muppet - thanks.
bar_shaker - yea I know - thanks!

A change on the way

There was definitely a feel of a change in the air today in terms of the weather that is for sure. There was a breeze and the temps were a little lower but also there was a very thin veil of cloud in the sky and most certainly a feel that things were about to change!

Anyway I took Olivia to the Village kids club and then went to the meet point. After my colleague injured himself earlier in the week I took over his off piste group for today and tomorrow. So the 2 people in the group and I headed off and we did the North Face of the Borsat via a low traverse in and it was quite nice (once you got in!!!!). The Chardonnet Bowl was in amazing condition (even if we did take the hard entrance by mistake - whoops!) and the less said about Campanules the better (a couple of slides from yesterday made the traverse across somewhat challenging!!!!!). Anyway it was a nice morning.

I treated myself to lunch at the Sun Bar before taking the afternoon promo lesson of 4 staff from Mark Warner out. I had the lower level group and it was 3 nice girls and one guy who was way weaker than the girls... anyway we worked on some of the blues up Solaise before heading over to the Fornet area. They also loved learning how to ski backwards too.

Straight after skiing I took Olivia home and then changed and headed down to Bourg where I have just collected a large click and collect food shop and also had a naughty McDonalds for dinner!

It always seems to take ages to get home and put it all away but I have finally done so and here I am once again!

Tomorrow I should only be working in the morning so need to get some admin done in the afternoon before a relatively 'down' weekend!

And there is the obligatory report to bring everyone of 8 more people needing to be rescued from the Gorge today INCLUDING young kids and all sorts .... FFS!

Right folks my cold and throat are better this evening which is good but I am going to head to bed and hope we wake to some snow falling!!!

TTFN


One of the slides we had to cross to get to the north part of the Campanules today - rather tricky to do even thought it doesn't look like it should be!
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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?
Here's the signs that you must ski past, at the top of the Col. Hopefully these people are getting significant bills for their rescue.

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@bar shaker, look at all those tracks though to the right of the sign!! WTF are people on!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@kitenski, You can ski past the sign without a problem but you have to head back West before you get down towards the Gorge.
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Stay high and left(west as you say) and you can boot pack it out for a few hundred meters. I did it 8/2/19 and followed a few groups without any problems. We joined the bottom of the Grand Vallons.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you go past that sign and then need help I bet your insurance wouldn't cover you though, Is it really worth risking it?
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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!
Rob_Quads wrote:
If you go past that sign and then need help I bet your insurance wouldn't cover you though, Is it really worth risking it?

The sign is specifically warning quite correctly about the Gorge.
There are ways down that do not involve the Gorge (or indeed ways up if you want to ski down and skin up.)
Providing you know where to go it is not a higher risk than anywhere else away from the piste and I see no reason why your insurance would not cover you.
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^^^^ yea to be clear the signage is pretty good but there are plenty of options to head over the col and down in the direction of the gorge BUT not proceed past the point of no return - either traverse / boot pack up and out skiers left or perhaps off to the right for a skin or even towards the refuge down there for some longer touring etc... but no I dont think the insurance company would pay out if you got all the way down to the gorge itself! If you head left you join the end of the Vallonet descent and then over the Pont St Charles and back to the Fornet!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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Well it never fails to amaze me

I opened the curtains with anticipation this morning to be greeted with pretty much the same scene as the last 3 weeks.



It was warmish and sunny... but I knew it was likely to change and there was a breeze out there so I put on another layer (when we were waiting for the Cugnai lift to open we actually went up a second layer too!). After dropping Olivia at the Village (they had swimming this morning followed by a movie afternoon) I met my team and we got going up the Solaise quickly!

I planned to drop down the Cugnai nice and quickly to make the most of some nice snow in there and as always it didnt disappoint and we got some lovely chalk and even some Winter pow turns in a couple of times too! Yippee. Even by 1000 the clouds were rolling in and the wind was threatening to get up... By the time we got to the top of the Manchet Express I decided to change plan as I didnt think we would have time to get to the Grand Vallon before the weather really went out the window... so plan B was the Danaides Wall followed by the L'Avancher Couloir... WOW is all I can say - amazing chalk and even there was some wind blown coming in. The actual couloir was in amazing condition... in fact it was so good that we all were eager to loop around and have a 2nd go. That was perfect plan apart from the wind was REALLY getting up and the lift was now on go slow mode.... and when we got to the top we could not see a thing... so my third sense and knowing the mountain like the back of my hand we entered from the Plan M side of things and enjoyed another cracking descent!

