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Val-d'Isere off Piste & Back Country Skiing Specialists

From left to right Gill Millie Wayne and Katie
Alpine Experience
Alpine Experience

Val-d'Isere off-piste blog by Wayne

12 April 2024

Happy Birthday Gill!

Happy birthday to my lovely wife Gill. It's the first time that she hasn't been in Val d'Isere for her birthday in a very long time. Have a great day, and I'll see you in Geneva Sunday afternoon!

Skiing news and the photos may be late today as I've a very busy day. After skiing I've a dentist appointment, followed by physio, then the gig at the Danois before dinner at the Danois afterwards.

Skiing News: With a light support layer not everything was ready 'spring-wise', and certain combinations weren't going to work without being a long way in advance time-wise. But, we made some adjustments and enjoyed a superb morning with some winter snow as well as some wonderful spring skiing. (see photos)

It was Big Steve's last Alpine morning of the season. He's doing a three-day tour with Pietro next week before heading back to the UK. It's been great skiing with you Steve and see you next winter.

I had a tooth removed at the dentist this afternoon, and I'm glad to be rid of it. There was no way it was going to last until I returned to England, and I thought the dentist did a really good job.

I'm getting ready for the last gig of the season at the Danois featuring Karen and Andreas. We should have a really good 'Alpine' presence tonight, and it should be another fantastic evening. See you there!

Stay tuned for more news and photos tomorrow!

PS The Hammers lost 2-nil away to a team that hasn't lost a game all season, but what happened to Liverpool?


11 April 2024

Seb's First Day Off-Piste!

Katie decided that her pal Seb was up to skiing off-piste, so we took him today for a fabulous initiation! He did incredibly well, and was suitably impressed with the scenery and ambiance over the Col Pers and in the Pays Desert. (see photos)

All the boys were up at the Fornet today, and the skiing was excellent. We made the most of the winter snow, as tomorrow will be another day after today's sun and heat.

Dan Egan is in town, and it's great to see him every morning. We have a good chat and a good laugh to kick-start the day. It's great to have you back Dan!

Seb has returned to England tonight for a National Ice Hockey Tournament in Sheffield. He's been a great guest, and had a wonderful time. So, it's just Katie and I now as we prepare for Gill and Millie's arrival on Sunday. (We've got some work to do!)

More sun is forecast for the next couple of days so it will be back to spring snow with some powder turns high-and-north mixed in. Stay tuned!

PS Don't forget that tomorrow night will be Karen and Andreas' last gig of the season. Yikes!

PPS Chris did the business as usual today and Eugene said it was the best day skiing of his life. Bravo!


10 April 2024

From Rain To Minus-12!

The wind changed direction from a southerly to a northerly yesterday afternoon. As a result we went from pouring rain in the village yesterday morning to a chilly but welcome -12C on the Pisaillas Glacier this morning.

With the colder temperatures we also received about 10 to 15 centimeters of snow, which helped enormously. In the lee there was even more, and we enjoyed a fantastic morning with just enough visibility in places. There was plenty of flat-light and fog about as well, so it wasn't good everywhere, but we managed some good light on the Glacier. (see photos)

I had Alistair's nephew Luke and his pal Roy skiing with me this morning. They slotted right in, and besides being really good skiers they were very helpful as well. Thanks boys and it was a pleasure to ski with you both!

There were a couple of fantastic Champions League games last night, but I went to bed at halftime. I wonder who the Einstein was who thought they should have both the English teams play on the same night? What a huge loss of television viewing numbers! That's pretty stupid if you ask me!

It looks as if we've some sun forecast for the morning, and the next few days. We'll have cold snow in the morning before turning to spring snow on Friday. Stay tuned!

PS Andreas sent me a photo of the avalanche in the Lavachet. Even though it was much colder last night and today you could still poke your pole through very easily, even at altitude. The fresh snow insulated the surface from a proper re-freeze. A couple of good melt-freeze cycles will help!


9 April 2024

No freeze, and Rain!

After two nights with a minimal freeze, last night we had no re-freeze at all! And on top of that it was raining in the village this morning!

But, as is so often the case, you never really know what you're dealing with until you feel the snow beneath your skis. From the very first turn I knew we would have some interesting skiing, and much better than anticipated.

The snow off the Verte first thing was warm but skied really nicely. Then the Lower Borsat and Meadows into Tignes was even better. We then headed to the Grande Motte cable car, and the snow on the Motte itself was lovely winter snow, and we profited with a really good run. Next up were some nice turns off the edge of the Rosolin. After taking the chairlift back up we skied back down off the Genepy. After some bits and pieces I skied some 'funky' snow under the Mont Blanc chair for a noon finish. It wasn't a morning for 'shy' skiers, but with some positivity there was some really good skiing and interesting snow.

Chris and Andreas were both in the same neighbourhood, and enjoyed their mornings as well. No one at the Gourmandine was expecting much today, and considering three nights without a freeze, and rain, it was pretty jolly good morning!

With the unseasonably warm temperatures, and no proper freeze during the past three nights, there has been a few big avalanches come down today. Some have gone right to the ground, and we'll need to be very carefully over the coming days.

After several days of strong south winds the wind switched around to a northerly direction, the temperature has started to drop, and it has started to snow. The fresh snow is falling on an un-supporting base, and the fresh snow will insulate the base from re-freezing. It may take a couple of nights with cold temperatures before the mountain re-stabilises itself. In the meantime we'll need to avoid steep slopes, and be content with 'low-hanging-fruit'.

Katie, Seb and I had outstanding pizzas at Flash last night. They were perhaps the best pizzas of the season so far. Because Flash takes Sundays off the dough has an extra day to set up, and the pizza base on a Monday is at it's best.

And I'm looking forward to Real Madrid v Man City tonight followed by some powder skiing tomorrow. Stay tuned!


8 April 2024

Much Brighter!

After another unseasonably warm night with an almost non-existent refreeze, it was much brighter today. There was still some sand suspended in the air, but much less than yesterday, and the sun made it through the haze. The sun made all the difference spirit-wise, and even with the ultra-light freeze we managed some fantastic piste skiing mixed in with some better-than-expected off-piste. With low expectations at the Gourmandine I thought it was a really good morning. (see photos)

I ran into Jean Marc this morning who's here skiing with Lucy and her family. It was great to see him, and he's on really good form.

Steve brought his neighbour Adrian along this morning for Adrian's first-ever ski with Alpine. (thanks Steve) Even with the tricky conditions Adrian had a great time and we look forward to seeing more of him next winter. And I've been skiing with a lovely Parisian lady Sandrine, who found us through our website. It's always nice to have some new people find their way into our set-up.

And Katie, Seb, and I are looking forward to a pizza at Flash tonight. Seb is having a fantastic time and Flash is always a must for first-timers in Val d'Isere!

A little snow is forecast for tomorrow, and that can't hurt. Stay tuned!


7 April 2024

Lottie Woad!

When Millie was 12-years-old and playing some golf in the Surrey Junior Girls set-up, she practiced and played with Lottie Woad. I remember Millie saying that Lottie used to putt for an hour every day before she went to school.

And yesterday Lottie won the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championships! Lottie was leading going into the final round, but was over-taken down the stretch by a young American who shot -6 on the final day. Lottie responded with a birdie on the 17th, and then another birdie on the 18th to win by one stroke.!

All those hours of putting practice helped her to sink two crucial putts under the biggest pressure that she'd ever experienced in her young life. Wow! What a wonderful achievement, because it doesn't get any bigger than that in amateur golf. Bravo Lottie, and your family must be going nuts! (I remember her father well)

I know some of you don't like my Sports Reports, but believe me, Lottie's news is so much cooler than anything that happened on the mountain today!

Speaking of sports, what a fantastic comeback by the Hammers yesterday. And Arsenal looked tough and totally in control against Brighton. People are waiting for them to fall apart, but I think the addition of Declan Rice has made them a much better team. And Katie, Seb, Dixie and I are heading to the Garage this afternoon for the Man U v Liverpool match. What an afternoon!

As far as today's skiing went, there was no re-freeze, and besides a few turns here-and-there at altitude we stayed on the piste. The pistes were in great condition for the most part, and I skied until about 12:15. As far as I know Jerome and Chris stuck with it.

The sky is heavy with sand from the Sahara Desert hanging in the air. You can see it, smell it, and almost taste it. Hopefully the skies will clear and give us a chance of a re-freeze tonight. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!

PS I've just added some photos of my buddy Larry. RIP Larry.

PPS Annoying they have slotted themselves back somewhere in the past when they were taken.


6 April 2024

Everything In Advance!

After yesterday's 'transition' day the spring snow had set up quite nicely today. The only problem was a warm night with a light re-freeze, and extremely warm temperatures forecast. But, we managed a superb morning of spring skiing, skiing each slope well in advance of our normal timing. One 'classic' slope was as clean as we'll see it for the rest of the season, and it was a real treat. (I'm obviously in code-mode!) Warm temperatures are forecast again for tomorrow, so we'll wait and see what the morning brings. (See photos)

Last night's gig was fantastic as usual, and Katie and her pal Seb absolutely love it. It was Tony, Linda, Wils, and Andre's last night before heading back to Whistler, and it was a great final night for them.

I'm relaxing and watching Premiership football, thanks to Andreas's extra CanalPlus canal. Thanks Andreas!

The Hammers are down, but hopefully they can come back for a point or three!

Stay tuned for more news and photos tomorrow!


5 April 2024

In Transition!

With it being the first warm sunny day since the last snowfall it was a day of transition. There was still some powder to be skied, and well as some spring snow, but there was a lot in-between.

The boys all headed towards Tignes, and we had some great skiing. Proper spring snow is still developing so we pulled the plug on the spring snow routine quite early, and finished our mornings on northern slopes. (see photos)

Katie has arrived with her friend Seb, and we are all looking forward to the gig tonight at Le Petit Danois. Karen and Andreas will be kicking off around 5:30, so don't be late!

I didn't see the Chelsea v Man U match last night, but it looks like I missed an absolute classic! I still think that Pep letting Cole Palmer go will be the biggest mistake of his managerial career. Big, big mistake Pep!

Stay tuned!


4 April 2024

Another Cracker!

Yesterday's heat and strong winds later in the day transformed some wonderful, deep, light powder into something more 'educational' today, but it was still fantastic skiing.

All the boys headed to the Fornet, and once we realised the Glacier was slightly tougher skiing we headed over the Col for a brilliant run,  and then finished with Vallonnet/Oh My's. It was a cracking good morning, and after yesterday's flat-light, it was wonderful to be able to see again. (see photos)

It looks like some sun and warmer weather are on the way, so we'll be switching from powder to spring snow mode shortly. I must say that these past few days have been pretty spectacular powder skiing for this time of year. Wow!

I'm getting ready for Katie's arrival. She should be here any minute now. Stay tuned!


3 April 2024

Oh My! 13:40!

Yesterday we enjoyed a stunning morning of high-quality powder skiing in unexpected sunshine. But, today we had an equally good day in flatter-than-forecast light. The boys did the business all morning long, and at the end of the morning it was seriously white. Bravo boys, classy performances!

Chris and I decided to finish the morning after a fantastic Col Pers and Grand Torsai with Oh My! When we decided to go the light wasn't too bad, but by the time we arrived on the summit of the Signal Poma it was a total white-out. We continued on, and it turned out to be a fantastic adventure as we felt our way in before skiing some wonderful snow. We didn't get down until 13:40, which is pretty late considering my little speech yesterday!

I've posted some photos, and most of the shots are Chris's group. Chris had a really strong team today, and were in the right place at the right time for photos. I also posted some photos of Sandy on her way home after her accident. Being injured she had special service, and it all looked quite impressive. And there is a shot of Tony's family after a trip for haircuts at the 'Farm' with Veronique. (Thanks for dinner last night)

I need to get cleaning as Katie arrives tomorrow morning. Stay tuned and well done boys for a great job on a tough day!

PS I just posted a photo with Gabriel and Conrad. There was another photo from two years ago but it must have slotted itself in with shots from back then. It's a shame because the contrast in sizes is incredible!

PPS I took a photo of the photo and it's now up. Lacks quality but you'll get the picture! The boys skied with Millie and Katie a couple of years ago in those fabulous hats!


2 April 2024

A Blast From The Past !!!

I've opened today's blog with a photo that Charlie G sent me yesterday. It features from left to right Charlie G, Piers W, Nick L, Russell B, Jean Z, me, and Ricky. The photo was taken in Bananas a very long time ago! TJ must have taken the photo?

I need to warn anyone skiing with me that I'm not 100%. My main priority is getting through this winter without doing myself any further damage, so that I have the inter-season to get myself strong and fit again for next winter.

The skiing is tricky at this time of year as the snow changes drastically, and very quickly with the heat. Once I feel uncomfortable with the conditions I am going to stop. This may be at 11 o'clock, or noon, or I might make it through the morning, but I'm not going to put myself at risk trying to ski until one every day. When the quality skiing is done, I'm done, and I'll be happy to download when needed. It's important that anyone who signs up to ski with me understands my situation. But,  although I may be injured, my 'sniffer' is working perfectly fine!

Thanks for the drinks last night Tony and Linda. It was great to see you both!

I'm going shopping with Tony for Katie's arrival on Thursday. Great morning, and the photos are up. My camera ran out of battery after the Chardonnet and just before entering the Sache. Bummer because it was stunning!

Skiing news and photos to follow.


1 April 2024

Three-In-One!

Today was like three totally different days in one morning! I left home in flat-light and falling snow thinking we'd be skiing 'low-hanging-fruit'. I didn't even bring my sunglasses with me as it was so murky. Then the skies cleared and suddenly it was game on. Then by 11:30 the clouds reappeared and I was quite happy to still be in my goggles. As I write at 2:15 it's snowing again, which will definitely help for tomorrow.

It was quite an unexpected windfall this morning. We started with an excellent warm-up off the Fontaine Froide. Andreas and I then decided to take advantage of our luck and we opened up the Tour du Charvet, which was fantastic. Then we skied two brilliant runs on the Manchet before the clouds rolled back in. (see photos)

Jerome and Thomas had a run on the Kern before I lost track of them, Chris had an intro family, and Henry was on a private as well.

It was a cracking day all round, made all the better by it being so unexpected. And it was a treat to ski proper powder at this time of year in the Tour and Arcelle. Stay tuned!


31 March 2024

Happy 60th Derek!!!

Derek turned 60 today in style, hosting a superb lunch at the Panoramic on the Grande Motte. It was a wonderful afternoon with great food, fantastic wines, and a real cast of characters for company. Happy birthday Derek, and thanks very much for a really special afternoon! (And thanks to Tchenko for picking us up afterwards!)

It turns out that Derek shares a birthday with Jacques, who turned 97 today in a rehab center in Paris. Jacques is lucky to still be alive after being run down on the piste by a hit-and-run skier who left Jacques lying in a heap with a broken femur. Happy birthday Jacques and we hope to see you back next season!

As for today's skiing, it was pretty jolly good as well. After all that wind and changes of temperature there was some fantastic skiing out there. It was only Andreas and I on the mountain this morning as the rest of the boys were having a day off. Andreas hung out at the Fornet while I started towards Tignes, skied back to the Fornet, and then made my way back to Tignes for Derek's lunch. (see photos)

I've just watched the second half of City v Arsenal and with the time change I'm going to bed after a hot bath.

Stay tuned!

PS Dave Stevenson was the first to ask about the special bottle of wine!


30 March 2024

An Emotional Gig!

It was great to see my friends Tony and Linda at the gig last night along with their sons Wils and Andre. Having never seen Karen and Andreas before, I must say that they were thoroughly impressed, and loved every minute of it!

Tony's brother Larry was one of my best-ever friends during a very experimental, and formative part of my life. (And to say that we did some experimenting would be a huge understatement!) Unfortunately Larry sadly died of cancer recently. I'm very grateful to have had several fantastic telephone conversations with him just a few weeks before he died. But, Larry organised a present for me that Tony delivered last night at the gig. He gave me a hat with a picture of Larry and I jumping side-by-side when we were 19 years-old. The old photo was taken on a jump that we called 'Up-shoots'. (In those days there were no snow parks so all our jumps were natural terrain jumps)

We were working at the Lake Louise Ski School at the time, which was run by Andre Schwartz. Andre taught me to ski and went on to become the owner of the Post Hotel, which some of you have visited on your way heli-skiing. Beside being one of the best skiers I've ever seen Andre's restaurant at the Post Hotel had one of the finest wine lists in the world. Anyway, it was the days of one piece suits, which weren't very fetching in hind-sight! (see photos)

Tony also gave me a mug with the same photo on it. I was named 'Good Time Charlie' by my Dad for obvious reasons, and Larry was known as Lucky Larry. After Tony gave me the hat and mug I spent most of the gig trying not to cry!

It was also emotional for Andreas. His lovely daughter Ness was back from University in Sweden with a few of her new friends. They were gob-smacked and totally surprised when Ness climbed up on stage to sing Mama Mia with her Dad. She was brilliant, her pals went wild, and Andreas was a very proud Daddy!

And on to today's skiing. The wind was ferocious again today and very little was open. Andreas cancelled as off-piste was a non-starter, and he decided to drive down the valley to play golf with Neil. Meanwhile, I skied for a couple of hours with Catherine, Patrick, and Terry. The pistes were fantastic as the snow quality resembled lovely spring snow, but by the time the crowds showed up we'd had enough, and went home happy with our skiing and fresh air.

I'm looking forward to Newcastle v West Ham this afternoon. It's going to be tough as we are away, and have too many main players injured or suspended. Fingers crossed!

We could see a lot of snow by tomorrow morning, but we really need this wind to calm down. Stay tuned!

PS Olivier has just arrived in town for one night, and will be staying with me. We just had a drink at the Salon with Chris and Suzanne to start catching up. And thanks for the drinks Chris and Suzanne!

PPS And finally a nice afternoon in England!


29 March 2024

Tony's In Town!

My friend Tony Moore is in town with his wife Linda, and two teenage boys Wils and Andre. Tony grew up in the same neighbourhood in Calgary. His younger brother Larry was one of my best-ever friends, and I saw a lot of Tony growing up. He came to Val d'Isere with me for my first season forty-three years ago, and we had an outstanding time. Tony has been wanting to introduce his boys to Val d'Isere as they are keen skiers who have grown up in Whistler. I hope you see some sun during your stay, and see you at the Danois tonight Tony!

After yesterday's stunning powder day this morning was a completely different story. It warmed up considerably, and the warmth combined with ferocious foehn winds made for some pretty tricky skiing in places. The wind prohibited many lifts from opening, and compressed some knee-deep powder into a much more 'educational' type of snow. Still, it was a fun morning in the end, and all the boys made the most of it.

And don't forget tonight's gig with Karen and Andreas at the Danois. Stay tuned!


28 March 2024

Five Weeks Today!

It was nice to be back on skis again today after a day off yesterday. And it was five weeks ago today that I noodled myself. It was a little strange because I skied exactly the same area as the day I hurt myself. And yesterday was five weeks to the day for Andreas as well, and he skied the Chardonnet, which was where he injured himself. I'm not too sure what to make of all that?

Anyway, it was lovely to have a soft cushion just about everywhere this morning. The snow was cold and light, and stayed that way because of the cloud cover. (see photos) None of us are all that keen on flat-light, but at this time of year cold winter snow is the reward. And flat-light gives you peace on the mountain instead of witnessing a 'powder-frenzy'. All the groups had tranquility and fantastic snow quality this morning.

The boys did pretty well yesterday in tough conditions. Andreas had great skiing in the Chardonnet while the rest of the boys went to the Fornet, and eventually over the Col.

More snow is forecast off-and-on for the next few days. Stay tuned!


27 March 2024

A Day Off!

After 8 days in a row on skis I'm taking the day off to rest, and do my rehab exercises. It's a cold, windy, grey day out there with no new snow to work with, so I'm going to protect myself. I want to be ready for better days ahead so I'm hiding today! The rest of the boys are out, and I wish them luck!

Jenny signed herself up for the Avaline race from the bottom of La Daille to the Follie Douce last night. While she was at it she signed up Tilly and Terry as well. They all had a great time, with 150 racers participating. Bravo to the three of you!

A happy belated birthday to Richard Foster for yesterday. I hope you had a fantastic day Richard, and see you again soon!

And thanks to Johnnie Alpine for our last curry night of the season. It was brilliant as usual, and your hospitality during the season is greatly appreciated. And fortunately England were much more entertaining last night in their 2-2 draw with Belgium. Have a great summer John, and see next November/December!

Stay tuned!


26 March

Much Less Confident!

After a stunning day yesterday with fresh snow and sun today was a totally different story. The wind was blowing, the light was flat, and the snow was a little tricky in places. I've been feeling better and stronger every day, but today I was much less confident. In the end I was happy to get home in one piece, and get back to my rehab exercises this afternoon.

All the boys skied the Sachette today, and it was pretty good considering. (see photos) As it turns out we were all geniuses as both the Solaise and Fornet sectors were closed due to the wind. I had no idea that it was that windy elsewhere!

Andreas seems to be on good form, and although he needs to remain cautious, he's doing really well.

Some snow is forecast for tomorrow so hopefully we'll have a soft cushion underfoot. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned!


25 March 2024

Outstanding!!!

Wow, what an outstanding morning that was! After skiing some deep snow yesterday we knew exactly where we wanted to ski today. The good snow was in the lee of the ferocious northerly winds of late, and because it was cold overnight the snow held up against the sun extremely well. It was a little warmer on each descent, but skied really well right to the end of the morning. (see photos)

Tilly brought her friend Joachim (spelling) along for his first-ever ski with Alpine, and it was great to have him along. We'll look forward to seeing more of Joachim in the future. It's always nice when regular Alpine skiers bring their pals along as then usually fit right in, and Joachim was no exception! Thanks Tilly. Correction: Joachim skied with Chris for a few days last week, and Suzanne was very impressed with his skiing!

Henry will be starting his Search and Rescue session right about now, and I think he'll have a good Alpine turn-out.

A retour d'est is forecast so we should see some snow up at the Fornet over the next day or two. It will be nice to get the Fornet back into play as the best skiing has been in Tignes lately. You've got to love the L'Espace Killy!

Stay tuned!


24 March 2024

Henry's Search And Rescue!

After skiing in only sunshine since my injury it was back into flat-light this morning. Yesterday was a good warm-up because we had pretty good vis considering, but today was pretty white at times. Thanks to Chris taking care of me, and making sure I didn't do anything stupid!

We had some absolutely stunning snow, and it was wonderful to be back into deep, light, winter snow again. It's one of the rewards of skiing in flat-light, especially at this time of year, because the instant the sun comes out the snow starts to heat up immediately. With -12C on the summit of Tommeuses and no sun the snow was cold, and it stayed cold.  (see photos)

Andreas was also skiing today with Tansy, and he's feeling really good about where he is physically after his injury. Bravo Andreas!

Thanks to Johnnie Alpine for a great meal last night and to Derek for the fantastic Chevallot myrtille tart. Unfortunately England were terrible. They were slow, and had absolutely no ideas going forward. They were really disappointing, and very lucky to have not lost 4-nil. I'll be looking forward to the Premiership next weekend!

Henry is running an in-depth 'search and rescue' session at La Daille tomorrow afternoon. It starts at 2 o'clock and will run for a couple of hours. Henry's sessions have taken years to develop, and are now world renowned. If you've never done one of Henry's session, tomorrow afternoon is your chance. Just meet at the bottom of the little drag lift to the left of the Funival.

Sun is forecast for tomorrow, so I'm sure we'll be in for a 'powder frenzy'. Stay tuned!


23 March

Andreas Is Back!!!

Andreas tested his leg this morning for the first time since his injury, which was just over 4 weeks ago. He skied a couple of runs before 'skinning' up to the Triffolet, and was extremely pleased about the way it felt. He knows that he needs to be careful, but he feels ready to start work again tomorrow. That's fantastic news Andreas, and I know how relieved you must feel!

Meanwhile, I decided to ski on a 'flat-light' day for the first time, and really enjoyed it. The weather looked terrible at 6:30am when I decided to ski, but besides the wind it wasn't such a bad day. The light was decent, and I had a cracking morning with Jenny, Terry, Dawn, Penny and Richard. Thanks for coming everyone! (I only took a few photos this morning, which I've posted)

We only skied to about 11:15 as the wind at altitude was ferocious. The Borsat remained closed, they closed Tommeuses quite quickly, and the Solaise bubbles were closed as well. Our options were limited but being Saturday it was quiet, and we managed to get in a lot of skiing in a short time.

Jerome and Chris were also skiing today, and as far as I know they are still out there.

Last night's gig was excellent as usual, and enjoyed by one and all. Karen's friends Craig and Caroline took a taxi from Val Thorens to see her play, and then taxied back after the gig. Now that's dedication!

Hopefully we'll get a few more flakes tonight, without too much wind. There was a few centimeters in the lee this morning, but the wind had blown a lot of slopes bare down to the spring base underneath. A little top up would be appreciated as flat-light is forecast for tomorrow. Fingers crossed!


22 March 2024

Mojo Is Back!!!

I felt so much better in myself today, and I thoroughly enjoyed my skiing again. If I say so myself I was spot on with my guiding and snow choices, felt so much better on my skis, and the end result was I feel I've got my mojo back! There is still a long way to go, and I'm not kidding myself, but today was a huge positive step in the right direction! (see photos)

We had a long overdue ski school meeting at my place last night, and it was great to get the boys together. Unfortunately Andreas, Chris, and Henry had to leave early, leaving Jerome, Thomas, and I to eat chilli, drink wine, and listen to Robert Plant with Alison Krauss, followed by Led Zeppelin's fourth album. It was a cracking evening, and I was still in bed by 9:15!

Tomorrow' s forecast isn't great so I'm planning on resting my new-found mojo and hide! But, snow is forecast tomorrow afternoon and into the evening, and I'm planning on venturing out in the fresh snow on Sunday, even with the expected cloud cover.

Andreas is hoping to be back on skis this week. He'll have a little test and see how he feels, and then make a decision.

And don't forget Karen and Andreas tonight at the Danois, kicking off around 5:30. See you there!

PS Henry is on standby to cover for me tomorrow, but I still may ski if the visibility is decent.


21 March 2024

A Little 'Skin'!

It was grey and drizzly this morning so Chris took my team and I had the day off. I did a little test 'skin' from the Fornet cable car to the Pont St Charles. It was nice and gentle, and I took it easy so it will be interesting to see how I feel in the morning. Fingers crossed.

Chris and Suzanne saw a wolf last night on their way home from Sandy's. An apparently a wolf killed and have ate a fox on the piste down into La Lac last night. A Pisteur was cleaning up the mess this morning. Chris thought that there must have been an early morning collision, but it turned out to be the wolf's left-overs.

Sun is forecast for tomorrow morning and I'm planning on being back out there.

And don't forget Karen and Andreas at the Danois tomorrow around 5:30. Stay tuned!


20 March 2024

Wonderful Spring Skiing!

After a good freeze and yesterday's transformation, we enjoyed a wonderful morning of spring skiing! Some of the Val 'classics' were 'clean', and about as good as it gets. (see photos) All the boys were in the neighbourhood making the most of it, as who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Andreas was down the valley playing golf and is hoping to start skiing again next week. Good luck with it all Andreas!

