Sunday, 7 January 2018

Then the rain came down – Days 76 to 81

The start of our ski tour to Abondance
Anyone who has been out on the hill with us is probably aware of his weather jinxing skills. You'll be glad to know they are still going strong! After the best start to the season, or whatever he said in the last entry, the forecast weather certainly arrived on Wednesday, the edge of Storm Eleanor closed the whole of the Portes du Soleil. An almost unheard of occurrence, not only did it pour down, all day, at all altitudes, the wind was crazily strong. We stayed in.
We weren't the first up, but it gave us tracks to follow
Thursday we did venture out as food shopping had to be done, despite the heavens still emptying. We bumped into Cassie leaving the supermarket carrying a bag of cat litter and were concerned that by the time she got it into and out of the van, it might be solid! The post New Year beef sale finally hit Carrefour, so beautiful stewing beef for €4.90 /kg, only in large packs, 2kg was the smallest. So boeuf bourguignon, 2x beef stew and dumplings, 2x beef rendang following the same recipe as last time we were here using the coconut sweets from the tin of Quality Street (sorry Elizabeth, I know they are your favourite) and 4x beef madras with vegetable curry accompaniment. The curries have yet to be made, but it's all working out so far!

Our tracks up
We did manage to make the most of the fabulous snow on Tuesday before the rain as we ski toured up the valley to the col, where we thought we could ski down to get the lift to take us into the Abondance ski area. He told me the lift was running, the conditions were good, I'd managed to tape up my own foot, once the blister started forming reminding me where to apply the tape, and all was good. Till we hit the col, to find the chair lift we were planning on skiing down to has been taken out, what Brian had seen running on the internet, was a tiny new drag lift, which meant we had to skin 3/4  the way up the final slope! I may have had a slight sense of humour failure!

A stop for emergency first aid
Once we got there the skiing in Abondance was lovely, though from the central area you have to pole each time you want to get to a lift, and it was this movement that agitated the blister, but we gave them a good go, before deciding to go back over the top! The sky was beginning to darken, and you never know how long it might take to get down, if all goes well an unfairly short time, but you have to allow for all eventualities. In this case unnecessarily, it was a great ski down with fields of untouched powder that took about 20 minutes, compared with the two hours up!

Skiing back down in untouched powder snow. We are now back down in the col that Jackie was writing about. There used to be a ski lift off to the left which I thought we'd be able to catch to the top to avoid having to skin up, but its been taken out. The new lift is right up the hill,just in view, it meant we had a lot more ascent to do. She was an unhappy bunny, so I kept just far enough ahead to keep out of range of her ski pole! The slope behind her used to be a ski run, but now with no lift its inaccessible to downhill skiers, but not to us ski tourers!
Stepping over a part buried fence. This is grazing land in the summer
Yesterday with the forecast showing sun and temperatures of about 8degrees we thought we'd better go and see if there was any snow left at all. As it turned out t was better than we expected, hard and icy, but the pisteurs do work miracles. We met up with Cassie and Gabby and Haig, only to find that the guests had taken themselves off, which was good, but that Gabby's boots were too big, so Cassie was taking her/them back to the shop. Would we mind skiing with Haig for a bit as he's only been skiing since they started working for Cassie and Si. 
Jackie enjoying the untouched powder snow
It would appear he has already spent too much time with Si and was happy to try whatever B suggested, so reds, blues, a view of Mont Blanc before meeting up with the guests so Cassie could pick them all up together...... we both enjoyed it, though it has served to highlight that perhaps we are slightly jaded with skiing every day, regardless, just the two of us. So skiing with others, when the conditions are good or perhaps a little more time learning bridge, studying the location of the best campervan sales agents and things like that. It is still a lovely place to be. We went for a gentle walk by the river today as I hurt my back unloading the shopping on Thursday, it seemed to be getting better till I sneezed yesterday morning, and was jolly painful this morning! Having said all that, once B put his cakes in the oven he has popped out to do a quick circuit....
A panorama of the valley to Abondance with Pic de la Corne peak that we've yet to climb, hopefully later in the season!
Activities for a rainy day, bake and eat!
Our walk along the river today, Jackies bad back showing in her eyes
A pleasant riverside walk by an angry river - and that's nothing compared to two days ago. That's all our melted snow running down there!
An indication of how high the river has been. This was the end of our riverside walk, the path has been washed away!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jackie and Brian. Be careful. Have fun. Eat cake!
    Love Helen xxxxx