This afternoon I have been at home before going into town to run a few errands and now it is the evening routine! Tomorrow should be a nice day as we are having a family day and Sunday Clare is teaching. I am especially looking forward to a selection of sports to watch tomorrow too.... some skiing on TV as well as the 5th ODI (Oh and I CANT wait for the Cricket World Cup this Summer - have some tickets for a few matches - it is going to be awesome!)

Another busy day on the road tomorrow beckons as some 32000 Parisians are on there way here - eeeek!

TTFN
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.


Very proud of my photo above I took this morning!

Ahh bliss

The less said about the cricket this pm the better - right said and done - moving on.

So it was a relaxing start to the day. However with two young kids it was the usual early start and not a 10am lie in as it could have been!!! ha ha!

Anyway a little ski racing on tv followed by some sledging with Ben outside in the morning sun was the order of the day! With the sun returning after about 20-30cm of snow that fell yesterday and last night I am told that it was nicely infilled but either dust on crust or about shin deep so better than nothing and nice to have a freshen up. However the temps were still pretty warm so it will have gotten heavy quickly!

Anyway it was a nice morning and very relaxing.

The kids took a lunch time sleep and Clare and I had a couple of hours or chill out time together which we dont often get in the Winter at all!

After that Clare took Olivia around to a friends house where the kids all did some 'yoga' and the mums ate cake and drank tea - yea I know whilst I settled in to some 'daddy and son cricket watching and tea drinking time'... before I made a family steak and chips dinner - yummy yummy real steak and chips home made can't be beaten! Washed down with a couple of beers it has been the perfect evening!

Tomorow Clare is off working in the am so I shall probably take the kids swimming!

So Val d'Isere is officially reporting that this week is supposed to be one of the busiest if not THE busiest week of the season in terms of visitor numbers - hmmmm millions of Parisians and Belgiums (not so bad) just what we need. However the weather forecast for the week is a real mix of sun, snow, rain and wind - could be interesting!

TTFN


busy week
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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.
Hi @Steve Angus, great photo above. Looks like a window in the ski for the aliens to arrive through!
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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
lynnecha - ha ha yea I know - i couldnt believe how natural it came out!

A second rest day of fun

Well Ben woke up a little earlier with a rattle on his chest and it looks like despite it being OK during the day he is going to have a very unsettled night and we have called in a friend for cover tomorrow as both Clare and I are working all day and blatantly Ben is NOT going to be on form - oh dear!

Anyway back to today...

So I made family scrambled eggs and Clare headed off to work leaving me with the kids... so we threw on some clothes and headed to the swimming pool for a couple of hours of fun in there... Olivia had great fun but as usual it was a drag getting her away from something fun!

Anyway I treated us all to a family chevallot lunch although I am not sure how I ended up ordering a whole extra tranche legume!!! Anyway Clare loves em so she had 2!

After the kids had some down time / sleep we headed up in the afternoon sun to The Garage for a drink on the deck and it was glorious! We were joined by Kellie and Andy and their lovely dog Sadie and it was glorious..... until the sun went behind the mountain and it got predictably freezing!

Anyway after a while and a couple of drinks it was home time and I popped to our little rental place to check in with our new guests (they were fine but had driven all the way from Norway) and then headed home!

So as I say it looks like we are in for a bad night as Ben is obviously slightly under the weather and coming down with something - arghh!

Couple of things:

1) Ed Sheeran was here last week - spotted in the Rosee Blanche amongst other things!
2) The Val pisteurs released some lovely pics today of some of the av dogs and their handlers across the resort (one dog in each top station!)

