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The view from............ Val d'Isere and the Espace Killy

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Merry Christmas to you all!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Get to bed Steve, you will have your work cut out at 9am with my daughter lol
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
There it is - A CENTURY of pages on his snowHead thread. Steve Angus raises his ski pole, acknowledging applause from all around EK.

An innings packed with valuable information, great advice, expert observations, top tips, stunning photos, cunning 'where was I' puzzles and an occasional well justified rant. Congratulations...looking forward to the 200 milestone some time around 2019/20 Very Happy
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Hi all- looking for some local knowledge from Val D'isere..

Im planning a short ski tour over new year. Flexible on location within 3 hrs drive from GVA.

Picked Val D'Isere / Bonneval area due to recent snowfall and good winter room huts.

Looking at crossing from Prariond to Carro hut via the Col Du Montet (N to S).

Alternative is to ascend through the ski area and over Col D'Oillle noir.

Or worst case over the road col d'iseran to bonneval then long skin up to Carro hut from there.

Does anyone have any up to date info on the opening of these cols at the moment. I know it's been windy.. any info on big slides or slabs seen in this area?

We'll be carrying axe, crampons, rope etc.. interested to know if any absail needed at the moment?

Thanks
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
intermediate - THANKS - what a nice thing to say!!!!! Well my target all along was to get to at least 1,000,000 page views so still going strong on that target!

jsrt201 - sent you a reply about this with what I know!
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Well not the day I had envisaged

As my mother was due to leave at 0440 this am I slept on the sofa so I would not wake Clare when my alarm went off but in actual fact I barely slept a wink despite the fact that I was knackered anyway! Basically I had a case of a slightly upset stomach and that kept me awake on and off for hours on end - enough said. Anyway I did make it to the hotel to see mum off but when I arrived at her room it was apparent that she was still asleep (thank goodness I went there in the first place to see her off). A frantic few mins but she got off alright and on time. So I headed back home to find that (despite my best efforts) I had managed to wake Olivia up when I left the house so I was not in Clares good books - woops! I did manage to sleep for a couple of hours (yay) before the day 'started'.

It started badly as it was apparent that Olivia had a temperature still so we called in the grandmother (Clares stepmother) who agreed to look after Olivia for the day.... phew bullet dodged there.

So after all that it was time to start my teaching day and I headed down to La Daille.... and I was teaching Mrs Philip1972. We lapped around on the various run up the top of Bellevarde and I thought there were some positive changes made - practice time will tell!

My stomach seemed OK (I had hardly eaten anything at breakfast time) but I decided not to chance it so at lunchtime I had the dryest ham sandwich ever invented....

The afternoon I had a client from a few years back whom has been off the radar somewhat of recent due to his personal circumstances so it was nice to catch up again... it seemed to be a little dejavu as the afternoon lesson was quite similar in content to the morning but that is the way things go sometimes.

The weather was once again very 'non-Winter'like' and it feels more like March but there you go - still no snow forecast!

By about mid afternoon I was not feeling in the best of form once again and I think the fatigue was catching up with me as I was aware I was yawning in my own lesson - how unprofessional! To be brutally honest I was really looking forward to getting the ski boots off and getting an early night and also seeing how my little girl was.... so the thought of doing a Periscope didnt put a smile on my face so I am ashamed to say I skipped it today but after a good catch up sleep tonight I am hoping I will be back on top form tomorrow!

When I finally got home it was apparent that Olivia was no better and in fact her temperature had gone up so Clare ended up taking her to the doctor and we have once again had to draft in the 'olds' to cover us tomorrow. She really was NOT a happy girl when I put her to bed this evening - not well at all. Anyway she has been in bed for an hour and a half now and so far no noises so I am really hoping she sleeps well all night and we can all reset ourselves and get back on form!

Anyway folks I think that is about all for tonight.... will get back into 2nd or even 3rd gear soon I promise!


Red sky in the morning..... not looking like it is going to develop into a storm that is for sure!

