Yippee! Another season completed fairly successfully and considerably more tolerable than previously, to the extent that it looks like we are coming back next year. Hopefully to a refurbished, refitted and extended chalet (although no more bedrooms!) as well as better weather. The conclusion by the locals is that this has been one of the worst winters for many years. We can only compare with last year and it has been pants! We did manage to get out on Friday after 10 days of miserable weather or poor visibility but had to go above 3000m to get above the clouds and find the sunshine.
After a couple of hours on the glacier, still finding routes new to us, the clouds had begun to dissipate and we were able to enjoy a rare hour at Le Spot where we were joined by Josh, ex of Signal cafe and now at Lounge 21, and his girlfriend Ellie who does a few shifts at Indiana bar where we have to go to get wifi on our days off. Again, hopefully, we may have wifi in the flat next year.
Anyway, this morning, our final breakfast, we were back out into winter conditions, snow under foot and needing gloves and scarves. This time last year we were sun-bathing! The guests all left by 10am and as we are staying on we needed to do no more than strip the rooms so the laundry could be collected which enabled us to spend some time sat down with Tim and Sara to go through the menu and other resource and facilities issues, culminating in the $6m question of whether we’d come back. There are still a few little aspects to be finalised, like our pay rise! but in principle we are OK.
We have found out that the terms and conditions of some of the other companies have improved for chalet hosts; a day and a half off each week and pay increase in line with the reps, who have to cover the extra half day making it much more equitable. We have fed this information to T&S so are awaiting their consideration. In the meantime they have invited us out for a burger (home-made at O bar) tonight so it can’t be too bad.
We can move into the chalet any time now (and have full access to wifi!) but are waiting for the Fergs to leave tomorrow but as the forecast is good we may go up the hill and see how we feel when we get back. They are taking a suitcase back to the UK but we still have quite a lot of clobber as well as 2 weeks food to move on the the now even-more-limited bus service so it may not happen until Monday. We have a leak in the chalet from the hot water tanks but the one in the flat, which resumed at the beginning of the week, seems to have abated and we do not have ‘sheet’ coming through the bathroom ceiling at present so the imperative has reduced. Even this little studio apartment is quite homely, albeit with somewhat unsupportive seating, when we don’t have to go to work!!