What is it with us and the weather? You know, come on please. We got to Chatel and it started to snow. Perfect, as the base here is v poor. And then it rained. Okay, so it was probably snowing at the top of the mountain, but in the village it came down like we were in Aberdeenshire. We managed to walk twice (once up the hill through the trees – beautiful) and once along the valley via a waterfall. On both occasions the rain was intermittent, but let’s be clear, we have not seen Mrs Sun other than for twenty minutes the other day.
As a result C and I have been disinclined to ski. There’s nothing worse than hurtling down the mountainside in a whiteout, where your brain sees a cliff edge and doesn’t have time to react quick enough to prevent an untimely death. No, sorry, I’m wrong. There is something worse than dropping from a cliff edge. And that’s skiing in wet clothes. Yuck. So we didn’t ski…
…until this morning. The snow was falling when we got up, so much so that I went up to the car and put on her chains. The forecast is snow and more snow, and the idea of sticking on chains having first dug the car out of a drift, didn’t fill me with excitement. So we were late, but by 11.30 we were at the La Linga lift. It was snowing/raining.
At the top it was a blizzard.
We are sound skiers. We both been on planks for twenty five years. We are gracious down Green slopes, beautiful down Blues, really quite competent down Reds and blooming careful and slow down Blacks. C doesn’t go off-piste on purpose and, when I go that way, I ski like a water-boatman. So we’re good intermediate skiers.
You would have thought… This morning, coming off the top of the mountain when all I could see was my ski tips, and sometimes I couldn’t see those, I felt like an amateur. The Red from the top was u-shaped, funnelling the wind. The French hadn’t bothered to piste the slope and, at times, it felt much more Black than Red. I was hopeless. C, who initially was all for taking her skis off and walking down, skied better than me. After four days of poor weather where we didn’t ski, this compounded our misery. We gingerly skied badly back to the top of the Gondola and came off the mountain.
In Chatel we stopped for a cup of coffee and ate our sandwich lunch. And still the rain came down. But, us Ladleys are not quitters. We took the Super Chatel up to a different part of the mountain and were greeted with a rising cloud base, some great snow and…at last…some decent skiing. It was a relief to know that everything we’d learnt over the past twenty five years hadn’t deserted us. We could ski. And what fun it was, even if Mrs Sun wasn’t with us and the wind, at times, behaved like an air brake.
Will we ski again this week. Yes please. Maybe not tomorrow, but certainly three or four more times before we leave on Saturday. If you’ve not been, and you still feel you have the legs for it, there is nothing better. Please go.
Have a great week.