Carol, Dawn and Dixie celebrated with style yesterday, and one thing is for sure, and that's Dawn can party pretty hard for a Grandma!

Stay tuned for more skiing news and photos tomorrow!

PS Someone lost something under the Grand Pres chair today!


19 March 2024

Happy Birthday Carol!

Carol had a great 'birthday' ski with Jerome this morning, and then she and Dixie kindly invited, Steve, Hilary, Dawn, Johnnie Alpine and I for lunch at the Bar des Sport. It was a cracking afternoon, and very much enjoyed by all onboard. Thanks very much, and Happy Birthday Carol. Carol was last seen heading off to Coco's with Dawn! (Dawn brought her grandson, and John and Margaret's great-grandson Author along. It's a bit scary how time moves on!)

The sun was shining today, and I was out with Johnnie, Penny, Stephen, Tilly, Terry and Penny. It was a bit of a transition day, but we managed some great skiing with some compressed winter snow, some decent spring snow, and some fragile spring snow that called for your full attention. (see photos) Tomorrow should be easier, and the sun is forecast to shine again. Yahoo!!!!

If you missed the photos of the cornice that Chris skied off a couple of days ago in the flat-light, scroll back and have a look. How he came out of that with just a bit of a sore shoulder is amazing!

Stay tuned!


18 March 2024

Blimey Chris!!!

For the first time in ages I forgot to post the blog yesterday. I had a rest day off skis, but did a lot of rehab exercises at home.

Thanks to Johnnie Alpine for a wonderful afternoon of football followed by another superb curry. They just keep getting better and better! The West Ham match was excellent followed by the Man U v Liverpool classic!

It's drizzling in town, which means snow upstairs so I'm hoping for good conditions tomorrow morning. I'm planning on skiing again as we should have decent light.

Chris skied off a cornice towards the bottom of the Glacier Pers yesterday. He shook himself up, but fortunately didn't injure himself seriously. He woke up today with a sore shoulder, but is back skiing.

Sandy is back up in town after a successful operation. She's in great spirits considering, what a trooper, and I've posted a photos of her rescue.

I've just added a couple of photos of the cornice that Chris skied off in flat-light yesterday. Blimey Chris!!! (That's the same cornice that gobbled up Piers Williams about 40 years ago!) You are a very lucky boy!

Stay tuned!

PS I've added a photo of St. Patrick's Day celebrations!


16 March 2024

Fresh Snow And Sun!

I was lucky today as we had the two ingredients needed for me to safely ski. Fresh snow and sun! We had a cracking morning and it was nice to have Geoff and Inga skiing, along with Sarah-Jane and Penny. Sarah-Jane is fairly new to our type of skiing, and she did really well. She said that today was her best-ever powder day, and it's always great to get that kind of feedback. Bravo Sarah-Jane!

It's quite incredibly how quickly thing are heating up at the moment. You start the morning with light cold snow on northern slopes, but anything else is warm and heavy almost immediately. Tomorrow's forecast is for overcast skies, which means flat-light. And with a lot of snow in transition, meaning some pretty tricky snow in places, this Cowboy will be sitting tomorrow out! Each day I rest totally is important at the moment.

It's been a huge day for rugby fans so far with two cracking matches. There has been some good football action as well, with the France v England rugby game still to come! (I'm going to watch some golf beforehand!)

Sandy broke her Tibia yesterday and had an operation in Bourg this morning. She'll be back up tomorrow, and she and Steve are going to stay on for another two weeks. Good luck with it all Sandy!

In case you missed it Chris put up a link to Jacques on yesterday's post.

And of course Karen and Andreas put on another fantastic gig last night! I love my Friday night's!

Stay tuned!


15 March 2024

A Day Off Skis!

With clouds forecast and have had skied two morning in a row, I decided on a day off skis. It turned out to be sunnier than forecast, but with the snow in transition I knew there wouldn't be any easy snow available. And certainly not without some kind of effort, which I'm not capable of at the moment.

I've no idea what the boys skied today, but if I was able I would have tried the Sachette. Winter snow up high with the chance of some spring lower down, and always with the option to cut out early if needed.

I went down to Bourg this morning and took a few photos of the lake, which is incredibly low. The bridge is showing as you'll see in the photos.

It was a great night for the Hammers last night. They overturned a 1-nil deficit with a 5-nil victory. Hopefully they can carry that form over to the Villa match this weekend. Villa had a 4-nil win as well, and will definitely be up for it, especially after getting trashed by Spurs last weekend.

Andreas play golf yesterday with the owner of the club he plays at, along with a couple of other low-handicappers. He's rather pleased with himself as he shot 5-under. Blimey Andreas!

I went to a very interesting, and chilly Climate Change presentation last night. It was organised and introduced by Andrew Patterson. Henry presented as well before the world renowned climate expert Hugh Montgomery. Thanks to the Patterson's for all their hard work!

Don't forget Karen and Andreas at the Danois tonight. See you there!

As it turns out both Chris and Henry did the Sachette this morning and had a decent result. Unfortunately, Sandy in Chris's group did her knee on the easy piste heading back down from the Aiguille Rouge chairlift. What a bummer Sandy! We are all thinking of you Sandy, and hoping that it's not too serious of injury!

Chris is occupied with helping out Sandy and Steve at the moment, and has added a wikipedia link to Jacques. Jacques (97) was clobbered on piste the other day, and is down in Bourg with a broken femur. The link will take you to a Wikipedia page on Jacques life and career. To say he's a legend is a serious understatement!

And thank you Charlie for your chat with Gill and I last night, and the input from your colleague Mike!

Stay tuned!


14 March 2024

Another Sunny Day!

I skied again today as we had another sunny day! It was a pleasure to ski with Stephen Crompton again for the first time in about five years. He brought his friend Sarah-Jane along, and with Penny, Jean R and Sarah we had a nice morning milking the Borsat sector.

The rest of the boys headed up to the Fornet for various itineraries, and it was great to see Jean Marc this morning. He was heading off on an adventure with Doctor Mike, but 'code-mode' applies.

I received my MRI results last night, and I've a partial tear of my Achilles at the myotendinous junction. Not at all what I was wanting to hear! I will continue to rest and rehab, and pick and choose my ski days very carefully.

There is a presentation on climate change at the Conference Center today. One at 4 o'clock and another at 7. Penny knows the presenter, and I think Henry may be involved as well. It's an hour long, and should be very interesting. I'm going to try to go.

Tomorrow's weather isn't quite so sunny so I will probably take it easy. Stay tuned!

PS I believe that Jacques had his femur broken when he was taken out on the piste. A broken femur is a horrible injury for anyone, but imagine for a 97-year-old?


13 March 2024

Jean Ribart!

It was great to have Jean back this morning along with Penny, Sarah and Johnnie Alpine. It's been quite a long time since I last skied with Jean, and it was nice to spend some time with him again. (Gill had a lovely morning with Jean when she was here, expertly guided by Doug.)

John accompanied me down for my MRI scan, and I'm waiting to hear from some experts before I say too much. To me it doesn't sound great, but I don't think it's as bad as it sounds. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned for more news and Chris has been posting some great photos!


12 March 2024

Poor Jacques!

After a pretty good test yesterday I'm not skiing today. I need sunshine at the moment, and have no interest in damaging myself in flat-light. I've done my rehab exercises, and am heading down to Albertville to keep Uffe company.

I'm planning on skiing tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday when the sun is forecast to shine. I'm skiing gently for rehab purposes and to avoid any further damage. Penny, Jean R, Johnnie Alpine, and Stephen Crompton are going to keep me company off-and-on over the next few days. I haven't skied with Stephen in years, and it will be great to see him again. Thanks to all for your support!

I've my MRI tomorrow afternoon so should know a lot more about my state of play soon. Everything is crossed!

Meanwhile Andreas is doing really well. He's down practicing golf with his coach today, and warmed up on his stationary bike. He's hoping to be back for April.

Stay tuned!

PS Soon-to-be-97-year-old Jacques was hit on the piste today, and is down in hospital! I don't have any more details than that at the moment. And Chris's niece was hit as well!


11 March 2024

Carefully Off-Piste!

For the first time since my accident I had a gentle ski off-piste. Penny accompanied me and we really didn't know how far we'd get during the morning. We started with a lovely run off Verte, which was promising and felt pretty good. I was heading towards Tignes, but changed my mind and we skied the Jardin du Borsat en-route to the Tour du Charvet. The Charvet was stunning scenically, and the 'creepers' on the steeps were really impressive. I needed to 'sniff' around a little to find the good snow, and it was a good test for my leg. We then worked our way up to the Fornet for a Combe du 3300, and we finished at 11:30. We took the lifts down to avoid any bumpy pistes as I was pleased with our morning, and didn't want to take any chances. (See photos)

I spotted Chris's tracks all over the Pisaillas Glacier, and it looked like they were having a pretty good time. I also saw Henry way out wide in the Combe du Signal as Penny and I rode down on the bubble lift.

Thanks to Johnnie Alpine for a fantastic afternoon/evening of Liverpool v City followed by a lovely steak dinner. Marie, who was a chef in another life, cooked the steaks to perfection. The match was outstanding, as were the steaks with fried mushrooms, baked potatoes, and peas.

Marie is a French-Canadian, living in Toronto, who is here for a few weeks. She's having a great time skiing, socially, and thoroughly enjoyed last week's gig.

I feel pretty good after skiing today, but I'm not ready to throw myself back into the mix quite yet. I'll pick and choose my days as I need visibility to avoid any nasty surprises.

Stay tuned!


10 March 2024

Thanks Adam!

I'd like to say a big thank you to Adam G for the use of his Game Ready machine this past week. It's a fantastic piece of kit, and it helped enormously. A Game Ready machine is something any aging athlete should have, and if you ever injure yourself they are available for rent. Hopefully you'll never need one, but if you do get hurt definitely look into one!

I've posted a photo taken out my window first think this morning, and one of Chris later as he was battling his way to work this morning. Both were enough to make me feel happy about being at home this morning!

It was a wonderful day of sport yesterday, and rugby fans will have been in seventh heaven with two fantastic games. (Mind you the Scots will be in hell I'm sure!) Italy got a huge win, and should have had a victory over the mighty French last week. And England were outstanding, and will have Tchenko worried about next week. Tchenko has been bad-mouthing English rugby for years, but even he was impressed last night!

After Arsenal got a fantastic last-minute win last night we move on to Liverpool v City this afternoon. I can hardly wait! And hopefully the Hammers can win their third in a row today against a hungry Burnley side, who are due a change in luck. Come on boys!

I'm upping my workouts (if you can call them that) as I want to get back on skis soon. Stay tuned!


9 March 2024

What A Night!

It was a fantastic evening at the Danois last night. Karen, Andreas, and special guest Mike put on a great show, and the Danois was rammed! It was an emotional night for the Munke Tour boys as they have a long history with Mike, as well as Karen and Andreas. And just when we thought it was over after a fabulous rendition of Zombie,  Karen and Andreas left the stage to Mike to play his 'signature' song, Sultans Of Swing. Wow, what a night!

And thanks very much Dixie for a great meal at the Cornice afterwards.

I went out of a little test ski on piste this morning, and skied until about ten o'clock. I probably would have done another run or two had the sun stayed out, but the flat-light put me off.

I've done a couple of Game Ready sessions today, and the last one while watching footie. Speaking of footie, tomorrow's Liverpool v City match is colossal. I'm really looking forward to that one!

Chris is posting some photos from the past day or two, so do have a look.

Stay tuned!


8 March 2024

Turning A Corner!

Yesterday I was feeling a bit blue thinking my season might be over. But, after sending my report to Gill, Stu, and Charlie, their collective feedback was much more positive than I was led to believe. So I've gone from feeling pretty sorry yesterday afternoon/early evening to thinking about get back on skis in a few days!

I'm thinking of starting with some technique sessions. It's time to dust-off my old 'skill developing' exercises, and try to get some technique sessions going to work back into it. Back in the 'skinny' ski days we taught technique just about every afternoon. If people had a tricky morning and didn't handle the conditions well, groups would build over lunch at Les Tufs as regular skiers wanted to put it right. In those days if people struggled with conditions they took lessons, and worked hard on improving. Now, people just buy a wider pair of skis! So if you want to save yourself the cost of a new pair of skis, I'm your man! (I'll be available in the morning, over the lunch hour when it's quieter, or in the afternoon)

I'm going to the gym this morning to buy a ten session ticket, and get myself moving again. I feel like I'm really turning a corner!

It promises to be a fantastic gig tonight. In the Munke Tour boy's honour Mike will be guesting this evening. Don't miss it!


7 March 2024

Back To Bourg!

Firstly, a big Happy Birthday to Jean Ribart. It's a beautiful sunny day and I hope you have a wonderful ski Jean. We all miss you, and think of you often!

I'm going back down to Bourg this afternoon with Uffe to chase up my scan results. They wouldn't come up on-line so I'll go back down to their office. Fingers crossed. I had a print-out of my x-rays, and Charlie H looked at them for me and was certain there was no fracture. That's great news, and thanks Charlie!

It looks like a fantastic day out there so I'm sure everyone is having a great time. I'm guessing on a migration towards the Fornet?

And thanks Pete for the tip about the pillow under the mattress. Works much better than the pillow under the leg, which last for about five minutes. You normally wake up and the pillow is in another room!

Stay tuned!

PS Turns out my calf isn't the problem and I have some Achilles Tendon issue, with a MRI next Wednesday. Fingers firmly crossed now! And James D is going to try the pillow-under-the-mattress trick tonight. Thanks Pete!


6 March 2024

A Big Day!

It's a big day today for me as I finally have an appointment for x-rays and an echographie. I should know a lot more about where I stand later today. Thanks to Johnnie Alpine for missing his skiing to take me down to the hospital.

And a big Happy Birthday to Karen, and a belated happy birthday to Aussie Sam, who works in Jean Sports as well as RadioVal.

Stay tuned for more news later!

I ran into Pete D and Simon while shopping in Bourg. Pete has had more than his share of injuries over the years and knows all about the various electronic gadgets available to add strength and help healing. It would be nice to have access to all of them!

And thanks to Johnnie for a great lunch in the Super U restaurant. It's excellent value if you've never tried it?

I'm a bit frustrated as I can't access my results on-line and will need to phone in the morning. The scanner wasn't totally happy with the state of my Achilles tendon, which is a worry.

PS Millie has just sent me a photo of our favourite Canadian golfer Brooke Henderson standing outside the Singapore National Stadium. Brooke followed up a 3rd place finish in the LPGA event with a Taylor Swift concert. Great few days in Singapore Brooke!


5 March 2024

A Bit Frustrated!

I must admit that I'm a bit frustrated at the moment. It's been 12 days since my accident, and my recovery as been slower than anticipated. I'll know tomorrow when I finally have x-rays and a scan. Fingers crossed! I need to get back to work, but on the other hand I don't want to do irreparable damage by coming back too early. I like to think that I've got some great seasons left in the tank, so I need to be patient!

We have a little 'walking wounded' society with Andreas, James, Adam G, Adam R, and Bunny, all of whom stay in touch. My injury is much less serious than some, but as Mick Jagger once said, "nothing is real unless it's happening to you!"

The avalanche up at the Fornet yesterday was absolutely massive. I took out hundreds of trees, and has basically paved the way for a new piste. It would have been an absolute disaster had it gone during opening hours when the area would have been full of people!

I'm off for another Game Ready session before going to physio.

Stay tuned for skiing news a bit later.

Chris has posted some photos of a great morning, but unfortunately Daph has joined the 'walking wounded' club as she pulled her calf muscle this morning. Calf muscles seem to be popular at the moment! We wish you well Daph!


4 March 2024

Thanks Johnnie!

Gill had a great morning skiing yesterday with Paul and Brian. They stayed out and weathered the storm all morning. After 30 to 40 cm's last night we're waiting to see what will be open this morning. Stay tuned for skiing news later in the day.

Unfortunately Gill leaves this afternoon after a few really good days. It's been wonderful to see her, but unfortunately besides one test run in the sun I haven't been able to ski with her. Thanks to everyone who helped to take care  of her during her stay!

And a big thanks to Johnnie Alpine for one of his classic 'football and curry' evenings last night. It was absolutely brilliant thanks John!

I posted a few photos of our walk home in the snow last night.

PS It looks like a lot was moving today after the biggest snowfall of the season. With a risk 0f 4/5 I can see some brave/stupid tracks from my window. There was a big slide off the Mangard at the Fornet this morning, which took them a while to clear.

Gill is out with Paul, Peter C, Brian, and Anton this morning. They are still out skiing so I haven't yet had a report.

Maybe with a few avalanches into the gorge we may just get enough snow to open the Gorge du Malpasset? That would be brilliant and open up some options. Fingers crossed on that one!

We're off to the airport in Lyon early afternoon.

Gill ended up skiing with Doug and Jean R and they had a brilliant morning! Gill says Doug guided beautifully and kept them safely off-piste all morning long!

Thanks to Andrew and Fiona P who took Gill down to the airport in Lyon. Fiona answered Gill's Facebook message asking if anyone was going to Lyon. Thanks ever so much as that saves me 6 hours in the car!


3 March 2024

Happy 90th Mum!

It was my mum's 90th birthday yesterday. She had a really good day, and it was great to speak to hear last night. Unfortunately my mum doesn't do computers so she doesn't look at my blog or see the photos. My mum loved her skiing, and used to take us every weekend when when we were kids. Thanks for a wonderful life of skiing Mum!

It's snowing and blowing at the moment, and most of the resort is closed. Gill is out skiing with Paul and Brian, and it must say that it looks pretty rough out there! I'm not too sure how long they'll last?

Thanks to Adam G for the use of his Game Ready machine. It ices and compresses at the same time and hopefully it can speed up my healing, which seems to be frustratingly slow at the moment.

It was a wonderful day for Hammers fans yesterday with a massive late win against Everton. And perhaps and even bigger day for Liverpool. Their stunning 98th minute winner just keeps their noses in front in the title race. All eyes will be on the City v United derby this afternoon!

Thanks to Chris and Suzanne for a great meal and evening last night!

Stay tuned!


2 March 2024

What A Gig!

Wow, last night's gig was sensational! I thought Karen and Andreas were at their absolute best, and everyone in the Danois was rocking. Both of them are getting better and better, and Andreas's hard work on the looping and sound has really paid off! Gill and Carol had a brilliant time dancing, and the girls were well impressed with the dance videos. Wow, what a gig!

I stood most of the night and half danced, and it seemed to help mobilise my foot and leg. But, when I got home I was pretty swollen. Still, I went out for a test ski this morning, and lasted down to Tommeuses and up, and then all the way down to La Daille before heading straight home. (I managed a few photos) Fortunately Gill could continue with Johnnie Alpine and his mates so she got some skiing in. Thanks John!

Once home Adam G invited me to his house to try his Game Ready machine, which ices and compresses at the same time. Game Ready is known to greatly reduce swelling, and I'm going back for another go this afternoon. Thanks so much Adam!

Andreas was on great form last night, and I was impressed with his mobility. He's walking better than I am at the moment, and he had a Grade 3 tear! I finally have an X-ray and scan next Wednesday, 13 days after the event. I'm really hoping that I suddenly start to see big improvements. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!


1 March 2024

Gill Has Arrived!

Gill arrived last night for a much needed visit and four days of skiing. I had hope to ski with her this morning but I'm not quite ready, so she's skiing with Chris this morning. Many thanks to Paul W for kindly picking her up in Geneva. You're a star Paul!

Gill gave me some fantastic physio last night and diagnosed my injury as a soleus tear. We're hoping that she'll be able to get me back on skis sooner than later. Fingers crossed on that one!

Adam G is coming up for the weekend and has an ice-compression machine for me to try, which should help reduce my swelling.

I'm looking forward to the Danois tonight with Karen and Andreas. See you there!

Stay tuned for some ski news when it comes in.

PS I take my last eye drop treatment before bed tonight. Yahoo!!!!! And I'm going for a gentle ski with Gill in the morning!


29 February 2024

Thanks Geoff!!!

Geoff D has given me a fantastic new camera, which will be brilliant on sunny days. Chris is very impressed, which isn't easy on the camera-front! I'll have Rolf's (Andreas 's father), which is waterproof for rainy/snowy days, and between the two I'm absolutely sorted. (As long as I can keep them in my pocket!) Thanks again Geoff, and Rolf as well!

I went up to the Gourmandine this morning to say hello to the boys, and all the Alpine skiers. It was great to see everyone, as well as Nico, ESF Patrick, and the lovely Gourmandine staff. I posted a few photos as action shots are scarce these days!

One thing for certain is that I've no desire to go skiing at the moment. The light is flat, the snow is variable and heavy, and it's no place for a one-legged skier. Every day that I wait is another day of healing, so I'm taking it day-by-day.

I'm about to do a 'deep-clean' as Gill arrives tonight, and let's face it, I have the time. I also need to clean up my iron, which I accidentally used to wax Al's skis last night. Fingers crossed on that one!

Stay tuned for more news later in the day?


28 February 2024

Happy Birthday Lou!

Louise will be having a fantastic 'birthday ski' today as she's planning on skiing in Chris's group. It has snowed overnight and for a 'flat-light' day, the vis isn't too bad at the moment. Have a great ski Lou and a fantastic birthday! (Like Chris, Lou likes to keep her birthday's quiet. Sorry Lou!)

Normally with all this fresh snow I'd be super-excited, but being injured takes away the desire to be out there. Andreas and I both know we're not ready, and when we are we'll need sunshine and easy snow. The thought of getting pitched forward in unseen wind-drifts doesn't bear thinking about.

More snow is forecast for tonight from the east, and we all know what that means. We should get a serious snowfall up at the Fornet, and much less towards Tignes. There was 20 to 25 cm's up on the Pisaillas last night, with much more on the way.

Karen was fantastic last night at the Baraque. I was only going for the first set, but ended up staying until the end. There's no way I could get up and walk out in the middle of one of Karen's performances, and it was a great evening! Don't forget that Karen will be back at the Danois Friday night with Andreas. I'll see you there, along with Gill.

Since I was at the Baraque last night and missed the football, you non-sports-fans out there are spared a Sports Report this morning. Ha Ha! Stay tuned!

PS I posted a photo of my foot this morning! And I started the first of ten physio sessions this morning.


27 February 2024 

What A Relief!

What a relief it was last night to have the Hammers get back to winning ways! It's been a long time coming, and the pressure was building on Moyes, and the team. They scored four cracking goals, but still creaked a little at the back. What happened to that team that defended so well against Arsenal back in the X-mas/New Year period? They were wonderful that night, but last night's win was huge, and a big step back in the right direction!

I'm trying to decide if I'm ready to start skiing again on Thursday? The forecast is for flat-light over the coming days, and nursing an injury in flat-light isn't ideal. I look out the window and think, 'man, I guy could hurt himself out there!' Anyway, that probably says it all, and I've a bit more time to decide.

Gill is arriving on Thursday night for a few days, and I'm really looking forward to seeing her. Firstly because I miss her and I'm looking forward to her company. And secondly because the timing couldn't be better for her to help me with my injury. She's brilliant at diagnosing injuries, and she'll be able to tell me if I should be skiing or not. And if so she'll be able to tape me up for some protection. I'm lacking confidence about the skiing and her opinion will help enormously. As it stands Paul W is picking her up at the airport for me. Thanks very much Paul, that is very kind and a massive help!

Chris has had a great time skiing with Ritchie. Ritchie has done really well and made some serious progress. Bravo Ritchie!

Chris had an accident on the piste at the Fornet Glacier yesterday. He hit a big block on snow lying in the middle of the piste. With flat-light he couldn't see it, and it sent him flying. Fortunately he was unhurt, but it's that sort of thing Andreas and I certainly won't need!

Andreas feels that he's healing well, and is hoping to be back after about four weeks. It may take longer but he feels he'll get back sooner than later. Fingers crossed!

Well, after a stunning long weekend of sport, my entertainment has dried up. I'll stay busy doing my exercises that Gill has given me, and of course tidy up the house for her. Stay tuned!

PS Thanks very much to Chris, Jerome, Henry and Thomas for helping me out with my clients.

PPS I've posted a few photos from a little walk in the old part of town.

PPPS Late notice but Karen is playing at the Baraque again tonight at 8 O'clock.


26 February 2024

What A Final!

In case you missed them Chris posted some fantastic photos taken Friday morning. He posted late so you may have missed them? Thanks Chris!

Without the skiing my main source of entertainment is watching sports, or following it on-line. And yesterday's final between a seriously depleted Liverpool side against a high flying Chelsea was an absolute privilege to witness.

It was one of Klopp's, and Liverpool's finest hours! With super star players such as Salah, Jota, Nunez, Alexander-Arnold, Allison, and Jones all out injured Liverpool's task was enormous. And then when Gravenberch was stretchered off early on it just got worse.

But, Klopp responded with total faith in his academy, playing 18, 19, and 20 year-old boys. The smile on his face during the game showed how proud he was of his players, and in what great shape he'll be leaving Liverpool in when he leaves. It was a truly remarkable victory, and one of Liverpool's finest!

And you've got to feel for Jerry and any other Chelsea supporter. It could so easily have gone the other way as Chelsea created so many chances, and were denied by world-class goalkeeping and the woodwork. Chelsea have improved enormously this season, and have been a pleasure to watch. The three best games of the season so far have all involved Chelsea. The 4-4 and 1-1 draws with City, and this final against Liverpool have all been spectacular!  Chelsea are definitely going in the right direction. I don't care what that blab Neville says, for my money they are the fourth best team in the country after the big-three, and they'll be tough from here on in. Look out for Chelsea next season!

With all that said the cricket was a bit of a let down.

Karen played a one-off at the Baraque last night and I went and had a few beers with Uffe. She was her brilliant self, but it's a bit of a funny venue. There were too many people not paying attention to the musicians, who were standing and sitting at the front, blocking the view and dampening the atmosphere. Give me Karen accompanied by Andreas at the Danois any day! Still, it was a great night out!

Stay tuned for skiing news later in the day. It's not very nice out there and I'm pretty comfortable on my sofa!


25 February 2024

Happy Birthday Mogens!

Alpine would like to wish Mogens a big happy birthday. Have a great day Mogens, and many happy returns!

Andreas and my morning phone calls have gone from discussing snow conditions and options, to injury progress reports. All a bit sad really!

It's another stunning day, and Chris is the only one on the mountain today. He may post some photos later?

Gill is pleased with my progress in our morning virtual physio session, and thinks I'll be skiing in a few days. Walking isn't that easy at the moment, but I've always skied better than I've walked! I'll keep up my stretching and exercises, and hope to get back by the end of the week. Gill is coming Thursday night and will be able to tape me up, which would make a big difference. Fingers crossed!

I went out to have a little walk and visit Karen for a coffee, and came back to an England collapse in the cricket. Man, that didn't take long! I'm looking forward to the Liverpool v Chelsea Cup Final match later on. With Chelsea's improvement and Liverpool's injuries, I figure it's anybody's trophy? It should be a great match!

Stay tuned for more news as it arrives during the day, and perhaps some photos from Chris!

