End of January means my annual ski trip treat. Just a long weekend this year as TJS wanted to try it but can’t take a week out of college so I thought it a bit harsh to go for the full week while he stayed home.
In truth not best skiing trip I’ve ever had. The runes were bad after a journey to the airport involving a puncture, a closure of the M1, getting the flight time wrong in my head and me making my flight with only 10 mins to spare (exaggerated a little for effect – the flight was 30 mins late so that bought me some time) There has only been two major falls of snow in the Alps this winter and slopes were amazingly bare and thin. Looks like there is plenty of snow from the photos but trust me this is bare by Alpine standards. It surprised me greatly to see such a change in the usual conditions. Perhaps global warming is to blame but my Uncle Donald in America told me that’s just a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese so it can’t be that
We did have some nice sunny days though and even if the skiing wasn’t as good as it could be it was still great fun. Clear skies and winter air is always a treat and any day spent away from work is a good one
This does of course leave more time for convivial eating and lunchtime drinking in the sun
My camera had another fit and went into strange mode for the next few pictures. Not exactly representative of the views at the time but an interesting effect
A nice sunrise before a cloudy day
It even rained on my last day – skiing in the rain is even more miserable than walking in it. I’ll leave you with my abiding memory from the trip. The Le Red Wine bar which is now my spiritual home. Gave us a decent excuse to go shopping as its next door to the supermarket. If Carlsberg (or Grimbergen in this case) did supermarkets……
Back to late January for some rather nice photos of mountains, snow, selfies and over-indulgence
For the first time I went for a whole week’s skiing when fresh snow never fell. Not great for off piste powder skiing but rather good for cruising in the sunshine and topping up the tan.
And some skiing
Snow-capped peaks as far as the eye can see
A proper mans drink and a ladies tea cup
The roof of Europe
Yet more food
And we even squeezed in a little more skiing
And a slideshow with video footage thrown in for free…..
My annual ski trip to France and back to the same place as last year in Mottaret. I think we’ve found our spiritual home for our ski trips.
Some new pals this year. TBF who started skiing before I did came along for the ride. Equal measure of enjoying some time away from the day-to-day grind of mum and housewife and a love of the mountains in winter. Like me she loves the cold clear air of the high alps and the felling of warmth from a mountainous blue skies. Not entirely sure that she completely shares my passion for unsafe velocities on snow but there is hope
Also joining us was The Yorkshire Gardener. Like TBF she started skiing many years ago after spending some time in Colorado. She hasn’t been for many years but seeing as, like me, she’s approaching the half century milestone, decided to treat herself. Spending a week cooped up with me and Uncle Fester is debatable as a treat but it takes all sorts
As always we had a fabulous time. We were a little worried a few weeks before the trip. The Alps up to then had one of the worst snow seasons on record with several resorts suffering badly from a lack of snow. Even in the week before we went the slopes looked bare and rocky. Before and while we there though the weather delivered what for a skier is a perfect mix of regular snowfall intermixed with blue sky. By then end of the week there was metres of the stuff. Luckily we’d seen it coming and moved the car underground. Would have taken us a couple of hours to dig it out had we left it outdoors.
Having some new members of trip was rather nice. It was especially nice seeing TYG enjoying her first skiing for 20 odd years, it really was a special treat for her, although I’m hopeful that she’ll be able to join us on a more regular basis – she gets the croissants in the morning for a start! 🙂
TBF was less enthusiastic as she needed some lessons.
We hired a guide/instructor for a couple of days, the skilled and friendly Rab Macnab.
We split each day into a half day for TBF to try to get her up to Intermediate level and a half a day for me and UF. TBF found the learning a little frustrating but by the last day all the tips were starting to click and things were progressing nicely. Now that both our kids are older, again, I’m hoping she can join us on a more regular basis. Whilst she sometimes got a little down on herself, she improved markedly from the start of the week and I think she enjoyed the week – at least I hope she did
Me a UF had a day on-piste with Rab to help us improve our own technique. UF has had a few lessons over the years but I’ve had just one half day, having been pretty much self-taught. Rab was very generous in his praise after watching us ski but you could see the “but” coming in his assessment from a mile away. Let’s just say I still have a long way to go. Our second half day was off piste and Rab took us to some new little known corners and into one terrifyingly steep drop that we both bottled out of. It was a cracking afternoon though. Rab comes highly recommended and I think it’s a given that we’ll be seeking him out again next year
The rest of the week was a mix of blue sky and heavy snow but we got out every day for a full day which is the main thing.
A trip to remember for all the usual reasons but also this time for the different vibe we got from having some new people with us to share the fun. If only I go skiing every week 🙂
My annual “Slide” trip to match my identity. The usual end of January boys trip for some skiing in the Alps. This year was back to our favourite area, the Three Valley’s in France with its huge ski area and modern efficient lift system. We stayed in the middle valley in Meribel Mottaret for the first time in a lovely apartment right on the slopes.
There was blue sky
There was time for eating (Steak Americaine on the slopes here)
There were snow-capped mountains
There was skiing
There was more blue sky
There was some cloud
There was more eating (afternoon waffles and beer became a mainstay)
And there was more skiing
There were awesome atmospheric days
There was a whole heap of sunshine
There was always time for beer
And amazing views from the apartment balcony
More sensational views
And lots of partying – by others – we’re all too old for such things. This the is La Folie Douce in Val Thorens, famed party spot throughout the Alps and always kicking in the afternoon
Time to reflect and take in the scene
That included Europe’s highest mountain
The views just kept coming
And the sunsets were breathtaking
And whilst overindulging were common-place
It was the skiing that lives long in the memory
We enjoyed one final day on the slopes before heading home after a an amazing week