TTFN
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Steve Angus, The trials of being a parent! Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Way more people Monday than during xmas weekend - I was expecting holidays' crowds from Sunday as usual but forgot xmas day. And there I was thinking the Grande Motte and Pointe Percee were lovely and to ourselves for the week...
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
steve i noticed that you guys are all on head skis..... is a brand that so far i haven't really followed..... what variation would you recommend for doing some basi courses 2 and onwards? at the mo i have the salomon xrace 175 with the race plate which are good for gates etc but heavy and a bit stiff to ski all day so am going to add some more general piste performance ski, bit shorter, softer that would be better in bumps and variables.... any recommendations ? cheers
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Iski Very Happy
patrick! - yes definitely getting busier day by day and this afternoon felt swamped compared to what it has been of recent
ajc2260626 - I would go for something like the ispeeds or something like that.... good quality piste performance skis that you can really drive but without the race plate and weight etc. Something like that.... sort of everyday slalom skis but in a slightly longer length to help at slightly higher speeds so in a 170/175 length is good. Hope that helps!
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Thats better

Well a new day and both Clare and I slept really well and I think Olivia did... however she still had a little temperature and was not quite 100% so we decided to be cautious (mainly as if creche thought she was ill they might mark her off for several more days before she could return). So the grandparents were called in again.

So with that sorted I headed to the meeting point (Clare was on an all day booking so was starting down in La Daille) and met up with my am session... a middle aged man working in the City of London who has skied a heck of a lot and has especially been getting into his off piste the last few years so wanted some off piste technique. Having only arrived last night I think he was pleasantly suprised with what snow we had. Anyway he was not expecting miracles I dont think but we headed up Solaise to try and make the most of what we had and found a couple of nice spots tucked away, a nice turn here or there.... and certainly in the guts of the good old Grand Valon it was pretty nice.... generally chalky and grippy it was not waist deep powder for sure but enjoyable non the less and there was the opportunity to get some good technical development in. It was a fairly tiring am dashing about but it was good to get off piste that was for sure!

At lunchtime I finally managed to fit in a periscope after what has seemed like days away from it for the various reasons mentioned above...

https://www.periscope.tv/SteveAngusSnow/1mrGmNlydAvJy?autoplay&t=41

The afternoon was back on the same booking as yesterday and we took of from where we were yesterday. Today the focus was to take what we had worked on yesterday but make it even more refined before tackling even tougher terrain. It was a successful one as by the end he was skiing quite nicely down the Arcelle - bravo!!!!

Certainly the mountain seemed busier today than it was yesterday and this afternoon busier than the morning although still not quite the bottlenecks as it can be like. The runs are now starting to take a real battering from the lack of natural snow that hasnt fallen and it getting both scraped and in some places patchy. They are having to really target where they make snow and also when... the warmer temps are meaning that lots of the new snow is getting hit in the afternoon sun and altitude makes a difference too. Anyway dont panic too much - I dont think it is that bad but it needs some fresh snow it really does!

Anyway some other things to note today.... firstly Radio Val d'Isere have just put together this awesome 6 min film which summarizes the work (mainly from this Summer) of the building of the new Solaise gondola and associated works.... it is pretty cool seeing it condensed down like this - much of the time I watched from the bottom of the hill as all this work was going on during the Summer months but it just goes to show how much work, time and effort goes into making lifts like this!

https://www.facebook.com/1130303713650017/videos/1844351445578570/

The other big thing I wanted to share with you is the resort have FINALLY released their master plan for what the centre of town will look like if all the plans go through, finances raised, and co-owned properties sold after consultation with the land owners. We are talking about a 14 year plan towards 2030! Anyway the area we are talking about is basically the area from just before the current main bus station, up the road towards Dicks Tea Bar and back down again on that back road towards where the current 4Property / Mountain Rooms offices are located.... stretching almost as far as Bananas Bar on the snow front - so it is a big area and it is something that has been talked about for quite some time now. The animation on the following website sums it up nicely! Whether it will happen or how much the plans could change and how many decades it could take are all up in the air for now but we shall see... looks interesting to say the least..... now we just need a few hundred million to make it all happen!

http://www.lecoindeval.com

I think that will do for now - I had another idea to write about tonight but I think I will leave it for tonight.


A sizeable pisteur released slide next to the top of the Arcelle - enough to do some serious damage


Sun and lots of it.

TTFN
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Steve Angus, looks great Steve, another vote of congrats on achieving your 1st century...

Your posts are a breath of fresh alpine air for all of us still in blighty, only 6 weeks till we can hit the piste.

keep safe & enjoy your season Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Yes congrats Steve! I love reading this blog and seeing the daily photos. I still have 2 and a half months to wait til I'm back!

One thing I meant to ask, where exactly is Bananas? I've never noticed where it is (I know it reopened a couple of years ago after the fire). Is it any good for an apres beer or two? Do they have bands on?
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You know it makes sense.
Disasters all round

Well folks im going to make it a quick one this evening as it has been a string of disasters since I posted last night...

