Friday, 5 February 2016

Snow go, snow come

Cloud inversion over Avoriaz. It's down there somewhere!

Sunday it did snow, all day, so we ate. Monday,  we went out on the new snow, but it sadly had been rained on quite heavily, so was quite slushy making it hard and tiring to manoeuvre in, fortunately we were Gizmo sitting so had an excuse to give up for the day. Gizmo, as ever, was very cute, though a bit more woofy, but I think he just wanted to play as we both got bounced and had our ears licked! He did scare off all my cats which was not what I wanted as serious breakthroughs have been made with Groucho, if there is another cat in sight I am now allowed to stroke her which she didn’t understand at first, but now seems to think is good, there is purring and head butting back. It just makes me laugh that she really wants another cat to be about, I suppose so one of them could leap to her rescue if I tried anything horrible, as if!

This was Monday morning in Avoriaz. It had been a windy day on Sunday and this was wind sculptured snow
Abondance ski area. a bit thin at the bottom!
Tuesday we went on a driving tour to the two outlying resorts covered by our lift past, Chapelle and Abondance, one of which was a first, the other we had been to last visit. Although the website was slightly exaggerating the number of runs open we had a really nice time, the tops of the runs were mostly very good with just the mud showing through the bottoms leaving a bit to be desired. They were also quiet, though we did leave the first as the bus load of teenagers were eating their lunch. Timing.

Looking down into the Abondance valley from the top
There are some nice runs in Abondance. Pity its so difficult to get to
Wednesday again was snowy, so we stayed in and watched it fall. Yesterday we just went to our local resort and had a fantastic time on the new snow, up and down the same beautifully pisted run a few times before heading off round the circuit. On the second trip round the circuit, done to avoid the kids out for PE lessons, we stopped for a vin chaud at the remotest restaurant which was lovely, though I did then feel I was skiing on someone else’s legs! Home before the snow started again, not much here but when we went out today, wow! So with the fresh powder and blue skies we have had a great day, both vying to get the most tracks in fresh powder. I did begin to wonder whether he has just upgraded the life insurance as he kept sending me off in front, unheard of, before suggesting “down there” “over that edge” or other helpful things! Perhaps he’s not well as it was actually him who said home time as we were both very tired, but very happy.

This is the ski lift that Jackie climbed up when we walked there earlier in the year
Coming down the Abondance lift. The runs to the town weren't open
Tomorrow we are working for Cassie, but may be able to nip out in the afternoon, before the first of the French half term weeks starts and Mr. Doom and gloom thinks we’ll not even get a space in the carpark! Sunday more snow is forecast but we are out working in a new chalet, she may get a bit of a surprise when we turn up if she’s expecting two 22 year olds, but we shall see!

Bit of a story attached to this photo. It's the Col du Corbier which is a 1237m high pass between the Morzine and Chatel valleys, about 10km away from St Jean and from Abondance. It used to be a small ski resort and the owner, a builder bought it in 1998 and proceeded to build some hotels and apartments which he sold. Where that hut is and the gap in between the trees used to be a chairlift and there were several other drag lifts. Suffering from poor snow it was making a loss which the owner supplemented with house sales as he built them. After the last house was sold he closed the resort and sold the ski lifts, the chairlift now installed in our own Grand Terche ski resort at St Jean. The people who bought the properties now have 10km minimum to drive to any skiing - and on a road that can be closed when it snows.
Here's a view on the other side of the road showing some of the properties he built and sold
At the top of our St Jean d'Aulps ski resort in great snow. The chairlift is the one that used to be at the Col du Corbier
A view from the Follys Col on our St Jean Roc d'Enfer circuit. The main ski resort is on the little plateau at the top of that streak of snow you can see just left of centre
Stopping for a Vin Chaud at a little bar on the Roc d'Enfer circuit
Jackie skiing down the black ski run 'Rhododendrons' in Chatel today
Jackie cutting fresh tracks through virgin snow in Chatel today
The snow was so good we were seeking out all the off piste we could find
But we had to be a little careful, we were quite remote and Jackie stopped for a view....
...a close up shows that she was next to a significant drop over a cliff edge, complete with overhanging cornice. Good job the visibility was good. We won't go that way then!
More off piste fun. I'm sure she could have skied over the roof of that house on the left!
Blue sky, deep fresh powder snow and plenty of off piste. It's what perfect skiing days are made of!


  1. Cor! That looks great! Hang onto the snow guys- well be there soon!!!! X