PS Gill and some of my golf mates came third in the Bramley Golf Club Quiz last night. They picked up a valuable bonus point for the best team name, which was 'Where the F--k is Wayne?' It's nice to be missed!

PPS I'm planning on trying to start skiing again on Thursday. I was thinking of starting Tuesday, but the forecast is for flat-light, and I'd like to have some visibility first day back. The two extra recovery days will help as well. Fingers crossed!

PPPS Chris has posted some great photos, Jerome did ski today, and Karen is playing at the Baraque tonight at 8PM. And what a Cup Final!!!!!


24 February 2024

Much Better This Morning!

After twigging my calf in the apartment yesterday morning I didn't seem to make much progress during the rest of the day. But, I took it easy, and even missed Karen and Andreas at the Danois, and after a 9-hour sleep I feel much better this morning!

I've already had a virtual physio session with Gill this morning. She's given me some gentle exercises to cautiously start, so my mood is much more optimistic.

I'll be speaking to Andreas later for an update on his injury, and to get a gig report.

The boys had a fantastic day skiing yesterday with 30 cm's of fresh snow and sunshine. Today should be pretty good as well. Being Saturday it will be quiet, and the sun should make an appearance.

If anyone gets some good photos and wants me to post them please email them to me. Good shots only please without other people's mess visible. Thanks and have fun out there!

I've a great day of sports to keep me occupied. I'll follow the cricket this morning, and then will have three Premiership football games to look forward to.

Stay tuned!

PS I've started the last week of my eye treatment. Yahoo!

PPS Lou and Ritchie spotted a wolf today while riding the bus back from the Fornet!


23 February 2024

On The Mend! (I Hope?)

My calf feels a little better this morning so I'm taking that as a positive moving forward. I can take little steps much easier than yesterday so I'm optimistic. Fingers crossed. I'm doing some virtual physio with Gill later in the day so that she can assess my situation.

I had a little soiree last night with Al, his partner Jenny, and Moogens. The medal around Al's neck is his silver medal from last year's Senior Men's Curling World Championship in South Korea. It was a really nice evening and nice to have some company after a rubbish finish to a great morning.

All the boys are getting ready to profit from yesterday's snowfall. Have fun boys!

Don't forget the Danois tonight. Andreas will be doing a John Lee Hooker imitation and play sitting in a chair!

Stay tuned!

PS What a wonderful innings from Joe Root in seriously tough conditions! And what great backup from Foakes, Hartley, and Robinson. I spent my morning following Joe's battle for 100 on tele-text!


22 February 2024

Me Too!

We skied in falling snow and flat-light today, and up until I skied off the cornice on Wayne's Shoulder I was having a really good time!

I've torn my calf muscle, and I'm not yet sure how serious it is. We now know that Andreas's tear was a Grade 3, which isn't great. Pietro may be coming to help out while Andreas and I are out of action?

It's ironic that Andreas hurt himself in the Chardonnet, and I injured myself on Wayne's Shoulder! Can you believe it?

I'm icing my calf at the moment, and will post today's photos later. I need to hobble to the pharmacy to pick up a few things.

I've been told by Gill to not hobble anywhere so Louise is going to the pharmacy for me. Thanks Lou. And a big thanks you to Moogens for staying with me this morning!

The photos are up, but they don't do the day justice!

F--K!!!


21 February 2024

Another Bonus Morning!

For the third straight day we profited from really good visibility when  couple of days earlier the forecast was for overcast skies. When conditions aren't the easiest being able to see makes such a difference, both skiing and morale-wise.

I thought it was a pretty cracking good morning considering, and like yesterday, we skied some variations that I haven't done yet this season. We 'booted' a couple of times into some atmospheric places, and were rewarded with some great pitches.

On our second boot I slipped while traversing a small section at the top, and ended up needing to do the self-arrest. And the self-arrest isn't that easy to pull off when you have skis over your shoulder! Marie had asked if we should put our skis on our backpacks and I said, "no, we'll be alright", but what do I know? What a jerk!

Unfortunately Andreas was injured this morning skiing a little couloir in the Chardonnet. He pulled a calf muscle quite badly, and he's not yet sure how serious it is. Hopefully he'll be fit again in a couple of days, fingers crossed.

Snow is forecast for tomorrow so we should have a 'fresh canvas' by Friday. Light snow is forecast for tomorrow morning, a little heavier in the afternoon before s decent snowfall tomorrow night. The price will be a potentially tricky day tomorrow.

And a big hello to James. We're thinking of you and wishing you the best with your recovery. Same to Jane, Bunny, Adam G, Adam R, and anyone I may have forgotten.

Stay tuned!

PS It was nice to have some new clients to Alpine this week. I skied with Marie from Paris, who skied with Jerome the past two days, and Henry earlier in the season.  And John from Michigan (living in London for the past 30 years) who skied with Jerome the past two days and me today. It's always great to have new people come into our structure, and we look forward to seeing them both again in the future.


20 February 2024

Where Did That Come From?

Three to five centimeters of fresh snow fell overnight, and it made all the difference. That tiny little cushion softened up the feel underfoot, and freshened up the landscape as well.

Staying out of the cloud was a factor early on, but towards the end of the morning the cloud cleared away and visibility wasn't an issue.

Because of the cloud cover at lower altitudes early on I decided to stay high, and ended up with a wonderful ski. I ended up skiing somewhere where I haven't been in years, and it was so nice to have a total change of scenery , and ambiance. I'll go into 'code-mode' and see if Simon comes up with our location this morning? (see photos)

Jerome was in the neighbourhood and had a great morning, Thomas was entertaining Tash G's girls team, Andreas skied one of his regular haunts, while Chris returned to the Fornet hoping that it had snowed a little bit more up there.

I'm on a little high because it was a cracking good morning that seemed to come from nowhere!

Stay tuned!

PS You'll notice a couple of photos of Jean Ribart. Jean used to ski 110 mornings a season with me, and we've some fantastic memories of wonderful times together. It was Jean who started the 'Photos of the Day', which has become an integral part of the daily blog. It was great to have Robert back this morning after too long away, and he was really pleased to see Jean!

PPS And a big Happy Birthday to Ian. I hope you enjoyed your flight!


19 February 2024

A Weird Sort Of Day!

As I'm getting ready to go out skiing again I thought I'd do a quick Sport Report. I must say that I really enjoy watching Luton play. I love their young manager, they have fight, play nice football, and have a reborn Ross Barkley running the show.

Barkley has been sensational this season. He's as good as any English mid-fielder in the league, and no one has more of a positive impact on their team than Barkley. He certainly deserves an England call up, but knowing Southgate (who I'm not that keen on) he'll bring Jordan Henderson back into the team to play on front of Harry Maquire. My starting England midfield: Declan Rice, Conor Gallagher, and Ross Barkley. That would be quite formidable!

Well, it turned out to be a weird sort of day. Right off the bat we had someone leave a backpack at the Gourmandine, then a glove was dropped off a chair, and it all seemed a little disjointed. Fortunately we recovered, and things started to come together once we got going.

Chris and I had an atmospheric 'skin' and ski out wide in the Pays Desert. We had a cloud roll in causing a white-out, and we needed to wait for a bit for the light to improve before heading off. It brightened quite nicely and eventually cleared, but we were all weary that we may have some tricky moments visibility-wise during the morning.

Then we headed over the Col Pers, and when I went to take of photo of the team I found my camera pocket empty! Losing my camera immediately turned me a little bit grumpy to say the least! (sorry folks) Anyway we finished the morning before Chris and I went back up to look for my camera.

Chris and I retraced our steps up in the Pays Desert as the cloud started to drift back in. Fortunately we had our tracks to follow so that we could at least find our way home without too much trouble. I had a pretty good idea where I took the last photo, so we enjoyed the skiing en-route. When we arrived at where I though it might be a beam of light appeared. It lit up a ten square-meter patch, which was exactly where we needed to look, and sure enough the little black cord from my camera was poking out of the snow. After a few congratulatory fist-pumps we quickly made our way home as we hadn't had anything to eat or drink since breakfast. What a result and thanks very much Chris!

Thomas and Jerome were up at the Fornet 'skinning', while Andreas was up there as well with Ian.

It was a weird, but another good day in the end! (If you want a weird day take a couple of days off! Throws a guy out of his rhythm)

Stay tuned!

Photos are finally up!

PS The camera I'm using was a gift from Andreas's father Rolf to Andreas. Being from another generation Andreas doesn't use it as he's a 'phone' guy now. Being waterproof it's perfect for my uses and I would have been sick to lose it. Thanks Andreas!


18 February 2024

Back At It Tomorrow!

After a couple of much needed days of rest I'll be back at it tomorrow. Chris has also had a couple of days off, while Andreas will be back after a week's break.

Chris and I went for a two-hour session in the steam room and sauna this morning. After my massage yesterday following it up with a steam and sauna was wonderful.

Meanwhile Andreas was skiing with Victor, while Thomas was working this morning. (I'm not too sure about Jerome and Henry)

I thoroughly enjoyed some fantastic football yesterday afternoon, although the West Ham result was worrying. Liverpool were fun, Arsenal looked great again, but the City v Chelsea match was outstanding. Their two matches this season have so far been the best games in the league. If Chelsea played like that all the time they'd be in the top four. (I was in touch with Jerry during the match as he and Craig were driving back to Calgary from their heli-ski week.)

Stay tuned for some skiing news and photos tomorrow.

PS And even worse than the Hammers score was the England cricket result. Ouch!


17 February 2024

A Great Day Off!

I've had a great day off, although it's been a beautiful sunny day, and a good day to be skiing! Half of you wants to look out the window on a day off to a horrible miserable day, so that you're glad to not be skiing. The other half wouldn't wish a horrible day on your colleagues. Anyway, I was in need of a rest, I've done some paperwork, cleaned my apartment, and have had a couple of coffees in the sun on my terrace.

I also booked a massage through Henry's wife Ginny this morning. It was an absolutely brilliant massage by Laoise. I would thoroughly recommend her, whether you're stiff and sore, or just want to pamper yourself. (Laoise started her day today at 3:45 am with a 'skin' to the top of Tommeuses with her friends.) If you're interested in a massage or are in need of some physio, Ginny can be reached on 33 07 49 68 15 20.

My dear friend Penny was coming to visit me March 8th for ten days. We haven't skied together since my Banff days 43 years ago, and we were really looking forward to it. Unfortunately Penny had a fall skiing yesterday, and damaged her heel and broke her humerus. The result is she's had to cancel her long awaited trip. What a bummer!

I'm about to settle in to an afternoon of Premiership football. Let's hope the Hammers can bounce back after last week's embarrassment!

Stay tuned!

PS I forgot to thank Karen and Andreas for another great gig last night. And huge congratulations to 12-year-old Felix Gladman, who came 3rd in the Slalom at the British Championships. Wow, Felix, you'll be able to tell your grandchildren about that one day!


16 February 2024

A Day Off Skis!

I've a day off skis tomorrow for the first time since January 10th. After that prolonged period of skiing firm snow on steep slopes my legs are knackered. I'm not 40 anymore, god I'm not 60 anymore either, and it's been a tough grind. I'm looking forward to a rest,and I've booked a massage through Ginny tomorrow morning to get the day started.

We had a bit of a disjointed start to the morning today. Chris, Thomas and I all headed up to the Pisaillas Glacier to find that it was closed due to technical issues. So we backtracked, and Chris and I ended up skiing a lovely Sachette. (see photos)

I'm not too sure what the rest of the boys skied in the end, but we had decent visibility for a day that was forecast to be grey and flat.

Don't forget Karen and Andreas at the Danois starting around 5:30. See you there!


15 February 2024

Getting Better In North America!

My buddy Stretch reports fantastic skiing in Colorado, while conditions have improved drastically in Canada. Jerry and Craig are having a great time heli-skiing as the snow timed itself perfectly for their arrival!

What's not getting better is the Americans obsession with their Constitution, and their right to bear arms. How many mass shootings does it take? What terrible news to wake up to from Kansas City this morning!

After a few days at the Fornet it was time for a change, so Chris,and I headed towards Tignes. Thomas's report was positive yesterday so we knew there was some good skiing to be had.

Steve W and I were skiing with four Iranian lads, who were cracking good skiers, and a lot of fun. They grew up skiing in Iran, and it was interesting to hear their stories. They were high school friends who have stayed in touch over the years, and although they live in the four corners of the world now they try to do a 'boys' week every couple of years.

Thomas returned to Tignes and I'm not too sure what Jerome and Henry skied today?

It's turned warm again, which we don't need, and overcast skies are forecast for tomorrow. We should be able to see enough for comfortable navigation, and I've a potential plan for the morning. It always helps to go to bed with a plan, even if I change my mind and end up skiing 'Plan C'!

Stay tuned!

PS Andreas will be back from his golf holiday in time for tomorrow night's gig. Karen and Andreas will kick off about 5:30. See you there!


14 February 2024

Bon Anniversaire Virginie!

Virginie was skiing with us today on her birthday, and we had a cracking birthday ski! (see photos)

Chris and I headed up to the Fornet for a 'skin', and we were well rewarded for our efforts. Fantastic scenery, solitude in a busy resort, and excellent snow combined for a great morning!

Thomas, Jerome and Henry all headed to Tignes for a change of scenery, and I'm looking forward to their report. Hopefully they will have 'sniffed' out some options.The forecast is for warm weather, and no immediate snow so we'll need all the help we can get.

Millie and Katie left this morning, and I'm missing them already.

Fingers crossed for some sunshine tomorrow, because we don't need overcast skies without snow.

Stay tuned!

PS And Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there!


13 February 2024

Frankie!

Charlie sent me a couple of photos of Frankie that were taken shortly before he died. Frankie arrived in Val d'Isere my first season, and was in his early forties at the time. And being in our twenties we all thought Frankie was ancient, and well passed it! He was a fantastic guy who was softly spoken, kind, wise, and the hacky-sack champion of the world! You'll always be remembered Frankie!

We headed back up to the Fornet again this morning, and had another great ski. We needed to push further afield as it was hit hard yesterday, and I was surprised at how tracked out it was. There seems to be a lot of people milling about, which shouldn't be surprising during the holidays, but we did manage to separate ourselves from the masses. (see photos)

Unfortunately it was Millie and Katie's last morning, and I'm really going to miss them. It's been wonderful having them in my group, and just being here period. It's been fun girls!

Gill is coming for a few days February 29th, so I'm looking forward to that!

Stay tuned!


 

12 February 2024

Bravo Team!

I've had an 'initiation' group the past two day, and I must say that they've been fantastic. It was Mike, Ella, and Ava's second day off-piste this morning, and Millie, Katie, and I were seriously impressed with the superb 'Alpine' tracks that they laid down. We skied down either side of  Phil and Tash's tracks on the big slope through Chris's Passage, and the tracks were quite stunning, especially for second morning off-piste skiers. (see photos) Mark (Mike's brother-in-law and uncle to the girls) organised the group, and although he does have off-piste experience he thought today was one of his best-ever day's skiing. Bravo team, and you should all be proud of yourselves!

Chris, Thomas, Jerome, and Henry were all in action this morning, and everyone profited from fabulous snow and much more sunshine than expected! Meanwhile, Andreas is just outside Montpelier on a golf holiday with his coach. Have fun Andreas!

I knew the Hammers were in trouble yesterday after beating Arsenal twice already this season. But, I wasn't expecting it to be quite so bad! That was really, really, really bad!

Thanks very much to Fi for bringing my medical supplies from England. It saved Gill at least three-hours of driving, and a lot of stress. Thanks so much Fi!

Stay tuned!

PS I've just posted a few extra photos that the girls sent me.


11 February 2024

Snow On The Way!

I had a new group this morning with Mark, and his friend Mike, along with Mike's daughters Ella and Ava. It was Mike and his girls first ever off-piste session, and they did really well. (see photos) Ella and Ava are a similar age to Millie and Katie and the girls had a great time together. They are planning on a possible trip to Coco's tomorrow for apres and are looking forward to skiing again together tomorrow!

We followed what little light there was this morning, and had decent vis around the Borsat, and my shoulder up on the Motte. Meanwhile, Chris, Thomas and Jerome all headed up to the Fornet.

Snow is definitely on the way, and enough has already fallen to give us a fresh canvas, and a soft feel underfoot again.

I'm about to settle in for the West Ham v Arsenal match. We've beaten them twice already this season, and I've a bad feeling that we've just made them mad! Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned for some powder news tomorrow!


10 February 2024

What A Day Off!

I had my first day off in a month, and what a day off it turned out to be!

After this prolonged period of hard snow I would normally have taken a day off skis and maybe called Ginnie to organised a massage. But, with the girls here I really wanted to ski with them.

It was grey and windy up at the Fornet so the plan was a solid piste ski to Les Boisse and back. Along with the girls I had the pleasure of skiing with Charlie Groves for the first time in about 25 years, and Doctor Mike.

We had a good hard piste ski according to plan, but when skiing into Tignes it was evident that a lot more snow fell last night than anticipated. With a fresh cushion we headed to ski the 'three-walls', which was in excellent condition. We even a little moment of brightness, which helped enormously. After skiing into Les Boisse we headed home on-piste for an 11:30 finish, and it was the best day off I've had in years!

Thomas, Andreas, Jerome, and Henry were all skiing. After being forced back from the Fornet due to the wind I think they all had a good morning skiing couloirs.

My old friend Dave S sent me a couple of photos from years gone by when we used to visit them. There is Dave, his lovely wife Eileen, my dear friend Julian, and of course Gill, Millie and Katie. Guess who the toddler is in the second photo?

Thanks to Karen and Andreas for another fantastic gig last night. I love my Friday night's!

We should see some snow tonight so stay tuned for skiing news and photos tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to a couple of Premiership football matches this afternoon featuring Man City v Everton and Liverpool v Burnley.


9 February 2024

A Cracking Morning At The Fornet!

The wind turned towards a southerly direction, which blew in a little extra cushion on the north facing slopes, making the Fornet an ideal choice this morning. The only drawback was if the wind was strong enough to stop the glacier from opening, but although it was punchy the wind wasn't too much of a factor.

It didn't snow much, maybe 5 cm's, but it made a massive difference. Runs that haven't been in play suddenly had a much better feel underfoot. Between us we skied the Combe du 3300, the Col Pers, the Grand Vallon, the Vallonnet, and Oh My! We ended up skiing more variety than I was expecting at the Gourmandine this morning, and it was a cracking morning at the Fornet! (see photos)

I had the pleasure of my two daughters skiing with us this morning. It's always great to have them along, and share what I do with them. Not many people get to take their kids to work with them, and I love having them along.

It's been a great week skiing with Nigel and Julian, and I look forward to skiing with them again soon. Andreas was pleased to have Mike back in his group after a few years off, along with Lucas and Richard. Losing James on the first day to injury put a damper on things, but the boys rallied and had a 'dedicated' ski for the rest of the week.

We'd all like to wish James a speedy and full recovery. We're thinking of you and hope you get out of the hospital soon.

Don't forget the Danois tonight and my favourite two hours of the week! Karen and Andreas will be starting around 5:30 so don't be late. See you there!

PS And it was nice to have Alistair back from injury the past couple of days. Our injury list reads like an NFL football team!

PPS The girls and I watched the original 'Point Break' last night. The wonderful surf footage reminded my of Tchenko's great mate Rob from Australia, who was a fantastic surfer in his day. He showed me a few photos over dinner of himself in a tube on a big wave. Impressive Rob!

PPS And a big happy birthday to Nana!!!


8 February 2024

Not So Bad!

My buddy Stretch emailed to say that the skiing in Colorado has been pretty good. In fact, really good! Thanks Stretch, I don't want to be accused of producing 'fake news'! I also had an email from Gilly and Ian who are on vacation skiing in BC confirming that the skiing is absolutely terrible. So, not so bad at all in the US, but Canadian skiing is suffering.

I picked up the girls last night and we had a great trip home. They are planning on skiing with Russell today while I have a private.

And a big happy birthday to Franny, one of my partners in crime!

Stay tuned for news and photos later in the day.

Today we enjoyed another great day on the mountain after a light snowfall last night. Chris, Andreas and I were all heading to the Fornet, but when the Laissiant Expressed was closed due to a technical problem, and there was a hint of sun towards Tignes, we all backtracked.

And, I think it turned out to be a really good move! We would have had a good morning skiing up at the Fornet, but nothing like the skiing we ended up having in Tignes.

Andreas headed to his favourite spot, and did three or four great rotations skiing different couloirs in the Chardonnet. Meanwhile Chris and I skied three rotations off my shoulder, followed by a lovely run off the Genepy. We then skied the Chardonnet via one of Andreas's funky entrances, followed by the 'three walls' and a funky Familial to finish at 1:30.

I skied with a really strong team of Max B, Max, Toby and Henry this morning. The boys can ski, and they wore me out by the end of the morning. Bravo boys, it was fun!

Max B skied with Chris when he was a kid, and I've known Max's mum Caroline from back in my early days in Val d'Isere. Thinking of you Caroline and wishing you well.

Thomas went for a 'skin' towards the Pramecou, and I've no idea where Jerome ended up. Jerome is a pretty quiet guy, but you know he's 'sniffing' out something good for his clients.

Remy, who has been skiing with Snowfun for as long as I've been in Val d'Isere had a horrible experience a couple of days ago. He was on-piste minding his own business when this dickhead went shooting by him at Mach 1, missing him by inches before exploding in incredibly crash. Remy skied down, and asked the guy what he thought he was doing? he reply was, "fuck off old man and get a helmet!" Can you believe it? It makes me want to cry!

Unfortunately there were a couple of horrible accidents in Tignes a couple of days ago. A 30-year-old Belgian man was killed doing flips in the Snowpark. And then a chef at the Soli Restaurant was injured in an explosion in the kitchen, and needed to be evacuated by helicopter.

And now for some good news. Snow is forecast over the next few days.

Stay tuned and don't forget the Alpine Windup with Karen and Andreas at Le Petit Danois tomorrow at 5:30!


7 February 2024

A Lovely Social!

It will be a quick one today as I'm off to the airport to pick up Millie and Katie.

I had a lovely social evening last night. I met Ellie and Matt at the Taverne, and it's always great to see them. I met their friends Tim and Kate, and Dick was there along with Lolo, and Nicko. What a cast of characters!

Then I moved on to see Fernando at the Hotel Yule. Karen and Uffe brought Mark and Daph along, and there was Adam, Nicki and Tom Farrer, Tchenko, Lou and Al, and my lodger Ben. Fernanado was his brilliant self and all in all it was a fantastic evening.

After several days in Tignes Chris and I headed up to the Fornet for a change of scenery and had an excellent morning. We did a lot of skiing fitting in the Combe du 3300, the Col Pers, and two Vallonnet's.

Thomas and Andreas were in action today and I think Jerome and Henry were off.

I must get going, and stay tuned as a change of weather is on the way and we may get some powder turns again soon!


6 February 2024

Back To Tignes!

I had full intention today of heading up to the Fornet, but some dark clouds were hanging over the Fornet end of the valley. With conditions as they are it was a no-brain-er, flattish light at the Fornet, or ski in the sun in Tignes?

Chris has had a couple of days off so he accompanied me this morning along with Lou, and it was nice to have them along. (See photos) We are traveling light these days and along with Nigel and Ben we covered some ground.

Andreas went for a 'skin', and I'm not sure what Jerome skied, while Thomas and Henry were off today.

Some people may complain about the skiing at the moment but believe me, we have it pretty jolly good. The skiing in North America is dreadful! All the Canadian Heli-skiing companies including CMH, have shut down over the past ten days or so. There is very little snow, and they've had rain to the top of the mountain. The resort skiing hasn't been great either, and it's a sad situation at the moment.

By contrast, our piste skiing is fantastic! There is excellent snow cover from top-to-bottom, and besides the usual icy areas the snow quality has been brilliant. We may be very limited off-piste, with perhaps 1% of the mountain in play, but within that 1% we've had some fantastic skiing. We've had some lovely chalky winded winter snow, and have been able to ski some impressive steep terrain, and there are sections of great spring snow as well. And through this tough patch the sun has been shining almost every day! It's not so bad really!

I'm picking up Millie and Katie in Geneva tomorrow evening, and it will be great to see them. They are arriving from different airports so hopefully it all ties together. Fingers crossed!

The brilliant Fernando is playing at the Yule Hotel tonight at 7 o'clock. Stop by for a drink and check him out, because he's a fantastic entertainer, and a lot of fun.

James had surgery yesterday afternoon and as far as I know is still in the hospital. We are thinking of you James!

We are expecting a change of weather over the next few days with some much needed snow at the weekend.  Stay tuned!


5 February 2024

Poor James!

Poor James broke his femur this morning on his very first morning. It was a very unfortunate accident as it wasn't on particularly difficult terrain, and James's ski did release. Andreas needed to radio for a helicopter rescue, and James is now in the hospital in Bourg after surgery this afternoon.

To make matters worse the Leisse Chairlift was closed today because of a lack of staff. Had it been open Andreas would have been somewhere else, and not where the accident took place. We are all thinking of you James and wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

And a big hello to Jane who had her own helicopter rescue not so long ago. I hope you're okay and your recovery is going well? While I'm at it I saw Adam G a couple of nights ago who is recovering from a nasty ankle break on the first day of the season, and thinking of Bunny who broke her ankle and needed a helicopter in the Col Pers last January. Blimey, this doesn't make good reading!

As for today's skiing it was another sunny day, and besides chalky winter snow we had some great spring snow as well. (see photos)

Snow is forecast for the end of the week and even 5 centimeters would help. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!

PS Millie and Katie arrive Wednesday night for a week's visit, and I'm really looking forward to seeing them. Skiing, excellent food and great music, it will definitely be fun!


4 February 2024

More Of The Same!

We had such a good day yesterday that I decided to do more of the same today, with a few variations.

I had just Paul and a young 30-something year-old named Lucas, and Lucas certainly kept Paul and I on our toes. Lucas is a very strong skier of the caliber that we don't see very often.

Skiing with someone more than half my age makes me realise what I've lost as a skier over the years. Besides the strength it's the quickness in the feet and legs which is most noticeable. I can still do short-radius turns in powder, but on firm snow I need a bit more time to get ready for the next turn these days! Short-radius turns on firm snow in the steep used to be my 'party-trick', but those days are long gone. Anyway, we had a cracking morning, and it was fun watching such a young and strong skier. (see photos)

I'm getting ready for Man U v West Ham followed by Arsenal v Liverpool. Come on boys!

Stay tuned!

PS Thanks very much for a great evening last night hosted by Adam, Sarah, Leo and Zoe.


3 February 2024

A Great Morning In the Sun!

(Quote from Paul W)

We enjoyed a great ski in the sun this morning, and I've been treated to two fantastic football matches this afternoon. It doesn't get much better under the circumstances! (Photos are up)

I'm offs shortly to have supper at Adam G's and a drink with Paul and Charles en route at Just Before,just before. Stay tuned!

PS And we enjoyed another great gig with Karen and Andreas at the Danois last night.


2 February 2024

A Little Reconnaissance!

It was just Johnnie Alpine and I today so we went for a little reconnaissance. We needed to test out a few runs that we were hoping were coming back into play as we are in need of a few more options. We teamed up with Chris, Nick and Anne and had a cracking good morning. (It was John's last morning for this trip, but he'll be back in March.)