Ahhhhh bless. So we have : Fornet - Faro; Solaise Eliot and Grigo; Belvarde Nox and Nebio - not sure why some places have one dog listed only like Fornet but there you go!
3) Once again people heading off piste not knowing where they go... a father and couple of sons (father had the off piste gear the kids had nothing) but anyway they headed down the couloir to nowhere and needed to be rescued at great cost to them. Idiots!


The Garage is rather nice inside - spacious and classy - I like it! Very American style apres feel to the place!

Right Ben is crying once again so need to sign off.... TTFN
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Steve Angus, nice pic of the avalanche dog with the ski patroller!
Out of interest are all of the avalanche dogs Border Collies (or similar)? I presume that’s a Border Collie in the pic?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
And again - if its not the couloir to nowhere its the gorge and vice-a-versa

VolklAttivaS5 - I wouldnt say 'all' of them no but a large proportion of them are yes! Guess temperament and a good 'nose' as well as being very 'trainable' are the key assets they have!

Oh yes another group got rescued from the couloir to nowhere above the Daille yesterday... nuff said!

Anyway for a brief glimpse of a moment this morning it looked like it might have been an OK day but it quickly started to move in.

It had not been the best night sleeping on the sofa but Clare told me that despite Bens unwellness he actually slept OK! Phew! Anyway Kellie arrived after we had seen Olivia off on the school bus and she set to work looking after Ben for us for the day! Phew we knew he was in safe hands!

So both Clare and I were on the same booking with the same family and I had the elderly father (and his son and his girlfriend turned up later in the session) and we headed up for a lap on the green triangle. The weather was coming and going and snowing but the wind was not too bad and we had a really good lap around the triangle.

At lunchtime I huddled under the Sun Bar before venturing outside for the afternoon lesson and the weather had gotten somewhat worse but nothing too bad. So I met my pm session a guy that I had taught as a complete beginner last year... we headed up the Solaise and got a lap in on the Madelaine and it was not too bad and great to see that A had gotten quite a lot of 'good' mileage in on his skis since last year. HOWEVER we went up the lift for a second lap and for only the 2nd time I can recall in about 22 seasons of teaching the weather deteriorated SOOO quickly and so drastically in the space of 10 mins that by the time we got to the top it was REALLY REALLY windy and snowy - off the scale - a major deterioration in such a short space of time. I had to do the skiing rescue descent whereby I skied backwards controlling his descent on my ski poles it was that bad... it was also not so good that he had only a couple of layers on so was freezing too and could not feel his hands at all by the time we got to the bottom of the run and took a warm up 10 mins in the Ouilllette!

We were about to leave anyway when news came in that they were going to have to shut down the high alpine as it was just too windy for the lifts to run... so we made sure we got on the gondola down before it was too late!!!

The remainder of the session we lapped around on the Rogoney lift and had a much more enjoyable time lower down and it was good to recap on a few things with him. The weather meanwhile kept on changing and we even had some blue sky for a little while too! However it did come and go.

Ben seems to be about the same as last night this evening but has a slight temperature so we are getting the sitter in again tomorrow and yours truly is back on the sofa again so if Bens needs to sleep with Clare then the bed is free AND if it goes horribly wrong then I can share with Clare and have him with me for a while whilst Clare gets some rest.... all this as a strong rages outside - it could be an interesting night outside but tomorrow the sun is set to shine.

Meanwhile I totally forgot to get any photos today - whoops (tbh it was hardly the weather for trying!) so I will use Radio Vals one this morning - red sky in the morning (warning!)

TTFN

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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Steve Angus wrote:


VolklAttivaS5 - I wouldnt say 'all' of them no but a large proportion of them are yes! Guess temperament and a good 'nose' as well as being very 'trainable' are the key assets they have!


I just meant the Val D’Isere ones, or is that what you meant too?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
VolklAttivaS5 - I didnt 'mean' either way but when all the regional dogs were doing there training earlier this Winter (as always) there was a large proportion Val wise and across the board of collies yes!

Thats more like it

Well after the somewhat 250kmh winds of yesterday afternoon it was a welcome sight of sunshine this morning! There had 'only' been about 10-15cm of snowfall but with the wind there was larger accumulations in some places than others! Anyway there was surprisingly little blasting out there which was a sign that things were not as unstable as might have seemed... and by the time we got to the meeting point the pisteurs had already come down the Face so we knew they would be opening on time or nearly on time and of course that is exactly what happened - both Solaise and Bellevarde opened on time!

