The day they shut the mountains

March 15th and 16th 2020 Chamonix. It was supposed to be two days of a little bit of up but mostly all about the down with a couple of good ski friends who’s snowy hols are typically punctuated by corralling their three kids.

March 15th went according to plan with some fluffy then crunchy then slushy descents of the GM and a sneeky up to get over the back. For once I wasn’t last as our friends were somewhat hampered by their down hill boots .. hurrah!

These were some of the best powder turns of the season.

In the run up to the weekend the resort was rife with rumours of the hills being shut at the weekend as the French nation braced themselves for some critical measures to manage the new coronovirus which seemed to be spreading fast among the population. Our friends came out on friday evening in any case. The lure of some kid free adventuring was too great to resist.

The GM had signs up suggesting skiers to reduce the numbers of people in individual cable car bubbles but no-one was taking it all that seriously. Looking back on it now it seems difficult to believe we were so blasé.

The Dru even popped out to wish us a happy evening.

Sunday morning dawned and everything was shut. I guess sense had prevailed in the end although it didn’t feel like it at the time. So a slightly lazy start and a nice walk up towards Argentiere as far as Le Lavancher and back in time for a glass of Rose in the sunny sunny garden and Alpy bus or was it Easy bus back to GVA. Amazingly despite somewhat chaotic scenes at Geneva Airport our friends made it home to the UK safe and sound .. more or less .. but that’s someone else’s tale to tell.

I was supposed to be flying to Spain for work that week direct from GVA but that was looking altogether dubious as Spain seemed worse off than France and then off to Germany the week after .. Hmmm

And that was the start of the take each day as it comes, several easyjet flight shenanigans and wondering exactly how long we’d be “trapped” in Chamonix. Well there are worse places to wait out the apocalypse.

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This mountain life .. trying to stay up on the downs and survive the ups.

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