Meanwhile Andreas went for a 'skin', Thomas headed up to the Fornet, Jerome was finishing up his week of piste skiing, and Henry had the day off.

We said goodbye last night to Tchenko's great friend Rob who heads back to Australia today. Rob has had a fantastic month here, and will be back for more next season. It was great to spend some time with Rob and we look forward to seeing him again next winter.

Sports Report: I was pleased the Hammers came back for a point against Bournemouth last night. West Ham were second best all night long, and really didn't deserve much out of the game. Bournemouth have turned into an excellent side and are capable of giving most teams a good game. (Ollie will be pleased)  And Johnnie Alpine was rather pleased with United's 4-3 win at Wolves last night. What a final ten minutes in that match! The second test has started, the Six Nations starts tonight, and we've loads of Premiership football over the weekend. Sporting bliss!

Don't forget our weekly Alpine Windup party at Le Petit Danois tonight. Karen and Andreas will be kicking things off around 5:30, and it promises to be a fantastic gig. See you there!

Stay tuned!


1 February 2024

Happy Belated 60th Dan!

I'd like to wish Dan a happy belated 60th birthday for yesterday! Dan stopped by the Gourmandine this morning to say hello, and it was great to see him. (Dan is an old friend of Henry's from the Boston area.) Dan is based in Montana now but visits Val d'Isere with clients a couple of times a season.

Dan and his brother John are both members of the Skiing Hall Of Fame. In their younger years the Egan brothers featured regularly in the Warren Miller ski movies. When I was growing up the new Warren Miller film in October at the Jubilee Auditorium was an annual event, never to be missed! Dan has also written a book called '30 Years in a White Haze' about his life in skiing. (I think Dan should have called it '50 Years in a White Haze!)

There was a wonderful sky this morning with some outstanding colours. I managed a few shots and have posted them along with a few skiing photos and one of the boys at the Gourmandine  this morning.

Andreas and Henry headed to the Fornet this morning while Chris and I headed to the Motte for a change of sector. With perhaps less than 1% of the off-piste domain in play you can imagine how tough it is out there, but there is still some good skiing to be had. Today the light was a little flat to start with, but when it brightened up half way through the morning my team's mojo's lifted hugely. It's funny what a little bit of sunshine can do for ones spirits!

As tough has conditions have been we are seeing some regeneration in the snow pack. What was 'stiff' and unskiable snow a week ago is now loosening up. It won't be long until we get some skiable soft snow again, even without a snowfall. And with sunshine forecast we'll also get some early-season spring snow as well. So don't despair, it's not all gloom and doom!

And thanks to Johnnie Alpine for perhaps his best curry of the season last night. It was absolutely stunning!

It's just Johnnie Alpine and I tomorrow. We are planning on a little exploratory 'skin', or ski, if you'd like to join us. Let me know or call Suzanne in the shop if you'd like to come along?

I'm looking forward to a quiet evening in watching West Ham v Bournemouth tonight. Come on you Hammers!

Stay tuned!

PS Thanks for a lovely evening last night hosted by Adam, Sarah, Leo and Zoe.


31 January 2024

Jenny's Sunrise!

Yesterday Jenny left at 5am to 'skin' to the summit of Bellevarde to see the sunrise. I've posted three photos that she sent me, and they've slotted themselves in at the beginning of yesterday's shots. You'll need to scroll back a ways to see them, especially after today's photos are posted.

It's not getting any easier out there, although we are slowly getting some spring option coming into play, and with the cold nights some winter snow is regenerating into a form of frisset. Both will be welcome as there is no new snow forecast for at least a week.

I had a new group today featuring Tchenko's pal Rob from Australia, James who's with Charles's party at YSE's Chardon, and Sim. Because it was a new group I had the luxury of returning to the Fornet and repeating what I did yesterday. It was really good skiing as I'm refining my route, and we didn't see any other skiers all morning long. (see photos)

Sim was back on his telemarks, and he skied brilliantly on them. I was really impressed with the way he could pivot on the steep slopes, and control his speed. Bravo Sim!

Chris and Andreas went for a little 'skin' this morning, Jerome was skiing on-piste with his clients, Henry was up at the Fornet, and I think Thomas was in St Foy.

If it's not going to snow we definitely need the sun to shine tomorrow. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!


30 January 2024

Sunshine!

I went to bed last night expecting overcast skies and a pretty tough day today. Although it's still pretty tough skiing out there the fact that the sun was unexpectedly shining made all the difference.

Chris, Henry and I all headed up to the Fornet, while Jerome was skiing on-piste today. We've our little circuits that work up there with interesting slopes, and great scenery, and I thought it was another good outing. (Mind you, I sometimes think I enjoy the skiing more than the clients)

Bravo to Jenny who 'skinned' up to the summit of Bellevarde at 5 o'clock this morning to warm up for today's skiing!

Photos are up and stay tuned for more news tomorrow.


29 January 2024

Welcome Back Ann! And Happy Birthday Chris!

It was great to welcome Ann back today after a four year absence due to a combination of Covid and knee surgery.  She and Nick had a fantastic time with Chris this morning, and it's great to see her skiing again!

Fortunately the sun was shining again this morning and everyone profited with another excellent morning. Unfortunately overcast skies are forecast for tomorrow morning, which will make our job a little tougher. With the unseasonably warm weather over the past few days the bottom section of the mountain on all exposures is wet. Even though it's warm during the day it will refreeze tonight, and those lower slopes will be rock hard tomorrow. That's an added factor when we try to decide what to do tomorrow, especially with overcast skies? I'm betting on the boys though!

I had a fantastic afternoon with Andrew M today. I haven't seen Andrew in at least ten years, and we had a good catch up and cracking ski off the Motte. (see photos)

And a big Happy Birthday to Chris and Gill's dad Fred. Many happy returns boys!

Stay tuned!


28 January 2024

A Solid Morning!

It was a solid morning, and as Andreas and I had strong skiers we covered a lot of ground. It was pretty much non-stop all morning, and that equates to a 'maximum-turn' morning. There was no powder involved, but we had some lovely smooth chalky snow mixed in with some pistes, and some fake 'spring'. (see photos)

Meanwhile Thomas was down in St Foy this morning while Chris, Jerome and Henry were off.

Look away now Jill, Sports Report: Bravo to the English cricket team for a stunning come-from-behind victory to win the first of a five test series in India. Pope my have been Man of the Match with his wonderful 196, but Hartley was absolutely brilliant with ball and bat on his debut!

And what a performance by Jannik Sinner to come from two sets down to win the Australian Open. I feel for Medvedev who has now lost the Australian Open twice after being up two sets. Ouch! On the Woman's side Sabalenka defended her title in a dominate performance. And it's the NFL Conference Finals tonight. What a weekend of sport!

Stay tuned!


27 January 2024

Rewarded!

It was just Chris and I working today, and we decided that we needed a change of scenery while scouting for more options.

Often when times are tough you 'milk' an area, making the most of a little 'stash'. It can get repetitive, which eventually drives you to change sector. Quite often you find out why you've stuck with your stash because the alternatives can be pretty scratchy. But, today we were rewarded with some fantastic skiing, which bodes well for the days to come while we await more snow. It was a cracking morning, and knowing we have more options is a relief.

Thanks to Tim and Gill for drinks at the Taverne the other night. Chris, Charles and |I really enjoyed it.

Karen and Andreas were brilliant again last night at Le Petit Danois. There was an excellent 'Alpine' turn out, and everyone had a fantastic time. Charles did himself proud on the dance floor, and he's looking forward to next week already! I thought 'With Or Without You' was a highlight and of course 'Zombie'. What a gig!

Being wound up Charles and I then went back to mine for left-over chilli, and unneeded wine, while cranking up the stereo to The Traveling Wilbury's. Then I introduced Charles to Tim Buckley's  fabulous 'Greetings from LA' to finish have an outstanding evening!

Stay tuned for me skiing news and photos tomorrow. It's just me working, but the sun is forecast and I'm looking forward to it.

PS Andreas and Thomas will both be back in action tomorrow.


26 January 2024

Limited Options But Great Skiing!

The violent winds combined with the heat have played havoc with our snow conditions and totally changed our landscape. Our options are now quite limited at the moment, and conditions are tough, but we still have some great skiing!

Chris, Jerome and I all returned to the Fornet this morning. There are some wonderful steep slopes to be skied on smooth souffle, with great scenery and ambiance, and for the second day running it was fantastic. (see photos)

Tomorrow is another day and we'll probably change sector for a change of scenery, but I hope we can match the skiing of the past couple of days?

Don't forget Karen and Andreas at the Danois tonight, kicking off at 5:30. My friend Charles is ready to strut his stuff to 'Dancing in the Dark', and it promises to be a sight to behold. Don't miss it and I'll see you there!

Stay tuned!

PS I'm absolutely gutted that Jurgen Klopp is leaving Liverpool at the end of the season! He's been a lot of fun and brought some love into the game. Like Fergie, there will be some massive shoes to fill!

PPS Happy 70th Billy!


25 January 2024

Great Call Henry!

We were debating where to go today at the Gourmandine, and Henry was adamant on the Fornet. It's been closed up on the Pisaillas Glacier for the past two days and even though it was still windy, we went up hoping for an opening. The deciding factor was that if the Glacier didn't open for us, which it didn't, we had 'Plan B' to fall back on.

As is so often the case, 'Plan B' turned out to be fantastic. In fact, it turned out to be better than 'Plan A' would have been, and we still have today's 'Plan A' in the bank for tomorrow.

It was brilliant snow from top-to-bottom, but considering the wind and the warm weather, it was outstanding skiing. (see photos) We had some steep slopes, wonderful scenery, and great ambiance. Great call Henry!

Stay tuned!


24 January 2024

More Wind!

It was windy yesterday, but today's wind was quite ferocious! I heard that winds of up to 170 kph were recorded last night at the Fornet, and quite of few lifts were either closed or very slow to open today.

Besides the wind we had 8 degrees at the bottom of the Aiguille Percee chairlift to complicate matters. It all made for some interesting skiing, with several variants, and I thought it was an excellent morning considering. It helped enormously that the early morning cloud cleared, leaving us with brilliant sunshine. Today's snow in flat light wouldn't have been nearly so much fun!

The Revolverlites are playing at the Danois at 5:30 today. They are a great band, and a lot of fun so do go if you get the chance.

Stay tuned!

PS Tomorrow's forecast is for high winds again but we're promised sunshine, so we can work with that!


23 January 2024

Wind!

It snow about 10 to 15 centimeters overnight but the big factor was the wind. I could hear it in my chimney last night so I shouldn't have been surprised at how much it had affected the snow. After such a long period of outstanding snow quality, even with strong winds, the snow has 'toughened' up the last couple of days.

We started off with a Kern, which is scenic and impressive, but the snow was a little on the 'stiff' side. Still, all the teams managed it well.

Henry opened up the Face du Charvet, followed by Thomas, myself and Andreas, while Chris skied the Tour via TJ's Shoulder. Both the Face and the Tour were significantly better than the Kern, but they still needed to be skied.

Chris, Andreas and I then headed up to the Fornet where the snow was surprisingly good. The problem was the Cascade chairlift was closed due to wind so that limited our options, although we had good skiing in the Combe du Signal and Grand Vallon.

I'm not too sure what Henry and Thomas skied after the Face du Charvet, and I didn't hear from Jerome all morning.

My friend Charles arrives this afternoon so I need to get organised. Stay tuned!

PS And a big hello to Richard Brown.


22 January 2024

Some Tough Stuff!

Chris and I went for a 'skin', and it was a morning of two halves. We 'skinned' towards the Crete du Genepy, which has been superb all season, to find the wind had worked the snow making for some tough skiing. In fact, it was perhaps the toughest snow I've skied all season! We did our best to find the easiest route down and our teams did a great job dealing with it, and skied it pretty well. Bravo everyone, and well skied Sue!

Next up was Mont Roup, where the snow was significantly better. The light had started to deteriorate by this time, making it a bit more difficult, but we enjoyed some great skiing. There was a huge gypete hoovering overhead, and I managed a photo of it with Chris skiing underneath.

Andreas, Thomas and Jerome all skied in Tignes this morning, and were heading towards where we skied yesterday. (Code mode)

We may get a few centimeters overnight followed by some sunshine in the morning, which sounds pretty good to me!

Stay tuned!

PS Lou's new computer in the shop has crashed! Hopefully Chris can sort it but she may not be able to answer emails tonight?

PPS As of about 3:30pm a few flakes are floating about!


21 January 2024

A Long Morning!

It was a long morning for a couple of reasons. I didn't finish until 1:50, while Thomas had an injury in his group and needed a helicopter rescue!

Thomas was skiing Mickey's Ears when Jane had a fall and damaged her knee, and may have a break as well. I still don't have full details on Jane's injuries but we wish her all the best.

It's way too steep in that couloir for a helicopter, but they inflated an air-bag for Jane to sit on, and slid her down to a flatter area where the heli could get low enough for a Pisteur to jump out. It was all rather impressive the way the Pisteurs and pilot managed to get Jane safely out of there.

Apparently Doug was brilliant as usual. He's always been extremely helpful over the years bringing up the rear, especially in some of the weaker groups, making sure everyone is safe. It's noted Doug and very much appreciated!

Meanwhile, I had a cracking morning and will keep it short. We skied late as it was jolly good, and I'm in 'code mode' as it's getting tough out there!

Chris had an excellent morning and Andreas had a great ski with Victor and Tansy.

I'm bummed about the end of the West Ham match, but to be honest we weren't very good. I'm now watching Bournemouth v Liverpool and I'm sure Ollie is on the edge of his seat!

Fingers crossed for Jane. She bounced into the Gourmandine this morning with hugs and kisses and the biggest smile, and it's so unfortunate when someone gets injured doing what we all love!

Stay tuned!


20 January 2024

A Funky Morning!

It was an interesting morning with an usual set of itineraries. Much of the Fornet was closed yesterday, and was an obvious choice for fresh snow. But, it was cold this morning, and on a cold day there is nowhere colder than the Fornet first thing in the morning.

To combat the cold Jerome and I started off with an excellent Face du Charvet in the sun. We followed that up with a great run in the Cugnai, and then I worked my way to the Fornet via Andreas's Shoulder into the L. (My radio changed channels on me so I was out of touch with everyone for the rest of the morning, and wondering why no one was talking to me!)

The wind towards the Fornet was quite punchy, and had worked some of the snow enormously overnight. Andreas's Shoulder had turned from fabulous yesterday to really hard work this morning. Still, there was some great skiing to be had in the Fornet sector.

I ended up skiing a really good  Combe du Signal followed by a Grand Vallon, which was messy in the middle section, but excellent towards the bottom when we cut right towards Oh My! It was another cracking good morning, and long may this run of excellent skiing continue! (see photos)

Henry was up in the Fornet all morning, I'm not too sure where Jerome ended up after the Cugnai, and Chris started towards the Tour du Charvet. (Thomas and Andreas were off this morning)

Karen and Andreas put on another terrific show last night. I keep saying i,t but they really are just keep getting better and better! The place was rammed and throbbing as everyone had a brilliant time.

I met Ollie at the gig, who has been reading my blog for over ten years. It's always nice when people who are regular readers introduce themselves. Ollie is a Bournemouth fan, and will be at the Liverpool match tomorrow. Good luck with that one Ollie, and it was great to meet you!

Sorry to have missed you this morning Robert, what a bummer!

Stay tuned!


19 January 2024

Maxi-Maxi!

There are 'maximum-turn' days, and there are 'maximum-turn' days, and today was a serious 'maximum-turn' day. Wow!

We skied three Fontaine Froide's, the Borsat and meadows into Tignes, Wayne's Shoulder twice, a funky one under the Fresse Chair, one off Les Lanches chair where we took the website cover-shot of Frans years ago, and just when the team though it was all over, we finished off with a Funky Familial. (see photos) For me it was one of the top five mornings of the season, and the beer at the Danois tonight will go down nicely!

There was some low lying fog about this morning, which is why I headed to the sun on the Motte after the Fontaine Froide. Andreas and Thomas ended up skiing the Tour du Charvet and the Arcelle, with Andreas finishing with Andreas's Shoulder into the L.

Meanwhile, I saw Chris on the Motte, Jerome heading into the Borsat, and I'm not sure what Henry skied. I'm sure all the boys had great mornings, and it was a welcome reward for those who skied yesterday! Bravo boys!

Don't forget the weekly end-of-the-week windup at the Danois tonight featuring Karen and Andreas. See you there!

Stay tuned!

PS For a serious 'maximum-turn' morning you need the horses. Any my team did the business this morning. Well done to you all!


18 January 2024

Deep But Heavy!

Thomas said that they had biblical rain all night in Seez, while we had some light rain mixed with snow here in Val d'Isere. The result of the overnight precipitation was some deep, but heavy snow.

Most of us started with a run on Solaise. It was immediately evident that we were dealing with tricky snow from the middle of the mountain down, and altitude was going to be the key.

Jean Marc, Henry and I headed up to the Fornet, where we had some good snow. (see photos) Unfortunately once we'd skied out the accessible snow from the Pyramid Chairlift we were done. They made no effort to open any of the higher lifts, and the Signal and Pisaillas Glacier would have been absolutely superb.

I took a couple of 'flat-light' hits late in the morning, which took some of the wind out of my sails, and Henry and I were happy to pack it in around noon after a pretty good morning.

I'm not too sure how the rest of the boys got on, but everyone will be looking forward to a colder night, which will dry out the snow quite considerably, and better visibility.

Fingers crossed and stay tuned!


17 January 2024

Unexpectedly Good!

The forecast for this morning was dreadful with wind, rain and flat-light. No one was really expecting too much, and we were all pleasantly surprised.

Jean Marc, Henry, Jerome, Thomas, Andreas and I all headed to the Fornet. With rain forecast to 2600 meters we needed to stay high, and we were again surprised that there was no wind up on the Pisaillas Glacier. With some fresh snow, no wind and just enough visibility, it was a really good morning, enjoyed by one and all. (see photos)

Snow is forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning, and they must be expecting a lot because tomorrow's avalanche rating is 4/5, and that's before a single flake has fallen out of the sky. Should be interesting.

Stay tuned!

PS This lovely young Frenchman, who was still pissed after a big night out but was still on his way to work, offered me his seat on the bus this morning! And people used to always say that I looked good for my age. The only thing that made me feel better is that he was about to offer it to Henry as well!


16 January 2024 

Rocher Du Charvet!

The wind was ferocious overnight with 120 kph up on the Pisaillas Glacier. It wasn't totally evident where to ski this morning as there were signs of wind-affected snow just about everywhere. That's why Chris, Andreas, Thomas, Henry, Jean Marc and I all ended up in different sectors.

The Tour du Charvet had been battered by the wind, but I skied it anyway. The snow skied much better than it looked, and the team really enjoyed the challenge. It was 'skiers' snow in places, which was rewarding, and everyone handled it well and were rightly pleased with themselves.

Once out of the Tour it was decision time. I contemplated heading up to the Fornet, but in the end chose to circle back around to ski the Face du Charvet. The snow was much better than anticipated, and we had a fantastic run! (see photos) It was Pete's first trip to the Face, and he was suitably impressed. There was absolutely no doubt that it needed to be skied again, so we circled back around for another run.

I must be getting soft in my old age as I let Pete (29) and Robert (still 49) do their own thing on the bottom slope second time around. They wanted to do some 'ridge-running' and had 'eye-balled' a line they wanted to ski. Not to be outdone, Stuart (65 -going-on 35) went with them while I 'sniffed' out some nice snow for Derek and I to finish on. It turned out to be a cracking morning when it looked potentially tricky early on. And it's been a long time since I spent the entire morning around the Rocher du Charvet.

Meanwhile, Henry started with the Tour via the Couloir du Mont Blanc before heading up to the Fornet, where he found some great skiing. Andreas skied the Sache via the Chardonnet, Thomas 'skinned' to Mont Roup, and I'm not too sure where Chris and Jean Marc ended up? but I think everyone ended up have a really good day.

The weather is coming back in again so we may be in for a tough one in the morning, but I'm going to enjoy today's ski before I think about tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

PS Thanks Chris and Suzanne for a great evening with the Finlay's last night!


15 January 2024

Tough Conditions!

We had fairly tough conditions to deal with this morning. The wind was a factor and last night gusts up to 110 kph were recorded on the Fornet's Pisaillas Glacier. It snowed between 5 and 10 cm's overnight, but it wasn't enough to fill in the 'low-hanging-fruit' tracks, and with the flat-light traveling to areas of fresh snow was never an option. Still, it was a decent morning trying to make the best of it, and as flakes have been falling lightly throughout the day  we should see a big difference tomorrow.

I only took a few photos this morning as it wasn't exactly a 'photo op' type of morning. I only took it out once and missed Chrissy as she was right behind me, but I've posted a few.

Stay tuned!


14 January 2024

Back For More!

It was Chris W's first day after arriving from sea-level late last night, so I tried my best to take it easy on him. I tried to keep the 'skin' as short as possible, and we ended up walking for about 35-minutes. But, when we skied a lovely clean and steep pitch in fantastic snow, we all knew that we weren't going to find anything better this morning, so we circled back around for more. We skied it twice, both with slightly different lines, and it was a cracking good morning. (see photos) Chris forgave me quite quickly and we were all happy for a slightly early finish.

Meanwhile, Chris was in the neighbourhood, Jerome skied in Tignes, while Andreas was up at the Fornet for Ian's last morning. (Thomas and Henry were off today.)

I'm about to relax and settle down for an afternoon of Premiership football. Johnnie Alpine is back in Manchester and will be using his season ticket at Old Trafford today. Have fun John!

Stay tuned!


13 January 2024

Back To Code Mode!

Andreas and I had a great morning with a change of sector today. We skied an area that we haven't skied all season, and it was nice to be out there again. (see photos)

I've gone back to 'code-mode' because the resort is tracked out. If people were a little more respectful about the way they treated the mountain we'd have so much more fresh snow available. Snow is a precious commodity yet so many skiers and boarders continuously waste it.

Yesterday Jerome and I had a wonderful run after a 35-minute 'skin'. We had a totally 'clean' mountain in front of us and it was a stunning sight. We laid our tracks and took up hardly any space at all, leaving a 'clean' mountain behind us.

Then we arrived on Mont Roup and it was a sad sight indeed. Very few skiers had totally trashed a huge area. Some had zigged here, others had zagged there, people had skied across the fall-line, groups had fanned out, and it was incredibly disappointing. The snow was great but finding a nice 'clean' fall-line was difficult. The ambiance of a beautiful place was ruined, and it was quite an ugly sight. People must rejoice when they come onto a slope that has only been previously skied by an 'Alpine' group. The tracks are tight, in the fall-line, and mountain is as 'clean' as it could possibly be. I just don't get some people's attitudes, especially when it's so-called professionals. Woe is me!

Besides saving the snow, varied snow conditions combined with the tracks are the best educators in skiing. Keeping the track is  a slightly less disciplined form of race training. Kids who ski gates ski much better than kids who don't. And skiers who can keep the track ski much better than those who don't. Those who don't generally don't have the technique, and use the 'freedom' to abuse the mountain excuse!

(Any 'professional' who hasn't tried using the track for their pupils should. A well laid track suitable for terrain and snow conditions will have your students improving immediately.)

I'm looking forward to Newcastle v City from the comfort of my sofa this evening. It should be a cracking match.

Karen and Andreas were brilliant again last night. Our Friday night 'Alpine' weekly wind-up at the Danois is always a fantastic way to finish the week, and Karen and Andreas always deliver!

Stay tuned!


12 January 2024

Missing Blog?

I wrote a blog yesterday and posted it, but it doesn't seem to have come up.

Anyway, it was a great morning on the Cook family's last day of a stunning week. (See photos)

I'll post again after skiing complete with gig news. Stay tuned!


11 January 2024

Goodbye Dave!

Val d'Isere said goodbye to a legend in Dave Carr at the Crozet last night. At least 60 friends and family who'd traveled from far and wide showed up to pay their respects, and to have a jolly good time sharing stories of their times with Dave. Richard Finlay gave a fantastic speech, and it was a very moving evening. I'm not too sure if Dave really knew how well loved he was, but I sincerely hope that he did.  If he could have looked down on last night's gathering he would have been overjoyed! We'll never forget him. RIP Dave!

I arrived home at 2AM after my whirlwind trip back to the UK. Thanks to Henry for filling in for me and taking care of the Cook family yesterday. They had a great time with you Henry in tough conditions.

I posted a few photos of Tuesday's ski as it was one of the best Sache's in quite a while. I've also posted some photos of Dave and Chris has posted some shots from yesterday.

As for today's skiing, it was time for a change of scenery so most of us headed up to the Fornet. The snow was excellent for the most part, but there are a few 'stiff' turns here-and-there as the snow has been worked over a bit by the wind. (see photos) It was another in a string of fantastic mornings as we've been treated to some wonderful conditions of late.

And a big Happy birthday to Jerome, who turns 50 today! Have a fantastic day and many happy returns. Jerome is a great guy, a great skier, a great guide, and a great addition to the Alpine team! Cheers Jerome!

Stay tuned!


9 & 10 January 2024

Back To The UK!

I'm off immediately after skiing this afternoon and will be back for skiing on Thursday morning. Chris may post a blog in the meantime and perhaps some photos.

It looks like a potentially tough morning as it is overcast with no sun forecast. With yesterday's good visibility everything was hit hard and there hasn't been enough overnight snow to cover the tracks. That means we'll need to travel further afield to find 'clean' snow, and in flat-light that can be tricky. Flat-light we can deal with, it's that heavy fog that really puts a damper on it. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!

PS Just peaked out the window and like yesterday, there are signs of decent light! May get up a few photos before departure?


8 January 2024

Maybe Better Than Yesterday?

Johnnie Alpine seemed to think that today was better than yesterday. I'm not so sure, but it was pretty jolly spectacular. John said that , 'it's just degrees of excellence!'

Anyway, you get the picture! The forecast was for overcast skies but when I looked out the window around 7:15 and saw some clear skies at altitude, I went from wondering what to do to 'game-on' mode!

The Alpine teams had a magnificent morning. Between us we skied the Kern, the Tour du Charvet, the Cugnai, the Marmottons, the Marmottons into the Marmottes, Andreas' Shoulder into the L, the Grand Vallon a couple of times, the Familial, and Jerome may have skied the Face du Charvet? There were some bits and pieced of quality in between and it was another brilliant day!

Henry set up his excellent HAT Avalanche Search and Rescue training course for the Alpine team today. It is a fantastic set-up with single search, multi-search, and digging and probing stations. Henry will be running these sessions most Monday afternoons during the season, and they are an absolute must at some stage. And more often the better in reality. Thanks Henry!

I'm skiing tomorrow morning then heading back to the UK in the afternoon for a follow up with my eye man and I will be back to ski Thursday morning. Henry will be taking my group on Wednesday. I won't be able to post a blog tomorrow or Wednesday, but Chris might.

Stay tuned!


7 January 2024

Outstanding!

When we tested the snow off the Verte this morning both Thomas and I said, "we're in business', but we had no idea what an exceptional morning he, Jerome and I were in for!