Firstly Olivia woke up pretty much as soon as I posted last night and initially it was just coughing but bit by bit she got more and more wound up.... she would not let me settle her so I had no choice than to wake Clare to try and settle her down.... that did not work either so Olivia ended up sleeping in our bed in MY spot and I was relegated to the sofa.... suffice to say it was an uncomfortable night and was not very warm either.... I slept awfully and woke up feeling rotten.

The next disaster was that I forgot my phone at home - hence no video today.

The final disaster and perhaps the worst is that I somehow jarred my back skiing today... as I sit here typing it is better but I really need to lie down and stretch it out so I will be quick this evening.... it also didnt help that I took my temperature just now and I have a very slight temperature but dinner felt good so hopefully a good nights sleep and I will be right as reign tomorrow.... still another 9 full days in a row to get through before a day off so it had better be!

michaelbury17 and HoneyBunny - thanks very much...... to answer your question HoneyBunny - it is just off the snowfront by the 'flags' near the bottom of the Bellevarde Express chair... hope that helps.... just on the road there. Yea it is pretty good for apres but it doesnt have bands (I dont think!)

Last night I forgot to post a photo of the artists impression of the Coin de Val - I just posted the website link... so here it is:



The resort is reporting healthy figures so far this season.... 326300 skier days have been enjoyed so far this season already which is 2.8% up on the same time last year. However the new Solaise lift is proving popular with 110000 skier rides a day on it already!

So as I forgot my phone / camera today I thought I would share Radio Val's photo which sums up the day nicely!



So back to my day... I was off piste with a couple of nice young lads - their first time off piste so it was a real intro and they had a whale of a time... the afternoon I was back on my booking of the last couple of afternoons and today I introduced pole planting which I always dread as so often people get really confused and it stuffs everything else up.... however today was different and it slotted into his performance nicely - bravo! We had a nice afternoon up the Fornet although a stiff breeze picked up later on.

And that was my day..... must get to bed.

TTFN
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
cheers steve, i skied with a girl doing her tech 4 and she was on the speed in level 4 variables and making it look easy..... she was quiet a bit smaller than me..... i will see what i can find
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Poster: A snowHead
Just to say Val is the place to be right now. The pistes are mostly in excellent condition, I say mostly as Face has been scrapped back to the competition ice and should really be avoided, but otherwise everywhere is good.

Nice to meet you yesterday @Steve Angus, Gavin did a good job with Mrs Shaker.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
ajc2260626 - my pleasure.
bar shaker - all sounds like a thumbs up to me - but yes the Face is scrapped that is for sure! Glad also that your wife enjoyed her session with Gav... sorry I was a little pre-occupied - was just trying to get myself sorted before my lesson when you saw me.

A pleasant day

Well folks I woke this morning after a good sleep and felt better although my back was still killing me.... managed to get a physio appointment with Bonne Sante this evening but more about that later.

I met at the Ormeleune hotel this morning as I have the same clients I normally have for the New Year period... it was a pleasant morning with Simon getting him back up to speed on the Madelaine after a couple on the magic carpet.... he'll be flying on the blues before the end of the week hopefully although his right knee is giving him gip after a golfing injury in the Summer!

I had a whole hour and a half at lunchtime today so came home (which is rare) and rested my back and made a couple of phone calls.

The afternoon I was with young Henry again (as per the last few New Years) and we worked on two very contrasting things... carving and steeps.... he really wants to ski the Face by the end of the week and I think it is do-able so we need to get him rotating more effectively and edging but what really suprised me about the session was how well (for an 8 year old) he was able to pick up BOTH edges when attempting carving on the Grand Pre piste... he was actually arcing the skis for at least half the turn on a couple of occasions - bravo!!!!

Straight after skiing I fitted in my video broadcast...

https://www.periscope.tv/SteveAngusSnow/1eaKbRLZDwjKX?autoplay&t=1

... then it was time to head up for the torchlite descent and it was rather interesting... apart from the rocks and bits of grass and the fact that my cough was hacking away and I felt dehydrated it was a fun descent and was pretty darn icey.... but hey all in a days work.

As soon as that was over I popped to Bonne Sante and Sarah sorted me right out... giving me a deep massage and giving me strict instructions to work harder on my core strength but also do some stretching... so that is me told! Top marks to that clinic... Lou and her team!

