The spring snow has been a bonus. We managed a couple of hours on the slopes on Tuesday to take advantage of the fresh snow but despite the blue skies as we set off, there were ominous grey/black clouds lurking on adjacent mountain tops. The wind was about 70km on the top so we ducked down to our favourite valley where we completed a couple of nice runs which were only slushy at the bottom. As the cloud crept closer, despite the wind speed, we opted to make tracks (literally in some cases) to Signal for our regular repost. We do struggle to ski some days as we’re so tired but feel it to be a necessity to avail ourselves of the only perk for being here. My half hope for poor weather again on day off was swept away when we woke to a glorious clear sky so we were on the hill for 10am and had a lovely day skiing in the sunshine on relatively quiet slopes. Even the 1500 students from Bristol Uni didn’t intrude. Some of the runs were a bit icey but this was preferable to the previous slush, but by late morning even they were beginning to soften.
We stopped for lunch in a fairly isolated restaurant on the side of an unpopular piste (due to ice) which had been recommended by previous guests. It was in a lovely spot but the eating tables were a little exposed to the chill wind. We ate our meal outside before debating whether to move to the more sheltered coffee tables or inside to the open fire. We eventually opted for the latter although reluctant to come in from the sunshine. We enjoyed chocolate chaud and complementary genepis, a local liqueur, probably because we were the only customers all lunchtime. Their lack of trade could be accounted for by the absence of passing skiers, approximately 30 in total all the time we were there which is a real shame as it was a delightful place and the maitre de extremely accommodating. Hopefully we’ve sent some of our guests there today.
The air temperature has dropped but the sun’s warmth has increased as it’s elevation rises. Our balcony is now in sun almost all day as it creeps over the adjacent building which has shaded us up until now. The only slight problem is the waterfall cascading off the roof as that snow melts giving the impression of continual pouring rain. Yesterday it was quite fascinating to see the wall of melt water dripping off the roof but then freezing on the blades of grass outside our window in the shaded part. As evening drew in the iced fronds picked up the sparks of light from the street which looked like a string of fairy lights along the top of our wall. Sunshine during the day and low temperatures at night are the optimum conditions at present so fingers crossed that they remain for another week to 10 days.
We are so looking forward to welcoming friends next week and even the 2 ‘strangers’, if they turn out to be nice. Last week’s guests were delightful so this week’s had a hard act to follow and haven’t really made the grade in total. Our ‘VIP’ is very pleasant and undemanding and, it transpires, is the guy we said hello to each morning as we walked past him on our way into the cookery course in Godalming in June, he recognised us straight away. Even his children are not bad, for kids, and keen to talk to and entertain us, even helping where they can although we had to decline playing table tennis with them. We also have a delightful pair of Chinese (I think) women and a chap on his own who is a teacher on his first ski trip for a number of years without 30-50 pupils in tow.
The other guests are not a bad bunch but not quite as nice as last week. Perhaps me tipping custard down the back of one didn’t endear us to them but Roger responded by knocking a glass of red wine over 2 at once so perhaps they have good reason to not be impressed with us! We haven’t spilt anything on anyone all season but then twice on successive evenings. Fortunately we have a reasonably efficient washing machine so hopefully no permanent harm done. The custard victim is a Kiwi so I was able to engage him in conversation about his homeland in flattering terms which seems to have broken the ice now. Further details will be revealed next week but all I can say now is that one should always be careful what you say if you do not know everyone within earshot, we have a spy in the camp!!