Anyway with Ben having another up and down night we had Kellie back in to look after him which meant there was no drop off at the creche to do... so Clare and I had it quite easy to get up to the meet point for a second and final day with the same team we have had before! The queues were expectedly large as everyone wanted to make the most of the weather and the snow!

The team were late so we were behind the masses as we set off and up the Solaise and the destination was a few laps on the Glacier Express lift followed by a trip up towards the Val glacier... however due to the venturi effect there was a stiff breeze blowing up the Fornet so we only had (well wanted to) a small amount of time up there BUT the team did well and it was a jolly good morning!

With the sun shining it was feeling warm again that is for sure... so I took my lunch outside the Olympic lift in the sunshine!



The afternoon I started a 3 x half day clinic (group lesson) and it was a mixed bag (in a good way) of 6 people at the lower end of the spectrum ability wise - some with only a little experience and others with a reasonable amount but crucially all wanting to 'learn properly' and not scare themselves etc. So we had a really nice afternoon up the Solaise and ultimately did some good work on the Madelaine... nice work team!

I got home and Clare was busy making some pancakes for shrove Tuesday and we had fun watching the torchlit descent by the ESF and then fireworks from our balcony - ringside seat!

So that really sums up the day.... more sun is forecast for tomorrow before the weather starts to move in late tomorrow afternoon!

TTFN
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Just back from a long weekend last night. It certainly was a mixed bag weather wise although Saturday was fantastic for snow and weather. It definitely was busy the last couple of days though - a late (9:30) start yesterday was a big mistake with huge queues on the Solaise gondola and Olympic - but when we finally made it up Solaise we found that Glacier & Datcha had almost no queues, so I have no idea where everyone disappeared to!! It seemed like most of France was on the run down in to Val Claret (Henri?) on Monday morning Shocked It doesn't help when people stop in the middle of the piste - or just set off in front of you without looking above them.....lost count of the number of times that happened this trip.

Yesterday we could have done with your expertise on finding where the wind had blown the snow. We tried down the skiers left of Arcelles - which was interesting - some nice wind blown stashes interspersed with wind scoured solid patches! From there we could see that the snow looked much better on the Bellevarde side (East/NE facing stuff I guess). So we headed over there and skied directly under Loyes - there was one of your TDC colleagues there with what looked like an off piste group as we came up the lift. By that time (late morning?) the temperature had risen quite a bit and the snow, although a lot deeper that the patchy stuff we skied earlier was getting a little heavy but still fun.

That weather deterioration on Monday caught a lot of people out. We were over in Tignes in the morning and you could see it building up so headed back. A couple of our group decided to carry on when we reached the bottom of La Daille as the gondola had just closed so headed up the funicular and said it was horrendous. On the way down they came across an ESF instructor with 10+ kids of about 4/5/6 years old huddled by the side of the piste - a lot of the kids screaming and in a real mess. It took a fair few people to help get them down in the end by all accounts with some kids being carried. They apparently had headed up the gondola - found conditions too bad but then they closed the gondola so had no choice but to try to get them down on piste. Scary stuff.
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@nemesys, what was making it horrendous then? Poor visibility and nasty wind scaring the kids?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@VolklAttivaS5, the wind was unbelievably strong and it was snowing hard/snow getting whipped around by the wind - so visibility very, very limited + cold and snow getting blown very hard in to little faces.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@nemesys, oh poor things.
I was in Mayrhofen one day when the weather suddenly turned and the wind was so strong I was stopped in my tracks skiing down the piste where it was blowing up-hill. I was glad to get in that afternoon, lifts were being closed everywhere.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
VolklAttivaS5 - it came in VERY quickly - never in all these years seen it come in that quickly and deteriorate that quickly... and as I said above the wind speed topped 250km/h at one point in the afternoon Monday!!!!!!
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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!
Line squall?

