November 01, 2004

What's this all about?
So, what's this web site all about then? Well, Michelle and I are intending to spend some time in the Alps this winter and this web log is here so we can keep friends and family informed of what's going on... Oh, ok, it's so we can gloat... We've rented an apartment in Megève, France; 10 minutes from the centre of town, up by the Rochebrune lift. We're relocating there from 3rd Jan 2005 through to 4th May and we have nothing to do except ski and explore the wonderful restaurants. I'm stepping away from my IT consulting business for a bit of a rest and Michelle, well, she asked for a 3 month sabbatical and her employer said no, so she resigned... I've no real aims for the trip except that I hope that I'll end the season a better skier than at the start. Though I expect I'll mostly focus on skiing, I plan to do some snowboarding and am planning on taking some telemark lessons. We've put aside a fair chunk of the budget for lessons and guiding and we're lucky to know a wonderful instructor in Megève so hope to learn quite a few new tricks. If we haven't sold our flat before we leave then my sister and her boyfriend have kindly offered to flat sit for us - I'm sure the kind offer has nothing to do with the fact that our place is only 12 minutes away from where she works... ;) Actually, it's amazing how popular you suddenly become when you're living in a ski resort during the winter and you have a spare room... Hopefully, once we get out there, we'll post a regular diary with pictures and video; until we go you'll just get occasional postings relating to the preparation. We're driving out from London and, now that this site's up and running, the current focus of my attention is getting our transport sorted out...

November 03, 2004

How to scare your friends and family
Christmas is coming, as is the time when our families will want to know a list of potential presents. Whilst putting together the usual list of ski socks and fleeces we realised that we also wanted shovels, probes and avalanche trancievers; just in case...Christmas is coming, as is the time when our families will want to know a list of potential presents. Whilst putting together the usual list of ski socks and fleeces we realised that we also wanted shovels, probes and avalanche transceivers; just in case...

November 04, 2004

Be afraid, be very afraid
This is not how we ski, or how I ever intend to ski... It's interesting reading though.

Insurance
Insurance..... boring, but important. Not only is it boring to review various policies and try to work out the difference between them (the problem of being a lawyer I guess - you can't help yourself), but sometimes you don't even know about things you need to look for. Let me explain.....

What's this "Syndicate this site" thing all about?
We interrupt this broadcast for... I've had a few questions about the "Syndicate this site" link over on the right hand side there. If you click on it, you get a load of gibberish (like this)... That gibberish is an RSS feed. RSS is a 'syndication format' (see here for the geek version of 'syndication format') that allows web sites to publish changes so that regular visitors can 'subscribe' and see those changes when they happen without having to visit the site every week... To make use of this link you need an RSS Reader, it's like an email program, but it reads the RSS feeds that tell it to and it checks them every so often for you and tells you when new content has arrived. This whole RSS, syndication thing is a big thing in web log land (some people read loads and loads of RSS feeds every day). Often the RSS feeds will be indicated by a little orange button, but I don't do that here because it looks a bit crap against the blue background. Anyway, if you want to subscribe you need an RSS reader, there's a list of them here. I use SharpReader just because it was the first one I tried and it worked reasonably well. And now, back to your regular program.

Transport
So the plan is we rent a place somewhere pretty central, we'll take a car, we drive to where the snow's good. Its funny how complicated the "we'll take a car" bit can get...

November 09, 2004

Aspect Journal
This is a nice ski site, with a difference. Thanks to SnowGo for the link.

XScape - Milton Keynes
We went to the indoor snow slope at XScape, Milton Keynes, on Sunday for some more practice. As I said in the other place, when we were on our Warren Smith ski course in Saas Fee in September Warren said that he didn't want to see us again until we'd worked on the ski pivoting drills that we'd been doing on the course...

November 11, 2004

Currently Reading
SAIAT.pngIt's under two months until we leave and I'm currently reading up for the trip. I've just started reading "Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain" by Bruce Tremper. So far, it's an interesting and reasonably easy, read. Scary stuff, but it's better to be aware and scared than unaware and dead... I tend to get a bit nerdy about all subjects that I take an interest in and end up buying heaps of books and trying to learn all I can... Since I've decided not to take too many IT books with me when we go away I'm currently looking for relevant books to read before and during the trip. Staying with the frozen death theme I also have "The Avalanche Handbook" by David McClung and Peter Schaerer - this looks much more like a text book than the Tremper book.

November 15, 2004

Megève -> Mammoth -> Patagonia
So, there we were, practicing some après ski at the Drunken Monkey and doing the Sunday night Dim Sum thing when we wondered what to do between the end of the trip, May, and the start of the season in the South America, mid June... I guess it was the Warren Smith movie that we'd watched in the afternoon, Snow's in the House II, that had started us thinking...

November 16, 2004

Goodbye old friends?
I've had a pair of Salomon X-Scream Series since around 2001 and been very happy with them. I've probably done about 12 or 13 weeks on them now, and I've been starting to look for something newer. I put them in for a service this weekend to get them ready for our warm up trip to Verbier and had a call today from the service technician saying that one of the tips was bent and that he didn't think they were worth servicing...

November 19, 2004

Roofbox arrived!
We're taking a large amount of stuff out with us so we decided to get a roof box for the car. We'll have several pairs of skis and, well, I'm still a bit 'old school' so my skis are longer than they should be... We settled on a Kamei Delphin 460 carbon box from The Roof Box Company. 3 days from ordering to arrival, which is pretty cool. Now, to fit it...

November 21, 2004

Snow tyres it is...
After some thought and lots of web research we've decided to go for putting a set of snow tyres on the Rav4 before we leave and, possibly, picking up a set of cheap chains from a supermarket once we're out there; if we feel we need them... Lots of good driving info here.

November 23, 2004

Reality Bites
Reality Bites; from EndlessWinter.co.uk. I know the feeling...

November 24, 2004

We went for digital
As I mentioned earlier we are planning to spend a fair amount of time off piste and so decided to get all the gear the question was should we get an analogue or digital avalanche transceiver? We decided on digital...

November 30, 2004

More preparation...
We've bought a pay as you go SFR sim card from 0044 so that our mobile phone bills whilst we're away are sensible and so that we can get the number before we go. We'll probably pick up another sim once we're out there, apparently SFR isn't the cheapest, but at least this way we get the number before we go... Once we got the mobile number we could get our MegèveSki business cards printed; we got a decent deal from www.surfprint.co.uk; more details when they arrive. We're not intending to work during the trip but, well, you never know when a business card might come in handy... I've finally located someone in the UK who understands about winter tyres and who's actually prepared to quote for fitting them... Event Mobile Tyres have quoted a reasonable figure for coming and fitting some Pirelli Ice and Snow to the Rav4. Looks like most of the 'standard' people, like Kwik Fit, etc, are useless if you ask for things outside of their 'standard range'... More details once they’re actually fitted. Today we both visited Profeet in Fulham. Miche bought her boots from them a couple of years ago but all of the recent chiropractic work has adjusted her hips, straightened her stance and shifted her weight around, so she needed new custom footbeds done. It was interesting to see the new pressure scans showing that she now actually uses her right heel rather than just hovering it above the ground; it used to take 3.75% of her body weight when in a ski position and now it takes around 13% (so I have to stop the 'walk on water' jokes...). I also had a scan done and then had some custom footbeds made so that I have more even weight distribution in my ski boots (I had a dominant right foot, now I stand on both feet...). Interesting stuff, I'll report back after our warm up week in Verbier...