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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Steve Angus, as both PeakyB and Muppet have said, thanks for the updates. Let's hope things settle down over the summer so we can look forward to another great season next year.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Iski - ha ha. Thanks re the hanger - Bens is taking shape currently!
thefatcontroller - yes indeed it was decadent that is for sure
PeakyB - thanks as always - yes the end of an 'interesting' season! Yes look back with fondness will hopefully be my motto for sure! Yes there have been some great moments this season that is for sure! My favourite was only a week or so before the end I think - fresh powder all the way down (first tracks too) to the heli pick up zone at Chevril - paid to take people heli skiing in fresh powder - does NOT always work out that way - ha ha! But yea skiing the Face with my daughter was a proud moment too! Thanks - yes heres to the positive future for us all!
muppet - thanks indeed! Ill keep an eye on your place for you and yes hope to see you in the Summer sometime!
sno trax - thanks - yes indeed! Settle down will be the vital thing!

Day 55 - T-1 days!

Well folks another day passes... very much 'same as, same as' really. However today feels slightly different - excitement in the air. Actually relief really... the thought that tomorrow we can go to a friends house for a cuppa, we could go for a long cycle ride and have family picnic half way up the mountain if we wanted - its 'freedom' really. In honour I have burned my attestation we have had to carry around for the last 8 weeks - binned all of our forms and put the passport (ID) back away in the filing cabinet!

We had a nice time out for a walk and like yesterday the clouds and rain moved in later on so we enjoyed the most of the weather in the morning!

We spoke to quite a few family members and indeed Clare is on hour 3 of a friends Zoom get-together - or so it seems - ha ha!

In terms of schooling - we should hear tomorrow about Thursday (its now Thursday for the local school back to school time!) and Olivia going back to school but our nice French neighbour has said she will have Olivia and Ben over for play dates from time to time to help Olivia practice her French BUT apart from that we do not know what and when might happen!

So yes this is the last daily update from me for this season and as the 8 week lockdown 'phase 1' comes to an end we hope that the next few weeks brings some good news and that when I do my monthly update at the end of next month there will be better news all round! So it will be monthly updates from now on in!

Radio Val published this today:

"From tomorrow, mountain activities can resume and parks and gardens in the city can reopen. 95% of the department's schools will be able to open for the most part on May 14, then on staggered dates. We do not yet know the date of reopening of the schools in Val d'Isère, the teachers will pre-start Monday and it has already been announced that the school will continue to be done remotely on Tuesday. Middle school students in 6th and 5th will be able to start again from May 18, the date has not yet been set for students in 4th and 3rd. Finally concerning the health plan, the 10 COVID centers of the department, including that of Bourg St Maurice, will be maintained. The tests will not be performed directly by the treating physicians, but by the medical analysis laboratories and COVID centers. In case of symptoms, you should consult your general practitioner who will decide, or not, to order a PCR test. If it turns out to be positive, you will be asked to isolate yourself and give the names and phone numbers of the people with whom you have been in contact within the 48 hours preceding the arrival of the first symptoms to test them in turn. In Savoie, 40 dedicated health insurance people will manage this monitoring. In the department, 150 accommodations in hotels and holiday centers are available, to isolate contact persons if necessary"


Looking forward to being able to use this tomorrow (well the kids anyway!)


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?
Many thanks for all your blogs. I shall miss them but you definitely deserve a break. Let's hope we can all ski freely next winter.
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Thank you, Steve Angus, I hope you and your family are able to have a reasonably enjoyable and productive summer.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Steve Angus, best blog on the net - thanks for keeping it going through the crisis snowHead
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Fantastic you made it through lockdown! Thanks for the updates. Enjoy the bike rides and picnics.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Olivia's card is so lovely - even felt a little tearful reading it! Reading your updates has become part of my daily routine, so just wanted to say thanks and enjoy your impending freedom Little Angel
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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!
Thanks for all you do on social media. It helps us get through this. See you next season.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Sheffsnow91 wrote:
Reading your updates has become part of my daily routine, so just wanted to say thanks and enjoy your impending freedom Little Angel


Long time lurker - very infrequent poster but just had to agree. Your 'blog' is the first post I look for on opening Snowheads. So thank you for sharing your lock-down experience with us. I have so enjoyed reading about your days and your family and am in awe at just how you've managed it so well and so positively, when i am sure at times it has been very hard indeed.

