How fast things change. The excessive snow seems weeks ago now and the resort is back to normal. There is still plenty of evidence on the hillsides, with bare earth and vegetation exposed by the countless avalanches and huge piles of snow along the roadsides where clearing has been necessary. The signs on many of the pistes are buried or are poking out through the snow even though they are on poles that are a good six feet tall. Netting safety barriers are stretched to their highest positions or in some places completely buried. Many of the drag lift routes have been cleared so that there is enough room under the wires for them to work properly, giving the impression, in places, that one is in a corridor of snow. The huge icicles and overhangs of snow on the chalet are beginning to melt and drop from the roof causing hazardous areas underneath, hopefully they will all be down by the time we are inundated with children next week. It’ll be impossible to keep them away.
Chalet wise, we have a full team again, all up and running well, it’s taken a couple of weeks of additional input and encouragement to form the team but the results are well worth the effort. Unfortunately two of the three newcomers are only staying for a shortish period of time, so we’ll be doing it all over again before too long. Each time it gets a bit easier, though learning peoples characters and how they respond to learning/teaching methods always takes a bit of time. Slightly disappointed that there aren’t any real skiers amongst them, I go out on my own a fair amount or occasionally find guests that are happy to have a guide from time to time. Whatever, it’s great to get out at every available opportunity right now as the holidays are about to be upon us and then we’ll be too busy and the pistes too crowded for skiing to be so much fun.
I am still toying with the idea of trying snowboarding. Each season I arrive here, at the start of winter, with the thought that I will donate a week or so to learning, but so far have not actually mustered the enthusiasm to spend the better part of a week arse or face down in the snow. I have been as far as the ski hire shop to get equipped for the mission several times before turning back to get my skis and enjoying the day. I don’t know if I shall this season, but if I do, it will be after the holidays and I have more than sufficient time to study video tutorials and get myself mentally prepared for the challenge. But then again, it’ll depend on the day.
|the usual table shot to see the depth of snow|
|yes, I am standing up|
|tree with snow and sky background|
|they blocked the road with snow to stop people getting caught in avalanches lower down|
|the only way in, and out....|
|amazing morning light over Saint Lary|
|clearing the road .......... again|