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  • Len on Christmas Day in La Plagne

    Christmas Day and bright sunshine found me having a fairly lazy day.  Ski’d down to Montchavin in the morning and really surprised at how good the snow was, even on the lower slopes, courtesy of much snow cannon work coupled with piste machines doing a great job and pistes generally getting better day by day.  Really great conditions on the higher places, Dos Rond a delight before making the descent through the trees.  Lunch at Monica’s and sitting in the sunshine listening to carols over the radio… magic!  Now for a super Christmas dinner prepared by Dan the Chef to round off a great Christmas day.

    Len’s Ski Tips…  On sunny days in the Alps, do not be tempted to ski without goggles or sun glasses…the rays are very powerful at altitude with the reflection from the snow doubling the potential eye problems.  Play it safe… ps snow is forecast in a few days

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  • Len on the Eve of Christmas Eve!

    With a lot more people here for Christmas, the snow in the steeper places is getting a bit scraped out.  That makes for some uncomfortable ski-ing so I have been keeping to the easy blues where the conditions are excellent with some really good ski-ing.  Verdons North has been particularly good by comparison as has been Inversens, off the Roche De Mio, so guess where I have been!  Snow is forecast for Sunday and we’re all looking forward to that.

    Len’s Ski Tips…

    If the piste has icy patches do not try to be clever and edge into it, you are likely just to slide away awkwardly and fall.  Far better to unweight and flatten your skis to cross the patch, edging as you clear it… look for a bit of fluffy snow to turn in.  They you’ll stay in control and on your feet.

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  • Len Silver Reporting from La Plagne

    With a little fresh snow on Wednesday morning it freshened up the pistes and helped to mix in the cannon snow which has been blowing everywhere all week.  Ski-ing conditions surprisingly good on piste but not enough depth to make off piste ski-ing safe.  Ski’d Inversens off the Roche De Mio to find it, so far, the best of all the runs although Verdons North was a strong contender.  Everyone now preparing for Christmas week when most of the resort, including the runs to the lower parts such as Montchavin will be open.

    Len’s Ski Tips:

    You will need some different thicknesses of clothing to account for the big variation in temperatures…. a “One size fits all” philosophy is not good if you want to feel comfortable all day.

     

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  • Len Silver, Saturday 12th December 2015

    At last the lifts are open in La Plagne and we had a staff “Team Ski” which started at the Bergerie lift at 9.30.  About 15 of us linked up and zipped quickly across to Bellicote to pick up the Arpette 8 man chair, all of us pleasantly surprised at the excellent piste conditions, but we all got a bit nervous when coming out of the sunshine into the shade and not to be able to see anything for a few seconds!  No one came to any harm though and amazingly only a couple of “first day” falls among the group.  As the morning progressed and the speeds got steadily faster, I found the group getting smaller and smaller!  By lunchtime it was down to just 3 of us to make it to Monica’s for a well earned rest and an omelette to keep me on my diet!  Felt good for an opening day but a bit surprised at the number skiers, many of them day trippers from Lyon and Chambery arriving by coach.  I’ll sleep well tonight……

    Len’s Ski Tips…. Picking the right ski wear can made or break your holiday.  I am amazed that so many people pick ski-ing trousers as opposed to salopettes. The latter are far more practical and comfortable and never let snow get inside when you have a fall.

     

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  • Len on Saturday 5th December

    Following a light overnight snowfall, resort manager, Bianca, Top Chef Dan and one or two others joined me for a day’s ski-ing in the Three Valleys which opened one week before us in La Plagne.

    We headed for La Tania where we met up with Stuart the man in charge there at our group of chalets around Amber, Daisy and Isla with Lyra and Ava just round the back.  Ski boots on and we set off on the short ski from the chalets to the bubble car, and soon we were up above in Bouc Blanc, ski-ing on surprisingly deep snow, soft and forgiving and ideal for a first day on skis.  For 3 hours non-stop until my legs were like jelly, they all pushed me to the limit on terrific pistes from the top at Saulire (2800m) down to the Croisette of Courchevel at 1800m.  My own opinion was that the pistes above La Tania were the best of all and when we ski’d down into the La Tania village for a great lunch at Tim’s, we’d all had an exhausting but exhilarating time.  Wonderful!  Now for the first guests next Sunday!

    Len’s Ski Tips:

    Selecting Skis – Lots of excellent equipment is now available with “all terrain” skis extremely popular so that they can be used equally well on or off piste.  The make of ski these days is almost irrelevant and it is a good idea to have the ski “eyebrow” height.  A bit shorter for a complete beginner, but once properly mobile and ski-ing around the mountain, albeit modestly, the shorter ski is undesirable because they are less stable.  The edges of the skis should be very sharp with no burrs, but with the front 10/12 inches blunt and the back 6 inches the same.  This stops the ski from feeling “twitchy” and gives you a good ride…. beware, ski shop preparation often overlooks this fact, so you need to check by scraping your finger-nail across the edge.  In the middle of the ski it should pare off some nail-bone, at the front and back, none.  Have a great ski……..

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