And that brings you up to date.

Just to note the pisteurs had 29 incidents they dealt with yesterday on the mountain (global injury rates needing attention are about 3/1000 so the number is not particularly high) and 9 of those alone were people 'out of their depth' on the Face! Most of the other injuries could have been prevented if everyone halved their speed (yes halved). Anyway mini-rant over with.

Ill finish with some photos as I will have an early night again.


Upclose - the new ESF extension built (well half built) in the Summer


Sastrugi - you can tell the wind has been punchey!


For those who would like to rent baby/toddler kit when they are here on holiday - saw this sign in the creche this am!


OK - simple one (I think this) WHICH lift was I on when I took this photo!


The sun sets before the torchlite

TTFN
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Solaise gondola I guess
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Steve Angus wrote:
to answer your question HoneyBunny - it is just off the snowfront by the 'flags' near the bottom of the Bellevarde Express chair... hope that helps.... just on the road there. Yea it is pretty good for apres but it doesnt have bands (I dont think!)


Cheers Steve, I'm sure I'll find it!! I always use the Bellevarde chair.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Chair = Grand Pre? Looking over to Italy.
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Or Fontaine Froid, one of those for sure. Probably Fontaine Froid.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
PBJ - that lift is IN the picture.... but yes endoman I was on the Fontaine Froid but although it is looking in the direction of Italy there are not really many 'peaks' in Italy actually in the pic but you are right!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
More of the same

Well my back was much better this morning I am glad to say so it was business as usual (it has stiffened up a little now so another good nights sleep is in order).

I met at the bottom of the Solaise at 9am and Simon was raring to go... after a few laps on the Madelaine we tackled the Glacier Express and he skied it really well.... It was a positive morning.

The afternoon was once again spent with young Henry and he really is going from strength to strength and skied the Arcelle really nicely before I decided to challenge him and ski him down the Solaise at the end of the day.... by over training him he should be ready to give Le Face a go by the end of the week! We shall see!

After skiing I had some errands to run but the main one was to get some drugs from the pharmacy as Olivia had been sent home with a temperature and once again was not a well girl.... poor little thing! With a little luck over the next couple of days (and staying at home with a babysitter tomorrow and mummy on Sunday) she should get herself fit again before the new work week starts - fingers crossed!

Anyway the mountain was once again packed up there and the snow is holding up well especially on runs like the Plan M down the front of the Solaise as they are really focusing themselves on making artificial snow on there so it is holding up OK... in fact there was even some moguls forming which is a sign adequete quantities of snow (well in sorts anyway!).

Todays (short) Periscope is here:

https://www.periscope.tv/SteveAngusSnow/1YpJkqozmYNKj?autoplay&t=8


Im there somewhere!

Anyway I really wanted to share with you some of the photos that the Val pisteurs have had taken over the last few days and thought I would share some of them with you as a 'day in the life of.' So here goes:


Morning meeting - discussing latest weather / slopes use forecasts / info from yesterday e.g. issues or things the pistebashers noted over night e.g. bare patches on slopes etc, avalanche dangers, special visitors etc

Getting the gear ready for the day ahead

Signing packs out.... if any explosive work involved there are reams more of paperwork

'Opening' the slopes.... each run has a pistuer ski it to check for dangers etc as well as all signage needing to be put up

Special views that early in the am!

Guinea pigs in case the lifts are not working properly for the day!

Last few jobs as the first punters turn up... time for morning coffee - they have already been up there for about 3 hours by now!

Secondary jobs to do once main set up done e.g. get a race line set up for the ESF

Heavy work!

The call outs are starting to come in!

Looks like top of 3J piste to me

Back up arrive and secure the scene...

Pretty in depth testing needs to be done.

Team effort...

Paperwork!

He's off...

Monitoring (the ambulance at the bottom will have been called already to get his transfer to wherever is deemed appropriate) as they descend.

Hand over the ground team!

More jobs to be done...

Time for a sit down in the sun with the avalanche trained dog on standby for a call at any time! AND YES avalanches still come in weeks after a snowfall happens!

Resetting signage that has been knocked over during the day!.... nearly the end now!

Packing eveything away ready for the groomers to do their work for the night!

A proud team after another successful day.

All worth it for views like that!

Final 'sweep' of all the runs helping anyone left behind etc.

Helping the stragglers to make sure no one is left on the pistes... off piste you are on your own!

