Season 1 - Ski Days

Our last day skiing this season? Posted by Len at 28 Apr 2005 03:54 PM
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...

Sunshine and 6-10cm of fresh snow in La Clusaz Posted by Len at 26 Apr 2005 04:01 PM
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.

Last day at Les Contamines Posted by Len at 24 Apr 2005 06:54 PM
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...

Sunshine and "death cookies" in La Clusaz Posted by Len at 22 Apr 2005 04:00 PM
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...

Good snow at Cote 2000 Posted by Len at 21 Apr 2005 04:00 PM
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...

Skiing without seeing at Cote 2000 Posted by Len at 20 Apr 2005 02:43 PM
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.

Interesting conditions in Les Contamines Posted by Len at 18 Apr 2005 03:10 PM
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...

Up around the ears on Mont d'Arbois Posted by Len at 17 Apr 2005 06:18 PM
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.

Fairly crap conditions in Les Saisies Posted by Len at 16 Apr 2005 06:43 PM
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...

Snow conditions getting worse in Les Contamines Posted by Len at 15 Apr 2005 07:23 PM
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...

Still in Les Saisies Posted by Len at 14 Apr 2005 04:12 PM
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,...

Back in Les Saisies Posted by Len at 13 Apr 2005 05:24 PM
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...

Dual discipline lessons on Mont d'Arbois Posted by Len at 12 Apr 2005 05:21 PM
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.

Snowboarding on Mont d'Arbois Posted by Len at 11 Apr 2005 04:18 PM
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...

The refreshed slopes of Rochebrune Posted by Len at 10 Apr 2005 06:55 PM
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...

Reliably over the boots in Les Contamines Posted by Len at 9 Apr 2005 05:18 PM
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.

Fresh snow in Les Saisies Posted by Len at 8 Apr 2005 04:10 PM
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.

Telemark lesson in Les Contamines Posted by Len at 6 Apr 2005 04:25 PM
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.

Telemark lesson in Les Saisies Posted by Len at 5 Apr 2005 06:23 PM
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.

Real spring snow in Les Saisies Posted by Len at 4 Apr 2005 07:16 PM
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.

Randonnée to Col de Very Posted by Len at 2 Apr 2005 07:26 PM
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...

No Visibility in Les Contamines Posted by Len at 31 Mar 2005 07:10 PM
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.

Fresh snow in Les Contamines Posted by Len at 30 Mar 2005 06:22 PM
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...

And I thought Avoriaz was ugly Posted by Len at 29 Mar 2005 05:10 PM
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.

First lifts and a smattering of fresh snow at Cote 2000 Posted by Len at 28 Mar 2005 07:31 PM
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.

Ski between 9 and 11 for best conditions Posted by Len at 26 Mar 2005 12:30 PM
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...

Bumps and crowds in Avoriaz Posted by Len at 25 Mar 2005 06:30 PM
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.

A quick dash around Rochebrune in the rain Posted by Len at 22 Mar 2005 01:44 PM
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...

More free heel practice Posted by Len at 21 Mar 2005 03:42 PM
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.

Telemark 2 Posted by Len at 20 Mar 2005 01:50 PM
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.

The browns of Mont d'Arbois Posted by Len at 19 Mar 2005 04:46 PM
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...

Lunchtime at Cote 2000 Posted by Len at 18 Mar 2005 02:45 PM
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...

Off-piste on Cote 2000 Posted by Len at 15 Mar 2005 07:09 PM
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.

Drills and crud on Mt Joux Posted by Len at 14 Mar 2005 06:41 PM
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.

La Giettaz and Combloux Posted by Len at 13 Mar 2005 07:00 PM
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...

Telemarktastic Posted by Len at 11 Mar 2005 04:57 PM
Today Miche and I had a telemark lesson with Lucy. In summary; it wasn't as hard or tiring as we had expected...

The Praz sur Arly circuit Posted by Len at 10 Mar 2005 06:55 PM
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...

