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Friday 1st & Sat April 2nd Hello & Goodbye
Over to Itlay again on Friday as we had to go later on to Turin to collect Siggy & Carl.

Elaine, Bing, Tracy & Loulou went skiing from Montgenevre and I walked with Kiki from there to Claviere and we all met up for lunch in Gallo Cedrone (again)

Then on to Turin leaving Bing & Tracy still skiing. Elaine found the driving in the mountains quite tough (so did Bing who was right behind us when Elaine inadvertently went into reverse going round a hairpin) and even worse on the Auto Strada around Turin, so yours truly did a Lazarus and had an instant recovery and managed to drive back, and knee pleased to report is ok!

So full house last night and now Saturday we've said good bye to Bing, Tracy & Loulou and now we have Carl & Siggy out snowboarding, perfect conditions to learn in!

They've just finished their first lesson (90mins) and now are staggering up the slope trying to put into practice what they've been taught, think easier for Carl than Sig's who I suspect may well be back on skis!

Over to La Grave later to see Per & family.

Weather here is crazily warm with lizards coming out to sunbathe!

Thursday, 31st March - Italy & The Apartment
A bit of a sorry story for Loulou today all down to her experiencing true "Apres Ski" of arriving at a bar yesterday at 16:00 and then not getting home till 23:00, so she was not in much of a fit state to ski today, all blame on B52's Toffee Vodka, Jet 27, Jager Bombs, Baileys etc to be directed at Bing - think we had around five "for the roads". The long island ice teas in Mojo's are officially the best in the world!!

I managed to "walk" home faster than Tracy, Bing & Loulou!

Bing & Tracy Road Trip to Sestriere
Up early to Italy.....classic Spring snow though we have not heard from Bing since he sp otted this "Bella" - evidently he was last seen clinging on to the bubble behind.

 

And on a more cultured note this photo from Tracy

 

 

Wednesday, 30th March - Ski touring by car
Most people (so they say) woke up early to look out at the weather first thing this morning and decided to stay in bed on hearing the rain and looking at the low cloud hanging in the valley.

We then agreed to have a day off, (yet another for me) and go "Van Touring" (leavinng Loulou finalising her essay) to Nevache which is the valley over from Serre where we often end up and start from when ski touring. Last year the snow cover was massive where as this year we could drive well past where we had to skin up to a couple of years ago! Evidently this season is the worst for snow cover in 35 yrs!

Good news from my perspective is that I'm walking without crutches and not with my mega splint, easy going uphill but not too good going back down.

On the way back stopped off at our usual bar and had a drink and absorbed the rays when they appeared from between the clouds, that was about it.

Just looked at the forecast for next week and hitting 20 degrees!!

Tuesday, 29th March - La Grave, Pistes and for some The Grotte
Seem to recall going to bed last night that the game plan was for Bing to get up early and suss the conditions out prior to making a call as to what to do today, with Sestriere (Italy) being one option.

So when I awoke to bright blue sky I thought they would be ready, not still lying in bed, not that I'm really bothered as I'm not in aspirant Le Gav Le Guide mode anymore.

Think Elaine surfaced again before Bing. Then it was all a question of what to do for the day. Italy not really an option due to the late start, so what would it be, more on that later from Bing n' Tracy.

Eventually was left home alone in the apartment, so Kiki and I walked very slowly down to the Grotte as I needed a good Internet connection in order to upload the Heli Video and mission accomplished!

From Elaine
Just back at 16.20 from snowboarding from the top 2300 down to La Grotte. Snow slushy and perfect. Happy that I can still do it - having skied all this season instead of boarding. Need a board buddy, though! Carl?

And had lovely ski with Lou this morning. Empty slopes, great snow on higher levels and, finally, sussed Lou's boots. The ones she was wearing were far too big and therefore giving her huge pain issues. Now sorted with the smaller boots.

Still wating to hear from Bing and Tracy from La Grave. Sure they're doing beers at Castillian!!

From Tracy
Well in a moment of madness I asked to go to Le Grave today!!  I think I must have still been half asleep, anyway after the initial nervousness at going into territory unknown and unpisted and almost an hour on lifts going up into the Mountain, I had a nice little ride hanging off the back of a piste basher and then a poma and we were finally at the top, the highest I have ever skied at 3550m.  With Gav's help I now know we skied from the Col de la Lauze down the Glacier de La Girose.  Bing then strapped me into a harness, 'Why do I need this?'........ Incase you fall into a crevasse!'  Obviously this calmed my nerves no end, very comforting!!  Once all strapped up we came down a great little run to warm our legs up on before, dropping off to the left on some fantastic powder snow and at a gradient I could cope with.  A few hairy moments with rocks on various traverses but other than that no drama!  In fact I thoroughly enjoyed my time up there and managed 3 runs from the top down to P2 the second station. Awesome. xx

From Bing
Go hard, go home, go to bed, getting old!!!! La Grave delivered more powder snow and Tracy deserved her hoody for skiing the 'GRAVE' .

