Monthly Archives: December 2012

Just popping the jabbing snow chains on the grinding sick dripping wheels.

So as I prepare for home, with tomorrow the last day, more than anything it’s the juveniles language which has caught me by surprise; popping, dropping, dipping, jabbing to name but a few.  It’s my pen ultimate day on the Snow Vole courtesy bloggers ski and board trip.

I had a great day today in Les Arcs hanging out with G Man and FionaOutdoors . We left the juveniles to play on Burn’s super new product.  Sort of a fat snow blade that acts like a snowboard, but is fixed to each foot singly, unlike a board which fixes both feet.

We hacked around Les Arcs today.  Just perfect slippy soft snow, empty runs.  We were kings of the mountain, except for the 800 Bristol University students who were on every lift and in every bar.  They were strategically placed, sort of 10 at a time on each slope helping enormously with contrast.  I didn’t really mind them at all.

For those of you who know what I’m on about it was like, super fast on piste, super powdery of piste and super exciting in the forest, no queues and nothing to pay for thanks to Phil from Snow Vole, and our super courtesy chalet at snowchateaux Our transport a gift from Holiday Autos was slightly weird; the juxtaposition of big time hard core skiers and boarders being driven around in Skoda Octavia’s was as they say not quite “bang on trend”.

Riding the powder with the young dudes.

Unbelievably I am the resident “old dude” in a group of about 20 bloggers most of whom seem to be about the same age as my kids!  In fact yesterday out on the piste in Les Arcs, someone referred to me for the first time in my entire life as “the old dude”.  This will take a bit of getting used to.

Free 5 Star ski week did sound just a tad unbelievable.  “What do I have to do?” I asked, “Oh just come along, enjoy the ride and blog about it”.  Where’s the catch then? There must be a time share sales guy waiting to pounce or another similar financial purpose.  Well actually, now that I am here, the only catch is on the bathroom door of my luxurious en suite bathroom.

Phil from Snow Vole who invited me along on the trip picked me up from the bus stop somewhere out here, quite late on Sunday night.  As I waited standing on the kerb side with just my backpack, ski boots and phone, I did wonder if this virtual Facebook friend actually did exist and was going to arrive, and was this actually an epic prank.  Glad to report, that yes he does, and he did!  On reflection, you have to be fairly adventurous to be me.  I’m always arriving at some distant place expecting to be met by just an email or Face book contact.

Val Disere day one, Les Arcs yesterday, Le Plagne today, Tignes tomorrow, its all too exciting for me!  The chalet is run and owned by Dan through his company Snowchateaux It’s really nice, relaxed, not too stuffy, hot tub, great gourmet tuck, nice staff, hot water, boot room – it’s also ski in ski out.  Les Coches is really well connected since the massive Vanoise Express, double decker cable car opened. I have stayed before at Plagne 1800 and also Nancroix (so cold that Christmas, it warmed up to -17 day time) and this place is the sweetest!

Phil fixed up with some real nice skis and my pass.  I’m not used to this level of “jolly” to be honest.  The powder yesterday in Les Arcs was the best I have ever ridden (young people don’t ski or board – they “ride”).  I ended up having like a Narnia moment, all alone in a forest of hip high powder, trees looking like Christmas, laden with snow and the silence, or lack of noise was deafening, and enchanting in equal measure.  Those of us who have ventured into such a wonderland are indeed privileged.  Hacked down under the chair lift just for fun, at one point it was unspeakably steep, but you know there are times when those thirty six weeks of lifetime skiing do come in handy.  A quick jump, spin – oh yes, no real problem to me!

One of the guys on the trip John Moy of is an awesome film maker, he literally has am amazing amount of gear with him, like a waistcoat harness thing, with a counterbalanced device for his Canon 5D – awesome.  He is where my son wants to be in a couple of years.  So, today no skiing, I’m sitting here working away at my lap top, tomorrow the sun is out, so I’ll see if I can get some pictures.