Miche back on skis Posted by Len at 9 Mar 2005 07:01 PM
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...

Skiing alone Posted by Len at 8 Mar 2005 09:49 PM
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.

A little powder Posted by Len at 4 Mar 2005 08:15 PM
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...

++Technique Posted by Len at 3 Mar 2005 07:15 PM
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...

Lovely day Posted by Len at 2 Mar 2005 10:30 PM
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.

A poke in the eye with a sharp stick Posted by Len at 1 Mar 2005 07:08 PM
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.

Back on skis after 7 days off Posted by Len at 28 Feb 2005 08:07 PM
We have Michelle's cousin Helena and her husband Brian visiting us for the week. They flew to Ireland from Florida for the wedding and then came back to Geneva with us. Helena had a lesson with Lucy this morning and Brian skied with Miche and me.

Mostly off piste Posted by Len at 20 Feb 2005 06:22 PM
So much for our easy, early Sunday. We had a call last night from Lucy so we skied with her today. She asked what we wanted to do and, since we've had a pretty easy time for the last few days, I said I'd like something challenging. I expect that next time I say something like that Miche will add some provisos...

A short day (ha!) on Rochebrune Posted by Len at 18 Feb 2005 05:27 PM
Catherine had to catch the bus to Geneva at 17.00 tonight so we stayed local and skied Rochebrune. Looks like we made the right decision; it was SO quiet on the slopes that I'd like to personally thank everyone who either went home today or decided to ski Mont d'Arbois instead; it was almost like January again. When the clouds allowed we could see that the Mont d'Arbois slopes were as busy as expected and the usual choke points were choking, as usual... We hit one queue today and that was due to a bunch of racers having started using Tour as a slalom course.

Back in Praz Posted by Len at 17 Feb 2005 07:19 PM
We went to Praz sur Arly again today. Catherine's shins were hurting so we installed her on a nice blue run with a drag lift and a restaurant and we went off to explore a little more of the area.

Jaillet and Combloux Posted by Len at 16 Feb 2005 05:28 PM
Based on Catherine's performance at the tail end of yesterday I decided that we'd ski the reds over on Combloux. This wasn't the best idea as her legs hurt (day 2 blues) and the runs were a little challenging for her. The day went well but it was probably a little harder than Catherine would have liked. The snow over on at Combloux was good and it wasn't as busy as Mont d'Arbois or Rochebrune but the slower, older lifts mean that you tend to end up spending more time in queues or on lifts than you do on snow...

The snow was late Posted by Len at 15 Feb 2005 06:00 PM
We woke to the sound of the snow clearing equipment cleaning up the car park. We'd had about 20-30cms overnight at apartment level. This would have been great had we not been driving to Geneva this morning to collect Catherine. The drive down to Combloux was slightly slower than normal due to the snow but the roads were pretty clear and the snow wasn't falling fast enough to make things difficult.

Weatherman speak with forked tongue Posted by Len at 14 Feb 2005 05:12 PM
We drove to Praz sur Arly today. It's only 10 mins away from where we are and it's probably quicker to get to the Praz car park than it is to get to the Jaillet car park... The 30-40cms of snow that was forecast didn't show, but the bitter wind did. A short day due to a late start, cold winds, no visibility, an unknown resort where it was too cold and windy to get the map out and our inability to locate a decent restaurant for lunch.

Thaw, Freeze, Powder, Hmm Posted by Len at 13 Feb 2005 08:10 PM
The temperature obviously didn't drop until after the piste bashers had been up. The rain and warm temperatures had caused the snow to go soggy, then it was bashed and then it froze... A typical spring situation only it isn't spring. Now take this rock solid frozen surface and add a couple of inches of fresh snow and that's pretty much today...

Snow's back Posted by Len at 11 Feb 2005 06:16 PM
We got onto the slopes at about 10.30 and after the first run Miche decided that her legs were suffering a bit from yesterday's running around so we decided to cancel the bump run plan and have a slightly easier...