We skied the Campanule as a means to arrive in Tignes, and it was pretty good. But then the real quality started. Thomas opened up the Chardonnet in 50 cm's of perfect light snow while I headed upstairs for some vis and stunningly light and deep snow.  Wayne's Shoulder came up trumps, and the entire sector was brilliant top-to-bottom. (see photos) Jerome was in the neighbourhood and we all had a fabulous morning when we weren't expecting too much. There's nothing quite like an unexpected 'maximum-turn' morning! Wow!

It started to snow again late in the morning and with the cold temperatures the snow quality is very good indeed. Stay tuned!

PS For those of you in the resort don't forget Dave Carr's 'Celebration of Life' on Wednesday, January 10th, at the Crozet between 5 and 9 PM.


6 January 2024

What A Gig!

Last night's gig at the Danois was outstanding. The place was full of 'Alpine' friends and family, and it was rocking. Karen was clearly enjoying herself and was brilliant, and Andreas is just getting better and better. The addition of the electric guitar has added some 'guts' on certain songs, and I thought it was their best performance yet. Bravo! And it was fun to have my beau-frere Pete join them for Angel. What a night! (I even managed to dance most of the night, thanks to Kim and Emily. Thanks girls!)

You might think that because I started with a music review that today's skiing sucked? Well, it could have sucked but it worked out pretty well in the end. Everything down low in the trees was skied out yesterday. And the light was seriously flat this morning. It was so dense that at times just finding your way on the piste was a struggle. But, we eventually got above the worst of it, and had enough vis to get some great skiing. (see photos)

There was some sort of humidity in the snow this morning that could be felt right up to about 3000 metres. The snow was quite unique but skied really well, and was very enjoyable.

I saw Team Gladman this morning, and Philip was doing a great job leading his kids with Tash bringing up the rear. They were leaving some lovely 'Alpine' tracks and were having a fantastic time.

There has been 4 or 5 avalanches on Thursday and Friday, plus another flat-light accident. Leading in flat light is incredibly draining, and our risk factor shoots up massively. I really feel sorry for the off-piste guide involved. It could so easily happen to any of us. It's been a tough couple of days, and we were happy to pull back a little today.

The resort has emptied out, and we should be in for a few quiet weeks before the February holidays arrive. Bliss!

Stay tuned!


5 January 2024

A Great Follow Up!

After a pretty spectacular day yesterday it was always going to be difficult to follow it up today. Especially with falling snow and flat-light.

But, the boys all did a great job putting together a fantastic morning. Thomas skied the Mickey's Ears Couloir, while Andreas skied the Chardonnet. Meanwhile Chris, Jerome and I skied the Lavachet trees and 'skinned' out. The snow was excellent and with the great vis thanks to the trees Chris and I returned for a second run. (See photos) We all ended up skiing the Famial to finish off a really solid morning.

Besides the avalanche that we witnessed yesterday and helped out at there were two others later in the afternoon. One in the Tour du Charvet and the other in the Kern. Material was lost in the Charvet slide but I don't think there were any serious injuries.

There is a rumour of a professional being injured this morning in the flat-light, but I don't have enough details yet to report properly. Fingers crossed that it wasn't too serious!

The camera that I've been using isn't good enough and my photos of lacked clarity, especially in flat-light. Andreas has kindly lent me a waterproof camera that his father Rolf bought him, (Andreas doesn't use it as he uses his phone) and I was really pleased with the results today. The light was very flat and the shots today we infinitely better than what I would have taken with my other camera. I drew them in and cropped them, which loses clarity, and for a first go I thought it was promising. Thanks Andreas!

Don't forget the weekly 'Alpine' end-of-the-week gathering at the Danois, featuring Karen and Andreas. See you there!

PS I've added three of Freddie's photos from yesterday. Thanks Freddie!


4 January 2024

Emotional!

Wow! What an emotional day that turned out to be!

After yesterday's 'educational' skiing we were hoping for better conditions after another snow flurry and colder temperatures. And when totally unexpected sunshine broke through we were certainly feeling better about the morning than at 7 AM.

I started off with the Fontaine Froide for a test and with one turn knew that we were in business. Then along with Andreas we opened the Tour du Charvet, which was fantastic top-to-bottom with great ambiance.

Meanwhile Thomas, Jerome and Henry were first into the Kern and they were having a great time as well.

Andreas and I then decided to circle back around to open up the Face du Charvet, which is always a treat and something to remember. However, Thomas got there first and did a fantastic job opening up the Face in 30 cm's. He will remember that as it's a privilege to be the first in in such good conditions, and there's always a lot of adrenaline flowing. Bravo Thomas! (Jerome and Henry weren't too far behind)

As we were riding the Grand Pre chair en-route to the Face we saw a boarder fall off a little cliff, and about 5 seconds later the mountain broke away above him. He was taken in the slide and swept away. We lost sight of him behind a knoll and had to wait for about 30 seconds before we got high enough to see him again. Finally we could see the bottom of the slide and saw the boarder's hand sticking out of the snow but his head was buried. Andreas contacted the Piste Service and as soon as we got off the chair my team and I rushed down to the victim. Freddie quickly prepared me  a shovel while I took my skis off and crawled to the victim. Walter was quick off the mark with his shovel, and we dug him out in about 30 seconds. The Pisteurs arrived and took over and I must say that I've been pretty emotional ever since. (see photos)

Finally we arrived on the Face du Charvet for a wonderful run (see photos) and then I wound down with the Altiport while Andreas and Ian went off to lunch.

Thomas and the boys came around for a second Face, and somewhere among all this stunning skiing was Chris and his team, and I'm sure he was in on the action as well.

Stay tuned!

PS I must say that a man on one of those scooter/snow-bike contraptions made his way to the victim just before us. He had to drag his scooter-thingy through the deep snow to get there and he was starting to dig away with his hands. Bravo to him!

PPS Thanks to Wils and Lois for a great evening last night with Lois's mum Bev and father Ed! Missed you today Wils!


3 January 2024

Educational!

Wow, we were expecting more of the fabulous skiing of a couple of days ago, but were ambushed and for the most part skied some pretty 'educational' snow. The wind seemed to have hit everywhere and it made for some tricky skiing in places. Still, I thought it was a great morning as we managed to stay away from people, and although 'educational', it was really good skiing.

I thought everyone dealt with the conditions really well, and all those present this morning should feel good about how they handled themselves. Bravo!

Thanks to Tim, his boys, and their girlfriends and wives, for a fantastic evening last night. George's Swedish Meatballs were stunning, and as usual it was a brilliant gathering with wonderful company.

My current camera is rubbish so if anyone captures some great ski shots or scenic photos, please email them to me and I can include them on the blog with photo credits. I took a few today and they are up.

It was a good point for the Hammers last night, although they just managed to hang on for it. Still, 10 points, and 4 clean sheets in 4 games over the Christmas period was a stunning return! (The Gunners would kill for the same point tally!)

Stay tuned!

PS I'd like to give Craig C a mention as he's skied really well so far this season. Well done Craig!

PPS Andreas cheered me up with a phone call to say that he'd experienced 'educational' snow in Tignes as well. I thought that maybe I'd gone the wrong way this morning, but knowing that it was much the same everywhere made me feel better. You know me, I hate getting it wrong!


2 January 2024

The Day After!

I'm redoing the blog as it seems to have disappeared!

It was always going to be difficult to follow up yesterday's powder extravaganza. Especially with no new snow to work with and flat light.

But, we had much better visibility than expected, and all the teams produced a cracking good morning.

Runs skied by Alpine teams today included the Lavachet, the Sachette Couloir, The Hole-in-the-Wall, the Chardonnet, and the Altiport. Needless to say we were all in Tignes!

I forgot my camera today but thanks to Harry who sent me a few photos, which I've posted.

Come on you Hammers and stay tuned!


1 January 2024

What A Start To The New Year!

What a way to start the New Year! We had a short but intense snowfall last night, and it made all the difference. And with the sun shining this morning it was game on!

It was a 'maximum-turn' type of morning. My team skied the Fontaine Froide, the Tour du Charvet via TJ's Shoulder (complete with chamois show), Andreas's Shoulder into the L, two runs in the Combe du Signal, and a Col Pers for a 1:30 finish. We were first in just about everywhere we traveled today, and besides great skiing we enjoyed fantastic ambiance as well.

Chris's team skied much the same, while Thomas started with a Fontaine Froide before heading to the Kern. After that I lost track of him, and I lost track of Andreas after he and Thierry were heading up to ski the Table. Henry was about as well but I'm not sure where he skied.

It was a pleasure to have my nephew Wils along this morning. It seems like only yesterday when at about four he frightened his Dad and I as he shot straight down the Genepy at massive speed. He's turned into a fantastic skier, and always fun to have along. Bravo Wils!

Thanks to Penny for a lovely drinks party last night. She has made New Year's Eve so much easier for so many of us, and it's very much appreciated. Thanks again Penny!

Stay tuned for more news and photos tomorrow!

 


31 December 2023

Last Day Of The Year!

It looked teasingly bright around 8am, but by the time we left the Gourmandine the skies were quickly becoming overcast. The sky was darker towards Tignes so I headed up to the Fornet to take advantage of the slightly better visibility.

We headed straight over the Col Pers, and although the snow wasn't as soft as a couple of days ago, it was still good skiing and a good sortie.  (It was Marianne's first trip over the Col and she thoroughly enjoyed it.) Then we came back up and skied the guts of the Combe du Signal before finishing off in the Super L.  (The Super L is a little scratchy to say the least, but we managed and it beat the crowded pistes!)

All in all it was a pretty good day in tough conditions as we await some relief. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!

And Happy New Year and thank you Susan and Richard for a lovely meal last night!


30 December 2023

Happy Birthday Charlie!

The sun was shining, and after yesterday's fog I needed it!

Doug, Craig, Ollie, George, the birthday-boy and I took advantage of the clear blue skies and a nice new cushion of snow and enjoyed a cracking birthday ski! ((see photos) We headed Tignes way, as Saturday's are always a bit quieter and we mixed some great piste skiing with our off-piste.

I saw Jerome skiing with a family from a chairlift and they looked like they were having a great time. Meanwhile Chris headed back up to the Fornet, Andreas was skiing with his family, and Henry and Thomas are back in action tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

PS And how can I forget to mention last night's gig? Karen and Andreas were their fantastic selves and it was another cracking evening. It's such a wonderful way to finish up the 'Alpine' week. The Danois is always full of Alpine clients and family, and Karen and Andreas never fail to deliver. I love my Friday night's at the Danois!


29 December 2023

Dave Carr!

There will be a 'Celebration of Life' in Dave's honour and memory January 10th, at the Crozet Restaurant. (The Crozet is located at the Fornet, underneath the Fornet Cable Car) This Celebration will be held between 5pm and 9pm.

Dave spent 35 wonderful years in Val d'Isere, and made many great friends during that time. Hopefully many of you will be able to attend his Celebration of Life. For catering purposes if you are able to come please email Richard Finlay to let him know at riffinlay@hotmail.com

It will be a fantastic evening sharing stories, and spending time with others who's lives were touched by Dave. He was a legend!

And now for today's skiing. After what seems like ages Chris and I decided to head up to the Fornet for a change of sector. Jerome had been up there a few days ago so we knew we had a chance, and a couple of centimeters overnight was welcome.

We started off in pretty good visibility with a Combe du 3300. The vis was needed to find the little avenues of snow that worked as it's still pretty scratchy up there.

Next up was a trip over the Col Pers. We were pleasantly surprised to find a nice cushion of fresh snow, much of which blew in overnight with the two centimeters which fell. It was good skiing and then our adventure really started when we started to walk up to the Grand Torsai. We arrived in a fog and needed to navigate our way down in thick white-out conditions. It was fatiguing, and Chris and I were happy to eventually see the Pont St. Charles!

Meanwhile Thomas had some good couloir skiing, Jerome was out there somewhere, while Andreas and Henry were off.

And there was absolutely no chance of me going to bed early last night and missing an outstanding performance by the Hammers. It was a proud and gutsy defensive masterclass! It was a performance that the Italian National Team, in their hay-day, would have been proud of. It was the perfect display of how  to play football without the ball. And how to win a game with only 26% of the ball. It was a stunning 2-nil win against an excellent Arsenal side that will be remembered. And except for a missed penalty at the death it would have been 3-0!  Wow, I'm still buzzing, as is my nephew Wils and my beau-frere Pav!

And don't forget Karen and Andreas tonight at Le Petit Danois, kicking off at 5:30. See you there!

Stay tuned!


28 December 2023

Back For More!

We enjoyed another day that was better than forecast, and the decent light was appreciated. It was much flatter than yesterday, but the light was still good enough to ski positively where we wanted to ski.

Chris and I were going to head up to the Fornet but decided to ski more of the same. We've a cracking good circuit going with some steep slopes and lovely chalky, grippy snow. With the poorer visibility it made sense to ski slopes where we knew it was relatively smooth, and avoid the unknown. (see photos)

 

It was nice to see Jerome's girlfriend Sarah at the Gourmandine. She's here for a couple of weeks and is really looking forward to her skiing. Thomas was back in St Foy today while Andreas had the day off, and I think Henry is skiing with his brother (s).

The Hammers have a tough game tonight away to Arsenal. Unfortunately it's a late start so I'll probably only see the first half, but you never know .....? Come on boys!

Stay tuned!


27 December 2023

Change Of Scenery!

After a few days of milking a nice circuit for all it was worth Chris and I decided on a change of scenery this morning. We did a 'double-skin' and had some quiet solitude, and fantastic scenery. We skied anything that worked. As usual, no matter how tough the conditions are, there is always a route down which is significantly better than some of the other options. Today was no different, and I thought we had some pretty good skiing, although good vis is necessary to read the snow and 'sniff' out the best snow.

Thomas went down to St Foy, Andreas had a day off to tidy up some building projects, Jerome's girlfriend Sarah has just arrived from Sweden, and I'm not too sure what Henry is up to?

Hopefully the sun will continue to shine until it decides to snow. We don't need any overcast, flat-light days without reward, because we really do need good visibility to make the most of our current conditions.

And a big Happy Birthday to Johnnie Alpine. John has just lived a bonus year because he thought he was already 73, and finally realised that he turns 73 today. You're a lucky man Johnnie!

Stay tuned!

PS There are a few photos where you can see Chris and my tracks from about ten days ago. Then they were powder tracks and about twenty to thirty centimeters deep below the surface. Now they are twenty to thirty cm's above the surface as the wind has removed the snow on either side of the compacted tracks. There is also a photo of the solid frozen rain-crust from several weeks ago where the wind has lifted all the soft snow that had fallen since the rain.


26 December 2023

Off To The Airport!

The blog will be late today as I'm taking the girls to the airport.

They've had a fantastic time, and I'm really going to miss them!

I had a pretty adventurous journey to and from the airport. There were accidents in both directions causing major delays, and an incredible incident of road rage where two vans tried to drive each other off the road. I must say that I was glad to finally get home.

As for the skiing today Robert J is in town celebrating his 70th birthday with his entire family. I had the pleasure of skiing with Robert today, along with his sons Henry and Ed, both of whom give it a serious go in the steep. Bravo boys! It was nice to have Sim and Sarah back as well.

Chris posted some photos today and I've just added a few.

Stay tuned!

PS I'm missing the girls already!


25 December 2023

Merry Christmas!

Blimey, what a fantastic 'Merry Christmas' ski that was!

Gill, Millie, Katie and I had a brilliant morning along with Red Ray and Stocky. The sun was shining and we skied some fabulous chalky souffle along with a few powder turns.

Much of the morning was spent skiing steep slopes. With lovely 'grippy' snow it made it possible to take on some big slopes, a couple of which I haven't skied for 30-years or so. The ambiance was wonderful and after 60-years of skiing and who knows how many days?, I thought this morning was outstanding!

Andreas and I discussed how much info I should be imparting on my blog, and we decided to not mention itineraries during difficult times. The webmaster wanted me to tell all, to mention names of runs and peaks, all designed to up the 'hits' on the various search engines. Anyway, 'hits' aren't as important as solitude and that's why I'm not telling!

Meanwhile Chris, Thomas and Jerome were all in action, while Andreas had a great family ski with Tansy, Ness and Victor.

I'm about to start cooking Christmas dinner so I'd better get going. Have a Merry Christmas and stay tuned!

PS The girls have become 'party-people' and have been hanging out at Coco's and the Danois, They were at Coco's last night with the Farrer and Hallam families. (see photos)


24 December 2023

Great Skiing!

I thoroughly enjoyed the skiing today with Jerry and a lovely French couple Catherine and Patrick. We don't have the powder from a few days ago, but the sun was out and there is some lovely chalky souffle around, and on some fairly steep slopes as well. (see photos)

Tomorrow is my last chance to ski with the girls before they leave on Boxing Day, and with another sunny day forecast I know exactly what I'm going to ski.

Have a great evening if you do your Christmas on the 24th, and Merry Christmas for tomorrow!

Stay tuned!

PS I'm skiing with Gill, Millie, Katie and Ray tomorrow if anyone would like to join us for our Christmas ski?

PPS Thanks for a great curry last night Johnnie!


23 December 2023

What A Day!

Wow, what a day that turned out to be!

It was all looking a little bleak at the Gourmandine, but we broke through the clouds and everyone's spirits soared knowing we weren't going to spend the morning scratching around in a fog. The good visibility made all the difference because the mountain has been ravaged by the winds during the past couple of days. Radio Val announced gust of 160 kph on the Pisaillas last night, and the wind seems to have touched every exposure.

Still, there was some great skiing on creamy supporting souffle, and the vis was needed to read the snow and follow the avenues of good snow.

And how do you top off a solid morning of skiing? You watch the Hammers beat Man U 2-0 in the afternoon! Wow, I'm a happy boy. Next up is one of Johnnie Alpine's curries!

It's been wonderful having the girls ski with me these past few days (and about 7 mornings for Gill). They leave on Boxing Day so their holiday is just about over.

Ness arrives back from University in Sweden today and Andreas is taking the next couple of days off to have a family Christmas with Tansy, Ness and Victor. Enjoy those Swedish meatballs!

Stay tuned and photos will follow!

PS We enjoyed another great gig at the Danois last night. Karen and Andreas were fantastic, and my girls had a brilliant time. Katie is now 18 and can drink for such a slight person. She had a great dance and it seems like only yesterday that she and Millie were on fruit juice! Gill's friend Lou was there with her family and they had a good boogie as well.


22 December 2023

High Winds!

The wind was howling in the chimney last night and gusts of 92 kph were recorded on the Pisaillas Glacier.

Even with the high winds I thought that the late and minimal opening was totally uncalled for. We've had all the lifts that were slow or closed this morning running in the past in much worse conditions. It was frustrating to say the least.

Don't forget Karen and Andreas at the Danois tonight. They should kick off around 5:30 and with the poor weather I imagine that it will be rammed tonight. See you there!

We've some sun forecast for the next couple of days at least. There has been enough new snow and wind to totally change conditions and we should have a fresh canvas of some sort to work with.

Stay tuned!


21 December 2023

A Family Ski!

I had a family ski this morning along with Michael and Red Ray, and we had a lovely time. It was a bit like a day off and I'd planned to ski some off-piste, but every time I was ready to dive off the fog rolled in. So, we had an excellent piste ski, which is pretty rare, and I really enjoyed it.

I posted some photos of the girl's fantastic day and evening out with their cousin Rosie and her boyfriend Zach. They skied, had lunch, skied some more, danced on the tables at Coco's, then showed up at the Danois, and felt like s--t yesterday!

Anyway, they are talking doing it all again tomorrow. Talk about short term memory!

Must run as I'm cooking and may add more later.

Ness is showing up in the next day or two and the girls are looking forward to seeing her, as are Andreas, Tansy and Victor! Stay tuned!


20 December 2023

A Cracking Sache!

After a few days of glorious sunshine and fantastic snow it was back to overcast skies this morning. But, for a flat-light day the visibility was decent, and we even managed a few patches of lovely sunshine.

Chris and I headed to the Sache via the Sache Couloir, and it was a cracking good ski. Chris has been skiing with two sisters, Emily and Katie, the past couple of days and they've had a great time. I posted a couple of photos of the girls in the couloir this morning.

Meanwhile Andreas and Jerome were heading towards Mont Roup searching for the 'light-bulb' that often lights up on this type of day, and I'm not too sure what Thomas skied today. (The Sache like Mont Roup often has better light but we didn't get the sun we were hoping for.)

It's Glen Allan's 90th birthday tomorrow and we'd like to wish him a very happy birthday. Glen has been a life-long skier and spent a lot of time over the years with Alpine with his wife Flash, and his son Alexander, and daughter Emily. We all have fond memories of our times together Glen!

Thanks to Red Ray who fixed the toilet and a radiator yesterday. You're making me look bad Ray but thanks!

Stay tuned!


19 December 2023

Blimey!

Blimey, what an outstanding morning that was!

I arrived at the bottom of the Signal Poma just as it opened for the first time all season. No one was behind us so we had the Grand Vallon to ourselves for a belter of an opener. We circled back around for a second, and then it was sadly time to move on as more skiers started to show up. Next up was a fantastic run in the Combe du Signal, and we would have skied another but the poma developed a technical issue so we headed upstairs to head over the Col. Once over the Col we did two ten-minute 'skins' to maximise our morning as tomorrow's weather isn't the best.

Thomas was also at the Fornet while Chris headed toward the Crete and Mont Roup.  Andreas was thinking of skiing the Borsat West, and I'm not too sure what Jerome skied today.

Millie and Katie are having a big day out with their cousin Rosie and her boyfriend Zach. They are planning on skiing, lunch and then an apres-ski session at Coco's. Have fun!

Stay tuned!

PS The skiing down from the Grand Torsai was dreadful! It has been exceptional kind so far this winter, but today wasn't for the faint-hearted. The girls are still at Coco's, Gill is out with Dawn and Carol, and I'm at home cooking to Led Zeppelin!


18 December 2023

First Sache Of The Season!

With the Aiguille Percee closed until just a couple of days ago today was our first trip to the Sache this season.

Jerome, Thomas and I were all in the neighbourhood and it was excellent skiing and great to be back out there again.

I was thinking of the Sachette but the traverse across the couloir looked potentially troublesome. Troubling enough that I'll leave it to someone else to be the first across this winter! So I took the right-hand couloir and Jerome took the normal Sachette Couloir and we had great skiing with nice untracked-fresh-snow-couloir-ambiance.

We then did a little ten-minute 'skin' for a steep shot before skiing the meadows to the bottom. On the way home we skied the Familial to finish off a solid morning.

Meanwhile Andreas headed to the Col des Fours with his team and I have a sneaking suspicion that Chris and Suzanne skied the Fours as well?

We have another sunny and warm day tomorrow before some weather starts to move back in on Wednesday. We'll need a little top-up by then!

All Hammer's fans were rejoicing yesterday after a cracking 3-nil victory over a tricky Wolves side. Thanks boys, long suffering Hammer's fans enjoy a good victory more than most!

Stay tuned!

17 December 2023

Gill's First Morning!

The girls plane was late last night and we didn't get to bed until 2:30 AM! But, thankfully Gill rallied and joined my group this morning. We had a pretty stunning morning of skiing, and ambiance, with a 'double-skin' to the Crete du Genepy and Mont Roup, and it would have been a shame to miss it! (See photos)

Chris also skied the Crete and Mont Roup while Jean Marc skied Mont Roup as well.

Thomas and Jerome were doing their community hours at the Woman's World Cup Race and Andreas was enjoying a day off playing golf.

I'm looking forward to an afternoon of footie as West Ham are in action before the day's big match between Liverpool and Man U.

Stay tuned!


16 December 2023

Picking Up The Girls!

I will have a busy afternoon doing my last-minute tidying and organising before driving down to pick up the girls, along with Red Ray. It's going to be great to see them and it won't be long now.

The suns was shining again today and I was astounded at how quickly the resort was tracked out yesterday. It's quite sad really, but there isn't too much that can be done about it. Tighter tracks would help but people just don't seem to get it! It certainly makes you appreciate those flat-light days when we have the mountain to ourselves.

Today I skied a good run in the Pays Desert with a little 'skin'. Then I decided to change sector and have a look around thinking the Marmottons would have space. (I was first one in a couple of days ago before the sun really came out and it was superb, and thought there must still be some space) After a superb pitch in great snow at the top we ran into the tracks, and I wasn't at all happy about it. It was tracked all the way across to Solaise, and was sad sight indeed. We made the most of it with a little bush whacking before heading up Bellevarde to have a look around, and skied some nice bonus turns off the Jardin du Borsat to finish.

Meanwhile Chris skied the Pays Desert before heading over the Col, and Jean Marc has arrived and was skiing with Dr. Mike. They went off 'skinning' and I'll stay in 'code-mode' as we'll need that one in the next day or two!

Karen and Andreas were fantastic last night at the Danois. Even though they were short on equipment after Andreas's van was burgled, and they had to borrow gear from their music friends, they sounded great. It's fun being back in the Danois again and Karen and Andreas are still my favourite two-hours of the week!

I ran into Dave-Rhythm Stewart last night at the Danois. I haven't seen Dave in 30-plus years and it was wonderful to see him again. He'll be seeing Tony No-Style in the next couple of weeks, who is another name from those early days forty-years ago!

Stay tuned!

PS The girls flight has been delayed and suddenly it's starting to look like a late night.

PPS If you're just arriving be careful as the streets are lethal again. I saw a poor lady being taken away by ambulance last night on my way home. She slipped over coming down from the Burger Bar towards Sherpa, just on that little down-slope. It's often treacherous there, and the poor woman did not look good!


15 December 2023

The Fornet Sector Delivers!

Val d'Isere's Fornet sector, which is tucked in under the Italian border, is one the world's special places. And today it was at it's brilliant best!

Chris, Andreas, Pietro,  and I were all up there making the most of it. My team skied 2 Pays Desert's of the highest quality, followed by a the Col Pers via the funky exit to finish. (see photos) All the boys skied similar runs and it was a morning to savour!

Don't forget Karen and Andreas will be playing at the Danois around 5:15 tonight, and I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

I've some last minute tidying up to do as the girls arrive tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

PS What a great result for the Hammers last night. Avoiding the playoffs with Champions League rejects is massive as they finished top of their group.


14 December 2023

Magnificent!

We had a magnificent ski this morning.

I've just returned home at 5:55 and need to unpack the groceries for the girls arrival.

I'll write the blog and post some photos after dinner. Stay tuned!

I'm back. Today was an excellent morning with just enough light to operate for the most part, with the occasional blissful sunny patch. It was much colder, the snow was much lighter, and it was seriously good skiing.

We started on Andreas's Shoulder, then had a run off the Laisinant, followed by two off the Pyramid, three 3300's on the Glacier and a Combe de Geant before milking everything available on the way back home. It was all top quality without a lot of hanging around.

Off to bed now, and stay tuned for more skiing news and photos tomorrow!


13 December 2023

What A Morning!

