High Hopes in the French Alps

Snow Brainer!

2016-04-17T13-30-13+02-00This is the final week of eeking out what’s left of the snow, even though we’ve had a further covering! We’ve had more snow in April, than we had in December! So we battled through the rain lower down, and were transported into the snow higher up!

Ok, so the conditions were pretty appalling really, but we wanted to try out some new skis. Well, sadly they didn’t have my size, but Dennis managed to try a new pair. Unfortunately the visibility was virtually zilch, and the snow condition was ski-able,  but not really of any decent enough quality to form a valid opinion of the skis. Shame really, however all was not lost, as we managed to squeeze out a further day, where the conditions were somewhat better, and at least I managed to try a pair of skis in my size, and well… I’m sold! So even though the skiing is just about well and truly over, a couple of new pairs of skis is definitely soon to be on order!

Just a little additional note… today is the last day of Les Grands Montets opening, regardless of the excellent snow fall we’ve had! Very frustrating to see the inviting snow condition up at Le Tour, and all the chair lifts parked!

It appears that there is quite a gathering up at Les Grands Montets for  the final farewell to the winter ski season.. Sad to think that it’s time to finally put away the ski boots, makes me sad…

So that’s pretty much wrapped up our winter ski season… so here’s to the flying! And flying! yes it’s all starting to kick off!

We’ve already had some flying, and EP/CPC training, but it should start in earnest next week.. given the forecast. Midweek onward is not looking to bad, and anyway by then the alternative distraction should have all but been removed.





May 1, 2016 Posted by | Skiing | Leave a comment

What else to do in the Alps in Winter?

Apologies for not blogging for ages… reason; we’ve been otherwise occupied with snowy alpine slopes and planks on feet!

We’ve had some excellent days skiing so far. The season kept coming and going, and never really settled into anything reliable, there’s been lots of heavy wet snow, then some lovely powder, but the snow has never really settled down valley at all so far, so no possibility of skiing back home.

Non-the-less we’ve had some excellent skiing, in Chamonix, St. Gervais, Megeve and Les Contamines. Surprisingly, although it has been the busiest couple of weeks being the main French Ski-Set, vacances we only had a bit of difficulty parking, but timed it perfectly. Just as someone was pulling out, in a prime position next to the lift at Les Contamines, we were on the verge of driving home to go flying instead, but were fortunate in that we parked! after driving ’round in circles for long enough, and then had a stroke of fortune in this space being freed up. So pleased, as we had a lovely time on and off piste skiing. The snow condition was just excellent! Not what we expected, and we didn’t have to wait in queues for the lifts either! We’ve had some beautiful days in the mountains, all blue and white… gorgeous.

2016-02-16 13.30.54

Les Contamines


February 20, 2016 Posted by | Day to Day, Skiing | Leave a comment

Clouded Slopes

Skiing Inbetween the Cloud Layers!

Skiing Inbetween the Cloud Layers!

We finally got to get out on the slopes! It took some encouragement, as the cloud was low, and a heavy grey/white so we were expecting poor visibility.  It had snowed so we decided that even if it was a bit of a white out the snow should be good, so headed out to Les Houches.

As it turned out, even though it all looked a bit flat in places, the snow condition was the best we’d had all season, so it was really worth going out, and was so glad we did. I finally managed to find my ski feet again, after all the scrappy, scrapey stuff, earlier in the season and it turned out the best so far.  It looked like we made the right choice as from Les Houches we could see that most if not all of the Chamonix slopes were covered in cloud, we somehow managed to find a clear level between the two layers.

We enjoyed a good few hours skiing!

January 22, 2015 Posted by | Skiing | Leave a comment


As the weather is most definitely on the change, and we have had some snow settling on the Fiz, the Aravis, and of course Brevant, it shouldn’t be too long before the snow finally arrives and settles, so we will be donning our winter kegs, and sharpening up the skis!

This year, we have decided to include some ski-flying in our winter season!  If you quite fancy having a go at this please feel free to check it out on our website. Ski-Fly Paragliding, it saves trying to run off, and launch in the deep stuff!

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Flying, Guiding, Skiing | Leave a comment

Italy, to France, to Italy (with GPS)

This time I took the GPS, and recorded the Italy, France, Italy route… so here it is?!

It was a beautiful sun-shiny day, not overly busy and a really great day’s skiing!

Looking across to 'Les Arcs' from the restaurant at La Rosiere

Looking across to ‘Les Arcs’ from the restaurant at La Rosiere

February 21, 2014 Posted by | Skiing | Leave a comment

St. Gervais – Megeve Skiing!

