High Hopes in the French Alps

More Skiing!

The Long Chairlift from Mont Rosset

Skiing again…

Today, we decided to stick with La Princesse, it’s just such an excellent place to go for parking, no queues, comfortable lifts, and barely any difference in distance.

Mont Rosset a Lesser Run 'Off Piste' section

No contest! Straight there and walked onto the lift, and we were up and skiing in no time.

The skiing was again brilliant, I’m so happy with my skis now… got the position just right! We had some lovely skiing, and a little ‘off piste’, but not too much. In the little ‘off piste’ stuff the snow although skiable was quite heavy but good practice for balancing in the bumpy stuff.

The landscape was looking glorious, we thought we’d take a ski down to Mont Rosset, there’s some quite good ‘off piste’ on that run. The chairlift back up again is a long ride though, and you wouldn’t want to be wearing false teeth when catching it at the bottom!

Another fun filled day on the Pistes!


February 28, 2011 Posted by | Skiing | Leave a comment

Considering, Les Contamines

...ethereal view...

A day off! Yay! We had the whole day skiing and it was great! Well first off, we had to go to Sallanches to check out how our other vehicle was doing, then had to make a decision on where to go. It was a toss up between Les Grande Montets, and Les Contamines. We chose Les Contamines as it’s naturally sheltered by way of position and the snow tends to remain in good condition. As the place is quite expansive the slopes do not generally get overly crowded, it would be really busy everywhere else for these present couple of weeks, so Les Contamines seemed the best bet.  Next week things are set to quieten down a bit more, so given a bit more snow, which is apparently forecast we may get chance to go then.

Anyway, it was a great days skiing, the weather was interesting, we had the blue, cloudbase, a bit of wind, but the snow was good for the whole day. We stopped off at our ‘French Onion Soup’ restaurant, for a lovely lunch and enjoyed more skiing into the afternoon. I wish I’d put my mini gps on, it would have been interesting to see where we’d been. I was well chuffed with my skiing today, finally feel like I’ve tuned into my skis and have found their sweet spot… lovely carve and getting the chance to enjoy them was what I’d been waiting for. Think I’m ready for some further challenges now…!! We did do a bit of video recording, I’ll attempt to put some stuff together and see if it works out.


February 25, 2011 Posted by | Skiing | Leave a comment

Birds on the Wire… framed feeder

Busy Birds and Fresh Snow

Woke up to snow! Yes… 🙂 winter had returned. If there’s snow down here, which wasn’t forecast it should be great up high. Only problem being we had Transfers, and lacking vehicles. One was in for an MOT whilst the other needs some work doing, consequently no transport until later on.  We hoped to go to St. Gervais for some night  skiing, but this was not to be  due to arriving back a bit late and the night skiing only being open until 8pm, which is a bit early. No matter we’ve got tomorrow free!

With the new snow arrival, the birds were in abundance on the feeder, can’t be easy for them in this weather. It was a surprise to see the snow though, the telly gives a better forecast than anything else, not because of the forecasts but because the signal/reception starts breaking up when there’s any weather close by, the snow was forecast only to around 1000 meters so you can imagine our surprise when it was down to around 600!

Just as the snow arrived so did the message to say Dennis’s glider had been despatched… and more snow is forecast! Just as expected…

If you like birds, I’ve sorted out my camera settings now so it will be enlarged properly for a closer view.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Transfers | Leave a comment

(w)pc. Plod’s on the Piste

..better than expected!

Yes.. we went skiing! A long time coming too..  high level Cyril, was telling the truth as precipitation was in hot pursuit! ok.. so the precipitation wasn’t much, but enough to warrant our trip out skiing! We went to Bettex our usual, but because we’d got Transfers this afternoon and time was limited, the length of the lift queues almost put a damper on it. By the time we’d got up to the slopes it would have been time to come back down again… We decided to drive over to the Megève, La Princesse Station where there weren’t any queues, good choice!

We were up on on the slopes in no time. Great! Really enjoyed the skiing, snow condition was good, the sun was coming and going, but all in all it was a great mornings skiing, a bit busy but not quite Piccadilly Circus on Christmas Eve! I wanted to work on my ‘carving’ as I’ve got these gorgeous carving skis and havn’t been feeling like I’m making the most of them. So I concentrated on attempting to perfect my carving technique, instead of the lazy (w)pc. Plod flat-footed lazy edging efforts I adopt on occassion.

By the end of the third run, the dynamism in my turns had taken on a greater defined fervour and cut… I felt the difference, and it was good!! :-). Would like to try it in the deep stuff now… just need more snow. It just might arrive the same time as Dennis’s glider! 😕

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Skiing | Leave a comment

Hi Cyril, Moving In?

Hi Cyril, Moving In..?

