The My Tracks data (when I managed to turn GPS on on the phone!) can be found here.
Pictures here are licensed under a Creative Commons non-commercial attribution license.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Champagny en Vanoise

View waiting for the Chunnel
After leaving Bristol with snow on the ground, and driving to the Chunnel, I found snow there too.

Reims Christmas Lights
I drove on to Reims, where the Christmas lights are still up. I stayed in the Hotel Azur , as I usually do, then drove on down to Champagny.
The weather on Saturday was fine right through to Moutiers, but a bit above Brides Les Bains it got very slippy. After diverting into Brides (and thinking of staying the night there), I grappled with the chains, and was then able to drive up to Champagny. (The first time I have successfully put the chains in when I needed them).

Excellent skiing both yesterday and today in Champagny and La Plagne, but cold. -17C and lower.

Stats (According to skitracks)
January 15: 
Max speed 64.7kph
Ski Distance: 35.2 km
Ski Vertical: 5403m
Runs: 16
(This is definitely confused by taking the bubble back down to Champagny)

January 16:
Max speed: 70.1 kph
Ski Distance: 25.8 km
Ski Vertical : 3682m
Runs: 19
(This isn't; I started/ended skitracks at the top of the bubble).

Sunny weather in La Plagne

Friday, 5 February 2016


After snow last night it cleared and there was sun all day. Here's le Mont Pourri from the bus stop this morning.

I was seduced by the powder so went down the black from Roches Noirs, and then down Marmottes, which was unpisted from below the Plan du Repos lift. Back up Petit Bois and down the black, off-piste to the right (below l'Ancolie). Back up and a coffee in aux Trois Ours, up around and over to Italy, where the snow was much less interesting. (No powder visible, and wind-blown crust off-piste). Lunch on Maison Carrel (the excellent tagliatelle ai funghi porcini), a bunch of the blacks into town, coffee and ice-cream!

Some of the runs in the pass, and a final excellent coffee there (for €1.30), then back home to catch the 4pm bus.

The mirror side of the PSB express

Heading back to the UK tomorrow!

Ski Distance: 51.7km
Max Speed: 74.7 km/h
Ski vertical: 8643m
Runs: 20
Max slope: 28 degrees

Thursday, 4 February 2016


The weather was mixed again today, starting with low cloud, and remaining cold all day. After starting slowly and saying goodbyes to Maurice, we went down to Ecudets a couple of times, once down the black and once the red. The snow was pretty good, with some powder off piste.

I went over to Eucherts (via the Chevreuil black, which still had some cut up powder) for lunch at Aux Trois Ours. You can see them here, looking down on my coffee.

Then up the Eucherts chair just to get enough height to get down Marcassin (the black near the Petit Bois lift below Eucherts). I ended up doing it three times off piste to the right as you go down. Cut up and heavy, but good practice! Here's the view down to Le Chatelard from part way down.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016


The weather forecast was right. Snow, cold, with the wind increasing through the day. However, Maurice and I got up and then down to Fontaine Froide, where the visibility between the trees was much better, and the snow OK at the top and slush at the bottom.
We had a coffee at the place with the very small door (even Maurice had to duck!) and tepee. Richard was also there, as a sensible reader of this blog he had also found the only sane place to ski on the mountain!

We did a second run down Fontaine Froide, then back up the (awfully slow) Ecudets lift and out into the gale, zero visibility and horizontal flying ice to get back down as fast as possible to le front de neige.

Jo was snow-shoeing, we met her for a good lunch at Le Marmottes.(With Genèpi booked for this evening, since it is both Maurice's last night, and the chalet host's night off).

Tuesday, 2 February 2016


We headed for Italy. The pistes in La Rosière had been well groomed overnight, and the heavy, cut up, state of yesterday was replaced by some corduroy.  Unusually, both the left and right drag-lifts in the pass were running (we, of course, took the righthand one, since it is faster!). Although it was hot, we headed down for a coffee in the pass, which at €1.50 for an espresso is a bargain. As we were drinking our coffee, I was recognised! "Are you Jim? Skiing Jim?" It turned out to be Richard with whom I had stayed in Tignes Les Brevières a long time ago...
Since my general belief is that I am not famous even in my own family, this was a shock!

Maurice and I carried on down to the centre of La Thuile and went for pizzas at Lo Tata, which were excellent as usual. The snow low down was melting, but higher up and in the pass was beautiful. The run down to the café was great, however most of the black runs in the pass were closed; pretty much all that was open were the runs you need to get fro A to B.

After lunch, back up the bubble and homewards, into the normal wind in the pass.
Some of the views in Italy were great, here you can see the Matterhorn, if you know where to look...
Panorama over La Thuile including the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino)

Google also created this version, which may make the Matterhorn more obvious.
How Google thinks it should be enhanced!

As ever, the sudden view over France when coming back through the pass is a joy!

The weather forecast for tomorrow is snow all day and cold. So we may end up not doing much...

Monday, 1 February 2016


Lots of snow yesterday, but then rain overnight, so everything is very heavy. The link to Italy didn't open until 11-ish, so we arranged to meet Jo for lunch at Le Plan du Repos. She walked up from Eucherts.

Jo at Plan du Repos
Maurice on the mountain

We'll aim for Italy first thing tomorrow, since the pass should be open, and Wednesday is looking bad according to Méteo France.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Catching up!


La Piste Perdu
Friday started off looking very flat, so we went down La Piste Perdue,

I had no time to take pictures of the points where you have to take your skis off and drop down under rocks!
As you can see, the sun began to come out, so we went down Le Spatule again, before heading back to Tignes.

La Grande Motte and Val Claret

Since I'd worked out the GoPro I went over to Val, and GoPro-ed the descent of La Face and then both directions on the up-and-over. All of those need an editor, so I won't post them here.


It turned out colder, though still relatively sunny. I did a number of runs and then ran down Le Golf back to the chalet to pick up another layer! Back up to Val Claret and a very good Tarte au Beaufort (with leeks). Up on the slug

and then the cable-car (after a wind-delay) to the top of La Grande Motte.

Down, around, and back to town to return my skis. Then back to the chalet for a shower, tea and cake, and a "Putting on chains" lesson from Paul before driving down to La Rosière, where Jo was already installed. The snow arrived an hour or so later, and Maurice (fresh from the US via LHR and GVA a few hours after that!)


It was snowing. Unfortunately they'd shut Fontaine Froide, so Maurice and I went over to Eucherts, had coffee in Le Plan du Repos and did Marmottes to the bottom, where the light was better, but the snow heavy. Back for lunch in the Relais, where Jo was attacked by Alison's marmot!