Dig it Posted by Len at 10 Feb 2005 06:12 PM
We spent this afternoon running around in knee deep snow between La Rare and the Etudiants drag lift looking for buried rucksacks...

More of the same Posted by Len at 9 Feb 2005 07:10 PM
Today was similar to yesterday. Practice in the bumps. Miche was getting better, though I did get a "refusal" from one particular part of the slope which turned out to be too steep for her... It wouldn't normally have been to steep, but the combination of small shrubs and large bumps made it difficult to decide where to turn and, well... Once past that things were good and she skied more consecutive bumps than yesterday, and had a better body position whilst doing it. I increased my speed a little bit today and my style suffered, but I stayed on my feet and stayed in control so we can worry about what I look like later on ;)

Drills and bumps on Mt Joux Posted by Len at 8 Feb 2005 07:10 PM
We caught the first lift up and made our way over to Mt Joux. Miche fancied skiing some of the bumps and Lucy had recommended we try the ones directly under the Mont Joly lift as the snow was still good there and the bumps under the lift were less skied and friendlier than the easier to get to bumps on Mont Joly. The only problem with that idea is that the bump run is very long and once you're on it there's no easy out.

Avoiding the crowds on a Sunday in February Posted by Len at 6 Feb 2005 03:10 PM
It was Chris' last day skiing today and we needed to stop around 3ish so that we could drop him off at Geneva for his flight. Since Sunday tends to be the busiest day and February the busiest month due to French half-term holidays, we were a little concerned that we'd end up stuck in lift queues all day; so we made a plan...

Jaillet, La Giettaz and Combloux Posted by Len at 5 Feb 2005 06:10 PM
We figured that Mont d'Arbois would be busy this weekend, and Chris had skied there quite a bit. We decided to save Rochebrune until tomorrow, as we need to have an early day to drive to Geneva. So that left Jaillet. Chris has never skied that side and we've only skied it once, with Jonathan on day 3.

Skis that make sure you're working Posted by Len at 4 Feb 2005 06:10 PM
We skied Mont d'Arbois with Chris today. I thought it might be nice to ski off the back of Mont Joux and down Epaule towards St Nicholas as the views over there are wonderful. It was clear enough to see the bridge at the top of Aiguile du Midi and I could just make out the cable car. The snow wasn't that good (we're being fussy now, I think), some of the runs are quite exposed and well travelled and there are some rocks showing. After some time over there we headed over to the front of Mont Joux for a while where we saw a parapent take off and then down to Etudiants for a couple of runs down by the drag lift before going to Les Mandarines for lunch.

Maria and Milky's last day skiing Posted by Len at 2 Feb 2005 08:43 PM
It was warm in the sun today, around -3'C when we got up and chilly in the shade. Today was Maria and Milky's last day skiing and they had a lesson first thing. I drove them over to Mont d'Arbois for their 9 o'clock and then went home for breakfast. We met up with them at 11, after the lesson and then skied where they wanted to; down to the Monts Rossets lift.

Fresh Tracks! Posted by Miche at 1 Feb 2005 08:37 PM
As Len said in the previous post, we were skiing a run called Tour today. It was great because there was plenty of opportunity to make fresh tracks in what was pretty much "ego snow" (ie lovely light powder on a firm base - easy to ski!). We skied that run 4 or 5 times, since no once else was on it and so we had the run and the drag lift pretty much to ourselves. I've decided that my news skis are powder gods!! Having had a great day on a demo pair of the Dynastar Exclusive Legends in the knee deep powder a week or so ago, I decided I had to buy them. This was the first opportunity since then to ski fresh tracks in the powder, so I was hoping I was going to be able to repeat my performance and last time hadn't just been a fluke. Anyway, I am pleased to report that I had another excellent day's skiing, putting in both long carve turns and short turns in the powder without any problems at all.

10-20cm fresh snow Posted by Len at 1 Feb 2005 08:00 PM
The temperature rose up towards 0'C this morning and we woke to gentle snow fall. We skied in below the clouds in 10-20cm of fresh snow on quiet pistes and gave Maria and Milky some pointers for skiing in powder; they did pretty well.

