We were very fortunate to have some superb weather and snow conditions right to the end of our season. We also benefited from a few days of less sunshine which enabled us to get the cleaning work completed in both the chalet and the flat without the strong draw of the pistes. The flat had been cleaned on Sunday but we still kept the ski clothes and equipment there as it was more convenient. The apartment block was becoming as deserted as it had been in December when it seemed as though we were the only residents. Latterly, the emptiness and silence were only disputed by shoes on the doormat outside an adjacent flat. This appears to be a local custom whereby all footwear is left outside on the corridor! (for unsuspecting fellow residents to trip over when negotiating the darkness in the early morning searching for the light switch.) Being French, some of the items were particularly stylish so there was a temptation to hide the offending articles, at the least!
The snow on the lower slopes was unable to maintain its substance as the day wore on so we tended to ski lower in the mornings and move higher up as the day wore on finishing, inevitably at Le Spot. The low runs were maintained by artificial snow from the snow canons but the higher slopes were topped up every few days by consecutive flurries which fell as rain down in the resort. This resulted in wonderful conditions on one our favourite runs from last season, Bartevelles, which had been rather icy this year until these last few days when it was fantastic (and deserted). The only draw back was the trek involved in getting up to the gondola and quite a walk at the top but it was worth it whilst it was so quiet. We have often looked back at slopes we have skied and been surprised at how steep or gentle they appear compared to how they ski. This is definitely one of those instances where the run that we love so much actually looks pretty scarily steep from the side!
We had to return our skis on the last afternoon and found the bottom of the resort, late in the day, looking totally decimated. The receding snow leaves such a mess of mud, litter and dirty snow debris that it makes everywhere look scruffy and horrible in comparison to the pristine white of most of the winter. However, before we left, the vibrant greens of new shoots of grass were poking through all over the hillside where the snows had melted earlier. The snow-line had turned into a ‘green-line’ which crept higher by the day and the dwarf daffodils presented beautiful shots of yellow over the bankings.
Our trip home was fairly uneventful but enhanced by finding ourselves standing in the departure lounge at Lyon airport 2 groups behind some close friends from Huddersfield! We are now sitting in the lounge of Roger’s parents over-looking the Solent, finalising the arrangments for our trip to Australia before returning to Mountain Chalet in Alpe d’Huez in December!