Have a good summer, enjoy your freedom, and l look forward to the June installment.

Regards

Sharon
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Thank you for these. I hope all goes well over the summer for all of you (including your mum). Olivia looks so "grown up" in some of the photos over the last few day.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Steve Angus, It has been so interesting following your French Alps lockdown, hope you all have a great summer and look forward to your posts later in the year.
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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.
Thanks for your great commentary - great to see how well you have apparently coped. One may grumble here but it sounds as if it has been far more restrictive in France. and the takeaway menu looks fab and very reasonable. Have mercifully discovered a couple of <4 miles pre covid haunts that are doing takeaways and sunday roasts and this week's project is to start using them. Sadly my local is not doing anything. Good luck for next season (and with the accounts).
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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
WOW THANKS EVERYONE

Such kind words and plenty of people came out the woodwork to comment today! Stay safe and yes ill be back in a few weeks time! First day of freedom today FELT different - bike ride into town (decadent!) and a play in the playground for the kids - they were born again - perhaps Clare and I were too!

Still no word on schools going back on Thursday or not..... arghhh! But good news I have finally finished my accounts! Bring it on - Summer 2020 has arrived!

TTFN
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
have a great lockdown free summer!!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks Steve. It's been fascinating to have an insider's account of what its been like in a French resort. We have stayed in your apartment block in previous years, but this year it all closed down before we could get there. Like the familiar views from the balcony nevertheless.
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Poster: A snowHead
Watching
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Jehu - thanks. Yes I think 'ski freely' might happen to some extent - see below for more on that
Iski - thank - yes we are trying to.
moosepig - you're welcome
FrediKanoute - yes just about.... not much on the picnic and bike rides so far unfortunately
Sheffsnow91 - ah thanks thats nice...
endoman - bring it on!
snowlamb - thanks Sharon - thats really lovely - hope this instalment doesn't disappoint!
CaurnieBred - thanks... yes she does look much older eh! My mum is fine thanks!
Linds - thanks - glad you enjoyed
countryman - ha ha thanks! I think things were more restrictive here thats for sure! Enjoy those pubs!
snowornever[b] - ha ha certainly am trying!
[b]bolderz
- the view is still as good thanks! Thanks!

Spring, Summer or back to Winter

The last few weeks we have had all sorts of weather - plenty of sun but the last week or so has been cloudy and even today it snowed here in town but one thing is for sure the snowline has really retreated back up the hill and out the window there is very little snow to see.

Things have been slowly getting back to normal here with the set up for Summer coming along nicely, shops opening, bars etc opening and finally next Monday the swimming pool will re-open. As those who are here in the inter season will know this year really feels 'normal' - its quiet with not a lot going on apart from a few locals so from that point of view if feels normal again! Lets hope it stays that way!

So the town amongst other things gave out free facemasks (well the whole of France were given facemasks basically)... so we have masks for everyone and that with the disposable ones we bought in Super U means we are well stocked for masks in this household but the interesting thing is that we dont really ever have the need to wear masks apart from the very occasional trip to the shops - oh well!

Details about where the town goes moving forward has not really crystallised since last month BUT the new mayor was sworn in and of course as was widely reported the summer skiing season has started and with about 200 people a day up on the Val glacier it is slow but steady start. The snow, I am told is excellent. The media here in France are trying to show that things are getting back to normal by spreading photos etc everywhere so hopefully that will help push the cause towards next season!

The whole Olivia back to school saga finally came good! Initially no spaces, then another reason and so on. However finally about 3 weeks ago we got the call to say she had a spot at school. There are no school buses, school is only mornings (and they always have Wednesday off anyway!), and she is home for lunch but it is good that she is back! None of her girl friends are back BUT on the flip side they are mixing some of the younger kids in with the few from her class so she is acting as the 'big' girl which she thrives on. At break time in the playground they have a painted square on the ground that they have to stay within and the teachers give them a toy they can play within that box so it is a little 'strange' but needs be! We are happy that she is back at school and at least Ben is getting some attention instead! Unfortunately Ben will not be able to go back to Creche possibly not until September - arghhh!

I personally have gotten a little (few weeks) DIY work for a contact here in this block (makes commuting very easy). So I am basically turning 2 rooms into 1; some plastering, painting and much else besides! Im about to lay a new floor in there two so that has been a good few weeks of work. To be honest that work is VERY much welcome as there is nothing else for our family lined up at the moment so hoping something else comes up before too long!

