April 01, 2005

Day off
We figured that we wouldn't ski all the way through until Monday and that Saturday would be less busy in Les Contamines and that we'd likely ski there then, so we took today off.

Week 13
This week we travelled around a bit looking for good conditions. We skied Mont d'Arbois, Cote 2000, Flaine and Les Contamines. Best snow was in Les Contamines, though the visibility was pretty poor. Conditions in Megève are now fairly bad;...

April 02, 2005

Randonnée to Col de Very
Today we did our first bit of ski touring, or a Randonnée as they call it here in France. Touring is where you travel to places that aren't served by lifts; you walk up the up bits, on your skis, and ski down the down bits. Today's trip went well; we did a 5km hike and climbed 600m or so, had lunch at the top and then skied back down again. The skiing is real off-piste, no lifts, nobody else around. Lucy guided us on our trip and we met at her place at 7am for breakfast and then drove to the base of Cote 2000 for the start of our journey at 7.56, well before first lifts...

Photos from the Randonnée
These are some of the pictures that we took on the Randonnée today. Unfortunately the dial on the top of the camera got moved at some point on the return trip and all of the pictures from that leg are over exposed, still, never mind.

April 03, 2005

A final burger at Chez Luc
The Princess bubble closes today and the restaurant that's at the halfway stage of the bubble, La Chalet des Princesse (Chez Luc) also closes. Since we've decided that this is the best place on the mountain to get home made burgers (even better than at L'Alpette) we bubbled up there today for Sunday lunch with Lucy.

April 04, 2005

Real spring snow in Les Saisies
We drove 25mins to Les Saisies this morning; rumour had it that they still had good snow there. Apparantly the snow there always stays good longer, they have some wierd little micro-climate going on that keeps it nice when the rest of the neigbourhood is going to pot. We arrived at 9.30 and the snow was hard, lightly frozen, just like it should be. The snow coverage looked good and as the day went on and the snow softened we started to remember what it's usually like skiing at this time of year.

April 05, 2005

Telemark lesson in Les Saisies
We headed back to Les Saisies today for our second telemark lesson with Lucy. Today was a little frustrating for me as I had all manner of problems until lunch time when a large beer seemed to fix everything and the afternoon's skiing was much more balanced and fluid. Miche had a great day, she dropped straight back into the telemark stuff with no problems and really came on well today.

April 06, 2005

Telemark lesson in Les Contamines
We had another telemark lesson with Lucy today and decided to head over to Les Contamines to see what the snow was like there. We have some guests coming out for the weekend so thought it would be useful to have experienced the snow at both of the easy to get to local resorts that still have plentiful white stuff.

April 07, 2005

A day off today; we figured that we'd need it after the two days of telemark lessons and we have guests arriving tonight so we needed to clean up the appartment a bit. As it happens our legs are fine...

April 08, 2005

The best way to use a tow rope
This morning when we left the appartment at 8.30 it was raining heavilly. The rain turned to snow as we gained altitude on the way to Les Saisies and started settling on the road. We came around a corner and found a lorry parked up with its hazard lights on, ahead of that was a van that had left the road and was perched on the bank in a rather precarious state.

Fresh snow in Les Saisies
There was at least 15cm of fresh snow on the ground when we reached Les Saisies this morning. The snow that was coming down was quite wet, but there was quite a lot of it and the new snow on the ground was actually reasonably light; certainly a lot better than slush or ice.

April 09, 2005

Spring has been suspended
Looks like the forecast was correct. The freezing level is down below the appartment today and we woke to find at least 15cm of new snow in the car park, and it's still snowing. The trees are all covered and the snow is coming down in big fat flakes. Ideal. It's suddenly week 3 again...

Reliably over the boots in Les Contamines
We skied in Les Contamines today in snow that was reliably over the tops of our boots, sometimes over the knee and in wind blown drifts it was waist high... Visibility was poor and I had expected that, but had hoped for better. Still, the visibility was poor because it snowed all day, nice big fat flakes of dry snow; superb.

Week 14
This week spring was suspended and the snow returned. We've had some pretty decent snow down to village level in Megève and the slopes at Les Saisies and Les Contamines are covered in powder. We did our first bit of...

April 10, 2005

The refreshed slopes of Rochebrune
Today we decided to see if the recent snow had made much difference to the Rochebrune slopes, they were suffering badly last time we'd looked and some were more brown than white. The new snow means that most of them...

April 11, 2005

Snowboarding on Mont d'Arbois
I had a snowboard lesson with Lucy today. The last time I was on a board was around 5 years ago when I did "day 3" in Mammoth in fresh powder and finally managed to link some huge carved "super...

April 12, 2005

Dual discipline lessons on Mont d'Arbois
Another day on the snowboard for me and another day on telemark for Miche. Lucy was on telemark and I tagged along with the girls and got some more pointers whilst Miche had her lesson. I had far more falls today, it seemed to take me a while to get my weight right and this led to lots of time with too much weight on the back foot which always ended in high speed tears. Eventually I got it right and my turns imrpoved a lot. By the end of the day I was able to do small, controlled, linked turns on green and blue pistes.

April 13, 2005

Back in Les Saisies
We skied in Les Saisies again today. The visibility wasn't the greatest; clouds that don't drop snow are just a waste of water vapour. Pat, Miche's mum, had a lesson with Lucy and Miche and I just skied around and...

April 14, 2005

Still in Les Saisies
Another day in Les Saisies; the fact that we actually pay for a lift ticket here is testament to the fact that the snow here is that much better than at Les Contamines. The runs aren't quite as varied and,...

