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Wayne and Gill Watson.
Alpine Experience
Alpine Experience

Off Piste & Back Country Skiing Specialists

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Wayne's Photos of the Day >

High Death Toll!!!

From news reports there seems to be an extremely high death toll in the Alps so far this winter. Especially when you consider how few people are actually out there travelling in the mountains. Deaths per number of people skiing and boarding is at a frightening level.

It just happens to be one of those winters. The snowpack is very unstable. And with the combination of limited avalanche control and no ‘skier compaction’ the result is that adventuring into the back-country needs some serious thought. The big questions of ‘where and when’ become absolutely critical, and experience is crucial.

There has been some fantastic avalanche footage taken this winter by skiers and pisteurs. Check out Henry’s HAT website for photos and videos as well as snow conditions and safety tips.

You may wonder why I’m not in Val d’ Isere?

I’d love to be there for the mountains, the snow, the exercise and to see my friends. But, Gill needs me here to help take care of the girls. It’s difficult to keep everyone motivated for on-line schooling and I need to rally the girls every day. (Especially Katie) I kick-start Katie each morning with a couple of rashers of bacon, an egg and a potato waffle. (I drool every morning while serving it up) Then I cook her up a surprise lunch followed by the family meal, which is one of the days highlights. The fact that I’m at home means Gill can work as much as she’s able, and in these tough times money coming in is important.

The final straw keeping me here is that I’m suffering physically. My right hip has finally given up and I’m waiting for a hip replacement. (I’ve had 25-years more out of it than the left hip so it was just a matter of time). In October I turned down an operation January 20th thinking the lifts may open and I’d have a chance of working. I wanted to ski the season and have it done in May but it hasn’t turned out that way. (Hindsight is 20/20!) My hip has deteriorated to the point where I couldn’t ski even if the lifts did open. And the NHS has called me in for March 2nd so for the first time in 57-years I won’t be skiing!

Hopefully my op won’t be cancelled due to Covid stress on the hospitals. If my op happens March 2nd I’ll have more than enough time to get strong again for next winter. Plus I’ll be able to enjoy playing golf again this summer and it will be a relief to be active again!

Stay tuned!

PS Andreas is going out a couple of times a week, Thomas is around and Chris is arriving Friday. Do give the boys a call if you end up in town!

PPS I’d bang on about the Hammers but I don’t want to jinx them!!!