However we are probably going to take a trip back to the UK in early July as schools break up for the Summer so it will be more into August before things need a work refocus - we shall see!

Ive also built our new entrance area to our flat after we purchased some communal space from the co-props for the building so I have built a doorway and put some lighting in... more to do out there at some point and also on our balcony - more on that to come... I'm especially looking forward to the arrival of the fake grass we bought to be laid out there too. The kids on the other hand have (surprisingly) been amazed by a treadmill that I ordered many many weeks back (was thinking fitness during the lockdown) and it finally arrived the other day - the kids have used it to go for lots of walks so far - its quite funny to see really!

The main photos from this month have come from Radio Val...

Ill be back next for more updates.


TTFN


Everyone wanted to make the most of the ability to go ski touring when we were again allowed last month!


The road up to the Col finally got cleared and re-opened last week


Interim mayor hands over to new mayor last month


They are re-water proofing the tunnel under the pistes roof at the moment


They made it!


The lifts are running - however note that there does NOT seem to be a mandatory 2 (or some other figure) people per chairlift! Hmm this could be a good sign (from a commercial point of view) for the resort next year! Time will tell.

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?
It's great to have your news, Steve. Many thanks.
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Good to hear how things are going for you and your family!
Hopefully the strange 14 days quarantine rule in uk will have been abandoned by the time you want to visit!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
thanks for the update. i find the box for the children to play in most disturbing but that perhaps isnt for this forum.

nice to hear things are returning to normal. would love to go for a coffee somewhere!! (stuck in scotland).
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Jehu - thanks so much. Its nice to tune in about once a month and do an update like this
snowornever - well you were half right - in that we arrived back in the UK on Saturday so have to quarantine until next Friday - but thats OK as the inlaws live on a farm and lots of space (and the grandparents themselves of course!) to keep the kids entertained! So it could be worse thats for sure!
Kj82 - they dropped the box idea after only a couple of weeks in France so (much like it will be in the UK from September onwards) now it is basically the year groups / classes isolated from each other and staggered play times etc - it works pretty well and tbh just before we left (they broke up for the Summer hols on Friday hence we left for the UK immediately afterwards!) for the UK it felt pretty much business as usual!

Another month rolls by

Well the last month has been pretty busy this end! Much of the working day has been spent building the bedroom at our friends place in Val and laying the floor, tiling etc - and that all came to an end about a week ago just before we left. So I am happy with the result. A lot of work but got there in the end!

I also worked on the next part of the works we are having done on our place... namely meetings with the architects etc and also work on our place outside our front door - shelves, cupboard etc etc etc all put in. So a lot of building work the last month or so basically!

As I said above the schooling situation has been going well for Olivia and she was sad not to have had more time at school in the end. Meanwhile our son has finally been told when the creche will reopen and when he will have a place - so when we get back from here in a few weeks time he will be in a few days a week. It is good as it will mean he will be submerged in that French culture before the start of the school year in September when he starts school full time - can you imagine a 'nearly 3 year old' getting the school bus each morning from La Daille with his sister - blimey they grow up quickly!

The resort itself has been working hard getting itself back to normal and things are close to being normal again! The skiing is ongoing on the glacier and at the weekend just gone (we left Friday evening so haven't seen it with our own eyes!) the mountain biking season opened. So the Olympique and Solaise gondolas are running and face masks are worn in it but of course when you get to the top you have the fresh air for the walks or the downhill bike ride!

Likewise the restaurants and bars are starting to get going again and Le Garage has opened its doors on the side and you see plenty of bikers stopping for a drink as they pass by. Of course Val is popular with passing traffic coming and going over the Col so the bars and restaurants are picking up business nicely - lets hope for a long and successful Summer season for all concerned! Given the 'interesting' end to the season there are plenty of places open that would not normally be open. For example on Fathers Day a few weeks back we were able to have an amazing afternoon at the L'Etincelle. It was nice to support them as they had stayed open for takeaways all lockdown and given the fact the food is amazing there, they have a big deck area, the sun was shining, there was live music laid on and (most importantly) the kids play area had a trampoline... we spent 4 hours there! It was €100 very well spent and we could walk home with very tired kids in tow.... a few beers or more was certainly enjoyed. It was really nice to let our hair down!