Good day out on the slopes in our local ski area, of St. Gervais and Megeve. Decided to have a go at using my little Garmin wristband GPS, to recorded the days skiing! It worked out quite interesting. Apparently, I managed to clock 47.3kms on the skis at one point, (although Garmin Connect states 50kms) being the maximum! Sorry didn’t take any photos, too busy enjoying the slopes! I actually had a go at doing the slalom, all the ‘gates’ were set up, so I thought I’d give it a go! It was not being used, and there weren’t any ‘schools’ setting up, so just had to have a go! It was a lot of fun, and would like to do it again…  The weather has been great, and the snow condition excellent. More precipitation is forecast for today, so the plan is to go to Italy tomorrow. Today, is clagged in everywhere so we’re going to spend the days indoors for a change!

I’ve uploaded the garmin ski track, which does include the straight ski-lifts back up, if your interested. The bar at the base of the picture can be used, to check speeds, elevation etc.

Sorry it seems that it will only play if you have ‘flash player’. If not you could consider downloading the Photon app, not just for this, but for other “non-flash” player devices. It costs £2.99 though, but it’s good sometimes when other stuff doesn’t work because of the ‘flash player’ restrictions. In the meantime however, I’ll see if there is any other way around this, but am not sure…

February 19, 2014 Posted by | Skiing | Leave a comment

Italy to France to Italy

looking down to Rossier and the three valleys in the distance

looking down to Rossier
and the three valleys in the distance

cruising to France from Italy!

cruising to France from Italy!

We’ve had a couple of great days skiing…

On the 11th February. We decided to go to the other side of the mountain, as the forecast was for sun on the other side, and cloud on this side. When we went to La Thuile last time, it was a bit too cloudy and visibility was poor, so we didn’t get the chance to make the most of the place, so we made a return visit with the intention of doing the Italy to France (Rossier) route.

It was a long route which included a few flatter ‘pole work’ areas! but having said that, the runs were excellent! and it was great to ski across from Italy into France, and back again! We had some soup in Italy around 4pm, and were pretty much done in by that time…

Really interesting place to ski, and the off-piste looked fantastic, but challenging… I’m working my way up to that one…

One regret, I wish I’d taken my mini gps to record the distance we skied today, it would have been good to see.

Les Houches – Chamonix Valley

Continuing on…

Yesterday, we went to our local Les Houches ski area, which was amazingly good! The snow quality was good, and the layout of Les Houches seems to have expanded quite a bit! – We did most of the runs, and our final one was the Black Kandahar piste … that was excellent! there’s more snow on the way, and more skiing next week! Hopefully have another go at the Kandahar, with more snow… we won’t be doing any ‘jumping’ off the edges though!



Have to say, we have been thinking about flying a lot recently, and we’re hankering to get back in the air! It’s just too cold, and the snow is just too good to miss, so we’re going to have to stay grounded and snowbound for the time being… still, the flying season will be upon us soon enough!

February 13, 2014 Posted by | Day to Day, Skiing | Leave a comment

Skiing in Les Saises

2014-01-28 11.22.30

Balloon en route to Les Saises

2014-01-28 14.54.12

Mont Blanc looks lower from here!

The snow condition has been very good, everywhere we’ve managed to ski!

We had a fabulous day skiing in Les Saises. We don’t usually venture too far away from our local ski area, but decided it was about time we tried some other areas. I had heard that Les Saises, was quite flat, but on the contrary, it was ‘flatish’ but the runs were continuous, with excellent snow, and it was just great to practice my carving turns! There were some fantastic views of the mountains from a different perspective, in fact, Mont Blanc looked quite ‘low’ from this side!

There were a few balloons around on the way there, and they did stand out quite bright against the blue sky. It really was a beautiful mountain day. Hopefully, more skiing tomorrow.

February 3, 2014 Posted by | Day to Day, Skiing | Leave a comment

Celestial Portal

Celestial Portal

What an unbelievable vision to behold whilst out skiing… the snow quality is out of this world, to the point of when floating through the lightness of feathers, and ploufing into it, just the once… the softness was never ending, when I pushed my ski pole into the ground to push myself back up, my pole kept sinking, there was no solid ground! Lovely though….

or... perhaps, the Empyreal Entrance, or the Pure Pass?!

The whole day was magical… there’s an abundance of sparkling light and newness when the snow is here, and of such quality, it almosts consecrates the ground for whatever reason, all I know is that it is altogether beautiful.

The Celestial Portal came into view, the doorway into the Celestial Universe, I’ve named it that as it only appeares once every 2000 years! Well, Indiana Jones poetic licence allowed on this very special occasion!

A few more pics here.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Skiing | Leave a comment

Flaine & Les Carroz


So bit of an update… all in all, it’s been Airport Transfers and some lovely skiing… We decided to have a ski in the other valley, that being Flaine and Les Carroz,

on piste down to Les Carroz

and what a beautiful valley to ski in. Fabulous dynamic runs lovely and wide with some excellent alternative views along the way. We’ll certainly be returning sometime soonish. Glorious weather, with clean, fresh pristine air…. heavenly.

More pics here

January 15, 2012 Posted by | Skiing, Transfers | Leave a comment