March 01, 2005

A poke in the eye with a sharp stick
I managed to poke my eye onto the end of a stupid dried plant thing in the apartment whilst putting some beer away last night... Doh! The result was that my left eye was uncomfortable and streaming with tears quite a lot of today which made skiing interesting. The strange thing was that as I was concentrating on seeing I completely ignored everything else and had a damn good day. Feet were good. Eye is getting better.

Fartage 2
I finally got around to hot waxing some skis that we're actually going to use... It was as easy as last time and the results look equally good. I expect that I'll know if it actually worked when we ski...

March 02, 2005

Lovely day
Another wonderful day with clear skies, lots of sun and not a lot of wind. We're forecast snow for tomorrow so we made the most of today and lunched outside at Les Manderines.

March 03, 2005

No Show Snow
Well, the snow that was forecast for last night didn't show and it looks like the snow we were expecting today will either be late or has missed us; ah well, another glorious day....

Helena and Brian both had lessons today, one after the other, so we skied around with the one who wasn't on the lesson and then all met up for a late lunch and a ski home. Unfortunately for me, today was the day when a steepish run lost its steepness for me, I hate it when that happens...

Snow's here
The snow that didn't show up today finally arrived in full force this evening. We have around 10-15cms in the car park at the appartment now. Looks like it's slowing up a bit now....

March 04, 2005

A little powder
The car park looked to have around 15-20cms this morning, it was hard to tell as the snow plough was at work when we left for first lifts at 9.00. Helena decided to stay in bed. The visibility this morning was pretty crap as the cloud was low and it was still snowing, plus her hip hurt and she decided to have a lazy last day. Brian, Miche and I caught the first cable car up to the top of Rochebrune with only 3 other people in it; this is how Megève is supposed to be...

Week 9
We arrived back from Dublin on 27th and skied 5 days this week with Miche's cousin, Helena, and her husband, Brian. I seemed to have a major improvement in my skiing this week; my balance seemed rock solid and I was able to recover from being thrown off balance quickly and effortlessly. It was as if something just clicked this week and my skiing moved up a level. I hope it lasts ;) Miche seems to be at the point I was a couple of weeks ago, she's much more aware of what's happening whilst she skis and seems to be able to diagnose and fix problems quickly now, with any luck she'll soon make the transition I made this week and move from analyse and fix to a state where you just fix the problems without thinking about them and before they cause you any real harm...

March 05, 2005

To the airport and back
We dropped Helena and Brian at Geneva this morning for their flight back to London. From there they're connecting to a flight to Dublin where they're staying for one night before heading home to Florida. The week was a lot of fun and we're looking forward to next year's "home game" for them when, hopefully, we all ski together in Colorado.

March 06, 2005

Miche sick and Angel
I got up at 7.00 this morning and showered and was a little disapointed to see that the "significant snow" certainly hadn't showed up at apartment level. That made it a little easier to take the fact that when Miche woke up she felt awful and we decided to take today as another rest day.

March 07, 2005

I spoke too soon
Yesterday I said that Miche was feeling better and that we hoped to ski today... She had a bad night and has stayed in bed again today so we have another rest day. Still, at least the weather forecast was wrong, we haven't had any significant new snow yet...

March 08, 2005

Flying High and Laying Low
After a fabulous morning skiing fresh powder and making fresh tracks on Fontaine on Friday, I spent the next 3 "ski" days in bed sick. Bummer....

Skiing alone
Today I skied alone. Miche was feeling better this morning but she hasn't eaten properly in a couple of days and she decided not to ski as she probably wouldn't have had the strength for it. This was the first time this trip that I've skied on my own for the whole time rather than just being alone after stopping to wait for someone... I always find it harder work when I'm skiing on my own, I don't stop as often and tend to to runs top to bottom with no breaks, this works my legs a little harder than when I ski with the rest of the gang.

Boot adjustments
On the way back from town I popped into Ski Technic and spoke to David about my boot problem and he said I should take them in and he'll blow the toe box a little to give me a bit more room, which should cure my hot spot - lets hope so, I'd really rather not develop huge bony spurs on the side of my feet ;)

March 09, 2005

Miche back on skis
Miche was feeling well enough to ski today. We had an afternoon lesson booked with Lucy and Miche wasn't sure if she would be up to a whole day skiing or if she'd be up to having a lesson so we took it easy to start with with some runs down under Caboche and down the Stade. By the time we needed to head over to Mont d'Arbois to meet Lucy Miche was feeling good and she ended up skiing for most of the lesson...

March 10, 2005

The Praz sur Arly circuit
Today we skied from Praz sur Arly to Flumet and then to Notre Damme de Bellecombe before returning to Praz via the long blue that snakes along the ridge. The weather was wonderful, our first sign of spring and real March temperatures; we even saw the first evidence of spring snow...

