Well this is more like English weather! It’s grey, damp and misty, not particularly cold and little wind. The first miserable day we’ve had here, just ready to celebrate the start of Snowboxx, the snow music festival based here in ADH for the first time (and possibly last!) The snow continues to melt at quite a pace although the lack of direct sunshine has slowed it’s advance (retreat) a little. We have been quite impressed though to watch the reconstruction and repair of the pistes. Even yesterday we were admiring the process from the warmth, dryness and comfort of the chalet whilst our piste was relaid. Only on Thursday had we commented that it would be the last day for us to be able to ski back to the chalet door as we carefully negotiated a patch of grass and mud on our skis before tackling the slushy brown snow on the descent immediately outside. Later in the evening the piste basher was working hard for an hour or so dumping tonnes of snow on the run (which we had to cross in our normal footwear as the roads and pavements are now clear and we were expecting the piste to have only a thin surface) which this morning had been compacted into a 8-9& layer which will hopefully last a good while as we are both averse to carrying skis and walking in ski boots.
We did manage some skiing on Weds and Thurs and these photos just show illustrate the height of the snow line but the conditions under foot/ski were deteriorating by the time we got out, hence the carnage on Sarenne (which is much steeper than the photo implies as I must have tilted the camera back). We have suggested to our guests that they get out early to catch the best conditions but they tend to be slow starters, one even asked if he could grab some breakfast 3 hours after we’d stopped serving i.e. 12 noon! Most people would call that lunch. They have been the lightest wine consumers we’ve had but appear to go on a bender after we’ve left for the evening as all is quite tame on our departure but our arrival in the morning faces a very different picture – literally. I left this mess conspicuously during breakfast with the spot lights still on it (as they’d been left on all night too) and the message did eventually sink in as they cleared it up themselves afterwards. This morning evidenced a food throwing fight last night! Mostly sticky little haribo-type sweets but also an unproved croissant must have been an irresistible projectile. I noticed the gap on the tray first and dreaded where it was going to turned up, on the sofa cushions squigged into the fabric a day after I’d managed to clean up the squashed maltesers? Fortunately I spotted it quite soon trying to expand behind a chair leg. They leave tomorrow at 6.15, not ones we want to stay, apart from 4 from the whole group. Oh for guest-assess.
The whole town is looking distinctly sad. The butterfly I spotted on Wednesday is a reminder of better things to come but with dirty snow and muddy grit everywhere we have to bridge this interim between winter and spring proper. The outside of our chalet even resembles a building site, see photo taken AFTER it was supposedly fixed by our handyman, although it is already a little better than this after Roger and I set to and some more gravel is reputed to be on its way, but I had to show this photo to ensure something was done as one wouldn’t expect this entrance to a 4.5 star establishment. This swamp has resulted in my continual mopping as no-one can come in without creating a muddy mess in the entrance hall and if it’s late at night and you’ve had a bit to drink then taking one’s shoes off seems to be a task too far and so the evidence is trailed on into the living area and up the stairs to the culprits’ rooms. I used to quite enjoy mopping, as much as is possible, as you can see the effect of your efforts straight away but I think I’ve had enough of it to last me a few years at the moment. Hope that won’t be required in Canada.