Debrief and finally a...


Thats all for now..... TTFN
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Thanks for this 'day in the life' Steve- very interesting. We were in the Bellevarde restaurant at lunchtime one day before Christmas and the piste patrol were in there having a communal lunch-I must say they could put away a serious proper lunch a la old school francais. All of them had four courses minimum-I can now see where they put it....! Laughing
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Thanks for posting those pics. Really interesting! snowHead
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Really interesting to see behind the scenes, great stuff Very Happy
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Well not the best 24 hours!

Thanks for the kind words - yea interesting stuff indeed 'the day in the life' photos... I find that sort of thing interesting too!

Anyway I did take an early night last night but without going into details there was some panic back in the UK with my mum.... my early night turned into me making a lot of phone calls, my sister having to head down to Bournemouth from the London area to sort things out and then a restless night mulling things over in the my mind. Anyway my mum is now at my sisters and we are going to have to find some respite care for her next week.... eeek - just what I want to be dealing with at such a busy time of the year. On the positive side Olivia slept well and was back on form this morning.

Anyway today Clare was working from mid morning (a late lesson start) through to early afternoon so we had a baby sitter come around to look after Olivia but it also meant there was no pressure to get Olivia ready for creche which I welcomed! My morning lesson was a real success as Simon is really starting to slide around parallel now... we got some good laps in on the Glacier Express before it got too busy and even fitted a run in on the top part of Piste L and he was really skiing well.... tomorrow the plan is to ski (for the first time) up the Bellevarde side of things and get him to the Fruitier.... my reward is that he has promised me lunch if we get there - now that is an incentive - ha ha!

The afternoon I was a little jaded after my nights sleep it must be said but Henry and I had a blast of an afternoon blasting around the place and he is getting closer and closer to be ready to take on the Face at the end of the week - the jury is still out but I am hopefully we can do it!

A few more phone calls and then we all sat down for a really nice family meal of Beef Bourgogne! (sp?)

And that pretty much brings you all up to date. I am now desperate for a really nice long sleep so hopefully tonight it will happen and I will finally have caught up tomorrow and will feel 100% again - have still not been feeling 100% since Xmas either!

And yes I know it is New Years Eve but Clare and I (along with most instructors) look forward to the actual New Year as we then know that the end of school holidays is in sight, the slopes get quieter and we get a little down time.... so roll on TOMORROW.... ba humbug perhaps but that is the way it rolls here.... lets hope the revellers dont keep Clare, Olivia and I awake all night!

TTFN


Sorry not the best pic but to be honest any 'sunny day in the mountains photo' from the last month I could have used and I am sure you get the message about what it is like out there!

https://www.periscope.tv/SteveAngusSnow/1yoJMqrYjdzJQ?autoplay&t=17
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
A good nights sleep always helps

Well firstly a HAPPY NEW YEAR one and all.

The whole of the family this end enjoyed an early night and despite fireworks waking me up briefly at midnight and revelers coming back at about 5am it was one of the best nights sleep in a long time - hooray!

Anyway it was a pleasure to be up the mountain on the first lifts this am - there was NO-ONE around until about 1030 so we had the place to ourself.

I headed up Bellevarde (clue for a little later on there!) and we had a simply wonderful ski around. Simon is coming more and more parallel all the time! Bravo.

So here goes the first of 2 quizzes today...

Which piste (name) is this pic taken on:



I was very fortunate to be invited for lunch with the client to the fruitiere which was a very nice touch indeed... we shared the 'whole chicken' that came with mashed potato but unfortunately Simon did the ordering whilst I was at the loo and when I came back he explained that he might have mucked the order up.... we ended up with enough extra mash to cause Ireland another potato famine and no vegetables in sight..... oh well we had a wonderful feast.

By the afternoon I could barely move so I needed little Henry to get me in the mood to shake off those calories and we went for a blast and headed over the Tignes and I took him down Trolles. Bearing in mind he is only 8 I thought he skied it really really well - bravo!

So that brings me onto the second quiz of the day... which lift is this photo taken from...



I fitted in my periscope and then headed home... time to make some important calls back to the UK again!

https://www.periscope.tv/SteveAngusSnow/1lPJqRYgRAQxb?autoplay&t=1

I might be a little late posting tomorrow as I have to head down the valley to run an errand but also collect a large food shop as we have empty cupboards!

TTFN
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Puts a smile on your face

There are some days in this job when the satisfaction is complete and there are other days when you blink with disbelief... there was elements of both of those today.

