Skiing? In the Alps? For a weekend? You must be mad!   5 comments

Skiing – Val Thorens – 14th to 18th January 2011

I love my skiing but lack of holiday time and my devotion to my family (in case J, D and L read this) means I can’t really take a whole week. However thanks to Quesy-Jet, and with a commitment to endless hours of driving and loss of sleep you can fly out on a Friday night get 4 days skiing in and fly back on Tuesday night. Oh and of course you need some generous mates to go for the whole week so you can sleep on their apartment sofa bed! (thanks to UF and GM)

So, it was a late January, Friday afternoon drive to Luton and a flight to Geneva accompanied by Mad Malcs (MM). Joined Uncle Fester (UF) and Geordie Munro (GM) in a well-hidden hotel in Moutiers. I’m sure they appreciated being woken up at 11:30pm. MM lost the toss and got the floor! Up in the resort and on the slopes just after 9 the next day to find almost no new snow and orange squash rather than champage powder. It was also amazingly warm even at 2500m and we all regretted the extra layers of clothing and in UF and GM’s case their new helmets. There is nothing in my head worth damaging so I stay helmet-free

MM, UF, GM basking in the sunshine

Whilst the off-piste was cruddy and rubbly and not worth the trouble, the on piste skiing, at least high up was great in place and horrendously icy or bare in others. On previous trips we’ve always had fresh snow but not this trip. However it was great just to be out in the sunshine and on skis.

UF & GM on David Duchovny run above Les Menuires

Always got to find time for a vin-chaud or a chocolate-chaud during a hard days skiing

GM, UF, MM basking in the sunshine

And when I say a hard days skiing – we are truly a sad bunch. Always trying to maximise the amount of skiing in a day (worked out by sitting down at the end of the day and adding up all the lift ascents, we even wrote a spreadsheet to work it out once – as I said – sad!), anything less than 11,000m is considered unworthy. MM managed over 12k a couple of trips back but we never got close to that this time. I felt we were held up constant whingeing by GM about his legs and by UF (or Captain Slow as he’s known on the slopes) trundling down. My tendency to ski way faster than my ability should dictate clocks my metres up although at least I’ve eliminated the kamikaze, cartwheel falls of my early days. MM is, well, just mad

Whilst we never heard the pitter-patter of tiny snowflakes the weather was superb. Got some glorious late shots of the moon and setting sun. I’m never happier than on skis, looking at the panorama of snow-capped peaks under a clear blue sky – makes you feel good to be alive – or some b******s like that!

Sunset over Cime de Caron and La Masse

Moon over Trois Vallees 1 Lift

Mont Blanc from top of Bouquetins lift

We also like to play about with video footage although pretty amatuerishly with handheld cameras. However it does capture some classic moments like the following You Tube clip – GM taking a video of yours truly, who spent so much of his visual effort on making sure he was in shot and looking good that he forgot to ski. Bad publicity is better than no publicity I suppose

GM has also tried his hand at video editing so here’s his entry for the  “Best Winter Sports Short Film” Oscar:

The flat in Val Thorens was pretty good by French ski accommodation standards. Mind you when you get to our age, after a “hard days skiing” (see above) it’s all we can do to sit down, moan and groan about the bits that hurt, eat and sleep so no need for that much space. No Apres-Ski for us. As GM once put it “I’ve happened”

So all in all me and MM got 4 full days skiing in before heading back to Geneva, Luton and home in Hereford by 1:30am – thanks QuesyJet for keeping to the flight schedule for a change and to our rather low-key yet friendly and efficient car hire firm. It is mad, but it’s well worth it. Roll on Winter 2012!

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Posted February 6, 2011 by surfnslide in Downhill Skiing, Skiing

Tagged with , , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “Skiing? In the Alps? For a weekend? You must be mad!

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  1. Welcome to the blogosphere.
    I thought you’d never get round to it!
    Nice theme.
    If you want people to read and comment you need to: 1) comment on lots of other blogs, the whole social-networking thing (I’m a bit c*** at that) 2) post regularly (and that) 3) write lots of gear reviews (I’m really c*** at that). I will add you to my blogroll, but don’t expect any great flow of traffic from that source.
    A headcam!? Do Nokia need any teaboys?
    Am v. jealous of the skiing but lets gloss over that.
    May watch the video every day for a week to make myself feel better.

    Like

    beatingthebounds
  2. My first reply – I’m quite emotional! I’ve already started looking st some of the blogs you’ve picked up on and linking to them and I’ve posted a couple of comments as well. Glad you enjoyed the video – you can thank George for that. I’m waiting patiently for a chance to use my headcam even if its just out walking. Weather has been horrendous ever since I got it.

    Don’t forget you can subscribe to mine by e-mail – I’ll try and keep a check on yours now and return the compliment!

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  3. I suscribe to all of the blogs I read (and several that I don’t often anymore if truth be told) using Google Reader – open google, click on more and then reader, sign up, and then suscribe to all of your favourite blogs – puts it all in one place and automatically picks up on new posts. I’ve suscribed to yours. If you feel vain you can check out how many suscribers you have there yourself – obviously I never do that. Oh no.
    Then when I open google reader I can decide what sort of mood I’m in and maybe (if I fancy a laugh) read Northern Pies (http://northernpies.blogspot.com) or check out the joys of an adventurous retirement (http://phreerunner.blogspot.com/), catch up on some nature notes from somebody who actually knows what they are talking about (http://cabinetofcuriosities-greenfingers.blogspot.com/) or for a mixed bag (music/fishing/nature/books) try http://caughtbytheriver.net/ (This has proper journalists and is like an online magazine, I’m supposed to be writing something for one of their sections but haven’t got round to it yet.)
    Anyway – looking forward to some headcam shots. Hopefully it will stop raining here sometime soon, especially since I have a day in the Lakes planned for Sunday and so will actually have something to post about soon.

    Like

    beatingthebounds
  4. So next time I am looking for some travel/ tech advice are you going to refer me to your blog?
    Is this the first step to AJ Travel Agent and Tech Services Ltd going full-time?

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  5. I have my Dragons Den pitch ready

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