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Member#: 6644
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Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1745

1st February 2017
Skiing: Mont Dore
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Wednesday 1st February – ski *** Mont Dore – sunny priods.

With this our third night in the same spot it was time to move on, after yesterday’s epic 5star snowshoe we hoped to have a ski today but woke to strong winds and 7 degrees, not ideal for skiing especially as the pistes are well past their best:( Still after a couple of lorry loads of snow went up the road to reinforce the runs (something we have never seen before!) and the sun came out we thought what the heck we would have a try!
So, after porridge I got the skis out of the top box and we struggled into cold boots and set off down the road to the automatic ticket office to buy our four hours. As it is Wednesday, a day that French school kids seem to have the day off to do activities, loads of buses had arrived at the station to offload them:) We didn’t bother with a picnic just took some cheese straws, water and sweets but the day nearly fell apart before it had started as on arriving at the ticket hut the machine was out of order and it was a long walk up the hill to the main office. We walked over to the Tremplin lift hoping they would let us on, taking us up so we could buy our passes? Lucky for us a couple of French skiers were in the same boat and explained to the lift man and he let us all on meaning we got a lift up and a run down for free :) 52 Euros got us four hours with insurance, a reduction as several runs were closed including the link to Super Besse:( We had a few runs low down on the chamois green piste and the snow was OK considering the mild weather and rain of recent days! Mag was not looking forward to venturing to the bowl higher up as the Gauthier de Tessiere looked threadbare at the bottom but we braved it taking the Dore lift to the top bowl. We were met by lovely blue skies but only one button lift open, the Pas de L’Ane, with a very steep section at the top and a dodgy path to the piste! The Sancy red was in good condition and enjoyed a few runs here going to the bottom on both the blue, pan de la grange and red doing our best to avoid the brown areas, the icy spots and the streams of melting snow!!!
Both needing the loo we headed to the cable car and found one and then went up in the large gondola, taking a break under the restaurant balcony and eating our snacks, the liquorice allsorts were especially yummy:) With aching legs from yesterday’s exertions and having skied all the available runs in less than perfect snow we had had enough but forced ourselves to do three more top to bottoms on the Dore lift and enjoyed the red down. So after about three and a half hours of our four hour pass we called it a day and headed to the little souvenir shop to buy postcards before heading back to the van for an apple puff and cuppa and to get the dreaded ski boots off! Although we didn’t have the best of conditions we did really enjoy our day and it is a great little resort :)
We had a polite notice from the local police saying campers were not allowed overnight in anywhere other than the designated 11 Euro a night aire, we were pushing our luck with three nights but are moving on anyway! With everything stowed away we drove to the Lidl in La Bourboule for supplies before heading back to Mont Dore in search of the Besse road. After a circuit of the town we found the road and what a wonderful road it was:) winding up to a snowy plateau with volcanos all around, then after just passing the Col de la Croix – Morand we found the perfect little carpark with fantastic views, tail peaks to the right and terrific valley scenery to the left. It didn’t take us long to decide to stop there and we even managed to get the van level a big improvement on the last three nights of sliding out of the bed! The kettle was soon on, with me having yet another apple puff, you can’t have too much of a good thing:) We then read, dozed and had our first game of Phase 10 and Mag made a top chicken curry with chick peas and we were treated to our best sunset of the holiday – the perfect end to three days in Mont Dore, we will be back in the Spring or Autumn for some more mountain walking!

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