The temperature plumetted overnight and it was about -10 at breakfast time and the snow cannons had been blowing hard overnight.... they are working so hard to keep the pistes in good condition and they are succeeding... check out this weeks TDC Snow Report (my turn to do the report will be coming up soon) from my colleague Ben:

https://www.facebook.com/tdcski/videos/10154853754248607/

So first up this morning was a happy part of the job.... when you see all your hard work pay off. I had lined it up so that Henry could have part of the mornings lesson in a time swap for part of his afternoon lesson going to Simon. The reason for this was so I could take him down Le Face for the first time.... Bearing in mind I have been teaching little Henry from a complete beginner all the way up until now (8 years old) for on average about 10 days a season for the last 5 seasons or so. He has obviously been out skiing with his parents between lessons etc but I am the only person who has ever given him a lesson.... so after all that development it was a very proud moment to have him follow me down Le Face and he did it very well.... not wobble, pause or anything and we arrived at the bottom to a fan club of the rest of his family and friends.... well done Henry!



So I posed a couple of quiz questions from yesterday but so far no entries... anyone want a shot at the answers?

After sitting in the sun and doing my daily Periscope video:

https://www.periscope.tv/SteveAngusSnow/1yNGadAXpDXKj?autoplay&t=2

It was time for my afternoon session with Henry (Simon skied well in the morning although his knee was a little sore so we took it easy btw)...

We had a poter around having done the hard work in the morning and Henry loved skiing the ridge down the side of the Fontaine Froid lift over and over again which was fun as well as being good training ground!



After our hot choc break I had a bizarre conversation that made me blink with disbelief. We had just left the Bellevarde restaurant and were aiming to head down the Fontaine Froid again.... we were on the Verte side of the restaurant. Anyway I was asked where the 'entrance to Val d'Isere' was? I did not really know what the English man meant... I explained that all the runs and lifts he could see where part of Val... did he mean that he wanted to go to Val (the town) but he obviously didnt know what I meant when I said that (I felt like I was speaking another language for a second).... then I clarified that he wanted the town... but he asked his mate where they were staying... no answer from his friend..... so could I point them in the direction of Cocorico's.... well I ended up suggesting they ski the verte... go up the Marmottes then download on the Olympique and walk to Cororicos... but it was a bizarre conversation it really was.

I was also having a think about Val d'Isere and the position it is perceived in within the context of resorts.... everyone seems to go on an on about Val being a resort for advanced skiers / boarders etc.... however (and this might be slightly controversial) I have been thinking about this for a while. I think that that is a far too simplistic way of looking at it. I think it is much more of a resort for people that think they are advanced / expert.... yes there are a few very good skiers and snowboarders but there are way more people who think they are something much better than they really are.... There is an undercurrent of ego's floating about on the mountain that is for sure and people trying to outdo each other. Thats just a personal opinion but I think there are plenty of people who are not nearly as good as they like to think they are at sliding down the mountain!

So no sooner had I finished skiing for the day but it was time to take a trip down to Bourg to run a couple of errands and pick up a large food shop which I have just unpacked and here I am.... so that is the end of another tiring day.

TTFN
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Steve Angus wrote:
There is an undercurrent of ego's floating about on the mountain that is for sure and people trying to outdo each other. Thats just a personal opinion but I think there are plenty of people who are not nearly as good as they like to think they are at sliding down the mountain!


Oh I agree. I adore Val, and I think it's a fabulous all-round resort but there is a real "Look at meeeeee" element to it. I'm under no illusions about my ability, I know my limits haha! I certainly find the reds and blacks challenging enough.

I was very proud of myself for skiing Epaule du Charvet non-stop last year. Thing is, it was a rare moment when it had no moguls on it - I imagine it's a very different beast when it does.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Steve I agree. I love Val and am out there in a few days and hoping for snow. Can't complain just get on with it whether fresh or not. However, I have a place in Saint Foy and I am always in ore at the standard of the good skiers. Puts my ability into perspective. Instead of thinking 8/10 more 5/10. No undercurrent there just good friendly skiing.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Steve Angus, is there much/any off-piste remaining. I'm out next week and was hoping go get a few days in (3 days provisionally booked with Alpine Experience). I don't mind walking to find it. Cheers, M
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Not much to report

I seem to have been chasing my tale all day today I really have and not really achieved that much! eek.