The sports centre has now opened too... there are of course mechanisms in place to keep everyone safe but it is lovely being able to go swimming (and we have used it more than once!). In fact talking of sporting facilities we also spent a morning at the centre in Tignes playing on the amazing climbing wall - its totally amazing. It has been years since I last climbed but it was really fun and more importantly Olivia and Ben both loved it too - the boldering wall was pretty cool for them to play on with the big crash matt at the bottom for them to fall onto!



The cinema is back up and running again and sports clubs such as the Val rugby club are in full swing again too!

The thousands of cyclists you see on the road each day are once again back and climbing to the Col with regularity too


However its not all good news as the news came through the other day of the untimely death of one of the young members of the community... a keen mountain biker in his 30's who was down in NZ for the last few months... sounds like he had a stroke. Anyway lots of fundraising is going on for the parents to be able to get to NZ to collect his ashes and return them to Val... in fact the Dad you might recognise in the picture below is one of the senior pisteurs in Val!




The amazing climbing wall in Tignes is HUGE


A small corner of the room I finished (bar the skirting!) building for our friends ... the amazing lino flooring will give their 2 boys years (hopefully) of entertainment!


We had a really enjoyable time at the Plan D'Eau near Aime La Plagne on more than one occasion


Father day = special family time


Not much left of the Morris!

TTFN
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Great update thanks Steve.

Ahh the Moris, crikey that's moved on Sad What is going there (as if it won't be £££ accommodation!!)

Glad you have some good downtime on Father's day. Can't wait to get back out there in the winter - and we have a cheeky summer roadtrip planned for June as well to take in the glacier for a morning!
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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!
Thanks for the update. Sounds like things are getting back to normal (well as normal as can be).
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
dunc999 - cheers! Yes the Moris is being turned into yet another luxury development! Hope you enjoyed your trip here too!
FrediKanoute - yes not too bad thanks... slowly but surely it has been!

Another month passes by but boy it has been busy and sunny

Since my last update we enjoyed a nice trip back to the UK... plenty of chill out time visiting fiends and family etc. It was especially great that we could have a socially distanced visit to see my mum at her care home. We met her outside in the sunshine - it was amazing that the kids could see her and vice-a-versa! Awesome news. We had plenty of BBQ's and the kids spent much of the time playing in the garden etc. Really nice time was had by all!

The 3 weeks we were back flew by and before too soon it was time to get back to Val..... and when we got back here it was like a whirlwind as the Summer season was in full swing.... and boy has it been a big Summer season! There has been a LOT of domestic travel tourism in France and we have also had a decent amount of Italian, Germans and Belgiums and a few Brits too.... all in all it has been a busy summer season! I think it feels more like a quiet Winter season week than anything. There has been so many people here that it has felt tricky to get parking spaces and the block we live in down here in La Daille has been packed. However everyone obeys the rules and masks must be worn in the building at all times and it is good to see the resort so busy despite the fact that many of the classic Summer events and fetes etc have been cancelled!

We have been able to spend plenty of outside time with the kids and Olivia has been having swimming lessons (she is getting really good now!) and trampolining lessons as well as plenty of time in the kids club too! Meanwhile Ben has started back at creche on a couple of days of the week so he has been enjoying that and the days when that coincides with Olivia doing her activities has meant we have gotten some down time! In fact now that we are into mid August it starts to dawn on us that in only a couple of weeks time they will both be at school - can't believe it!

Despite the busy-ness there have not been any cases of Covid in Val thankfully - despite what the British press make out it is only in a couple of very small areas of France that cases are surging and it is most definitely not the case here in the mountains thankfully - long may that continue!

On the home front since I got back I have been working hard with the architect on plans for our future home developments that hopefully might come to fruition at some point in the next 10 years - ha ha! Also I have been working remotely and tirelessly on getting the sale and purchase of my mums house in Bournemouth sorted out... today was supposed to be the exchange of contracts date but it got pushed back to Monday but it has been a long journey - in fact it is 14 months since the flat went on the market! I can't wait until it is finally completed as it has been sapping a lot of my time and energy that is for sure! The next thing I need to work out is getting back to the UK in September and sorting the new house out aka moving ALL the stuff from storage into the new flat and then getting it rented out - arghhh!

And finally I have been picking up some more handyman / DIY project work around the place and to be honest since lockdown ended it has been amazing to pick up a few weeks of work as boy do we need anything we can take. On that point we are hoping that bookings for next season do start to think about flowing in within the next few weeks and that things start to brighten up - that would be good news that is for sure! Time will tell! So if anyone is thinking of booking / is coming to Val next Winter then please get in touch / pass on my details - that would be very helpful thanks!


