- 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.
- 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.
- 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……..Continue reading →
- Len’s Second Blog of 2015/16
Snowfalls have stopped for a while and we have wall to wall sunshine, making the whole area look utterly amazing. I’m making the most of it before snow comes again at the week-end…. lots of snow making machines on the go and I expect to see more piste machines on the prowl in the next day or two, some have been around already.
Len’s Ski Tips:
Now you’ve started to get fit, time to think about clothing and equipment….goggles are a “must” and they should be good quality double skin lenses with, of course, all the sun’s protection.
Kevlar gloves are better than leather and need not be bulky. It’s useful to have a pair of nylon inners for very cold days, amazingly effective.
Socks should be knee length and a good fit, you must not have anything around your feet or ankles which ruck up inside your boots…agony if you do. If renting ski boots, take your time, they should fit very snugly without being too tight, when leaning forward in them your heels should not lift more than a fraction and you must be able to wriggle your toes.
I’m off now for a walk up the mountain in the snow as part of my ‘Get Fit” regime (which has included a starvation diet! Thanks Hazal!).
- Len Silver’s First Blog of the 2015/16 Season
With the first decent snowfalls now making the mountains beautifully white… and right down to the valley floor on the North faces and just slightly higher on the South facing slopes, I spent the day playing on skis in the garden at Chalet Bon Coin, making the homecoming “piste” ready for our first guests. I was surprised at how deep the snow was when I got in to it and it was hard work at first. I packed up when I could slide easily to the chalet door.
Len’s Ski Tip:
With lifts opening soon, the skiers will now all start to think about getting fit for their holiday, some squats while balancing behind a chair will tone up those important muscles around the knees and is my own favourite, but brisk walking is as good as anything and an hour a day (which is about 4 miles) will have you feeling ready for the slopes. If you have your own boots, try them on and do some leg exercises in them. Also think about a visit to the chiropodist to have that hard skin removed from your feet and your nails trimmed back professionally, a surprisingly good idea….. Happy Ski-ing.
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