- La Plagne, Saturday 15th December
Saturday December 15th and some of the lifts open for the 1st day of the new season in La Plagne. Met nearly all of the staff at 9.30 this morning for a “Team Ski”. Sun still not over the mountain tops, but clear blue skies and -10C so quite chilly. As expected, the pistes were in excellent condition so we all sailed along, kidding ourselves that we could ski! No moguls (bumps) or rough patches and not a sign of any ice…. purrfect. None of the lower sections like Montchavin are due to open until next week, but what IS open is giving superb skiing. The Arpette was especially nice, fully in the sun and smooth as silk. Even my old legs managed to handle it all without mishap, but I was grateful to have a long rest when lunchtime led me to Monica’s.
First of the season’s guests arriving at lunchtime tomorrow (Sunday) and our young bunch of enthusiastic Silver Ski staff can’t wait to greet them all….. then quickly out onto the mountain again!
It’s a tough life! LenContinue reading →
- A Snowy Adventure!
Sunday November 18. Having been here since the start of the month, we decided we had earned a Sunday lunch in the valley. So at 11.30 we all (Hazal, Alan, Dan the Chef, Jodie and myself) climbed in the 4WD Land Rover and drove down to Bourg St Maurice noticing en route that all the snow blowers were working hard wherever we could see. We had booked into a popular restaurant at Se’ez, just beyond Bourg on the road to Val’. Great place and super meal and a couple of glasses of Gamay red (the local brew) made it a good visit.
At about 2.30 we made the journey back up the mountain… the sun was shining, snow blowers still going strong so we decided to view what was going on all over the place and took the mountain track up to Du Du Praz, over the top, enjoying the scenery, as we dropped down into Bellecote using the winter ski runs with our 4WD. Driving into Bellecote itself we found a large area of snow blown from the system which we had to cross. The blower was going full force and it was as if we were driving in a blizzard. To our horror, half way across and the wheels started to spin, grinding us to a halt in what was quite deep blower snow. Alan tried all the gear ratio’s, kept trying to rock backwards and forwards to get some grip, but no joy. By now the Land Rover was well covered in snow and the wipers were going strong. I thought we were there to stay with a long walk home in view. No shovel on board (bad mistake!). After trying to push with nil effect, Dan then used his feet to scrape snow away from the front of the wheels with Alan following suit, both looking like snowmen as the white stuff came pouring. Then, finally, with everyone pushing, Alan was able to get the Land Rover jerkily moving forward and at last running down to the level of the bubble station where everyone got back in… very cold and shivery but happy to be back mobile and on our way back up to Bon Coin by road.
All over and we all had a great laugh… mental note… put a shovel in the vehicles!
Monday morning and the natural stuff is falling……..Continue reading →
- Len Silver 15.11.18
Been here at Chalet Bon Coin for two weeks now, strict diet and exercising to get fit for skiing. No more cheesecake!!!
Still quite a bit of snow lying around on the Northern facing slopes, the remainder of the biggish fall in October, but with warmer weather, anything below about 2000m and facing the sun now looks green. Forecast here is for snow to start falling on 21st November and to keep coming for a while after that, so not long to wait. The Bergerie chair has been tested several times as have some of the snow-making pipes, all signs that the season is nearly here. I’ve managed to get my mountain walks up to about 2/3 miles and I use my ski poles to steady myself over the stoney ground. I also use them like a cross country skier when I’m walking uphill (seems like most of the time!) and they certainly help. Tramped up to the Du Du Praz restaurant the other day where I watched as the owner was building a bigger balcony to seat more people. This is the one popular with cross country skiers and it has great views right across the Isere valley. If downhill skiers care to “pole” it to that position, there is usually some good powder to be had taking you down to Plagne Soleil below.
Tripping down to Bourg St Maurice on Sunday for a break from my starvation diet. Chips anyone?Continue reading →
- Journey to La Plagne
Left Maidstone at 4am on Wednesday (last day of October) to drive to La Plagne with Hazal, Alan (who drove all the way) and chalet host Jodie.