Reds around Mont d'Arbois Posted by Len at 31 Jan 2005 08:04 PM
Maria had a lesson first thing this morning so we skied with Milky on the blues and reds around the Monts Rossets lift. The weather was good today, at least 5'C warmer and sunny, which was a pleasant change. It was nice and quiet, so quiet that sometimes we wouldn't see another skier on the slope for the whole chair ride back up. Nice. Milky had his lesson after lunch so we took Maria on the reds off of the Edudiants drag lift. This was also nice and quiet until around 3pm when these and the runs from Mont Joux were the only ones left in the sun and everyone decided to ski them...

The greens and blues of Rochebrune Posted by Len at 30 Jan 2005 07:44 PM
Today we skied with Maria and Milky. They're having some lessons tomorrow and later in the week and wanted to get warmed up and ready for them with an easy day today. After last night's late night Carcassonne game (we finished at 2am) we set out around 11 and had a relaxed day helping them to get their legs working...

The curious incident of the left turn falling overs Posted by Len at 28 Jan 2005 06:45 PM
This week is fast becoming "Len's broken technique week". First I had my right leg chattering and now, having fixed that, I have a reoccurrence of a rather worrying problem that I have on left turns... Every so often I just end up on my side, sliding down the slope with my skis directly in front of me like someone who's decided to lie down on the slope rather than stand up on it. Amusingly this only ever seems to happen on the steepest of slopes and less amusingly this seems to be the exactly the same MO as the fall that did my knee in Verbier. This problem needs fixing fast...

Do you know the way to St. Gervais? Posted by Len at 27 Jan 2005 06:00 PM
Another clear, cold day. Some slight cloud in the valley but nothing to complain about. The wind seemed slightly lower, but just as bitter. It seemed warmer in the sun than yesterday but colder in the shade... We decided to explore Mont d'Arbois a bit more and headed down towards St. Gervais.

My turn for a bad technique day Posted by Len at 26 Jan 2005 05:26 PM
The views were amazing today; I should have taken some pictures but it was so damn cold that I didn't fancy taking my camera out. We skied down Pylones on Mont d'Arbois, a nice red down from La Mandarines to the bottom. We realised on the way up in the bubble that we'd never skied it as it had always been covered in brown patches before. The snow was great, the run was good (some nice steep sections and some nice wide sections) and it was quiet but my skiing sucked.

Cold Posted by Len at 25 Jan 2005 06:30 PM
Since the alternative was going to the supermarket or putting a wash on we decided to ski for a while this afternoon even though we had planned to take the day off. It was cold but pretty clear and we had the best visibility we've had for a week.

Mostly groomed with a few inches of fresh Posted by Len at 24 Jan 2005 03:27 PM
John and Janine's last day today and their flight was early afternoon so we hit the slopes early and came back after lunch to see them off. As I sit here writing this the sky is clearing at last and we can see Jaillet for the first time in ages; looks nicely skiable now.

Reliably over the knee... Posted by Len at 23 Jan 2005 06:25 PM
John didn't fancy the whiteout today so Miche and I went out alone. We skied powder that was reliably up to the knee and sometimes higher. Visibility was variable, but down amongst the trees it was pretty good at times. We didn't go out until late, as we had hoped that the snow would clear up and the sun would come out, so the snow was pretty tracked out but there was still lots of fun to be had. Something definitely clicked for me today and today's technique seemed to work well; no face plants and it just seemed to work... I've no idea what was slipped into Miche's coffee this morning but she also had a great day; flying down the slopes faster than she would on a nicely groomed piste and turning so well in the deep stuff that at times I thought that someone else was wearing the same suit.. Her demo skis must have suited her; she'll write about all of these skis eventually, I'm sure... Even though our technique had improved we still found the deep stuff tiring so we were glad that we hadn't had a full day of it.

