|Roger, Mike D, Mike R and Jo on the black run 'Aigle Noir' in Morzine|
It’s Saturday afternoon and we’re finally relaxing in our apartment having said goodbye to our Solihull Mountaineering Club ski party. We’re sad they’ve gone as we’ve had a great time skiing with them, but on the other hand we’re quite pleased as we can revert back to a more relaxed skiing pace.
As is usual on a one week ski holiday, it’s out on the slopes from the first lift to the last, maximising the skiing time and going out whatever the weather and, because we wanted to see them, we were out as well. Not quite as long, we did meet them first thing, but we tended to finish a little earlier, leaving them to ski to the last lift. That is except when they came to our local resort and on the last day (Friday), when we were out with them to the end.
|Lunch in the sun, Mike D, Jo, Jackie, Mike R and Roger|
Wednesday was they day they caught the bus over to our St Jean d’Aulps resort and there was enough for them all to do for the full day, not so many trees for James to ski between, but he did his best and, as usual, we followed him on some ‘I wonder where we are going’ off piste skiing through trees and, in some cases, rapidly downhill through fresh snow on narrow tracks, hoping there will be somewhere to put in a turn and slow down before the speed gets too fast and a tree gets in the way!
|Lunch at ours|
We were able to offer some local lunch catering two minutes walk from the lift, all coming back to our apartment where we provided soup, crusty bread, plenty of tea (they all seemed to be tea deprived, having no tea making facilities in their chalet-hotel) and a big slice of coffee and walnut cake that I’d cooked especially. It all seemed to go down well and then we were off up the slopes again for an afternoon of action packed skiing, finishing with Mike D, Mike R and Roger going home on the bus at 15:30 and James, Jo, Jackie and me doing a bit more off piste and on piste fast skiing before retiring to the local bar for hot chocolate with a large helping of rum – very nice! Unfortunately the connecting bus from St Jean town to Morzine wasn’t due until 18:00 and, as it was only 16:40 I got the car out and gave them a lift home to avoid them being stranded at the bottom of our hill with only a bar to keep them company. I saved them from the alcohol, even though the rum probably put me near the drink-drive limit!
Yesterday was our last day skiing with them and we made the most of it, being out all day. James wanted to do more off piste stuff a distance away, so went off on his own, leaving the rest of us to do slightly more relaxing stuff. When I say ‘slightly more relaxing stuff’ it’s all relative, Mike D completing only his third ski holiday had ‘black fever’ on, so during the day we did five black un-pisted, very mogully (lumpy) runs that tried the thighs and knees to the limit and causing SMC chairman Roger to moan, eyes up to the sky, but do them anyway!
|Here's something you don't see on ski slopes every day, an eagle who was out with his skiing keeper|
|Roger, Jo, Mike R, Brian, Mike D & Jackie|
Skiing almost to the last lift and at speeds down some slopes not previously seen, Mike D flashing down the slopes and Jo blasting past me at one point, we were all feeling pretty good and skiing well, what a pity it had to end! However, we all met up to have a final après ski drink in their local bar, a good laugh, a few jokes told (including the un PC ‘Is it Disco’ joke that unfortunately can’t be told quietly!) and sad goodbyes before we retired home to our apartment with tired bodies from the weeks punishing ski schedule.
|Amazing how silly a few drinks makes us!|
This morning we decided we were going to get up late and probably not go out, but it was not to be. We’d sent an email to Carol Cavet, whose sister we rented our apartment from, but all organised by Carol, who lives in Les Gets with her ski instructor husband Andrew. They moves here as a family from the UK 10 years ago, with their son Ben who was 11 and their daughter of 13. Ben joined Chatel ski club, has excelled with his skiing and, after taking French citizenship in 2012 was hoping to be selected for the French Winter Olympics ski team, specialising in mogul descents with ski jumps and acrobatics. He was due to hear last week and Carol said she’d let us know if he was successful, so as we hadn’t heard we assumed it was bad news, but we saw an email last night saying he has been selected and will do his first event on 10th February. http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/winter-olympics/25928336.
We were so pleased we sent a congratulation email to her asking if she fancied going skiing next week. As we were lying in bed this morning the phone rang and she asked if we fancied going skiing today. Well, it was sunny, so how could we refuse, so despite having tired aching bodies, off we went. We had a relatively short day, but she is fantastic to ski with, a very accomplished and fast skier, we could blast down the relatively uncrowded Saturday pistes with her (Saturday, which is changeover day, is really the best day to get out) in a very satisfying way. She picked the routes and we did a couple of back mogul runs, her dancing down through the man sized lumps like a professional (even though she refuses to admit that she’s good), leaving us behind, but in a way really motivating us and making us ‘up our game’ and although nowhere near her standard, making us quite pleased with the challenge.
We really are going to have an easy day tomorrow, we may even not go out skiing! Unless, of course the 10cm of snow that is forecast to fall tonight actually happens, in which case we’ll have to go out to ski the fresh powder. It’s such a hard life!