We had enough fresh snow overnight to fill in the tracks, and with the temperature dropping the snow was much lighter. The day started off overcast until 11-ish and we skied in pretty flat-light, but the snow was great and we were all having fun. Then it started to brighten up and we skied a fantastic run off the Fontaine Froide. It was so good we circled back around to do it again in full on sunshine. The sun had heated the snow during the course of one run so we continued on down the east facing Epaule du Charvet, leaving the southern slopes behind.

For a change of sector and exposition Chris and I skied a brilliant run in the sun in the Manchet, out towards the Marmattons before pushing out. We finished off with a nice run in the trees off the Mattis as by this time our sunshine had disappeared.

Andreas and Ian were in the same neighbourhood and they had a wonderful morning as well. Ian deserved this morning as he's been here since opening day and we have had at times some pretty tricky times. Bravo Ian!

Pietro has been here for the past ten days or so and is staying with me. He skied with the Ski Club last week and is helping Jean Marc out this week. It's great to have him back.

Thanks to Johnnie Alpine for another stunning curry last night. It was absolutely brilliant!

Dave Carr was cremated this morning and there will be a  'Celebration of Life' to be held in Val d'Isere soon. I'll keep you posted when the date has been finalised.

I know that all you Swifties out there are aware that it's Taylor's birthday today, and you'll be playing some of her music to celebrate. Yesterday I listened to 'Red', and I think I'll play 'Folklore' this afternoon. Enjoy your birthday playlist!

I've a lot to organise as the girls arrive Saturday night and I haven't finished unpacking the car yet. Blimey, I'd better get going!

Stay tuned!

PS Chris helped me and I've managed to post some photos,although I don't have the same editing capabilities. Thanks Chris!


12 December 2023

Val d'Isere Delivers!

Among the rain and the wind, and the doom and gloom of the past couple of days, Val d'Isere delivered a cracking morning when we least expected it.

With memories of yesterday's terrible conditions and weather still lingering, we didn't really expect too much better today. But, there was less wind, less and rain, and a nice cushion of fresh snow at altitude.

We eased into it off the edge of the Verte to find beautiful creamy soft snow, and we knew that we were in for a much better day. After a couple runs mixing off-piste up high with piste skiing to the Funival we headed up Tommeuses. There we had another couple of good runs off the edges of the piste before returning to the pistes once the snow became uncomfortably heavy.

The best was yet to come as they opened the Fontaine Froide and we skied 4 excellent rotations as the light improved with each run. No one else was around and after 4 runs no other tracks were visible. We were satisfied enough to take the bubble down from the Follie Douce to finish off a great morning!

The weather is forecast to improve and things should get a little easier over the next couple of days.

Stay tuned!

PS The main reason it was so enjoyable this morning is that the resort is empty. Had it been Christmas with a million other skiers looking for fresh snow it would have been a nightmare. It was only my group out today and we didn't see anyone else anywhere making an effort for fresh snow.

PPS Chris has helped me with a few photos. They aren't great but better than nothing!


11 December 2023

Satisfying!

It wasn't the most inspiring of mornings as it was raining, grey, windy and very little was open.

It was blowing a gale on the summit of Bellevarde and the off-piste was a non-started, so we skied the piste down to La Daille. Dawn and Derek, who have already done quite a bit of skiing took the opportunity to peel out and rest up for another battle tomorrow.

I continued on with Chris and David and we did technique using the La Daille bubbles. The snow lower down was much better than the upper slopes, and we were protected from the wind. We would have continued but they eventually shut down the bubbles as the wind increased, and we called it a day around 11 o'clock.

I ran into Jean Zimmer around 10:30 and he was doing technique with a couple of clients as well. It was great to see him out in those conditions. After all these years he still has the passion to teach even in these uninspiring conditions, and do the utmost for his clients. I saw his brother Pat in the Vis Val D'is and he laughed when I told him Jean and I were out skiing this morning.

Stopping early allowed me to get the family Vis Val D'is cards  and the girls season passes sorted. That is a relief, and a good job to tick off my list.

It was a terrible day yesterday for my sports teams. The Hammers were hammered, the Calgary Flames lost, and the Pittsburgh Steelers lost. But the biggest loss of the century was the Toronto Blue Jay's losing out on Shohei Ohtani to the LA Dodgers. Ohtani is the perhaps the greatest player to ever play baseball, and just when it looked like he was going to Toronto he signed a 10-year 700,000,000 dollar contract with the Dodgers instead. And losing him seriously sucks!

Stay tuned!

PS Maybe this rain will cause enough avalanche activity to fill the gorge? That would be a positive from this wet weather.


10 December 2023

An Interesting Morning!

It rained in the village yesterday afternoon/evening, and I could hear the wind howling during the night outside my window, and that combination usually adds to up some interesting skiing!

Throw in some flat-light and a few key lifts being closed we had a pretty of a tricky start, but we had some good skiing on-piste while waiting for things to open. We ended up with a pretty good Chardonnet, which would have been excellent with good light, and everyone enjoyed it. (Johnnie Alpine said it was the best Chardonnet he's ever done but he must of been on drugs or something!)

As we arrived back in Tignes the skies started to clear so we headed up to the Grande Motte for an excellent Genepy in full sunshine. With last nights wind the steep convex slopes were loaded and needed to be avoided, which we did, but we still managed to distance-trigger a nice little slab that certainly woke us all up. It was then back to the piste on the way home as there was a rain-crust on the lower part of the mountain.

Thanks to Richard Finlay for a great cottage pie last night followed by Villa v Arsenal at Johnnie Alpine's. (I thought John was pretty good company considering he'd just watch United lose at home 3-nil against Bournemouth.)

And a big Happy Birthday to Chrissy! Hope you've had a great day and I'm glad the sun came out for your birthday lunch and ski home.

We enjoyed our little bit of sunshine this morning as everyone's spirits soared after being in the flat-light. We made the most of it because the forecast for the next couple of days is diabolical. Wind and rain is expected to around 2600 metres so I'm off to the cave to dig out my old ski suit and avoid grease drops ruining my new jacket.

Stay tuned!

PS Come on you Hammers!


9 December 2023

My Mojo Is Back!

After a really tricky start to my season yesterday I awoke to unexpected sunshine, and it's just what I needed. It didn't last all morning but long enough to get in some great skiing, and to start to feel like a skier again. When the weather did move in the light was always reasonable and a million times easier than yesterday, and the skiing was much better skiing as well.

Windows has done some sort of update and I haven't been able to work out how to edit and update my photos. It's really put me off so there won't be any photos from today unless Chris posts some. What was once a lovely and easy system has been so-called modernised,  and is totally unrecognisable and not at all user-friendly. I'll need to get Chris to help me sort it out.

The new lift company's service has so far been terrible. First off they delayed the opening until December 2nd. Then they opened very few lifts and have left some really important sectors closed, such as the Fornet. The Pyramid Chairlift is still closed and won't open until December 16th, which means the Signal Poma won't open either. It's pretty frustrating and they certainly aren't giving anyone a discount on their passes, which are full price!

Thanks very much to Chris R for a fantastic meal and evening in Dave Carr's honour last night. The food was excellent with Johnnie Alpine, Richard Finlay, and Woodie in attendance. Thanks again Chris!

I'm off to Chris's to sort out my photo issue. Fingers crosses and stay tuned!

PS I've managed to post a few photos but nothing spectacular!


8 December 2023

No Gig Tonight!

Karen and Andreas won't be playing at the Danois tonight. And the weather is terrible and it's going to be a tough way for me to start my season. Wish me luck and more to come later. Stay tuned!

Terrible is an exaggeration but it was grey with very flat-light for the most part and not the easiest way to start my season. Dawn, Richard F, Johnnie Alpine and Derek took it easy on me, and we skied mostly piste with a few off-piste sorties thrown in. I'm home in one piece and will live to fight another day! (I didn't take my camera so no photos unless Chris took some?)

I'd like to thank my good friend Paul for a fantastic send-off evening at his place on Wednesday night. We had a raclette evening with Andy L, Chris B, Neil, Charles, Will P, and Paul's sons Jack and Jamie. It was a great evening with our golfing pals and very much appreciated. And thank you to Charles for accompanying me to Calais.

As mentioned there is no gig tonight, which is a bummer, but hopefully they'll be on again next week?

I'm just settling in so skiing and blog quality will improve shortly! Stay tuned!

PS I was very pleased to read the West Ham score line this morning!

PPS Thanks everyone for taking care of me this morning!


6 December 2023

Packing The Car!

I'm packing the car and planning on arriving in Val d'Isere late tomorrow afternoon.

I'll be shutting my computer down and probably not posting any updates until tomorrow night or sometime on Friday. Chris is skiing and taking photos so he may well add a few words, so stay tuned!

It's sunny today and I'm sure all the boys will have some fantastic skiing over the next couple of days. (I have my fingers crossed that I can start on a sunny day!)

PS My appointment yesterday didn't go as well as I'd hoped ( but it could have been worse) and I may need some help from time-to-time over the winter transporting my medicine. But, more on that nearer the time.

5 December 2023

A Bit Brighter!

The webcams show a bit brighter light today, which will help make the skiing a little easier this morning. It's cold, which will help the snow quality, and sun is forecast for the next couple of days.

I have my follow-up eye appointment this afternoon and am hoping to travel on Thursday. It's weird not being in the mountains, but there isn't too much I can do about it. My plan is to be able to ski on Friday as long as my journey goes well!

I'm sure that Chris will post some photos this afternoon so stay tuned.

PS I'll post an update later about how my appointment goes. Fingers crossed!

PPS Derek and Henry report one of the best opening Solaise top-to-bottoms ever! Bugger, I missed it!


4 December 2023

Flat-light!

I was just checking the webcams and it looks like flat-light today. And too be totally honest, I don't feel like dealing with flat-light at the moment! I hope when I arrive I'm lucky enough to have three or four days of straight sunshine to get my bearings, and my feet back underneath me.

Adam G unfortunately caught an edge on the piste yesterday (his first day) and after a couple of cart-wheels injured his foot inside the boot when his skis didn't release. Adam is being operated on in Bourg this morning, and we wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery!

I'm off to play nine-holes of golf this morning followed by coffee with my mate Bill. It's drizzling and not the best of weather, but I'll hang up my putter for the winter after this morning. Thanks for showing up Bill!

Chris did post some photos yesterday, and will probably do the same today. Have a look and stay tuned!


3 December 2023

Opening Day Action!

The avalanche risk was 4/5 yesterday and with everyone chomping at the bit there was some avalanche activity. Granted, it was in a place where you wouldn't be caught skiing, but someone thought it was a good idea, and buried themselves for 20 minutes. They were dug out alive and uninjured, but it just goes to show!

I must say my beef casserole was absolutely stunning last night, and it needed to be as I missed Johnnie Alpine's first curry banquet of the season! Derek, Paul, Richard Foster, Richard Finlay and Woodie all gathered around John's table gorging themselves before watching Newcastle v Man U. Please save some for me John, and a place on the sofa! (Besides me the only person missing was Dave!)

Chris says he'll take some photos today so he'll post those later in the day so stay tuned!


2 December 2023

Opening Day!

The 2023/24 season kicked off today. It wasn't the easiest of opening days as the light was pretty flat for the most part, and there was some rain-crust lurking as well. Still, everyone was just happy to be in the mountains and skiing again.

Conditions should be easier tomorrow as sunshine is forecast all day long. Meteo France has the avalanche risk at 4/5 tomorrow so being able to see will be crucial to everyone's enjoyment.

Instead of skiing today I played nine holes of golf with Charles and Louie while Gill hunted for high-quality golf balls. I've cooked a beef casserole and have Gill's parents and her sister coming over for dinner. I'll definitely try to make the most of it here in England until I'm able to hopefully travel next Thursday.

I'm not sure if Chris is posting any photos or not tonight?, but stay tuned!


1 December 2023

Karen And Andreas!!!

Don't forget Karen and Andreas will be playing tonight at the Danois. They will probably start in about 10 minutes, so don't be late!

Stay tuned!


30 November 2023

Chris and Suzanne!!!

Chris and Suzanne are travelling to Val d'Isere today. Chris will be ready to ski on Saturday morning as the 2023/24 season kicks off.

They were in the Eurotunnel lounge today and Suzanne was waiting for Chris to come out of the loo. To her surprised Richard Foster came out instead, and they all had a good laugh, and contacted me on WhatsApp.

I'll keep the blog going every day now and Chris will add skiing news and photos so stay tuned!

PS If you're in town don't forget Karen and Andreas at the Danois tomorrow night, between 5 and 5:30!


28 November 2023

Arrival in Val d'Isere Delayed!!!

Due to surgery on my eye I've had to delay my arrival for a week, and will unfortunately miss the opening of the season. I'll now be travelling December 7th and will start skiing on Friday the 8th.

I'll also miss Karen and Andreas' opening gig, which is almost as bad as missing the skiing! They'll kick off their gigging season at Le Petit Danois Friday afternoon, and I'm gutted to miss it!

In my absence there will also be a delay in the daily blog, although Chris may post some skiing news and photos?

I look forward to seeing you all soon. Stay tuned!


21 November 2023

Dave Carr!!!

It's with great sadness that I'm reporting the passing of Dave Carr.

Dave was affectionately know as 'Old Dave'. He was a much loved character, and a legend in Val d'Isere.

Dave loved his skiing, his cycling and stayed active right to the end. Dave was also a fantastic golfer, who won competitions at St Andrews, and has his name up on the Honour's Board in the esteemed clubhouse. He once showed me his card from the day he shot a 64 on the Old Course! Bravo Dave!

Dave was a regular at Johnnie Alpine's football afternoons and curry evenings. Along with Richard Finlay we spent most Sunday afternoons on the sofa watching Premiership football followed by one of Johnnie's fabulous curries. Sunday afternoons with Dave were always one of my favourite few hours of the week.

I'm really going to miss him, as will all his friends. Rest in peace Dave!


17 November 2023

The Rain Has Stopped!!!

After a few days of torrential rain, which caused flooding and landslides, the rain has fortunately stopped, and the temperatures have dropped.

The colder weather today, and a nice refreeze, more snow is forecast for tomorrow.

Val d'Isere's webcams are showing an excellent and promising early-season snow cover at altitude. And even better news is that there is still snow in the village after all that rain!

Fingers crossed and stay tuned as the 2023/24 season rapidly approaches!


15 November 2023

Cut Off In Val d'Isere!!!

Due to torrential rain Val d'Isere is cut off. The tunnels leading into and out of town have flooded and there has been some serious landslides.

You can find some footage on-line and it is really quite impressive, and very concerning!

Stay tuned!


14 November 2023

Heavy Rain in Val d'Isere!!!

It has been raining in Val d'Isere over the past 48-hours or so, which isn't a surprise really. The snow came early, but fortunately there has been enough snow to withstand the rain so far.

I've just checked the webcams and there is still snow in the village, which is fantastic news, and the snow cover at altitude is still very good. More snow is forecast over the next few days, and hopefully the temperatures will drop again soon.

Tignes has moved their opening date to this weekend, and will kick off the season November 18th.

Stay tuned!

PS News Update! Heavy rain has caused a huge mud slide and the road is closed around the Pigettes. Stay tuned!


11 November 2023

Remembrance Day!!!

My friend Charles accompanied me today to the Brookwood Military Cemetery for the annual Remembrance Day Service in the Canadian sector.

Brookwood is in the village of Pirbright , and it is a stunning Military Cemetery. There is a huge Canadian section, an American section, and sites for every country in the Commonwealth. There are also graves of the French, Czechs, Poles, Italians and a Muslim sector. The graves are immaculately kept, and Brookwood is a very moving and peaceful place that is well worth a visit. (see photos)

It was the tenth anniversary of my Dad's death today as he died of cancer November 11th 2013. When the girls were younger and my mum and dad used to visit regularly, we visited Brookwood every year around this time. My dad loved the place, as did Millie and Katie, and it was a fitting place to be today. Thanks for the company Charles!

Stay tuned!

PS There was also a service in the French sector today. It was lovely to hear French being spoken and the French Ceremonial Military Uniforms, complete with feathers, are pretty impressive.


8 November 2023

Val d'Isere's Weather???

Sunny but remaining cold!

The weather is set to remain cold today and tomorrow with some more snow on forecast on Friday. So far so good! Stay tuned!


7 November 2023

Remaining Cold In Val d'Isere!!!

Fortunately as the sun has come out in Val d'Isere the temperatures have remained cold. A bit more snow is forecast mid-week, and if the air temperature stays cold and we avoid a heatwave, we'll be looking at a fantastic start to the season.

Fingers crossed and stay tuned!


4 November 2023

Val d'Isere Webcams!!!

If you haven't had a look at the Val d'Isere webcams lately do have a peek. Val d'Isere, Tignes and our entire domain are looking like the middle of winter after a storm. What a year for the powers-that-be to lose the faith, and move the season back from November 25th to December 2nd!

Fingers crossed that it stays cold and stay tuned!


1 November 2023

More Snow In Val d'Isere!!!

It's starting to look like we could be in for a fantastic start to the season. The snow cover at altitude is building, and let's hope that this horrible weather in the UK will translate to more snow in Val d'Isere/Tignes over the coming days?

Don't forget that Henry is on tour in the UK with his avalanche presentation. He's in London for the next couple of days.

Stay tuned!


28 October 2023

Snow In Val d'Isere!!!

The Val d'Isere webcams are showing a decent cover of snow at altitude for this time of year. It's still early and it could warm up and melt, but it is an encouraging sight to see a good depth of snow in Late-October. Fingers crossed that it stays cold and that this is the start of our base for the winter.

Unfortunately the powers-that-be in Val d'Isere decided way back in the summer to not open on the traditional last weekend in November. Instead of a November 25th opening the resort will open December 2nd. I think they've missed a marketing trick their as November to May sounds a lot better than a December to May season.

Alpine Experience will be up and running for the opening day and looking forward to seeing everyone who loves their early-season skiing. See you soon and stay tuned!


21 October 2023

Photos From Canada!!!

I've added a few photos from Canada, which were taken from my brother's terrace, the nearby woods, or at my Mum's Nursing Home. They aren't my best, but you get the idea.

Stay tuned for more news as the winter rapidly approaches!


17 October 2023

Henry Will Be On Tour!!!

Henry's kicking off his annual UK Tour in a couple of weeks with new media and a new Framework to help people apply the basic safety points while off-piste and ski touring: Keeping distances, stopping in the least exposed places and avoiding terrain traps.
 

I highly recommend going along to one of Henry's talks and to a transceiver training session. Even if you've done it before, we all can use a refresher on this stuff. Plus the more everyone knows the basic safety points, the more fun we can all have together!


Here's a here's a summary of places and dates:

  • London (Covent Garden & City/Saint Pauls) 30 Oct-2 Nov
  • Manchester Nov 13 & 14 Nov
  • Kendal Mountain Festival (with ORTOVOX) 17-19 Nov
  • Glasgow 20 & 21 Nov

See this link for booking and other details  henrysavalanchetalk.com/uk-events/the-off-piste-awareness-tour/ 


2 October 2023

Off To Canada!!!

I'm off to Canada to visit family and friends October 3rd. I'll be returning October 12th so I won't be dealing with any booking until I return.

Stay tuned and come on you Blue Jays!!!


27 September 2023

Brooks Robinson!!!

Brooks Robinson died last night at the age of 86. Brooks was a legendary Hall Of Fame third baseman, who played his entire 23-year career with the Baltimore Orioles. He was probably the best defensive third baseman to ever play in the Major Leagues, and Brooks was a clutch hitter as well.

I read an article about Brooks in the Star Weekly when I was about six years old. From that moment Brooks became my first 'baseball hero', and my favourite player. Because of him I grew up a Baltimore Oriole fan, and Brooks and the Orioles gave me some wonderful memories as I was growing into a hard-core baseball fanatic.

It was quite emotional this morning waking up to the news, and I  had a few tears watching tribute clips to Brooks. If you'd like to check him out log onto the MLB site and you'll find some links. He was a fantastic player, a great man, and the perfect 'first hero' for a little boy!

Stay tuned!


22 September 2023

Alpine Experience's 2023/24 Season Bookings!!!

Our 2023/24 season is rapidly approaching and the bookings are now rolling in. If you know your dates don't hesitate to get in touch and avoid disappointment.

Chris and Suzanne have been doing some fabulous walking, and Chris has posted some lovely photos. Do have a look as Val d'Isere  and the surrounding area are absolutely stunning at this time of year. And you will notice that Louise has been doing some hiking with Chris and Suzanne as well.

The girls are both settling in at Uni, and I'm pleased to say that Katie is having a fantastic time. It's her first year so how she gets on is a little more nerve-wracking than Millie, who is a bit of a pro by now. Go girls, and I'm including Ness up in Sweden who is leaving home for the first time as well!

Stay tuned!

PS Having my 5th Covid jab this afternoon.


16 September 2023

Off To Uni!!!

It was a big day yesterday as we took Katie to Birmingham to start her university life. You know time is moving on when your youngest child leaves home, and it was emotional, but everyone managed to keep themselves under control, and not blub in front of Katie's new flat mates! Good luck Katie!

Andreas, Tansy and Victor took Ness to Gothenburg early-August as she has also left the Nid (Swedish for nest?) It was emotional for them as well, but Ness has settled in well, is making new friends, and is really happy in her new city.

It's Millie's turn next as I'll be dropping her off back at Exeter for her final year on Wednesday. It's going to be awfully quiet in the Watson household next week!

Stay tuned!


28 August 2023

Surrounding Peaks Of Val d'Isere And Tignes!!!

Chris has had the mountain guide Mimi label the peaks on his photo of Val d'Isere and Tignes taken from 35,000 feet. It's fantastic and thank you very much Mimi! make sure you check it out!

Stay tuned!

 


25 August 2023

Scenes From Val d'Isere!!!

Chris has been posting some fabulous photos taken on his walks with Suzanne. And I notice that Richard and Deborah are in town and have joined them on a couple of outings. Do check out the photos, and if they don't inspire you to visit Val d'Isere during the off season nothing will!

Winter is starting to close in now so don't hesitate to get in touch with your bookings.

Stay tuned!


21 August 2023

Happy 18th Katie!!!

We've had a great couple of days celebrating Katie's 18th birthday. I can't believe how quickly time flies and all of a sudden she'll be at university in September!

Yesterday we had a fantastic family BBQ at her grandparents. As usual Fred and Liz put on a wonderful spread with chicken, minty lamb kababs, sausages, and burgers, while the rest of us brought salads and desserts. Thanks very much Fred and Liz.

Today on Katie's birthday we took a day trip to Brighton and had a brilliant day out. We parked at Jonathan's, who is a real character and skied with us regularly in Alpine's early days, and it was great to see him again. (see photos) Brighton has a real buzz about it and has to be one of the best places going for 'people' watching'. There's loads of funky shops as well and we always finish off with a trip to the  fantastic Taj Supermarket.

Katie has now gone out to Godalming to have a drink with a friend and use her ID for the first time. Go Katie!

And I don't need to tell you how happy I am with the Hammers 3-1 victory against Chelsea yesterday! This season has a totally different vibe to last season already and although we've lost Declan Rice James Ward-Prowse is an outstanding addition to the squad. With some smart shopping with the Rice money we should be able to get in several quality players. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!

PS Chris has been posting some fabulous photos of the stunning walking in-and-around Val d'Isere.


19 August 2023

Val d'Isere From The Air (again)!!!

Chris' photo of Val d'Isere taken from 35,000 feet is now up on the 'Photos of the Day'. Last week's version was cropped to a banner size and missed out a lot of terrain. It's amazing what you can see and recognise.

Chris had posters made about 35 years ago and may have some left if anyone is interested in purchasing a copy? I'll have Chris bring them along and leave some in Jean Sports for those who might like one.

Katie had her results day on Monday and received the results that she was hoping for. Her grades confirm her entrance to her first-choice university, which is Birmingham. Bravo Katie!

Stay tuned!

PS Chris has also posted some lovely shots taken while hiking with Suzanne.

PPS And I'm really looking forward to the Women's World Cup Final tomorrow. Come on England!!!


14 August 2023

Foraging!!!

I've been spending quite a bit of time at the golf course lately, either playing with Millie or accompanying Gill on one of her foraging missions.  We go out after supper and while I practice on the course she collects blackberries, wild plums, and collects golf balls. (See photo)

Millie and I haven't paid for a golf ball in years, because thanks to Gill we have a garage full of Pro V 1's, Chrome Soft's, Taylormade XP5's, and various other high quality balls. My pals don't pay for balls either as there are plenty to go around. Thanks Gill!

I've posted a few photos of Millie, Katie, my pal Neil and me at the club.

Stay tuned!


10 August 2023

Val d'Isere From The Air!!!

As you know we've been working on updating our website this summer. We've reworked the written material and have been adding and changing photos. One photo that really stands out is one Chris took about 35 years ago. It was taken out of the window of a 747  while Chris was returning from Australia. He looked out his window and knew exactly what lay below him from 35,00 feet. He  grabbed his camera and took the photo. It's a stunning shot, and you can recognise so many peaks and runs. It's on the Ski Touring page as part of the slide show. Have a look and see how many peaks or sectors you can name?

Millie, Katie and I went to the AIG Women's Open practice day on Wednesday and had a great day out. We followed fellow-Canadian Brooke Henderson around and she played brilliantly and it was nice to see her so up-front-and-personal. Unfortunately she's not having a good tournament and has some work to do to make the cut. Go Brooke! (I've posted a few pics)

So back to Chris's photo. Can you see the Sana, La Grande Motte, Mont Roup, Le Charvet, and the Sache, just to name a few? I'm counting on you Simon! Have a go and stay tuned!


31 July 2023

Thanks Michael!!!

Thank you to Michael R for a fantastic lunch in Oxford yesterday. Lunch guests included his lovely daughter Leah, Eugene, Tim, Stocky, Richard, Penny and Gill and I. The food was fantastic, as was the company, and we all raised a glass or two to Richard H and Clive. Cheers for a wonderful afternoon Michael!

Meanwhile, Derek met up with Johnnie Alpine in Manchester. The thought of Johnnie showing Derek around Manchester is a bit scary to be honest, but the boys managed to stay out of trouble and had a great time together.

The Alpine Experience planning for the 2023/24 winter season is now up and running. Don't hesitate to get in touch once you know your dates.

Stay tuned!

PS And Katie had a fabulous time in Paris!


21 July 2023!!!

Robin!!!

Andreas messaged to say that Tansy's father Robin has died from a sudden heart attack.

Robin and Tansy's mum Lorna  moved down to Albertville from Scotland years ago to be closer to Tansy and their grandchildren. They ran a very successful bed-and-breakfast for many years, and were always close at hand to help out with Ness and Victor.

Robin was a wonderful man. He was a loving husband, and a great father, grandfather, and father-in-law to Andreas.

He will be sadly missed and our thoughts go out to Tansy and her family.


19 July 2023

Ski School Planning!!!

I'm ready to take your bookings for Val d'Isere's upcoming 2023/24 season. The planning is printed and awaiting your reservations. First in the books for the new season are James D and Richard, and Sandy.

Val d'Isere's opening date is December 2nd, which I find a little disappointing. I guess they didn't want to risk the confusion of needing to postphone the opening, like they did last year as it caused some serious issues around the resort with staffing contracts. In the end it turned out to be a premature decision as there was enough snow to open the last weekend in November, which has beeen the traditional opening date. This year the traditional opening would have been November 25th, but unfortunately we'll have to settl for a December 2nd date.