Black powder... Posted by Len at 22 Jan 2005 06:10 PM
We skied the tree-lined blacks on Mont d'Arbois today. We bumped into Lucy in the ski hire shop whilst Miche was trying yet another new pair of skis and she recommended the blacks since the trees would help with the visibility and the "waist deep power" would mean that we needed a bit of steep to be able to make any headway at all...

Yet more snow... Posted by Len at 21 Jan 2005 07:00 PM
Today was another day of cloud, low visibility and snow. Unfortunately the freezing level was just above the village so it was raining when we left...

More snow Posted by Len at 20 Jan 2005 05:12 PM
Today Miche hired the Dynastar Exclusive Legend (women's version of the 8000's) and had a much better day than yesterday. I had a couple of good face plants which proved I was trying hard enough and that I still have a lot to learn. One amusing moment left me face first in the powder with both skis detached and Miche calling down from above that I really shouldn't have lifted my right ski off of the ground during that last turn... Lift foot in powder, watch other ski dive, detach and leave me on one and then have that one detach and leave me face down in the fluff.

Powder day Posted by Len at 19 Jan 2005 04:07 PM
We got up early and did the obligatory tape measure thing... The clear skies hadn't arrived so we skied in snow clouds and snow... We got the 2nd lift out of Rochebrune rather than first and it was crammed; so much so that Miche was pressed into a strange position and her legs ached by the time we reached the top...

Snow Posted by Len at 18 Jan 2005 05:20 PM
We were planning to ski in St Gervais today, we haven't been down there yet and I was hoping that, perhaps, the snow would be better down there (hmm). Anyway, that plan was binned when we looked out of the kitchen window this morning just after breakfast and saw that snow was starting to fall. It's still falling...

Back the the ol' 9 to 5 Posted by Len at 17 Jan 2005 07:20 PM
We skied in Les Contamines today. Michelle and Chris has skied there on Friday but I'd stayed in bed so it's the first time I've skied there for a couple of years. I was skiing on Head Monster M70's as the hire shop didn't have the Dynastar 8000's in; these were supposed to be somewhere between the B2s and the Dynastars. They certainly felt much more like B2s than the Dynastars. Overall I think I prefer the B2s to the Monsters and I'm still not sure about the Dynastars, they're easier to ski than either of the other two but they seem to lack a little in edge hold, and the edge hold of the B2s is SO reassuring...

Skiing in Les Contamines Posted by Miche at 15 Jan 2005 06:14 PM
Yesterday we went to Les Contamines. We went with Lucy for the last day of our lessons. We had arranged to have Lucy for the whole week but she was mainly meant to be teaching my Mum (from 11am every day until the end of the day). However, since Mum hurt her ankle, she only skiied in the afternoons on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. That meant that Chris, Len and I had lessons with Lucy in the morning, then everyone met up at lunchtime and Mum had her lesson in the afternoon. On Friday, Lucy suggested going to Les Contamines as the snow was meant to be better there and it would also make a change for the final day. Unfortunately, Len was still feeling dodgy and so opted to stay in bed for the day.

A sprinkling of snow and a morning of cloud Posted by Len at 13 Jan 2005 04:00 PM
Clouds rolled in yesterday evening and this morning the mountains were completely shrouded. It was dull below the cloud and the peaks weren't high enough to get above them. We skied over at Cote 2000 for most of the morning on around 2cms of fresh snow (don't knock it) and limited visibility. Today I was skiing on Dynastar 8000's (178s). They're a softer ski than the Rossignol B2s, with a similar shape and a slightly shorter turn radius. It was pretty hard to compare the two different skis as the conditions today were so different to yesterday at Les Gets. The lack of visibility meant that we were feeling our way around rather than carving the place up. We headed over to Mont d'Arbois for a late lunch at the Igloo with the non-skiiers. A nice lunch of pan fried Mullet.

Les Gets Posted by Len at 12 Jan 2005 07:58 PM
We drove for 50 mins to Les Gets this morning. Chris and Hilary wanted to visit the site of the apartment that they're having built and we'd heard the snow was a little better over that way. None of us had skied the area before so it was useful to have Lucy along to guide us around. Pat managed a lesson in the afternoon and discovered that her ankle hurts less when skiing than it does when walking, result!

