Archive for April, 2010

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New friends can easily be made……….

April 21, 2010

Beverley, Mark, Alex and Michael arrived for Easter. Initial observations on the first morning were there was too much of a difference in their skiing abilities for them to ski together.

How wrong can one be. Beverley and Marks’ attitudes were fantastic they were more than happy for us to all ski together during the first morning. In the afternoon I tried to vary things a bit more sending Alex and Michael down the Pistes while I played around with Beverley and Mark in Chavanettes, below the Col du Fornet high above Avoriaz. Under ‘Le Choucas’ chair or to the side of ‘Le Fornet Express’, Bev and Mark were loving it. Mark was one of the more laid back skiers I’ve had the privilege of skiing with all season; nothing really phased him whilst Bev was as plucky as they come. 

The above picture was taken after Bev tried to make a jump in the off piste but didn’t quite make it. Mark captures perfectly the space, the tranquility and the landscape. Look closely and Bev could actually be on the moon or is it her bed – ahhhh she looks so peaceful! Pull the duvet over love!

 The next day the destination was Switzerland. A member of the famous South London, Montaut clan joined us as well as the Tsar……… Grand Paradis was still open – EXCELLENT. The picture was taken just after we enjoyed wonderful ‘Chocolate Chauds’ at the traditional Swiss Buvette, half way down to Champery.  

Beautiful scenery, great skiing and people who became good friends. We wont dwell on how they got home from central Morzine on the Saturday night.

Hope to see you all next year where we can re-live all the stories.

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”We can’t ski the off-Piste!!” I begged to differ.

April 13, 2010

Paula and the girls arrived at Chalet Margaritka in March as competent but, maybe a touch hesitant, skiers. Most of them had skied for many years and consequently had very good techniques. They just lacked a little encouragment and the right motivation to venture away from those ‘safe’ pistes.

The weekend they were with us the weather was perfect, cold but not too cold, deep blue azure skies and snow which was holding it’s condition especially in the off-piste (where less people had ventured).

After getting their ski legs on day 1; day 2 began easily with some good piste skiing all around Lindarets and down to Prodains in the Ardoisieres Valley on the other side of Super Morzine. After lunch we ventured up into Chavanettes above Avoriaz and skied some of the off-piste to the side of and under the ‘Fornet Express’. Paula and the girls were lapping it up!! Never have I seen a group with more enjoyment and thrill for more on their faces. Hence, the ‘piece de resistence’ was to descend down the ridge from the top of ‘The Express des Intrets’ where the views of Morzine over 1km below are breathtaking , rejoining the piste towards the bottom of Arare. Save for one or two interesting moments when we had to traverse across some icy bumps, come ruts as we rejoined the piste; everyone was ok and enjoying themselves immensely.

Having got the appetite the next day the girls were ready for more!! So we ventured into Switzerland and descended one of my favourite runs to Morgins where the above picture was taken. Isn’t it a great shot capturing the magic of skiing in the Back Country. Yes, we were the only people there. The girls had just skied that fairly steep slope behind and they were all extremely thrilled. Alex ‘The Tsar of Wales’ came with us, of course, since it was Saturday which means he has a desire or need to show off.

Lunch was sitting outside in the sun at one of the PDS’s best kept secrets. The ‘Cafe des Sports’ located in the picture postcard village of Morgins and tucked away so only the locals really know how good it is. Everyone lunched well after an exhilarating morning. Exchanging their stories, experiences and enjoying the thrill of entering into the ‘Back Country’ even if it was all within striking distance of a piste or two. Paula and Louise had a great time discussing how they just missed each other as we skied down a slope the other side of Morgins. Oh! Didn’t I mention that.

No worries the girls have booked to come back next year.

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Ryan’s Express

April 11, 2010

David, his son Ryan and Ryan’s uncle (Stewart) came to Chalet Margaritka in March. They enjoyed a mid week ski break in the company of Hannah and Chris.

Ryan loved speed, had a great sense of balance, no fear and a low centre of gravity.  His solution to the more challenging, steeper reds; just go straight down. David, his dad used to watch with incredulity, and with only one eye open. As did we all, in reality.

Stewart - I finally managed to get the picture off my Blackberry!!

The Tsar and Stewart; into the back country, high above the Nyon bowl

Stewart and boarder, Chris followed Glyn into the off-piste on many occasions.David told me that Stewart loved to try different things and would be prepared to venture even further into the Off-Piste. So we went to try one of Glyn’s favourite off-piste runs off the Pointe de Nyon high above the Nyon bowl. After a bit of a tricky entry, Stewart loved it. The entry means not many people know the run and as you can see it was just us, the trees, the snow and the sunshine. No-one else was in there – total freedom and perfect tranquility!

‘Look there’s a little fella with them’ was the cry from an English family who were on-looking behind the Hotel Chamois as we rejoined the piste. Yes, It was Alex (Tsar of Wales) since there is no school for him on a Wednesday.

Stewart, I know you’d love it if I actually finally uploaded the picture!!

Hannah’s favourite run became Chamossiere despite her initial reservation about doing blacks. Matching Glyn turn for turn at one point on absolutely wonderful snow.

Glyn spent a bit of time encouraging Ryan to take a more conventional approach on the Red runs. But then he discovered the board park at Nyon and the jumps with Alex, as we enjoyed a relaxing coffee in the sunshine as they practised.

Practice those turns for next time Ryan!!