Anyway I am going to keep it very brief tonight if I may...

Firstly Dr John there is some off piste but yes you have to really go walking to find it... I know that AE have been finding some stuff but dont expect epic powder. Check out the video I posted yesterday and you will see some off piste footage a colleague obtained the other day.... that was about an hours skin away I do believe. Hope that helps!

Today was another morning with Simon and afternoon with Henry but it felt colder (again today). The pistes emptier but the scenary just as stunning.




I also managed to fit in my periscope and finally got around to doing it on the new Solaise gondola as extensively requested:

https://www.periscope.tv/SteveAngusSnow/1LyxBwwYjrbKN?autoplay&t=20

There was a huge accident involving 5 vehicles including lorries on the road to/from Bourg this morning (someone trying to overtake where they shouldnt!)... apart from an injured back no-one seems to have very seriously injured although there were a number of dogs that needed a vet!)



Sorry for being brief this evening - have been sorting lots out at home and still need to get a few things done.

TTFN
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Even though people say Val is for advanced skiers, the reason why it has a place in mine (and Mrs Sno Trax's) hearts is because it is where we both learned to ski. You don't get any less advanced than complete beginner.

Since we first stayed, we have been back every year. In fact we'll be there twice this season.

snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Has anyone been done the Sache run from the Aiguille Percee into Tignes 1800 recently?

Looks great on the piste map however slightly concerned it may be all ice and grass patches based on some of the conditions round there
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You'll need to Register first of course.
That truck driver must have been bricking it when he found himself heading for the parapet Shocked .

@erennie101, My son has just returned from Tignes. They went down Sache last week. "Not great" and quite a few stones coming through.

@Steve Angus. Your 1st picture has stumped me. I can't decide if I can just make out the top station of the Olympic gondola in the far right distance. The aspect of your second shot makes me think Palafour in Le Lac.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Steve Angus wrote:



Which piste (name) is this pic taken on:




So that brings me onto the second quiz of the day... which lift is this photo taken from...





The piste is Génépy (you can see Grand Pré in the distance).

Is the lift Mont Blanc (looking at Thomeusses)?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
GeorgeVII - yes it was taken on the Palafour lift - thought the new chair in the picture this year would throw some people - but not you.
bar shaker - no and no i'm afraid!

Anyway other takers at the quiz?
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Changes all round

Well it was a change all right.... the weather was unsettled shall we say and I had finished the run of lessons I have had the past week and onto a couple of new bookings.

So there was some cloud around initially and some wind.... that seemed to give way to some sunshine one minute and then very threatening clouds thereafter before easing off again. The forecast is still calling for a tiny bit of snow but I am not convinced we will get anything and with the relatively heavy winds at altitude I am not convinced anything will fall on the ground. In fact the winds were pretty high in the Fornet direction that they could not open the Cascade and other lifts up there.

I was on the Bellevarde side in the morning and had a couple of female Irish friends for a lesson (another in a couple of days time). A pretty descent morning with some challenging content for them mixed in with practice runs. The biggest issue was that one of the ladies was having so many issues with her rental boots that at the top and bottom of every run and lift she needed to fully undo / do up her boots.... I think she should change them over or sort something out..... we shall see what happens when I see them next!

I spent most of the lunch hour on the phone back to the UK trying to sort yet more things out care wise as there is much to be done on that front.

... and before I knew it it was back to work and the afternoon was spent with a really delightful lady. Having had 6 lessons at the Manchester Chill Factor this was her very first day ever in the mountains skiing and blimey she was pretty natural at it. We lapped around on the Madelaine all afternoon and quite a giggle.... and she is coming on nicely.... more of the same tomorrow.

Not too much else to report from today really....



And finally todays periscope offering..... come on folks tune in and get asking some questions live as there is not too much of that going on recently!

https://www.periscope.tv/w/1jMJgZZBpmXGL

TTFN

P.S. Oh yes Val d'Isère STVI office is reporting some impressive figures today / recently with 13,000 people in one day at the Cascade lift, 15,000 at the Glacier, 15,000 at Pim and Pam while the old Lac Chair was only 10,000 at its peak! ... 12,800 at Fontaine Froide. And the new Solaise gondola dropped 4,000 people down the mountain and uplifted 14,400 in one day. However the resort this week compared to the comparable week last year is actually 2% quieter this year!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Steve Angus, bit late but thanks for sharing that series of images of the pisteurs - fantastic!
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