Rossignol B2s Posted by Len at 11 Jan 2005 06:53 PM
Today I skied on 170cm Rossignol B2s, the shortest, fattest ski I've ever skied. At first I thought they'd be better named B52s as they felt huge and lumbering, I was not impressed; the added width under the foot meaning that the fast edge control that I had had with my XScreams had vanished and been replaced by no control at all :( I was not a happy bunny on the first few runs.

Learn from many different masters Posted by Len at 10 Jan 2005 06:00 PM
Michelle's mum, Pat, had a bit of a fall yesterday afternoon on her lesson and hurt her ankle a bit so we ended up with a full day of instruction today rather than just a half day. We skied on the Rochebrune side and Lucy worked us hard all day. I discovered that although the Axendo's were fine for pottering around on they were hard work during the lesson; the others had much more success at the carving practice than I did.

The best places to ski on Mont d'Arbois Posted by Len at 9 Jan 2005 06:45 PM
Michelle, Chris and I all skied with Lucy this morning. The idea was to have some guiding around the area, jump some lift queues and pick up a few technique tips, very low-key instruction, nice and easy.

Retro skis and Cote 2000 Posted by Len at 8 Jan 2005 06:00 PM
As I discovered a while back, my skis are dead. I've got around 12-13 weeks out of them so I can't complain, but the timing wasn't quite right - I hadn't already bought a new pair. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow an identical pair from Chris, Michelle's brother.

Ski Day 3: An afternoon in Le Jaillet Posted by Len at 7 Jan 2005 05:30 PM
We spent the afternoon sking the Le Jaillet area (strangely, it seems that you dont pronounce the "ll") with Jonathan - he had a meeting at 4pm so we felt it unlikely we'd have a repeat of the Mont Jolly experience ;)

Ski Day 2: Fresh snow and last lifts on Mont Joly Posted by Len at 6 Jan 2005 05:26 PM
Today we skied with Jonathan, Lucy's other half. He took us around the Mont d'Arbois side of things. We warmed up on the run down to L'Ideal chair, then skied off of Mont Joux and L'Epaule for a while and down to Les Communailles for lunch. The rain at village level was light snow higher up and the visibility was pretty poor all morning. After lunch the sky cleared and we skied off of Mont Joly, off piste in fresh snow under the Mont Joly lift; very nice. Unfortunately we'd spent rather too long at lunch and lost track of time. First the Mont Joly lift stopped so we cut short our descent and traversed across towards the L'Epaule lift... Then that lift stopped - dead on time. We were left with a yomp up to the drag lift that takes you up to the top of the ridge where the Mont Joux III chair stops, this lift was also closed, but still running and we rode up just in front of the pisteurs who were sweeping the slopes for strays like us. From there it was a gentle ski down to the Mont d'Arbois base on deserted slopes - things get quiet pretty quickly once the lifts stop... All in all a great day, if a little hectic at the end...

Ski Day 1 - Megève Posted by Len at 5 Jan 2005 05:16 PM
Today was another beautiful day; cold but bright sunshine and clear blue skies. We got up reasonably early, sorted out all of our stuff and drove up to the Rochebrune lift; plenty of underground parking that's free if you have a lift ticket... We bought our season passes (357 each - today was the day that the price went down, the season pass is cheaper if bought in mid November or after 4th Jan...). We had expected to have to buy the season pass tomorrow, the translated price list said that it was available after the 5th... We were expecting to pay 32 each for today and then get the season pass tomorrow. We skied mostly around Rochebrune, off of La Petite Fountaine and around L'Alpette. A relaxed and easy day. I was taking it easy as it was the first day back on snow since my knee has healed. I was a bit shakey on the first run but soon got back into it and the knee was fine. The 64 that we saved on lift passes for the day went on lunch at L'Alpette...