Goodness knows how but this is just some of the rubbish that was collected on the environment day cleanup this year at the start of the Summer - incredible how much crap is collected!


As part of the nationwide help for disadvantaged kids after lockdown a lot of young kids from inner cities have been on experience trips to Val this Summer and this is one of those groups getting a tour of the plant room at the Olympic lift


One of the handful of classic car rallies that has come through town too!


The church bells have also been refurbished in the church recently too!

I think that is all for this month... not too much really to report! Hope everyone is keeping well.

TTFN
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@Steve Angus, always love your honest and real reports. The press are desperate to sensationalise everything present.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Steve Angus, great to get your positive update from France and to hear you’re all doing well.
Good luck with travel to and from UK in September, hoping that quarantine will be lifted by then.
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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.
What are the peoples views on Val d'isere as a resort for beginners / early "intermediates"? Historically Val has always had a reputation for being a bit tough for beginners but feels like in recent times its made a lot of changes to address that. The top of the solaise area from memory is great for starting out & building confidence, and there are quite a good few green runs to explore at the top of the bellevarde area.

Reason i'm asking is my wife is a very is a nervous beginner and we are considering Val as our next trip (pandemic permitting!). I think she'd like the rest of the resort but i'm just trying to work out if i'm being optimistic as place where she is going to be able to progress. Previously we've done Courchevel which went down really well and great skiing for her level. I've skied EK many times it's my favourite resort so i feel a bit biased but it's easy to forget how challenging things are when you start out.

Views and advise welcome!
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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
@Russeh,
Skiing down to the resort can be tricky and she could take the lift down where necessary. Easy stuff on Solaise, in Fornet and in the Big Bellevarde bowl. Plus lots of accessible stuff in the Palafour area and elsewhere over the ridge in Tignes. So plenty of beginner and low intermediate pistes to ski. I would not be too concerned.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Russeh, generally speaking, I think 'very nervous' and 'Val D'Isere' don't sit well together.
But I think if you know the area really well, are a good judge of varying conditions through the day, how busy certain pistes might be at different times, etc, then Val D could be OK for a very nervous beginner / early intermediate.

As you say, the top of the Solaise/Madeleine area is good and has been has been made much more beginner friendly in recent years. Progression onto and through the early intermediate stage a bit more challenging but there are possibilities. Comparing the 2 places you mention, I'd say Courchevel just has the edge in that respect. Choosing between 3V and EK a nice problem to have. Smile
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Val is wonderful for beginners and early intermediates but they need to be careful about skiing down to the valley. The verte down to La Daille is OK but it is too easy to miss the correct route and find yourself having to cope with a red run.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The Solaise area amongst others such as Bellevarde have excellent beginner or early intermediate slopes how ever it can be very miserable up there if the weather is bad. I think we have to remember that beginners can spend a lot of time standing around.

There is not much in Val for beginners lower down so I would not say it is ideal in that respect.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks, good to get a sense check and it sounds like i'm not way off piste on this (pun intended!)


Yeah i think we could manage things. I've already set expectations about returning into the village e.g. she'll download backdown which she's happy to do. I think we'll start over at Madeleine and take it from there. As you say PeakyB, its the progression thats the tricky bit but i reckon she'd do ok around the bellevarde bowl.

I can't recall what it's like between VD side and Val Claret, the blue into Tignes is easy but i can't remember what the connecting runs is like.
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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?
^^^^ yea what most of my estimeed and fellow SH's have said really. Val gets a bad rap for beginners but bearing in mind there are free beginner lifts too and the new Solaise magic carpets etc I think Val actually is darn good for beginners now. Courcheval is a 'progression dream' though really so you can't compare from that side of things!

Just one thing though Russeh when you say "I think we'll start over at Madelaine and take it from there." Madelaine is NOT the best green run for beginners etc... however there aren't many other options! Actually I think (as long as the person is strong turning to the right and therefore good on their left foot) then walking down the steps atop the Bellevarde after exctigin the Olympic... then skiing the Collet BLUE to Grand Pre is the best option.... when they get to GP then the greens up there are lovely.... and they are building a new resto at bottom of Grand Pre (probably not for this Winter coming but next though!). However lots of the greens even in Val and blues need a fair bit of local knowledge - think the green at the top of the Borsat chair - that would be a black for most resorts most of the time - however there is a path that people dont always know is there as an 'escape route!'

