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April so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member#: 6644
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Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1878

28th February 2020
Skiing:  La Chevrerie
Wind Direction:
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Weather: sunny and still:)
Max Speed: 33.70 (knots - unless stated otherwise)
Distance Covered: 23 miles (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Friday 28th February – ski ***** La Chevrerie – sunny and still:)


Our worst night in the van so far and we thought it would be good all alone in the ski car park at La Chevrerie tucked into a corner near the stream but I was uncomfortable with my back and a bit chilly too, then I heard a mechanical humming noise. I thought we had left the diesel heater on so asked Mag what it was and she said she had heard it ages before and it was a snow cannon behind the ticket office! Still I dozed until 7.30 and the forecast was right as we woke to crystal clear blue skies and light airs, combined to recent fresh snow, the perfect combination! I had been a little worried as we had had a lot of rain during the night and the piste basher had not been out but as the temperatures got to their lowest just before daybreak, I heard the basher, so at least we should get some flat pistes. It was our coldest night so far and the gauge read minus 3.5 but our lovely diesel heater soon got us toasty warm but our sliding door was frozen shut and needed a bit of persuasion to open! We were not in any hurry to get on the slopes – with it being so cold we wanted to avoid as many icy slopes as possible and aimed for 10. So, while Mag made yummy nut bread chicken sandwiches, I sorted out the skis and brought the boots into the van to warm up. It was only a short walk to the ticket office and we paid 45 Euros for 5 hours skiing for two, what a bargain! Mag then discovered she had lost one of her gloves (she usually has idiot strings but the elastic broke when she fell on the nasty red in Lelex so they are loose!!). She went off in search for it while I took the skies to the lift, we were not in any hurry now because the lift had stopped running and quite a queue had formed! Mag found her glove, someone had picked it up from the car park and put it on a pole so we joined the queue and eventually got on the Du Torchon which must be the slowest lift in the world but at least it gave you time to enjoy the deep blue sky and snow covered trees! It is a short ski down to a double button which takes you to the top of the Col des Follys where you can ski over to St – Jean D’Alps or return to La Chevrerie, this resort is well known for two 5km runs out in the middle of nowhere linking the two resorts with the impressive Roc D’ Enfer (2244m) as a back drop:) We decided to ski back down to La Chev to get our ski legs and the pistes were just lovely as we headed over to Mags favourite long green run. After a photo opportunity on the green I whizz off as usual skiing the powder at the side of the piste, the next minute I catch an edge, looae a ski and go head first over the edge into a small stream - a drop of a metre plus! I end up looking like a snow man and Mag oblivious to my dilemma skied straight past me (she is so used to me going miles ahead she had no cause for concern!!) and I am helped back onto the piste by a nice Frenchman with only a small cut on my hand and a camera covered in snow, lucky for me its waterproof! After five minutes cleaning my camera and trying to find my ski pole, sunglasses and water bottle I am nearly ready to set off but not before nearly being taken out by several stupid French skiers hurtling down a green run like lunatics and I must admit that the air did turn very blue!!!! Mag was waiting patiently at the lift and I told her about my adventures on the way up. Reaching the Col again Mag cleaned the blood from my hand and we set off down the best run in the resort, the 5k red through the Village des Follys to a small drag lift linking into St-Jean. There was a long queue there and the pistes down to the cable car were not great, and icy in places which are difficult especially on Mags 1.20 blades! Still you can rest on the cable car up and you get amazing views of the mountains over toward Avoriaz and we were only ten minutes from Morzine too! You reach St Jean main ski area at the Le Plateau 1500m which is really busy and the restaurants are heaving, too many people for our liking, things should quieten down next week as the French kids got back to school! We do a couple of nice green before taking the 4-man chair to the top. Mont Blanc is covered in an amazing circle of what we call ‘bad weather coming’ cloud so we ski over to the edge for a better view and to look at the village of Graydon and its tiny chapel in the valley far below, always a good spot. We walked to it a few years ago. We have used a nice picnic table here in the past but way too busy to sit there today so skied back down. Instead of returning on the 4 man I take Mag down a long red which starts off good but ends up icy at the bottom, I blame snow cannon snow, its crap! Time to head up in search of a picnic spot, the usually nice run down into the Combe de Graydon is more like a narrow mogul run but the pistes in the valley are much better. There is a very slow old chair that takes you to the Col de Graydon so you can return to La Chev but we decide to have one more run down and have loads of fun, Mag on the red through the tree while I go offpiste and only fall over once! We then find a small wooden hut in the sunshine on the Graydon Col for lunch and enjoy our sandwich as the Alpine Chuffs circle. We are then entertained by two intrepid skiers trying to climb up the Roc D’ Enfer with their skies in their rucksack. We first see them in a small Col as they try for the summit on their hands and knees but find the going too hard and struggle slowly back, they eventually disappear over the back so fingers crossed they got home safely? With our five hours nearly up, we have to do the 5k red back to La Chev and great it was too. We had enough time for one more lift up to do Mags favourite green down so I could show her the scene of my accident! It turns out that if I had fallen a bit further it would have turned into a small waterfall!!! We returned to the van absolutely knackered - we definitely couldn’t do a whole week consecutive skiing every day anymore and with the conditions varying so much at the moment once a week is plenty! To be honest I think we both enjoy the peace and quiet that snowshoeing and hiking offer far more than skiing. Also, my poor old legs can’t stand the strain of going fast anymore! Back at the van we quickly stow the ski gear away and drive to our favourite spot by the beautiful Lac Vallon. We park in our spot with views of the quaint little chapel and have a very welcome cuppa and cake:) Tomorrow is looking cloudy with rain later so we might head over to Annecy so we can promenade around the Lac on Sunday with the locals!