Cyril showed up early this morning.. with a great message in foretelling snow!

one of the many visitors frequenting the feeder

It didn’t take long before the sky was completely covered… so another day enveloped in grey, but at least this time there was precipitation in them.

It was mostly, rain down here but snow up higher.

It certainly feels like spring is on it’s way, as the Great Tits, have returned and are furiously feeding. Over winter on one of our walks, Tizzy drew my attention to a dead robin that looked like it had frozen solid and after all the strange happenings with the birds falling out the sky, I just felt it would be nice to help the little chaps out over winter so bought a bird feeder. I can’t believe how fast they plough through the feed… but they are getting  braver now and I managed to take some shots of the little chirpers.

Still keeping busy with Transfers.

February 19, 2011 Posted by | Transfers | Leave a comment

Grounding it in Batistock

Dennis and my Delta. Clouds look lovely, it was all a bit ratty at landing!

The weather broke today, and it was looking ok.  Dennis had a transfer into Chamonix and would be able to zip me up the hill around 2.30, so I arranged to be at Chedde landing for then.

Dennis and Francis

It was looking promising this morning with cumi’s popping nicely off Varan. I could see a couple of gliders as I drove to Chedde, but most of them gale hanging, this put me off a bit… then the closer I got, there were other gliders trying to get down! A boomerang, was spiraling down, only to go back up again, wasn’t sure if he decided to go back up again, but it certainly looked like he was ‘trying’ to get down.

The windsock at landing was all a bit bonkers and unruly. I met Dennis, and decided that I’d prefer to do some ground handling until it all settles down a bit. So I nipped home, picked up the ground handling harness and drove to Lac Passy. I arrived to find the windsock was solid, and didn’t relent, not even for a lull. I stood contemplating the wind strength for a time then decided to try Batistock. It was much better there as it’s sheltered a little more. It was a favourable and a good workable strength so enjoyed some groundhandling, for a while. Dennis met me a few minutes later, and had a bit of a play with my glider before driving off for another transfer. His should be arriving soon… I spent the rest of the afternoon with Francis, and got to grips with the Deltas varying inflation speeds, invaluable lesson for me, and all in preparation for the stronger spring thermal cycles. It was a lovely day, just a tad strong…  but I feel much better prepared now for next time.


February 18, 2011 Posted by | Groundhandling | Leave a comment

Visual Grey, Rules

The last few days it looked like this..

view across the valley!

In fact, I woke up thinking it had snowed because it seemd really bright peeking through the window only to discover the depth of fog! Nothing to report, only more Transfers.

February 16, 2011 Posted by | Transfers | Leave a comment

Weather Limitations

The weather’s certainly changed, from sunny and stable to wet and grey! The snow although wet has resettled although somewhat transparant, on Varan and Plaine Joux launch. It’s been raining for most of the day…

Checked the webcams this morning and they were, well grim. Lots of heavy wet slushy snow, and poor visibility, so more pressing were the accounts a job that needed doing. Consequently, it was not a particularly physical day. No flying well not with the foehn and the rain just sealed the deal.

Tomorrow, the foehn is still present with dense cloud cover. Thursday the foehn is set to lessen with partial cloud break up, so  there may be a  possibility to fly in the offing.  I really hope so, am feeling hungry now to get out and fly… am so relieved that March and April for the first time in years… we’ll be free to fly and not be restricted with beginners, can’t wait to have a go at chasing some distance at last!!

February 15, 2011 Posted by | Day to Day | Leave a comment

Valentines Day

roses, chocolates and champagne, what more could a woman want?!

Well it’s Valentines day… and considering we’re a couple of romantics, a lovely surprise of a dozen red roses, my favourite champage, and a box of Lindt chocolates was a real pleasure to behold!

Ah, after all these years… warms the cockles of me heart… we had a lovely meal out in the Poêlon Savoyard, where the food was delicious if not a bit too generous.

Well work still goes on, in the shape of Transfers. There were Lenticulars over the mountain, and after the high cirrus appeared, the  more substantial cloud moved in fairly swiftly looking like they were laden with precipitation. It clouded completely over within a matter of hours, but as yet no precipitation.

We’re considering a ski in the morning, but we’ll do a webcam check and see what the state of play is.

February 14, 2011 Posted by | Transfers | Leave a comment


rustic wheelbarrow

Not much more happening today… although I was rather taken by this rustic ‘steel’barrow, never going to have to change the tyres on this contraption!

Wouldn’t like a ride in it though, a bit rough I’d say!

Still hankering after some flying, but it seems the foehn puffs were a little more prevalent today, so not recommended. doable but not so pleasant. There where paragliders floating down, and I think at one point one glider managed to get above launch. The weather looks like it’s certainly on the move, at long last as the clouds are showing signs of disturbance… maybe some snow after all?

February 13, 2011 Posted by | Transfers | Leave a comment