Val d'Isere's lifts will be closing May 5th, and with it being a leap-year, we'll have a long season in the end.

Katie returned from Romania last night and had a fantastic time. As most of Europe suffers with extreme heat she enjoyed a tolerable 35C, and had a pool to take the edge off. Her next trip is to Paris to visit a friend, and she's enjoying the freedom of travelling by herself. Go Kato!

Meanwhile, Tchenko has been touring around eastern Europe in 40 to 45 degrees C of heat on his Vespa. He's been sending photos which consist of countryside, architecture, and his nightly gastronomical meal, complete with local wine. Go Tchenko!

And the Open starts this Thursday. Besides Wimbledon and the Major League Baseball playoffs, the Open is my next favourite sporting event of the year. Mind you, I'm looking forward to the Women's World Cup and I do love the Ashes. Man, it's all happening!

Stay tuned!

 


12 July 2023

Photos!!!

I've added a few photos from our evening with Bruce Springsteen, one from Millie's golf champs, a few from her birthday dinner at the Ivy last night, and one of Gill and Millie walking in the rain.

Thanks for a fantastic evening last night Liz!

Katie is now in Romania for a week visiting her Romanian friend Venice. Have a brilliant time Kato!

Stay tuned!


11 July 2023

Happy 20th Millie!!!

I can't believe that Millie is 20-years-old now! It's more than a little scary how quickly time flies. Have a fantastic day Millie, and good luck this afternoon with your Taylor Swift tickets!

Millie and Katie were glued to their computers yesterday as the pre-sale for Taylor's 2024 UK tour went on sale. Demand for her 'Eras' tour tickets is phenomenal, and they luckily secured tickets for two shows. Me, being the biggest 'Swiftie' in the world over the age of 50, am extremely happy to be included in their purchases. Thanks girls! Today at 1 pm they'll be back at 'mission control' as they try to get coveted tickets for more shows.

Millie didn't have a great final round in her club champs on the weekend and ended up in second place, 2 shots back. She took it well and said, " I didn't play well enough to win."

I have some tragic news to report as Andreas's  good friend and client Jamie Taylor has just succumbed to an aggressive brain tumor. Jamie was a wonderful man, who was an airline pilot and a fantastic skier. Jamie will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.


8 July 2023

The 'Boss'!!!

The girls and I went to Hyde Park last night to witness a legendary performance from the 'Boss'! It was my first time to a Springsteen concert and I was blown away by the man's commitment, passion and energy. I was so pleased that the girls were with me to experience such a 'legend' in action.

The E Street Band walked on 2 minutes early and immediately broke into a pace-setting number to open the show. For the first hour Bruce never paused and went straight from one song to the next. He slowed it down in the middle of a three-hour set to catch his breath and then kicked out the show the same way he started, at full speed ahead!

At 73 years of age his energy levels were incredible and I can hardly imagine how he must have been 40 or 50 years ago? And the same can be said for the older members of his band. Wow, what a performance, and what a night shared with Millie and Katie. And who said rock n' roll wasn't good for you?

Thanks to Charles for organising the tickets. Charles has seen Springsteen close to fifty times now over the years, and I now know why!

It's the final round for Millie's golf club Championships today. She goes into the final round one shot back. Go Millie!

Stay tuned!


27 June 2023

Having Fun In Cornwall!

We are having a great time in Cornwall. My friend Charles has lent us his lovely home, and we're exploring the area in which he spent his youth. Millie and I are playing golf today while Gill and Katie go the the Eden Center. Photos so far are up, and stay tuned!


21 June 2023

Off On Holiday!

We are off to Cornwall on Friday for a week's holiday. My friend Charles has kindly lent us his home, and we are thoroughly looking forward to it. Thanks Charles!

Because we'll be away I'll miss both Richard's and Clive's funerals, but I'll be thinking of both of those Val d'Isere legends, and their families.

Millie and I played in a team golf comp for Pro's Day at our golf club last week. We played really well, and just missed out on some serious prizes by one stroke. (see scorecard) It was a pair's scramble, which is a fantastic format and a lot of fun. Both players tee off and then you chose the best ball. Both players play again from the same spot and this continues until the ball is in the hole. Each player must contribute at least 7 tee shots so that also needs to be factored into the team tactics. Anyway, it was wonderful daddy-daughter time!

Katie took me to lunch in London on Father's Day, and that was a great day out. Thanks Katie and your Flat Iron restaurant was a great choice!

Chris came over yesterday and we worked on the website together. We are getting some new photos together, and making a photo library. Once Chris is trained on how to update we'll then be able to move photos to their appropriate place, and change them around from time-to-time to keep it looking fresh. We are slowly getting the text together working on key 'google-eye' catching phrases. It will be a little repetitious in places and we'll use the terms Alpine Experience Ski School Val d'Isere ski instructors/off-piste guides, where it all could be shortened quite easily.

We'll sadly miss our summer holiday in Val d'Isere this year. The girls are busy doing other things, but you never know, we may arrive spontaneously?

Stay tuned!


15 June 2023

Clive's Funeral!

Clive's funeral service will be held June 29th, at 2:30 pm, followed by a wake the Leewood Hotel, Park Road, Buxton. The family wish for family flowers only, and any donations in memory of Clive for The Buxton Opera House. Donations can be sent to RW Percival, Belfied House, Heath Street, Buxton, SK17 6LT.

I won't be able to attend as we'll be away on a family holiday.

Rest In Peace Clive!


12 June 2023

Le Petit Danois

I had a fun round of golf with Millie, Charles and Neil this morning. Charles's was advertising Val d'Isere's Le Petit Danois as he was sporting one of their hats. (see photo) It was a lovely day for it as the weather has been sunny and hot for quite a few days now, and the course is in great condition.

Work is progressing on the website, and you may notice that we've added phrases with ski instructors, and ski school. They both score more points than just saying Alpine Experience or using off-piste guides. Anyway, fingers crossed for more hits once we are up and running properly.

Stay tuned!


09 June 2023

Summer Skiing in Val d'Isere

The Col d'Iseran opens today a noon, paving the way for the start of the summer ski season. Val d 'Isere's summer season kicks off tomorrow, June 10th, on the Pisaillas Glacier.

The opening of the Col d'Iseran is also welcomed by cyclists, motor-bikers, and sight-seers in general. And for those locals who become slightly claustrophobic during the long winter months, suddenly there is some relief as there will be two ways in-and-out of town.

If you'll be in Val d'Isere soon take a trip over the Col d 'Iseran, because it's really quite stunning. The views of the Maurienne Valley are fabulous, and the massive snowplows will have left  spectacular walls of snow in their wake. It's picture postcard material, and Bonneval itself is always worth a visit.

Have fun and stay tuned!


08 June 2023

A Glorious Night For The Hammers!!!

What a glorious night is was in Prague for the Hammers!

It was nervy, and disjointed, but all that mattered in the end was the result. I felt that we never really got going, and the ball never seemed to fall for us. But, we defended really well, and dug in, and gutted it out. And took our only real chances when they came!

Last night wasn't our best performance, but West Ham won 14 games and drew one during the competition, and that on it's own makes it incredibly well deserved. And legendary!

Six weeks ago our Premiership status was under threat, but we ended up in 14th place (not too far behind Chelsea) and won our first European Trophy since 1965, and first Cup since 1980's FA Cup victory. In the end it wasn't too bad for a poor season!

Thanks for all the messages everyone, Hammer fans everywhere are rejoicing!

Stay tuned!


07 June 2023

Val d Isere and the Off-Piste Blog!!!

We are in the middle of revamping our website. The goal is to up our Google rating so that we pop up on top of the Google Rankings for Val d'Isere. And Tignes for that matter! At the moment our rating is terrible, and Alpine Experience comes up near the bottom of the list. We rank behind schools who we never see off-piste, and that is not only really annoying, but insulting as well.

So, the blog will read differently from now on. 'Code-Mode' will be used less often as I'll need to mention Val d'Isere, Charvet, Pisaillas Glacier, Grande Motte and others instead of trying to keep our skiing stashes secret. (sorry Simon!) Naming where we ski on a regular basis, and you may find it a little repetitive from time to time, is crucial for the all important Google Rating.

The website itself will be a little repetitive as well with the use of certain 'key' words and phrases designed to catch Google's 'eye'. Anyone who would like to help out can by posting a 5* Google Review. Thanks very much in advance, and thanks to Guillaume for all his help on the site. Some of the 'new-look', although still a work in progress, is now up if you'd like to have a look?

It will take us a while to sort out the photos, and place them where they belong. For example, there is an excellent shot in the Sache, but it's placed with a Val d'Isere heading. We need to go through our photos, and come up with images that go with various itineraries.

Richard Humphreys funeral will take place June 22nd at the Worcester Crematorium at 3:15. Everyone is then invited to the Cotford Hotel in Malvern to share memories and raise a glass to Richard.

And what a big night in West Ham's history. Come on boys!

Stay tuned!


02 June 2023

Clive Beattie!!!

Unfortunately I have more sad news to report as Clive Beattie died last night.

Clive was an 'Alpine' regular, especially in our early years. Clive spent almost the entire season in Val d'Isere during those days, and skied with us almost daily. He was a strong and adventurous skier, always ready for the Point Pers, or a trip to the Foglietta. Clive was seated at the 'Alpine' table at Les Tufs every lunchtime, and was often seated across from Richard H.

Besides loving his skiing Clive had a huge appetite for all the good things in life. He loved good food, good alcohol, and good music, and he had a fabulous social life. (Being a diabetic in his adult life Clive had to balance is medication and his passions, which wasn't always easy)  Clive was an extremely popular man. He always had a big smile on his face, laughed easily, and was always fun to be with. You could always count on Clive to be at the designated evening drinks venue, and then be ready to ski the next day!

He loved his children Georgina, Mark and Adam, and was a proud grandparent. Clive will be sadly missed by his family, and everyone who knew him. Clive Beattie was a legend!

PS The funeral for Richard Humphreys will take place at the Worcester Crematorium at 15:15 hrs on Thursday, the 22nd of June. After service arrangements have yet to be finalised.


24 May 2023

Snow on the Pisaillas Glacier!!!

The weather in Val d'Isere hasn't been the best since the end of the season. In general the locals have endured some pretty uninspiring conditions, which makes inter-season living much more difficult .

Last night 50 centimeters of fresh snow fell on the Fornet's Pisaillas Glacier due to a retour de l'est. The sun is shining today, and all that's missing is a couple of lifts! But, I'm sure there will be a couple of hard-core characters who manage to find their way to the top somehow.

I hope it cheers up for those living in Val d'Isere during the off-season as it can be a pretty lonely place, especially if you're stuck indoors due to horrible weather. Stay tuned!


21 May 2023 

Happy Birthday Andreas!!!

Happy 50th Andreas! You might think you're old but believe me, you're not! Have a fantastic day, and many more wonderful years ahead of you. All the best from all of us! Skoal!


20 May 2023

Tilly And Terry!!!

After yesterday's sad news about Richard I have happier news to report. It's a big occasion for Tilly and Terry as they're getting married today! They are a fantastic couple, and we wish them all the best. Have a great day and a wonderful Honeymoon, and we all look forward to seeing you both back in Val d'Isere next winter!


19 May 2023

Richard Humphreys!!!

Dave Stockill contacted me this morning with the sad news that Richard Humphreys has passed away. Richard was a long-time friend and client of Alpine, dating all the way back to our Top Ski days.

One morning with Richard that I'll never forget happened about twenty-five years ago, back when we all had 'skinny' skis. We opened the Face du Charvet in mid-December or the first time of the season, with about 30 to 40 centimeters of fresh powder. The sun was shining and we were the first in, with no one following us. Our hearts were pounding and the adrenaline was flowing, because it was a rare opportunity. We were absolutely pumped, and the team performed admirably, leaving the most wonderful 'Alpine' tracks in their wake. It was perhaps the finest Face du Charvet of my life, and I'll always associate that stunning experience with Richard.

Richard was an excellent skier in his prime. You could take him anywhere. It didn't matter how steep, or how deep, he wouldn't let you down. You don't open the Face du Charvet early-season with just anyone, especially on 'skinny' skis, and Richard always handled himself well.

I also remember the time when someone in the group's binding broke. Between John Ellis and Richard they saved the day with an amazing use of cable ties as they pieced the binding back to a workable order. We were really stuck, way out in the middle of nowhere, and their ingenuity was extremely impressive.

Richard loved his skiing, as well as the social side of Val d'Isere. He had a regular seat at our 'Alpine' table during our 'Les Tufs' era, and never missed an aperitif session. Richard will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.

PS I've posted a photo of Richard taken at one of Michael Rosen's summer gatherings.


19 May 2023

Back From Canada!!!

I've just returned from a great visit with my family in Canada. I was only there a week but packed in as much as possible. I stayed with my brother Denny and his wife Marilyn, and visited my Mum and sister Wendy daily. As usual we had our annual get-together at the Wild Rose Saloon with Tom, George, Patty, Mike, Webby, Gig, Rob, Denny and a few others. We would have had more but some had Mother's Day commitments! It was also great to see my good friend Penny, and the week passed very quickly.

We are in the middle of updating our website. A lot of work has already been completed on the French side of the site, and the English changes will follow shortly. One change will be the blog, which will be on a monthly page instead of individual pages, which clogged things up in the end.

Anyone who would like to write some Google Reviews about Alpine please go ahead. Steve White wrote a cracking review, and it was very much appreciated Steve!

Ghiselle Green, the daughter of Giles Green who was a founding member of Alpine, was married last week. Congratulations Ghiselle,  and Chris has posted a few photos of the happy day!

And what about that devastating display form Man City last night? Wow, they were simply awesome, and are a wonderful advert for the Premier League. Hopefully the Hammers can finish the job, and qualify for the Europa Conference Final. Surviving, and winning a trophy, would equate to a fantastic season in the end. Come on boys!

Stay tuned!

PS I've posted a few photos taken from my brother's terrace plus a couple of shots of a huge owl guarding its nest.


8 may 2023

Off To Canada!!!

I'm off to Canada this morning for a quick visit with family and friends. The girls aren't coming this year so I thought I'd go now before my summer gains momentum. I'll probably go again in November before the season starts as well.

Suzanne's Mum Heidi is having a great time visiting in Val d'Isere. She's thoroughly enjoying herself, and it's her first trip since pre-Covid.

Speaking of enjoying myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the Hammers massive, season-saving victory against United yesterday. We aren't mathematically safe yet, but yesterday's win was a huge step towards survival.

Dan Egan was at the London Stadium for the match. He's been making a film about Clyde Best, who was the first black player to play in the first division. Dan sent me a couple of photos from his time in London with Clyde, Harry Rednapp and Geoff Hurst. As Johnnie Alpine said, "West Ham Royalty!" I'd have posted the photos if I wasn't such a dinosaur! I'm so glad Dan was there to witness such a monumental occasion in West Ham's history.

And the Blue Jays are in full flow as well. Stay tuned!


6 may 2023

Chris's Last Day!!!

Good luck Chris! Chris finishes a long Val-d'Isere season today skiing with Tejina and Dawn. We hope it all goes well, that weather and conditions are kind, and we look forward to seeing the photos later.

I'm off to Canada for a quick 8-day visit on Monday. Stay tuned!


5 may 2023

Back In The UK!!!

I had a cracking drive back to the UK with Paul, and we made it back safely without any issues on the road. It was a beautiful day without a cloud in sight, so we had wonderful views and, no need for the dreaded windscreen wipers! (Mind you the windscreen was plastered with dead bugs by then end)

From the photos it looks like Chris, Tejina, Dawn, and Suzanne have had some great skiing as things wind down. Well done to you all, and I look forward to the daily photos.

I'm off to Canada on Monday for a week and return May 16th. Stay tuned!

PS Suzanne's Mum Heidi has arrived in Val-d'Isere for a few days. Have a wonderful visit Heidi!


2 may 2023

What A Photo!!!

I was checking Chris's photos from yesterday and the shot of Suzanne has to be the 'photo of the year'. It's absolutely brilliant. The snow wasn't easy and Suzanne is in a superb skiing position. And she's skiing with just 86 underfoot. Bravo Suzanne!

I'm busy packing and tidying in preparation for a 4:30 am departure tomorrow morning. Paul G is riding shotgun for me, and I'll be flicking a switch and going from my French skiing winter life to my UK golfing summer life. It's wonderful to always have something to look forward to!

Tonight I'm having an early dinner at the 1789 with Paul G, Derek and Penny, and early to bed. And thanks to Karen and Uffe for a lovely evening at their place last night.

Stay tuned for Chris's updates and photos, and have a great summer!

PS If anyone fancies writing us a google report to up our website hits please feel free. Steve White wrote one, which was brilliant! Thanks very much Steve!

PPS Dawn's photo isn't too shabby either!


1 may 2023

I'm Done!!!

I'm done, but my season came to an abrupt end. It snowed 30 cm's or more at the Fornet overnight, and I was expecting a great morning up on the Glacier. But, unfortunately the Glacier remained closed and only the Pyramid Chair was running, leaving us very few options.

The snow was deep and heavy, but very skiable. But, the problem was that once we'd tracked out the piste the pistes were uncomfortable, and there was no where to go. In flat-light our risk factor skiing first goes up enormously, and today I wasn't going to risk hurting myself. There are far too many dips and hollows,and battling heavy snow with no vis knowing there are 'haggis-traps' everywhere wasn't very appealing. Not with the summer looming, and another winter to look forward next season. Sorry to the team but I'm home safely in one piece!

It is a winter wonderland here today, and incredibly beautiful. (see photos) Val d'Isere never lets you down and I thought it was a fantastic season. But, aren't they all?

Stay tuned for more news and an end-of-season report soon! Have a brilliant summer!

PS Andreas is back from a great trip to Norway and Chris is skiing until next Saturday with Tejina and Suzanne. Chris will post some updates and photos over the coming days.

PPS And a big thanks to Louise for another season running our Alpine office. She's a key member of our Alpine team and we look forward to her returning again next season!


30 april 2023

Great Val-d'Isere Piste Skiing!!!

It was slightly colder overnight, but not enough to firm up the surface enough to support. In places where we did find fragile support the surface wasn't smooth enough for comfortable skiing. And, when we were high enough on the Motte for winter snow we were in a fog, and couldn't see enough to venture off-piste.

Without any real options we spent the morning on-piste and covered a lot of ground. The pistes were excellent, and felt like good spring snow most of the time.We skied long stretches at a time, and I must say that my legs were shot by the end of the morning.

It's forecast to get colder and we could see between 10 and 20 cm's of fresh snow for tomorrow, which is my last day. I'm hoping to finish off a fantastic season with nice morning tomorrow, and some fresh winter snow will help enormously.  Chris is continuing on with Tejina until the 6th, and the forecast next week is fortunately much better for them.

I had a lovely meal a few nights ago at Derek's with Paul and the Campbell's. After dinner we listened to Derek's Radio 6 interview with Lauren Laverne. Derek hosts a Radio Show in Glasgow on Wednesday nights and has caught the attention of the Radio 6 interviewer. Derek acquitted himself brilliantly and more than held his own with a very experienced Laverne. Bravo Derek and a belated thanks for a great evening! (I'll get some details in case you might like to have a listen?)

Well , one more day to go. One more day to concentrate until coming to a full stop on the last run. As my friend Larry would say, 'never congratulate yourself while you're still in motion'!

Stay tuned!


29 april 2023

Al Scott!!!

Our friend Al Scott will be curling for a Gold Medal in Korea today against the mighty Canadians.  For once in my life I won't be waving my Canadian flag. Good luck Al and Oh Scotland!

And the Hammers have another huge 6-pointer today away to Crystal Palace. Come on boys!

Today's sports may be more interesting than our skiing this morning. The forecast is for rain to 2700 meters, but it doesn't seem too bad out there at the moment.

Stay tuned for blog and photos, plus an update on the sporting events later. Go Al!!!!

Breaking News: Al's team Scotland lost the Gold Medal game to the Canadians. Al said it was the experience of a lifetime. He loved the Korean people and culture, the competition, and said "second in the world isn't too shabby!" Congratulations Al, we're all proud of you!

I never did ski today, but ending up getting a lot done in preparation for departing next Wednesday. That just might free me up to ski a few runs on Tuesday as it's forecast to be sunny.

Chris skied with Tejina and Suzanne this morning but I haven't heard how they fared?

I'm just waiting for the Hammers game is kick-off as there has been a delay.

Stay tuned!


28 april 2023

A Rare Morning!!!

It was one of those rare morning today where the piste skiing was better than the off-piste. We tried our best, but there just wasn't much out there. It was extremely warm with absolutely no freeze overnight, plus it was overcast, and the vis wasn't the best.

We did tests off the Verte, Borsat, Super Santons, and the Pyramid and everything pointed to going as high as possible. Eventually we ended up out wide in the Pays Desert, where it came a 'travelling safely in the mountains' experience. It was a matter of picking the best way down through some tricky terrain before 'skiing' for ten minutes to access the big slopes back down to the poma.

I've my copro meeting tonight, which is always fatiguing as well as stressful. There is a lot going on in our building, and it promises to be a heated evening.

And a big Happy Birthday to Paul W. He's looking ridiculously good on it!

Al Scott is playing for a place in the final of the Senior World Curling Championships as I write. Come on Al!!!!

Stay tuned!

PS Tomorrow's forecast is absolutely dreadful with rain to between 2800 and 3000 metres. Let's hope they've got that one wrong!

PPS Al's Team Scotland beat Switzerland 6-2 for a place in tomorrow's Final. Bravo Al !!!!!


27 april 2023

Sachette Couloir!!!

Thomas and I had a cracking morning in Tignes as we looked for a change of scenery. We skied excellent spring snow with some nice winter snow in the upper Sachette mixed in.

I set off and good plaque/surface sluff in the Sachette Couloir, which added to the ambiance. Then a dropped my camera, which tumbled down with me chasing it closely behind. It got a bit wet and some of my shots had water spots on them until it dried out.

We've a team meeting with a web-person down at Thomas's place in Seez this afternoon. I don't have much time so I'll keep the blog short today.

Arsenal got what they deserved last night while the Hammers acquitted themselves really well in their 2-1 loss to Liverpool. I thought they were a little unlucky, and they looked like a team heading in the right direction as compared to one sinking away. They been really good lately and look ready for the fight.

Stay tuned!


26 april 2023

What A Morning!!!

I wasn't too sure what to expect this morning when leaving home. Winter? Spring? Is it still in between? I had a couple of plans in my head but as is so often the case, the instant my feet tested the snow the options became clear.

It turned out to be a 'maximum-turn' morning in various good snow conditions. After a liberating test off the Verte, which set-up the rest of the morning it was game on. After our test run we skied 3 off Wayne's Shoulder, one off the Cairn, a Col des Ves, a funky Familial and then a repeat of our morning 'test' run.

Chris, Thomas and Jerome were all in the neighbourhood while Henry was skiing with his kids. Chris was taking photos today so hopefully he'll post a few featuring Tejina and Suzanne.

They are planning on tearing down the Garage this summer to build either a new hotel or apartments. It's a shame that some of our favourite places with a 'lived in' feel to them are going by the wayside.

Andreas is having a fantastic time in Norway. The scenery is stunning,  and so far they've had good weather and snow conditions.

It's a massive night in the Premiership with Man City taking on Arsenal in the biggest game of the season. And of course my Hammers are playing Liverpool as they battle to avoid the drop. Come on boys!

Stay tuned!

PS Team Scotland with Al are 3-3 at the Senior World Curling Championships in Korea. A win tomorrow should see them through to the playoffs. Go Al!


25 april 2023

Where's The Sun!!!

It was another tricky day today as it remained fairly cold, and the sun never really made much of an appearance. Plus with Fornet Glacier out of play again today due to a combination of wind and technical problems, that added to Chris and my lack of options.

We decided there was enough warmth yesterday afternoon followed by a cold enough night to try for spring slopes. (We'd tracked out the Grand Vallon and Combe du Signal yesterday, and without the Glacier we didn't have many powder options) With the falling snow we'd have some texture to help soften the surface without the sun, and we were sure that we'd have support to make it to the bottom. Also with the falling snow we weren't going to make a mess and ruin any spring slopes.

After digesting all that we skied the Tour du Charvet for starters. The snow wasn't quite as easy as we were hoping for, but it worked, and we made it to the bottom. It was very atmospheric, and quite beautiful being all alone in the falling snow. (see photos) There has been more slides at the bottom so getting out is interesting, and it's not a freebie!

Next up was the Marmattons on the Arcelle side. We had a bit better light, and I thought it was excellent. It supported Amelia, Phillipe and I the entire descent, but the last couple of hundred metres were becoming pretty fragile. Our heavier skiers found the bottom section more difficult, but everyone managed to the bottom.

We then skied another, but not so far out so that we could escape back to the piste when the freeze started to give out. In the space of 30 minutes or so we needed to cut out significantly earlier, so we were pretty much done in that sector. Chris returned for another and cut out early while I made my way back to Bellevarde for a little play off the Borsat.

It wasn't the easiest of days, but we did our best and our decision making was good. Sometimes you can't do anymore than that.

Doug emailed to say that they have decided to finally repelace the Vallon bubbles up to the Col this summer. That's fantastic news and a long time in coming. The bad news is that they will be taking out the Col Poma! The only way to access the Glacier will be from the new lift departing from the top of the Fornet cable car. No more Combe du Signal's en route to the poma. Bummer!

Stay tuned!

PS I had a fantastic catch-up with Boo last night. It turns out that I haven't seen her in 27 years! Boo was the first female pisteur here and Val d'Isere, and a much loved character. We had a lovely evening including Chris and Suzanne, the one-and-only Dick, Dawn, Stocky, Paul and I, and Boo's son Hamish joined us after his trip in the rat-track. It was great to see you Boo!


24 april 2023

Another Morning Of Winter Snow!!!

It rained in town yesterday afternoon and Stocky, Jukka, Paul and I got soaked at the Foustock Concert. But, we all know that rain in town means snow upstairs and we enjoyed a cracking morning of winter snow.

We were heading upstairs to the Glacier but unfortunately it was closed due to wind and then technical difficulties. The closure forced us down and we ended up with a fantastic morning off the Signal Poma. We skied three Grand Vallon's, a Combe du Signal, and a couple on the meadows under the up-and-over chair. (Leissieres)

The snow at times was 'skiers snow', meaning it needed a round turn, good pole plant and some technique, but it skied really well and was very rewarding. Both Chris and my team's skied really well and showed the snow who was boss, and did a great job. Decent visibility helped enormously because it would have been a tough morning otherwise.

Thomas was out skiing with Muriel and after a great ski they heded down to Le Monal for lunch. Nice one Thomas!

It stayed dry until the last 20 minutes or so at last night's concert at the Salon. Karen and Mike opened up the show and were fantastic as usual. Then Ritchie played with a French band called Doc Martens. I'm not sure if they were named after the boots or Martin Clunes, but they were outstanding. Ritchie jamming back and forth with the lead guitarist was a lot of fun, and it was worth getting soaked to hang on until the end.