Also the connecting runs between Val and Val Claret are OK but the Borsat route generally is nicer and less busy!!!!

But generally the other advice above is very good from the others!

MAIN BIT OF ADVICE though is DOWNLOAD wherever she can - dont be tempted to ski down to the bottom!
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Thanks for the detail@Steve Angus. Yeah i've often found the piste clarification in Val hilarious, i think the last time i was there i came down a green with giant moguls on it, that might actually have been the one you mentioned under the Borsat chair. Laughing

Beginner is such a variable term, my wife can snowplough, link her turns and control her speed from the top of xscape. Although is less confident on the top half of it, she's taking lessons here every couple of weeks hoping that we can get her to some sort of basic parallel as that's really going to help her progress. We will without a doubt be getting tuition for her when we are in resort.

I've got a mental note that Madelaine is very similar to the snow-domes in steepness but longer, it's also easy to get to and back again without being over committed which is important to her. As you say though, not too many alternatives.

Where are the steps at the top of the Olympic? There is a steep ish bit just as you exist which i don't think at the moment she would thank me for! if there are steps to bypass then that sounds like a good option to avoid anything that would rattle confidence.

I'll never take her anywhere which i haven't already checked out in advance or she's already done with an instructor.

Totally with you on the downloading comment!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Russeh, Come out of the Olympic Gondola and take an immediate 90 left. There's a metal staircase at the corner of the building that drops you near to the exit piste from Loyes Express. Normally got quite a few pensioners on foot heading to the Bellvarde Resto. Same steps are handy for the trudge to the Cairn off piste route. But that's a secret wink
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Russeh wrote:


Where are the steps at the top of the Olympic? There is a steep ish bit just as you exist which i don't think at the moment she would thank me for! if there are steps to bypass then that sounds like a good option to avoid anything that would rattle confidence.

At least it's not as steep as the short pitch from where the top of the old cable car (prior to the Olympic Gondola) used to be......which was well above the current station.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@chocksaway actually now i've thought about i think i do remember where they are but though it went to some toilets or something. Laughing Anyway for my side of the trip i'm looking forward to exploring off-piste maybe i'll have to check out the Cairn route. I take it you still have your pad in Le Lac chocksaway?

@Old Fartbag yeah actually i was watching a video on VD a few days ago, i didn't release the old Olympic run use to start much further up than where it does now. That was quite some time ago though wasn't it, 80s maybe?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Russeh wrote:
@chocksaway actually now i've thought about i think i do remember where they are but though it went to some toilets or something. Laughing Anyway for my side of the trip i'm looking forward to exploring off-piste maybe i'll have to check out the Cairn route. I take it you still have your pad in Le Lac chocksaway?

@Old Fartbag yeah actually i was watching a video on VD a few days ago, i didn't release the old Olympic run use to start much further up than where it does now. That was quite some time ago though wasn't it, 80s maybe?


Yea he still has his place in Tignes I believe unless he's just sold it! The Cairn can also be reached by 'right and around just above the top Olympic lift station too' - thats my preferred route.... just be careful in the Cairn - it gets well skied but can be dangerous especially the traverse in!

The Olympic Games start hut is still visible up high!!!! But the Olympic gondola was put in at the start of this century a good 10 years after the Olympics were here!
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Steve Angus wrote:


The Olympic Games start hut is still visible up high!!!! But the Olympic gondola was put in at the start of this century a good 10 years after the Olympics were here!

You almost certainly know Aaron Cassells from NI.

When I was on a lesson with him (probably mid 90s, when he worked with Snowfun)), he showed me that when he raced, where he took the jump from (and landed), after pushing out of that little hut. It was quite sobering to see how far he would have gone in the air. I think he said he was racing on old school 220s.

I was there in '92, about a week (maybe 2) before those Olympics. They were helicoptering the snow onto the newly finished Face, to build one of the jumps. The weather and snow were wonderful that week and the resort was very quiet, as everybody seemed to be avoiding it...possibly because they thought it would be swamped.

We stayed at La Daille, so as to be near the newly installed Funicular, in order to be whisked up Belvarde in a few minutes - but it didn't turn a wheel, which IIRC was something to do with changing its propulsion system to something that actually worked! rolling eyes

Happy Days.
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We got a late deal for the Olympics and had a great time. Plenty of skiing and a bit of spectating.
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