It turned out to be good that we were early for our Tunnel boarding as we found a deviation from the M20 which added 20 minutes. Cold and damp with the forecast of rain, I was wrapped up in a knee blanket in the back seat with a carrier bag of snack food at my feet, so, nice and cosy! A bit of a disaster through the tunnel as we discovered that the passenger side window wouldn’t stay up…. so a quick garage stop to get Duct Tape, a great fix. Out onto the French Autoroute into surprisingly clear and pleasant weather and I had the good fortune to have a nap for about an hour. Very clear roads with modest traffic all the way and we hit the outskirts of Lyon about 2 o’clock, making decent time and no drama’s. Soon after that and we were hitting the beginnings of the Alps and some snow covered peaks coming into view. By the time we arrived at Albertville we had established that the snow was all above the tree line at 2000 metres. On to Moutiers and Aime, then it was the steep climb up to resort in bright sunshine, the trees now all different shades of red and brown, the Autumn beauty that makes the Alps such a wondrous place.
Now we are passing the Bob Sleigh and a light snow covering down to La Roche below us, thats getting steadily deeper as we climbed up past 1800 and into Plagne Centre. Here was a deviation to avoid the new bridge being built over the debutantes’ piste that goes under Hotel France and on up past Soleil, the snow now looking much more solid and we arrived at Bon Coin with the chalet looking very wintery indeed. In was 4.30pm and right on schedule…so… well done Alan!
Greeted at the door by Dan the Chef who had travelled out the day before us and I was delighted to find all new carpets in the hallway and stairwell and into the lounge where a crackling log fire complemented the new carpet and deep red plush seat coverings.
My winter home has never looked so good… now it’s diet and exercise time as I impatiently wait for ski-ing to begin….Continue reading →
- Len October 2018
Well into October now and starting to get into skiing mode (mentally that is!). Keep telling myself to do some knee bends, but, so far, have resisted temptation! Instead I have been dreaming about some of my favourite runs and today the long drop from the top of the Becoin chair out of Plagne Centre descending to La Roche where one of my favourite restaurants sits alongside the chairlift (great steakhouse). Off we go to the right off the top of the chair and schuss along the top of the ridge putting in the occasional shallow turn to keep the speed reasonable. At the very end bearing right and into the steep red which overlooks almost every part of the whole of La Plagne. Great view and a good photo opportunity. Carve down the red and two big turns and you’re onto the flat bit at the bottom. Choices here with a modest blue to the right and my own route to the left and into the steep and wide red (should be a black really) going down towards the huge Aime 2000 building (designed to look like trees from a distance, but failing miserably). Keep an eye on your speed at the end section as there will be people standing about at the top of the Golf chairlift. Then it’s into Golf itself taking care to give some of the beginner skiers plenty of space. But here the snow is always good and the area is a great confidence booster…. down to the bottom going past the restaurant Les Bonne Vie Temps (Good Old Times) where the lazy ones can stop for a great mid-morning hot chocolate and to the right of the Golf chair entrance. Now you’re at the edge of the drop into the Andre Martzolf route towards La Roche. That first drop is one of the most exciting and exhilerating sections in the whole run. Rounded and gullied with (if you choose it) a drop so steep half way down that you feel as if you’re flying, the back of your ski’s off the snow and head and shoulders hanging forwards…. great. You have to stop at the bottom just to get your breath as for sure you won’t be breathing normally on that section. Then it’s a left turn and onto the easy bit of the run, undulating and smooth with very few other skiers around to annoy you. But it lulls you into a false sense of security as you turn at the end where it joins the Emile Allais red and suddenly it’s steep again. Reach a long way down with your poles here to make sure you can turn as you need to, pausing for a moment on the narrow track that crosses the run before diving into the final steep section. Here the snow can sometimes be patchy so you need to pick your route with care. A final swoop to the bottom and then it’s off with the ski’s and into the Roche restaurant for a great steak lunch… you’ve earned it….Continue reading →
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