Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Homeward Bound - Days 179 to 182

Jackie, Cassie and Si on our last day of skiing
The packing is done, the car is packed and we're ready for the long drive home tomorrow morning, setting off at 06:00am.

We did get two 'lasts' in though, a really nice day of skiing and lunch with Si and Cassie in Chatel on Sunday and, this morning before packing, another ascent of the via ferrata in St Jean d'Aulps, this time with Cassie, Haig and Gabby. We're weak willed, we planned the whole day for packing, Cassie mentioned the via ferrata and after probably 2 seconds of thinking we agreed! Well, packing takes as long as the time allowed and we're still done now at 4:00pm after getting back at 1:00pm. How could we not do it, the weather is fabulous, blue sky and t-shirt weather.

Lunch with silly hat and goggles
So here are my thoughts on our ski season, we've had 118 possible days of skiing here this season and we've skied on 83 of them (70%), meaning we missed 35 days out either beacuse the weather was bad, the wind was too strong, the avalanche risk was too high or it was holiday season and the slopes were packed with people and we didn't fancy queuing for lifts (including the one day when we went out to ski, arrived at the car park, saw how packed it was with cars and people so drove straight through and went back home again!).
Jackie, Gabby, Haig and Cassie on the walk to the via ferrata today
We've spent an average of 3.5 hours out per ski day, including skiing and sitting on lifts and have skied 2170km (1349 miles), hitting a maximum speed on skis of 96.1km/hr (60mph) - which was pretty scary! Our lift passes and apartment rental cost us €5400 (£4800), which works out as £57.50 per ski day or £2.20 per km skied. Just to overdo it with statistics, in the three seasons we've been here we've had a grand total of 357 days where the lifts have been running and we could have skied (virtually a full year), but we have been out skiing on 239 of them, which is about 8 months of skiing. That's not bad!

Mont Blanc against a blue sky on the walk up to the via ferrata
When we get home, this summer our plan is to buy a motorhome to tour Europe for the foreseeable future and we want to park up at various ski resorts an
At the start of the via ferrata after the half hour uphill walk
d ski for a day, or perhaps a week at a time and we have been concerned this would be quite expensive since a day or a 6 day ski pass is very much more expensive than a season pass. In fact a season pass is equivalent to about three six day passes (118 days vs 18 days).

However, in a motorhome we won't have accommodation expenses as it seems possible to park up in ski resort car parks either at no cost or low cost, so our €5400 total cost for this season would allow us to buy six day passes of, say €280 each (€560) 9.6 times or a total of 58 days. Smaller resorts charge less so, by trying out a mixture of large and small resorts we could easily ski as much as we have this season, particularly as we intend to ski tour up slopes in certain areas where no ski pass charge applies. All in all it seems possible to do all we want to do skiing wise from a motorhome, so one of our requirements when we start to look when we get home is to make sure whatever we buy has enough room inside for our skis and all our winter gear!

On our way up, Cassie, Haig, Jackie & Brian
So, that's about it from St Jean d'Aulps for now, we may or may not rent this apartment again, but we'll certainly be back here to see Si and Cassie and to do lots of summer walking and climbing and winter skiing and ski touring so, until the next time, au revoir!

Brian (top), Jackie and Haig posing for Cassie

Posing on the summit after we finished. About an hour to ascend for us against the 1.5 hours they think it should take

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