Taking Lou Lou on an early pub crawl tomorrow after a jamming session in the Snow Park! Whoop Whoop!

Dogs Blag
Had fun last night with my new chew/brew.

 

Monday, 28th March - First Lifts

From Elaine
As it snowed all yesterday and last night (though hardly settling around the apartment), we agreed to do first lifts from Monetier, whatever the weather. At least, that's what I thought when I went to bed at 11.30pm leaving others still at the table. Awoke at 8am raring to go - and no one around. Took Bing and Tracy tea in bed - et voila, they were up and ready.

Came down through the trees twice on nice morning snow on empty pistes then went up higher. By now the sun was out and.....and it was like a radiator on the snow on lower levels. I thought I was going to come out of my boots like a cartoon character cos it was sooooo  sticky, like Velcro.

Came back at 1pm to find that chalet Boy had not made the soup! You just can't get the staff...!!

From Tracy
Thanks Elaine, cup of tea in bed was fantastic!!  Now as Bing hardly ever stops, we left Elaine when she went back down for lunch with the plan to ski over to Chantemerle then on again to Briancon, the snow was so sticky, we stopped half way between the two for a plate of Chips and an Orangina at the Grande Alpe.  Yes you heard it here first 'Bing stopped for lunch!!'

After our stop we thought we'd give Briancon a go, we got half way down and the snow turned to glue so stayed high, skied the Border Cross and the Funny Cross and then ended up in the snow park, where Bing re-lived his youth and I attempted my first ever jump!  It was almost all over when I followed Bing over an expert jump before taking evasive action at the last minute!!!  Had fun over some green bumps though and was worth getting up early for this morning's powder turns!

From Me
Spent most of the morning compiling a video of the "day" only trouble can't get to upload it as the connection keeps dropping

 

Sunday 27th March - Start of another week!
So quite a chalet full again last year with everyone swapping beds, prior to going to sleep I hasten to add. I had the deep joy of sleeping next to the Wootton who had his snore turbo charger on, but I was advised that I was just as bad, in fact so bad he decided to read a book at 01:00 as he could not sleep, though could not hear the Wheeler grinding his teeth.

Tim & Jes left early and I've been stuck in the apartment most of the day as they all went up the hill (eventually), just as the weather (as forecast) took a turn for the worse and started raining. And that's what's on the cards for the rest of the week evidently, so not too good for the girl's week. Hopefully the rain lower down will be snow further up, though the bad viz conditions Loulou will not enjoy!

That said as I write this 16:00 (and it's pissing down) they're still not back, so either they're actually enjoying it up there, or they've got lost, or they're having numerous Cafe stops!

Been trying to compile a little vid of the heli etc but all the video footage is not compatable with my video editing software!

And thanks to those that have contacted me re the "knee".

Ciao for now.

Gavin

16:25 Update
Four very wet people have just turned up, snow at 1700m - will get try and get them to blog post tea & biscuits

Hope to load more images up when I get to a WiFi bar later as this text is uploaded via Mobile


Bing Blog

What a difference a day makes......managed to drag the girls out of the Apartment around 10am with cloud and snow forecast, drove to the lift station to find out Tracy had forgotten her ski boots so back to the apartment we go.......

Managed to get some good cold snow and soft spring on the way down to monetier, not a sole on the piste and Tracy banking some great gs turns on piste.... Met up with Elaine and Lou Lou for a quick pit stop and the heavens opened, snowing down to 1750m so not to bad....... La Grave trip on Thurs when the sun comes out could be classic....... arrived at Villeneuve car park soaked as raining at resort level...

Borrowed Gav's garmont ski boots as my black diamonds are trashed after 3 years of abuse and spent last 2 days touring downhill in touring mode... They were stiff and skied fine going to take gavs kit out over the next few days and test this light weight gear out proper........

Sleeting in town now so a few beers then bed for me as powder day on the cards tommorrow....

Missing the boys but a great week had by all, skiing the steep and deep, perfect powder descents, spring snow, helicopter rides and death drop traverses with crampons and ice axes to kiss the Primadonna on the highest mountain in Italy.......

GO HARD OR GO HOME......... WHOOOOP WHOOOOOOOOP x

 

DOGS BLAG:

The boys have all gone home so going to miss sniffing and chewing those ski socks.........

Spent the day with myself chasing a few balls over the balcony...

Out for a few beers and found some great beer mats to shread, must take it easy tonight as the ping pong ball chasing and table dancing with Bing tired me out last night....

Home for a sunday roast as need an early night.....