Photo Gallery Here


Saturday 29th February – travel and relax – cloudy with heavy rain and wind in afternoon:(


A much better night away from the noise of the ski car park and we enjoyed the peace and quiet of our spot by Lac Vallon just outside La Chevrerie. After a very hectic week our plan was to take it easy today especially with wind and rain forecast for this afternoon. Easy morning in the van enjoying the Lac/Chapel views before packing up and heading for Annecy where our plan was to promenade by the Lac with the locals on Sunday in hopefully sunny weather. It was a picturesque route through snowy valleys surrounded by high mountains, we got in a bit of a muddle, missing a small turning and ending up heading towards Taninges but didn’t want to get caught up in Saturday ski traffic so back tracked which enabled us to visit a nearly new Super U with very cheap diesel!! We then discover the Col on the route we wanted was closed but soon found a nice alternative route to Annecy and were making good time. We were looking for a spot for lunch and maybe a short stroll and spotted a sign to the Chateau de Sales and the Plateau des Glieres towards Thorens Glieres. The Chateau was pretty ordinary and closed so we continued up to the Plateau and what a fantastic trip that was! You entered a valley by a narrow gap in huge mountains and the road twisted and turned steeply up to a dead end that is the Plateau and a large cross-country ski area. Mag got a snow shoe walk map from the information centre and we went and parked up with nice views of the pistes near the only other camper up here. The car park was fairly busy with cross country skiers, snow shoers and families with young kids out sledging but things soon quietened down as the strong wind were now accompanied by driving rain! We were enjoying our nut and saucisson bread with some smelly French cheese when Mag noticed an annoying noise? (I think it’s better to be deaf because she hears Everything!!) The camper next door was running his Honda generator! so we packed up and moved down the car park to a quieter and lots better spot, we do hate being near other people!!! Mag finished yet another book – her 4th this trip already! And then made some proper cooked from scratch yummy chips and we ate those with the left-over rotisserie chicken the rain is still lashing down and the wind blowing strongly but we are hopeful for a snow shoe walk here tomorrow in the sunshine, assuming there is any snow left!



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