April 15, 2005

Snow conditions getting worse in Les Contamines
We skied Les Contamines today and the conditions there are getting worse. The snow from the last dump has pretty much gone and what's left is slushy and sticky as would be expected for warm days in April at the...

Week 15
Only a smattering of new snow this week and the April sun is having its wicked way with the slopes and conditions in all of the local ski areas are deteriorating fast. Somehow this isn't as bad as it was...

April 16, 2005

Fairly crap conditions in Les Saisies
It snowed again today but not as much as it was forecast. The forecasts were for big dumps all over this area with around 30cm today and tomorrow at altitude, but today's snow seems to have been far less than...

April 17, 2005

Up around the ears on Mont d'Arbois
Today was the last day for the lifts at Mont d'Arbois and Rochebrune and the season went out with a bang as we had masses of snow over night and it snowed all day. Megève is very quiet at present with only a handful of other people on the slopes, so we were skiing untracked powder until last lifts. The nice thing about the way the skiing has ended here in Megève is that I got to ski a couple runs that I didn't expect to ski again this season and I did them with knee to thigh deep powder on them. Superb.

Megève by night
With the town full of snow again it seemed like a good time to get some christmasy pictures; after all it's only April...

April 18, 2005

Interesting conditions in Les Contamines
The sun was out this morning and visibility was good so we headed off to Les Contamines for Pat's last morning skiing with us. Pat had her final lesson with Lucy and managed to conquer the slope that she'd had...

April 19, 2005

Comment problem now fixed
We've had another problem with the comment spam black list, it decided to stop all comments with ".com" in them anywhere... This is now fixed....

April 20, 2005

Skiing without seeing at Cote 2000
We skied for a few hours in Cote 2000 today. This is the only ski area in Megève that's still open for business and although there are only two lifts still running there's plenty of terrain available both on and off-piste. It was snowing again this morning and the visibility was pretty poor but the snow was pretty good and we found skiing without being able to see quite good practice.

Do you concentrate all the time when skiing?
Here's the edited video of Pat skiing on 18th April in Les Contamines. The film was taken on the Monument blue run heading down towards Col du Joly and the Plan black......

April 21, 2005

Good snow at Cote 2000
We skied at Cote 2000 again today. The snow was good and the visibility was better than yesterday, though it was a little cloudy until lunch time. We spent most of the day playing around on the top section and...

Note to self: Keep your hands where you can see them
This is the edited video of me from today at Cote 2000. Probably not that interesting to anyone except me. From this footage it seems that the next thing I should be working on is keeping my hands and arms...

April 22, 2005

Sunshine and "death cookies" in La Clusaz
This morning we drove 40 minutes to La Clusaz via Praz sur Arly, Flumet, La Giettaz and the Col des Aravis pass. The drive was along one of those narrow, winding, mountain roads that probably aren't that much fun in winter, but it's April so it was quite pleasant. La Clusaz has several ski areas, some are linked and of the ones that still had good snow we'd been recommended the La Balme area as having some good runs. The first problem was finding where to park and which lifts to take; the signs in La Clusaz were awful and we drove around quite a bit and ended up navigating by the lifts that we could see, hoping that we could find a road that led that way...

Week 16
This week most of the Megève ski area closed, only two chairs and a baby drag lift are left open at Cote 2000. The Megève season went out with a bang though as we had well over 30cm of fresh...

April 23, 2005

Rest, recuperation and The West Wing
Miche's knees and back were a little sore this morning after yesterday's tensions in La Clusaz so we decided to take a rest today. Rest days are becoming easier and easier to take as the conditions aren't really that enticing...

April 24, 2005

Last day at Les Contamines
Les Contamines closed today. We skied there for a few hours this morning and took some video of Miche. The day started as the weather forecast had suggested with pissing rain. The forecast had implied that the rain would be...

April 25, 2005

Not skiing at Cote 2000 in the rain
The plan for today was to ski at Cote 2000. The weather report showed rain with the possibility of snow above 1800m or so. When we woke this morning the rain was here at appartment level and the clouds were...

The P word
No, not powder, the rain stayed as rain all day. The P word today was packing... We decided that since we were just lazing around we may as well start thinking about packing for the return trip. We had been...

Video of Miche skiing in Les Contamines
This is the edited video of Miche skiing in Les Contamines on the 24th April....

April 26, 2005

Sunshine and 6-10cm of fresh snow in La Clusaz
We went back to La Clusaz today and parked at the La Balme base area. We got their pretty early, around 9.20ish and were somewhat surprised at how busy the place was but figured that it was due to the fact that most of the rest of La Clusaz was now closed. We didn't realise that the early crowd was here because the rain we'd had turned to snow here last night and there was plenty of fresh tracks to be had.

Possibly the worst ski outfit we've seen this season
Spotted in the car park at Balme in La Clusaz this afternoon. There have been an awful lot of awful suits this season but I think this one is especially special.

April 27, 2005

More packing
Not wanting to ski out the available terrain, feeling that we need to start to kick the habit of getting up at 7am and rushing off to the slopes, and, quite frankly, deciding to sleep in, meant that we didn't...

April 28, 2005

Our last day skiing this season?
We went back to the La Balme base area of La Clusaz again today. The forecast for today was for warm weather and sunshine and it's going to stay that way for the rest of the week. The snow first...

April 29, 2005

Week 17
This was our last full week of our season in Megève, we head for home on Monday. I'm surprised that we've still been skiing. I expected that we would have run out of snow or energy by now but not...

April 30, 2005

Carwash Karma
We're going to Annecy today to meet up with one of Miche's friends from her university days. It's a glorious day and somehow a dirty car looks worse in the summer sun so we decided to use the jetwash when...