March 11, 2005

Today Miche and I had a telemark lesson with Lucy. In summary; it wasn't as hard or tiring as we had expected...

Bulging Boots
I popped into see David at Ski Technic this evening to see if he could do anything about my boots. I had marked the inners with tape last night at the point where the pressure was greatest and due to the transparent nature of the outer shell it was easy to transfer this mark onto the shell and then use the hydraylic ram thing and a little heat to bulge the boot in just the right place. The boots felt better in the shop so lets hope that they're better next time I ski all day in them...

Week 10
No guests at all this week but Miche was sick for three days which meant we skied less than expected. I skied alone, for the first time this trip, for a morning on Tuesday and then we worked quite hard for the rest of the week with a trip around the Praz circuit and our first crack at Telemarking. David at Ski Technic by the Rochebrune lift adjusted my boots a little and hopefully that will remove the pressure point that I'd been suffering from for the last few weeks.

March 12, 2005

Pub crawl
We took a day off today to recover from the Telemark lesson. Our legs weren't as tired as we expected, but then that could just be that we were beginners and not working hard enough to get truly tired. After doing the chores we walked into town and had a bit of a pub crawl, well, we visited two bars and then had a pizza, but it was quite a good effort for us...

March 13, 2005

La Giettaz and Combloux
We had a bit of a late start this morning and by the time we got to the Jaillet car park it was full. We drove up to the ticket office and managed to find a space on the road near the main lift; possibly nearer than if we'd have been in the car park...

March 14, 2005

Drills and crud on Mt Joux
We started the day by skiing down the red to the Arbois lift and then doing a couple of runs down the Michel Dujon black. After that we headed down Sources and up the Mt Joux chair for a run down the unbashed snow between Valmonts and the slalom course. The idea was that we'd continue Miche's work in "less than ideal" off-piste conditions.

Spring sprung
It seems that spring is definitely here; it's 3.9'C at apartment level at 10.30 at night, that's bad :(...

March 15, 2005

Off-piste on Cote 2000
We haven't been over to Cote 2000 for ages. We decided to rectify that today and decided that an early start would mean we'd end up skiing on ice due to the freeze/thaw thing that's going on at the moment, so we didn't head off until around 10.30.

Jack and the Vampire
We saw Jack and the Vampire again today...

March 16, 2005

The reason for my aching neck
During yesterday's off-piste at Cote 2000 I had an interesting fall and when I woke this morning I had an aching neck and some thoughts on why it was so...

March 17, 2005

Chris on Telemark
Christopher Baus in Tahoe has this to say on our telemark experience; nice to see that what we've experienced so far seems representative of what we'll expect going forward. Three seasons to get good doesn't sound too bad... :)...

Operation "Over there"
We flew back to the UK yesterday for a surprise appearance at Miche's mum's birthday meal. It was a bit of a complicated day as we wanted to surprise her at the restaurant but it all worked out well in the end. We're back home in Megève now, just had a pizza from the wood fired over in a van pizza man down by the Sherpa and ready for bed.

March 18, 2005

Lunchtime at Cote 2000
We had a bit of a late start as we needed to do some chores before our next guests arrived. We ended up driving up to the Cote 2000 base area and getting on the lift at around 11.30. The snow at Cote 2000 is still pretty good, it doesn't get much sun there and its high so it has a chance... We skied until around 14.00 and then had our sandwiches on the side of the slope in the sun, very nice. Then it was a quick run down the race course, back to the apartment to dump the skis and boots and off to Geneva to pick up Mark and Michelle. There are worse ways to spend a Friday lunchtime...

15'C in Megève
We left the slopes at around 14.30 and it was 15'C in town as we drove through, not good :( Down in the Sallanches it was 22'C and in the valley on the way to Geneva it peaked at 24'C. Most of the snow by the roads is gone down in Combloux and everywhere is going green and coming back to life. We're not ready for spring yet but the weather forecast shows this kind of weather and hotter over the next six days... We picked Mark and Michelle up at Geneva, they're staying with us until Tuesday and if they're really lucky the snow might last that long... I guess one of the problems with lower resorts is that once the spring comes the snow goes pretty fast.

Week 11
We had some good ski days this week even though it was a short week due to our two days back in the UK. We worked on some new techniques for Miche and the resulting improvements in her skiing meant that she did really well in some challenging off-piste situations later in the week. Our flying visit to the UK went well and the only downer on the week is that spring is here with a vengance and the glorious sunshine is taking its toll on the snow.

March 19, 2005

The browns of Mont d'Arbois
Miche and I skied with Mark this morning whilst Michelle had a lesson with Lucy. We started over on Rochrbrune at around 10ish and made our way to the Mont d'Arbois base area for 11. Even at 10 the snow was soft and slushy, the temperatures have been above 0'C overnight for several days now and the sun during the day is really punishing the slopes...