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&channel=iphone_bm&source=hp&ei=rTKAXOeyG4v4kwWi_avQCw&q=line+squall&oq=line+squall&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-hp.1.0.0l2j0i22i30l3.2373.8370..9871...0.0..0.84.872.12......0....1.......0..46i131i275j46i131j0i131j46j46i275.racGNEbt75Q
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Better than expected

All was looking rosy at breakfast time in terms of Ben and his health although he had NOT had a particularly good nights sleep it must be said! Arghhh!

Outside the weather was looking more promising than it was supposed to so it was all systems go. I dropped Ben off at creche and then headed to the meeting point to meet my team (day 2 of the 3 day group clinic I am running!)

Meanwhile Clare took Olivia off for a ski.

There was a punchy Lombard / Foehn wind blowing so that means that the nice wind deposited snow from yesterday will have been wrecked and wind pressed and things actually won't have gotten any easier as the sun came out for a little bit in the middle of the day which will have baked the snow a little too and all that coupled with the warmer wind temps means that the fresh pow from the other day - well that has more or less disappeared!

So we started with a descent down the Madelaine to get warmed up and then did a laps working on some more technical aspects of their development before finally taking a descent down the Col de Madelaine blue run as a challenge which they all rose to well!

I bumped into Clare taking Olivia for a slide too (but as it turned out Ben had a temperature again by mid morning so Clare got a call to go collect him so that was the end of their morning skiing together!!!!).

I hurried home at lunchtime to take over some of the child care duties and then in the later afternoon I took Olivia up the Solaise to a friends birthday party up there... it was the usual fun and games of pass the parcel etc etc etc... that coupled with some cake and hot choc for the kids and prossecco for the adults - yummy!!! Although the clouds rolled in and the cold winds (now swinging around a little more from the north!) were bitter!

So that was a nice way to spend the afternoon..... meanwhile between Clare and I we were trying to work out how we needed to adjust our schedules for the rest of the week as Ben will not be going back to creche as he is now on antibiotics - arghhhh its all change, change, change!

And here I am once again this evening!!! Arghhh!



TTFN

P.S. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be horrendous - arghhhhh! It looks like I am back on the sofa again tonight though!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Well not as bad as it could have been

It was a reasonable nights sleep all in all but Ben was 'booked in' with a 'phone a friend' again!

At VERY first light it looked quite promising but quickly deteriorated and by action time it was a full on blizzard out there with pretty large snowflakes (wet ones at that!) but the wind was not too intense thankfully!

I met my team and with some negotiations we decided that we should NOT head high as the lack of vis etc could be downfall of team moral and instead opted for some turns on the Rogoney (only problem was that it doesn't open until 0930 so had to do a lap or two on the Village instead!). After a while we could re-evaluate!

Anyway within an hour the sun was out in force and so we headed up the Bellevarde and hit up the Collet in the direction of the Grand Pre and enjoyed some lovely soft snow and pretty good light! With some laps on the Grand Pre it was delightful although the weather did start to move in again just about the time that we decided that we should best be getting back to base at the end of the lesson!

All in all a big thumbs up and so much so that the whole group have decided that they would like to extend the lessons for another day! Excellent!

I collected Ben and he managed to fall asleep in the rucksack within 30 seconds of leaving Kellies house - ha ha he needed a darn good sleep that is for sure! Anyway I carefully off loaded him into bed and he continued to sleep for most of the afternoon.... that coupled with the antibiotics he is on he seems to be a different person this evening and so far seems to be sleeping well - yee haa. One more day at Kellies tomorrow then the weekend should set him up nicely to be back at creche on Monday! Yay!

Clare got back mid afternoon and to be honest I was very lazy and really should have done more on my todo list but instead drank tea and played with Ben and some other little things!

The weather stayed nice all afternoon so tomorrow is setting up nicely!

In local news and apparently there was a punch up (yes really) IN the Vallee Perdu yesterday... a couple of different groups vying to be the first through a tight spot in the rocks - boy oh boy people does it really matter that much!!!!

Oh and the resort will be passing through the 1,000,000 skier days mark for this season - it is likely to come about a half a day earlier than in previous seasons so the resort is slightly up on previous year visitor level but only just.

TTFN

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