I'd better get going as I have a tax meeting in Bourg soon. Stay tuned!

PS And what about those Hammers!!!!!

PPS Chris has been posting some fabulous photos. Thanks Chris!

PPPS Andreas had a great first day in Norway!

PPPPS When I said fabulous photos I meant those of wildlife and artistic shots, not me skiing!


23 april 2023

Still In Transition!!!

We had a very minimum refreeze last night and not a huge amount of options. Although once we tested the snow Chris, Jerome and I headed to the Tour via TJ's Shoulder. It was absolutely magnificent until the freeze dropped, and then we needed to walk down the grass until we could put our skis back on towards the bottom. We also spooked a huge herd of chamois who weren't expecting any skiers today!

Once out of the Charvet Chris and I skied the top of the Marmottes before cutting back to the Solaise piste while Jerome headed towards the Arcelle. I then worked my way to the Motte and back mixing in off-piste shots with good piste skiing. I thought it was a fun and interesting morning as the mountain is still in transition but is still giving us some excellent skiing.

Yesterday I said Karen will be playing at the Salon des Fous at 4:30 this afternoon, but that has been changed to nearer 5:30. That works out well for me as I've a six-point relegation battle with Bournemouth this afternoon, which will finish at around 4:55. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!

PS Thanks for a fantastic meal last night Dave!

PPS Jean Marc has just finished a great tour in Japan while Andreas is just getting started in Norway.


22 april 2023

Al Scott!!!

My good friend and long time 'Alpine' skier Al Scott, is representing Scotland in the World Senior Curling Championships in South Korea. The tournament runs from April 21st to the 29th. Good luck Al, we'll be following you closely!

This afternoon Chris, Suzanne, Stocky and I are heading down to La Daille for Paul Gains's Gold Medal presentation for 40 years of fidelity.

Skiing news and photos will follow.

What a footie match again last night. Like Val-d'Isere, the Premiership never fails to deliver! Stay tuned.

Photos are up. Al lost his first game 6-5 to the USA and blog will follow later after Paul's ceremony. Stay tuned!

Just returned after Paul's medal ceremony down at La Daille. It went well and we enjoyed a class of champagne and a lovely tart from Chevallot.

Last night's gig at the Salon des Fous was excellent and it's always great to see Karen and Ritchie. Karen sang quite a few songs that I haven't heard her sing before, and that was an added bonus. I missed tonight due to Paul's ceremony but will be back tomorrow afternoon. Karen and Ritchie will be playing at 4:30 tomorrow, so if you show up at 5 you'll have missed it!

As for today's skiing, talk about a transition day! The powder (except super steep and high) had crusted up and with the warmth the spring slopes down low wouldn't have supported, so we had to make it up as we went along. After a test on the sunny-side in the 3300 we skied some nice spring snow out in the Pays Desert, although we needed to play carefully with the expositions. Flat light didn't help but it was a good morning anyway. (see photos)

Hopefully we'll get a refreeze and some sun tomorrow. Otherwise it's going to be tough out there! Fingers crossed!


21 april 2023

Back To Powder on Val-d'Isere!!!

After a few days of wonderful spring skiing it was back to powder this morning on Val-d'Isere. And with some decent visibility we made the most of it.

There was enough light to really ski comfortably, and at times the sun popped as an added bonus. With the overcast skies the snow remained pretty cold, especially at altitude, but at this time of year the instant the sun shows itself the snow heats up immediately.

Chris, Jerome and I were all in action this morning and we headed to the Fornet. We skied as north as possible to ski winter snow and to protect the spring slopes. Hopefully others will have stayed off the spring slopes as well, so that they have a chance to transform into perfectly smooth surfaces.

I've had the pleasure of skiing with Michelle L this past week. I first skied with Michelle 35 years ago back in my Top Ski days. When we left Top Ski to create 'Alpine' she remained faithful to the Zimmer's and the French skiing community, so I've only skied a few mornings with since. Anyway, to cut a long story short, it was great to ski with her again!

Don't forget the Karen is playing with Ritchie at the Salon des Fous this afternoon, starting at 5 o'clock. She's only singing about 5 songs or so, so don't be late.

What a great win for the Hammers last night. If we can avoid relegation we might be able to look back at a pretty successful season. (The Hammers are 11 or 12 wins and a draw in Europe)

Stay tuned!


20 april 2023

Not A Bad Follow Up!!!

How do you follow up the best day of spring skiing in 20 years? Well, you don't really! Especially when the weather isn't fully cooperating. But, I thought Chris and I dealt with what was thrown at us pretty well today, and we couldn't have done any better.

There was a decent overnight freeze but it was warmer and the warming process was well in advance of yesterday, and it was forecast to close in and start snowing by mid-morning.

We opened up with an excellent Epaule du Charvet in the only sunshine of the morning. There was more avalanche rubble to traverse as another slide came down yesterday afternoon. (see photos) It was a little tricky to traverse and needed some care and attention, but the snow on the other side was brilliant.

Next up was a very good Cabane des Gardes. By this time the sky was clouding over, and we were losing our vis, but we knew that the snow in front of us was 'clean'. It was great skiing but by the time we arrived on the Arcelle-side of the mountain it was starting to snow. There was already a slight overnight texture to the snow, which helped to soften the surface without the sun. But' the little bit of falling snow helped to eat into the surface, and after a short 'skin' we were treated to a fantastic run down the steeps in the Super Arcelle.

It was starting to show signs of fragility at the bottom so we gave the Marmattons/Marmottes a miss and skied home via the 'L' to finish off a really good morning in potentially tough conditions.

The snow has fallen off-and-on all afternoon so chances are we'll be looking for fresh snow on northern slopes in the morning. Fingers crossed for some vis!

Stay tuned!

PS Gill has corrected me as I've been calling Snowdrone Snowdrome for the past few years!


19 april 2023

One Of The Best spring skiing Val-d'Isere!!!

That had to be one of the best days  of spring skiing that I've ever had! Jerome said it was the best he's had since 2003! It was clean with perfect texture everywhere we skied, all morning long, and believe me that is a rarity. Wow!

I can't remember skiing so many longs runs in a four-hour morning ever! We skied two Epaule's, a Jardin du Borsat, a Tour du Charvet (non tourists route), a sunny-side into the L, three Marmattons cutting back to the Manchet chair at the last second, and a fourth Marmattons straight down to finish at 1:20.

Thomas and Jerome were off and skiing together this morning. They were on their way to ski the Face Nord du Grande Motte, but when they realised what was on offer they quickly changed their minds. We ran into the two of them on our last run, and Jerome had a sneaky route through the shrubs and rocks that he'd discovered last week while skiing with Sarah, which was fun.

I'm so glad Millie could ski the first three runs with us before her taxi. She loves spring snow and it was a wonderful finish to her holiday. But, I was gutted she couldn't stay all morning, and I hope we don't have to wait another 20 years for our next  'perfect' spring morning. Wow!

Stay tuned!

PS Karen is playing with Ritchie Friday afternoon at the Salon. I'll keep you posted on the time.

PPS Besides being perfectly 'clean', the other factor that made today so special was a little bit of texture on the surface. Normally there is quite a delay when moving from the sunny Charvet-side of the mountain to the Arcelle/Cugnai-side. Usually we need to wait for the snow to soften, and often ski our first run on that side on pretty firm no-fall-snow. But, the texture today gave the snow some grip and a softer, safer feel almost immediately, and we didn't need to rely on the sun.


18 april 2023

Another Transition Day!!!

It was another transition day where the powder is crusting up, and the spring snow isn't ready. Transition days are always potentially tricky, and today was no exception.

Chris, Andreas and I all skied in the same neighbourhood, and we all made the most of the morning. We were hoping for some spring support lower down, but not unexpectantly the spring slopes weren't quite ready. But, the upper slopes were still good winter powder, and we enjoyed some outstanding skiing. (see photos)

It was Millie's last full morning as she has a Snowdrome taxi at 12:25 tomorrow. I was hoping for some spring options in the morning so that she could ski until 11-ish before heading home, but I'm afraid tomorrow will be another transition day. I'll try to come up with something so that she can join in before she needs to leave. (I'm really going to miss her!)

I forgot to mention that yesterday I had an age difference between 12 and 75 in the group. It's pretty cool to have a 12-year-old boy with his dad skiing with a 75-year-old, and everyone getting on and doing the business.

It's Ian and Andreas's last day of their season's tomorrow. Andreas will be leaving for Norway on Thursday and probably won't ski again in Val d'Isere until next winter. Have a good one boys!

Stay tuned!


17 april 2023

Skiing With Family!!!

Andreas had a pleasure of having Tansy, Ness and Victor joining in with Ian this morning. It's always a pleasure and privilege to share what we do on a daily basis, something we all love, with our families, and especially our children.

Adam has been stoked having his 12-year-old son Leo skiing with us and I've had such a brilliant time having Millie along. I've been lucky to have Gill, Millie and Katie ski with me quite often, and I know Andreas thoroughly enjoyed having his family along this morning, and he was a proud papa! (It won't be long now until Thomas and Henry have their children joining in.) (See photos)

As for this morning's skiing, we had a brilliant ski. It wasn't good everywhere as some places had a surface tension caused by the heat within the cloud and fog yesterday. It was surprising that our best snow was mid-altitude and not up high on the Pisaillas Glacier, but we did milk the good snow for all it was worth.

It's transition time again and tomorrow should be interesting. Stay tuned!

PS It was a 'maximum-turn' type morning with 3 Grand Vallon's, a Combe du Signal, a Col Pers and a 12:35 finish!


16 april 2023

Come On You Hammers!!!

Photos are up and blog will follow at half-time. My camera doesn't like flat-light so the blurry ones have been given some funky editing.

Stay tuned!

Sorry for the late blog but it was an intense afternoon of Premiership Football!

After being 2-nil down inside 10 minutes I wasn't expecting a stunning fight back and a brilliant 2-2 draw. And Forrest losing was a big bonus as well.

As for today's skiing, we all had some nasty fog to deal with at times. When in the fog even skiing on the piste was difficult, and the thought of being out in the middle of nowhere wasn't a sane man's option.

I dove off-piste at every opportunity, but returned to the safety of the piste when necessary. We were all expecting better light today, and usually we've benefited from better-than-expected-light for most of the season. But, today it went the other way, and we're all hoping for better vis tomorrow. Fingers crossed!


15 april 2023

What A Finale!!!

Karen and Andreas's finale last night at the Danois was brilliant. Everyone had a great time and they both signed off for the season in style. I'm going to seriously miss my Friday night's in the Danois!

After a stunning day yesterday of the highest quality with sunshine it was back to flat-light again this morning. It snowed most of the morning, and the wind was howling at altitude. After a couple of flat-light adventures in the past week or so I wasn't in the mood for doing anything weird.

After a good warm-up run down the L Chris, Andreas and I all skied up on the Pisaillas Glacier. I was tempted a couple of times to dive into the Combe du 3300 but I'm glad we didn't. The teasing light disappeared just as quickly as it arrived so we skied some lovely pistes, then off the edge, and then some really good runs towards the Combe du Geante.

They started to shut things down due with wind and snow so we headed back down just after noon and it was a pretty good morning considering.

Thomas, Jerome and Dan were all out there somewhere and knowing the boys they will have come up with something.

I'm a little bummed as my Canal Plus isn't working so I'm missing my Saturday afternoon on the sofa watching Match of ze Day. Hopefully it will be fixed for the last game this evening.

A little sun is forecast for the morning and I definitely have my fingers crossed for that!

Stay tuned!


14 april 2023

'Milked It'!!!

For a combination of reasons 'Wayne's Shoulder' was at it's best today, and we absolutely 'milked it'. (see photos) It was great to have Millie along as she gets another week, and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. (As did everyone else) I also had Mark Jones's wife Lizzy, French Phillipe, Jules, Barnaby and Adam G along for the ride. It was quite a spectacular morning of cold winter snow in the middle of April. Wow!

We started off with an excellent Borsat Nord and meadows into Tignes followed by four rotations off my shoulder, one off the Lanches chair and a Familial to finish. It was a 'maximum-turn' morning of the highest quality, and with unexpected sunshine!

Chris was also 'milking', Thomas was skiing couloirs, Andreas and Ian were having a great time, Jerome was in action, and Dan Egan was about as well, and everyone had a fabulous morning.

I'm really looking forward to Karen and Andreas tonight at the Danois, kicking off around 5:30. It's their last gig of the season as Andreas is off to Norway next week, and it promises to be a great night! If you're in town don't miss it!

And a big Happy Birthday to Uffe today! See you tonight Uffe.

Stay tuned!

PS Chris adds some photos from time to time. He posted a few yesterday and will probably post some today. Thanks Chris!


13 april 2023

Bye To Katie And Gill !!!

Unfortunately Gill and Katie missed their skiing today due to the French Strikes about the age of retirement. Because the strikers block the roads they had to leave early with Snowdrome to avoid being stuck and missing their plane. I really feel sorry for them as they now have a long wait at the airport after missing a great morning on the mountain.

I was travelling light today with just Phillipe and Millie and we had a great morning up at the Fornet. (see photos) Chris, Andreas, Thomas, Jerome and Dan Egan were all in the neighbourhood and everyone enjoyed a fantastic morning.

I'm off to Bourg shopping this afternoon with Millie as she's here for another week.

Don't forget that Karen and Andreas's gig at the Danois tomorrow night will be the last of the season. If you're in town don't miss it!

Stay tuned!


12 april 2023

Happy Birthday Gill!

We had a lovely 'birthday' ski for Gill's birthday. Gill and the girls came along with Barnaby, Phillipe, James and Jules and we had a cracking morning up at the Fornet.

Yesterday's drizzle in town left us a really nice cushion of fresh snow at altitude this morning. It's always amusing when you hear people complaining about a little rain in the village. For anyone skiing off-piste day-in-and-day-out any precipitation is seriously good news, especially at this time of year. And we had just enough visibility to make the most of it. As soon as the sun popped out it killed the snow off quite quickly and we were better off without too much sun.

All the teams skied up at the Fornet this morning. The Gladman family were skiing with Henry today and it was their last ski of their season. Thomas was skiing with the Parker family and friends, and they left an outstanding set of tracks in the Pays Desert under the rocks. Bravo team Parker! Chris and Jerome also had family groups with friends and it was a nice 'Alpine' morning. And of course Andreas and Ian were in the neighbourhood working up an appetite!

We'll continue Gill's birthday celebrations this afternoon and into the evening. Stay tuned!


11 april 2023

Another Adventure!!!

It was a potentially tricky day with limited options but we chose well and had fantastic snow with wonderful ambiance. Unfortunately Chris and I had a few hiccups, which could have had serious consequences. Fortunately things worked out and we managed to extract ourselves and our teams from a sticky situation.

First off James had serious trouble getting into his pins and every time we stopped and needed to get his skis back on it took a team effort. Then poor James had the toe piece of his binding move while skiing and his ski came off and hurtled 200 meters down the mountain. Fortunately it followed the fall-line and came straight to me. James then needed to walk down to me where we had another eventful time sorting out his bindings and getting them back on.

Just when we thought we were ready to go Chris had a client who's heel piece broke and we couldn't get her into her skis. Eventually I remembered cable ties, which have laid dormant in my first-aid kit for about twenty years! Bruce did a brilliant job of working out what and how to solve the problem. After some impressive engineering we finally got Izzy into her skis and we ready to go. (see photos)

By this time the weather had moved in and we had pretty flat-light to navigate in. We were in the middle of the Glacier Pers, a long way from civilization, with two skiers who couldn't take their skis off. The mission then became following the contours and staying high enough to access the Grand Torsai without taking off our skis. It was white but nothing compared to a few days ago in the Sache and we made it quite comfortably.

I finally returned home at 2 o'clock after another Watson/Soulliac adventure. But two in a week is a little much!

Stay tuned!


10 april 2023

Wonderful Skiing!!!

The skiing has been absolutely wonderful of late. We've had the choice of skiing powder, or skiing spring, and some days a combination of the two. It hasn't been too hard to take and I for one have been thoroughly enjoying myself. All the boys have been delivering great skiing on a daily basis and anyone who thinks that we've had a poor season is nuts!

At this time of year it's so important that after a snowfall everyone concentrates on skiing northern slopes only. Unfortunately this doesn't happen and many of the wonderful 'classic' spring slopes are scarred beyond repair and never get the chance to transform into 'clean' perfect spring snow. It's effing annoying and the wonderful skiing we've been enjoying could easily be even better.

I had the girls skiing in my group this morning, which was fantastic. I think it was only the second time all season that we've all had an off-piste morning together. (see photos)

Yesterday's Liverpool v Arsenal match had to be one of the best games of the season, and with so much at stake. The Gunners will be kicking themselves because at 2-nil up they really should have been able to see it out. Now they have put themselves under enormous pressure with City breathing down their necks. And it was a little reminder that Liverpool still have some life and quality about them.

There is a change of weather coming but I'll wait and see what the morning brings. I've learnt that in this business there is absolutely no point in worrying about tomorrow. Stay tuned!


9 april 2023

Relief!!!

I was so relieved yesterday with the Hammers 1-nil win away to Fulham. A few of the other results went our way as well so it was a good day in Hammerland. I habitually hope the the 'underdogs' in any match, but when you're in a relegation battle you pray that the 'underdogs' get absolutely clobbered!

As for today's skiing, the sun was shining and we had another absolutely brilliant morning. Some of us went for powder, some for spring, and in some cases a nice mix of the two. (see photos)

I had French Phillipe joining my French family today and as I went to introduce them it became evident that they knew each other. It turns out that Phillipe is their family doctor! (I also had Scottish Andy and English Ed joining Gill and I this morning)

The girls are out on the terrace sunning themselves while doing school work. Hopefully we'll get another nice day tomorrow before the clouds roll back in.

I'm looking forward to Liverpool v Arsenal in one of the biggest matches of the season this afternoon. Arsenal can't afford any slip-ups as City look quite unbeatable at the moment.

Stay tuned!


8 april 2023

A Return Of The Sun!!!

After a tough but good day yesterday in a white-out we were grateful to some full on sunshine today!

My first thought getting out of bed was the Fornet, but I quickly changed my mind. Saturday is always a good day to go to Tignes as it's 'change-over' day, which means it's quiet. Secondly, we thought that maybe it had snowed a little more towards Tignes. But the main reason was that Chris and I wanted to see where we were yesterday in the 'white-out'.

It turned out to be a fantastic morning and along with Gill and Barnaby we had a lovely French family with us. Philippe, Francoise and their daughter Alexandra, all of whom are very good skiers and long-time Val d' Isere apartment owners.

Both Chris and Andreas were in the same sector while Jerome was off 'skinning' with a team of 'split-boarders'. Thomas was out of the station with the Parker's and Henry was having a family day.

Last night's gig was brilliant as usual, but unfortunately next Friday will be Karen and Andreas's last gig of the season at the Danois.

It's another afternoon of relegation battles with the Hammers playing away to a very tough Fulham side. Fortunately their best player is deservedly banned for the match. We are up 1-nil at half-time against the run of play so fingers cross that the Hammers can hold on! And hopefully most of the other scores will go their way.

Stay tuned!


7 april 2023

Ambushed!!!

Like an idiot I was totally ambushed this morning. I left the house without my goggles thinking I wouldn't need them this morning. Both my French and UK phones packed up together so I had no communication other than my radio. So when the weather moved in and it started snowing heavily I was feeling a little vulnerable.

Chris and I skied the Sachette Couloir as the rock walls gave us great visibility and the snow was wonderful. The big pitch below was fantastic as well and then the world turned white! We couldn't see a thing and by this time my sunglasses were not helping the cause.

Cheeky took the lead while I surveyed the situation with compass in hand. The problem in a white-out is that as soon as you feel a slope in front of you that you're not expecting it starts to put doubts in your mind. When you find yourself stepping up when to feel you should be sliding forward following the contours is very off putting. Anyway, we finally made it to where we could make out some rocks in the distance, which was a great relief, and we could start to try to ski and navigate comfortably again.

We finished off the morning with an excellent Altiport and both Chris and I arrived home exhausted. Thanks for your help Chris in another Watson/Soulliac adventure! There's been more than a few over the years!

Thomas had a similar situation around the back of the Lechoir, and needed to feel his way back on 'skins' to the Grand Torsai. Well done Thomas! Bravo to Andreas and Jerome as well as I'm sure everyone had their moments this morning!

Being ambushed I didn't have my wet-weather camera today so there are no photos. The couloir shots would have been fantastic but.....

Don't forget the gig tonight with Karen and Andreas. See you there!


5 april 2023

Sunny But Unseasonably Cool!!!

We enjoyed another stunningly beautiful day, but it was unseasonably cool. That meant that skiing spring snow was going to need some patience and adjustments timing-wise.

I decided to ski spring slopes (with a few powder turns during delaying tactics), and I must say that it was exceptionally good. (See photos) We skied one itinerary an hour later than normal, and it was clean, steep in places, atmospheric, and jolly good fun.

Meanwhile Thomas had new people so he skied exactly what we skied yesterday because it was so good, and Henry went along as well. Chris started out with me then peeled off as he wanted to do a little 'skin'. (Andreas had the day off today)

I'm not too sure what Jerome skied today but I rate him highly and know he'll have come up with something fantastic. He's been a brilliant addition to our 'Alpine' team, and has slotted in seamlessly with not only us, but our clientele as well. Bravo Jerome!

I've had the pleasure of skiing with David's daughter Sacha the past tow days. She's not only an exceptionally keen skier, but a seriously strong skier as well, and it's been fun skiing with her again!

It's time to 'peak' on my house preparations as I'm off around 6 o'clock to pick the girls up in Geneva. It's going to be fun!

Stay tuned!

PS And come on you Hammers!

PPS Suzanne had a fantastic parapente flight yesterday with EV2. She's working for them and was given the flight as a perk and to have a better understanding of their products. She absolutely loved it and I believe Richard Finlay is thinking of having a go?

PPPS Penny brought her nephew Charlie along this morning for his first go with Alpine. Charlie had a brilliant morning is in the yellow ski trousers.


4 april 2023

What A Transition Day!!!

The proper big spring slopes are a day away from transforming into proper spring snow, so we milked some lovely powder high-and-north before turning to spring low-and-south. For a 'transition' day it was skiing of the highest quality! (see photos)

I'm heading down to Bourg for a big shop ahead of the girls arrival tomorrow to today's blog was short and sweet.

There is a band playing in the Salon des Fous tonight between 6 and 7:30 and I'm planning on checking it out. Maybe see you there?

Stay tuned!


3 april 2023

A Stunning Day!!!

After several days of skiing in flat-light we were treated to a stunning day of sunshine. Having the sun back was wonderful and a welcome relief as skiing first in 'white' conditions is really fatiguing, and when we are most at risk of injury.

It was a transition day today where there was still some powder snow at altitude on northern slopes, while the sunny expositions were busy trying to transform into proper spring snow. Proper spring may still be another day away so today we skied some fantastic winter snow. (see photos) It was a fabulous morning and the mountains looked so much better without a single track. Wow, what a stunning day!

I was incredibly relieved with the Hammers hard fought 1-nil victory over Southampton yesterday. We jumped from 19th to 14th place, but every team from 12th on down is in serious peril of relegation. There will be many more nervy afternoons to come!

I need to gt back to my housekeeping as Gill and the girls arrive on Wednesday. Stay tuned!

 


2 april 2023

A 'Six-Pointer'!!!

I've a nervy afternoon coming up as the Hammers host the Saints in a relegation battle 'six-pointer'. The winner is out of the drop zone with a bit of momentum, a draw leaves them both in the bottom three, and a loss doesn't bare thinking about. Come on boys!

As for today's skiing we enjoyed another fantastic morning. After a lovely warm-up off the Verte I headed into the Tour via TJ's Shoulder, and most of it was excellent, except the bottom section. It had taken yesterday's heat and every exposure at that altitude was similar, so that set us up tactically for the rest of the morning. The team dealt with the tricky section really well, especially Mags, and I've a photo of Jerry making it look easy. Bravo team!

Afterwards we skied one above the Mattis, a good run off the Laisinant, and then with a limited opening and the people-factor we headed over the Col Pers. I was counting on get most of the way down before running into potentially tricky snow, and we were rewarded with brilliant skiing until the final hundred metres, where it was a bit more 'educational', but it still skied well.

Thomas started around Bellevarde and skied an excellent Kern before making his way to the Fornet, while Jerome headed straight up to altitude at the Fornet. Andreas had a quick ski with Thierry before meeting his family and they headed to Tignes via the Borsat en route to the Chardonnet.

Gill, Millie and Katie arrive next Wednesday so I've so tidying up to do over the next few days. And the golden rule in preparing for the family? Don't peak too early! Timing is everything. I am so looking forward to seeing them all and we are going to have a brilliant time!

The girls are off to London for the Abba show, which should be fantastic. Have fun girls!

All I need now is three points and I can go to bed happy tonight. Stay tuned!

PS After the Mattis I almost back-tracked towards my Shoulder in Tignes but decided to head to the Pisaillas just as the bus was arriving. I would have hated to miss the Col Pers!

PPS That was one of the most stressful afternoons of my life!!!


1 april 2023

What A Night!!! What A Morning!!!

It was another terrific Friday night in the Danois again last night. Mike filled in for Andreas who was busy with a concert at Ness and Victor's school, and he did a great job. Thanks Mike for playing Sultans of Swing. It was fantastic and a real crowd 'pleaser'. If Mark himself was there in the crowd he would have stood up and said, "well done young man"! And Karen was her usual brilliant self and always a pleasure to watch perform! I love my Friday nights in the Danois!

(Andreas played Mama Mia with Ness on vocals and Victor on drums.)

Happy Belated Birthday to Tash who was bogeying away after a stunning morning of skiing. And it was nice to see Matt and Ellie, Jesse and Lara, and all their friends who were here for Matt's 60th celebrations. (That includes you of course Kev and your lovely wife Bridgette).

The ski blog will be a little late today as I have a full afternoon of Premiership football to look forward to on my sofa this afternoon. First up is City v Liverpool, which is mouthwatering. Come on you Reds!

City just trashed Liverpool in the first game of the day. And on to today's skiing, which was outstanding. It was another 'maximum-turn' affair of the highest quality. Jerome and I opened with powder-on-the-piste on the Face du Bellevarde. Then we were first down the Fontaine Froide and onto the Epaule du Charvet, which was so good we did it twice! Then I headed over to ski one run down the Manchet, arriving just in time for a lift back out. Then we had a fantastic Super L, followed by a great run off the Laisinant en-route to an atmospheric Lower Combe du Signal and then some bonus turns all the way to the valley floor.

Jerome, Thomas, Henry and Chris were all in action and we all had top-ten-of-the season type mornings. Chris would like to give a special mention to Tim and Gill, who did brilliantly this morning on the Face and the Epaule! Bravo!

I'd like to give Gareth's 6-year-old daughter a mention. Zadie was at the gig last night and had a great time, and it was lovely to meet you! (Gareth's dad Rob has played tennis with my wife Gill for years!)

Today's photos are now up. Stay tuned!

PS There was a good sized slide in the Combe du Signal this morning. It made for some great ambiance as we skied beside it.