March 20, 2005

Telemark 2
Miche and I had decided to take another day on the telemark skis as we figured that we could still guide Mark around OK even though we would be slower than normal. Michelle's knee was hurting today so she stayed in bed and Mark took her lesson and we skied on our telemarks alone until 11ish; this was kinda lucky for us as it took a little while to get back into it.

Comment problem now fixed
There was a problem with the comment system on the site as the spam protection had decided to block all comments rather than just spam... This is all fixed now. Thanks to Paul for pointing it out to me....

March 21, 2005

More free heel practice
Michelle's knee felt better yesterday afternoon so she tried to call up the ESF to book a private lesson. For some strange reason they don't take bookings by phone and said she had to go in to the office to book, given that we were at home at the time and the office closed in 5 mins that wasn't especially helpful for her. We went to the office first thing this morning but they couldn't do a lesson before 13.00 today and the snow would be crap by then so she booked for tomorrow morning and skied around with Mark today.

March 22, 2005

A quick dash around Rochebrune in the rain
Michelle had a lesson this morning and as it was their last day skiing with us we decided to switch back to our normal skis and take Mark for a bit of a tour around. The forecast was for rain today and as we left the appatment it was trying to rain but failing...

Ideally it would have been 10'C cooler today
On the way back from Geneva the rain arrived in force. It was pissing down by the time we got back to Megève but at least it was a lot cooler than it has been. I guess time will tell...

March 23, 2005

Day off
We decided not to ski today, we need to recover from entertaing our guests :) and let our legs recover from the two days of telemark practice. Looks like another gloriously sunny day though there are at least some half...

March 24, 2005

Suunto Ski Manager software is crap
As I mentioned a while ago, I got a Suunto S6 ski watch for my birthday from Miche. The watch itself is pretty good though I've only really used the ski run and descent counting functionality so far, the PC software on the other hand is pretty crap.

March 25, 2005

Bumps and crowds in Avoriaz
Today we met up with a couple of people that we skied with on the Warren Smith course in Saas Fee last September; Phil and Denise and their respective partners. Phil has an apartment in Morzine so we drove over this morning and skied in Avoriaz. We've never skied in Avoriaz before so it was good to be able to ski with people who knew their way around.

Week 12
This week was, once again, unseasonably warm and the snow is fast disapearing. The conditions are very spring-like and due to the warm temperatures at night the best time to ski seems to be early morning until around 11 or...

March 26, 2005

Ski between 9 and 11 for best conditions
We put our skis into Duvillard Sport for a service last night. So far this trip I think I've probably saved around 120 in service costs and I'm pretty comfortable with doing the work now but Miche's skis had picked up a little interesting base damage - not serious but it looked like it would be complex for me to fix with my ptex candles. And besides, I wanted to sit down with a beer last night and not spend the evening doing our skis...

Photos from the last few weeks
A collection of pictures...

March 27, 2005

Weather whinges
I think I probably need a new category to group together all of our complaints about the weather... Today's complaint was that it was pissing down with rain when we woke up at 7.30. It's one thing skiing on depressingly...

March 28, 2005

First lifts and a smattering of fresh snow at Cote 2000
The weather forecast yesterday suggested that we might get a small amount of fresh snow above 1700m and this morning the temperature at apartment level was down to around 3.8'C so we figured that it might have been right... We drove up the Cote 2000 base at ~1500m as we decided that it was the quickest way to get to the most likely location of any fresh snow. We got there for first lifts and were rewarded by a 2-3cm layer of fresh snow on top of lightly frozen grooming.

Slippages at Cote 2000
The warm weather has continued to cause "slippages" around Cote 2000. Today the Marmotte black was closed due to an avalanche and the risk of more.

March 29, 2005

And I thought Avoriaz was ugly
We drove to Flaine today as it's a fair bit higher than we are and so we figured that the snow was likely to be better than we had around here. We were right, the snow was pretty good up top but boy is Flaine ugly.

March 30, 2005

Fresh snow in Les Contamines
Last night we decided that today we'd go and see what the snow was like in Les Contamines. The weather forecast showed that the whole area was due a small amount of snow today but the freezing level was still going to be pretty high, around 1800m, so when we left this morning it was pissing down with rain. We expected to ride to the top of the Signal bubble in Les Contamines, look at the rain in disgust, have a coffee, bubble down again and then come home...

How to spot when your Suunto S6 needs a new battery
I plugged my watch into the PC last night to download the latest log data to the crap piece of PC software that's supplied with the watch and it didn't want to play ball. At first I thought it was the USB serial port thingy that I had between the S6's serial cable and my laptop's USB port; I'd plugged the cable in after starting the Suunto software and wasn't sure that it would have spotted the new serial port...

March 31, 2005

No Visibility in Les Contamines
We decided to head back to Les Contamines today; the forecast suggested more snow and we were hoping to be able to explore a bit more if the visibility was better. It wasn't.