Back in time one Day .. Day 18

After the up of day 17

Time for a wind down for me at least .. the rest plotted a mad cap adventure (Charlie’s words not mine) involving a route from the Top of Brevant around the back and back to the Valley floor. They were thwarted due to the vagaries of the Flegere & Brevant lift info so headed to La Tour in the end in search of powder.

Check out Badger Patrol’s Chamonix flickr Album

for some great pics of the snow at La Tour.

I popped up the Flegere Gondola for a couple of hours feeling a lot like a seasonaire as really not bothered by the minimal skiing (only 2 lifts open) to taks some Sunny snaps with the big camera across the Valley to the Mere De Glace and Mont Blanc.




Back to the apartment for lunch then into town and up the Aiguille Du Midi for more picturesque views and a great spot for a Skype Video call with Mum and Dad.

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Cracked open the moonshine and tried to fit too much cabbage into a too small pan. A great accompaniment to well travelled haggis to celebrate Burns night.


Italian Bowl laps and Gnarly Ed.

Day 19 and some very fine snaps of Italian Bowl descents.

Always a great place for photos and especially Ed with the rope to look extra special gnarly for the home run.

It took two attempts to get the uncooperative subjects to ski / board down the right part of the ridge.

The view down into the Chamonix Valley and across to Flegere never ceases to amaze.


Then we have the avoiders of the home run checking their facebook profiles ..



Earning the Down from the Grands Montets

Day 17 and the top lift on the GM is still out of action

So to satisfy the quest for something fluffy I was persuaded to skin up. Hmmm..

Starting at the top of the Bochard lift and an epic traverse saw us at the start of the skin a bit further from the Herse lift gearing up for just a short up they tell me.

20180124 - Grands Montets20180124 - Grands Montets - skin info

I can however honestly say it was worth the effort of some truly skilless kick turns on my part to be almost the only people up there and the down was just incredible.

I guess we wont get to see it like that very often so all rather special. Huge thanks to Chris for her endless encouragement to get me round those ruthless 180s.

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I won’t mention the pair who did 2 laps to our one ….

The end of an epic day with even more friends joining us for Tarteflette tea and of course the Dru.





2 days off and a little bit of up.

I think it is now Day 12 or maybe 13 but not 100% sure…

Dodgy weather and everywhere closed gave us a well earned rest and the arrival of the next Visitors.  So now we are 5.

We fitted in a bit of transceiver practice on the Les Praz golf course. Not sure there is much Golf going on there right now. They’d need different coloured balls for one thing.



After 2 days of relaxing we headed down to Les Houches for some snowy action and our first skinning adventure part way up the Turtle track. All good until the up-ness defeated me .. too fat skis and too thin skins or more practice needed.


Our Friends decided that despite the huge amounts of snow falling from the sky they needed to go ice climbing… Sadly too warm for satisfactory ice. Consolation was had by way of a fun evening out in Chamonix which was the snowiest I have ever seen it.


Having thoroughly tested the snow conditions we lured  them back to Les Houches  today for some through the trees action. Everything else was still more or less shut.

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A fantastic day was had by all ..

More visitors arriving tomorrow and we shall be 9 .. fortunately there is a second apartment, else we may not be friends for long.




Day 5 and still alive … actually all the way up to day 9, including the days of Clive.

We may have to murder the fridge .. it’s the loudest thing in the world. The compressor is probably on its last legs.

In other news …

Day 5 took us to Courmayeur to check out the snow. Apparently we should have braved the 5 out of 5 avalanche rating and gone yesterday, according to Simon Halliwell of Powderama (the worlds best ski instructor) who we bumped into, not literally fortunately, on the slopes.

“You should have been here yesterday! It was the best snow in Europe for 10 years”

Oh well .. Actually it turns out we made a good call as yesterday was the last day of function of the Grand Montets top lift due to …

Storm Eleanor to blame, targeted to be fixed by early feb. Good skinning opportunity so I am told.

We did find some fresh tracks and despite Youla not being open and I provided free lift entertainment for some lucky folk. That’s not me just in case you were wondering. I am the ski on the lift.

To top off the best day we got back in time for some Alpen glow.


Our First Visitor …

Day 6 saw the arrival of our first visitor. We tried to sabotage him by lending him some skis which were not nearly fat enough but after a few tweekings of the DIN settings Clive found his ski legs at the Grand Montets in the Lavancher Bowl.

The lure of Courmeyer was too strong to resist so we travelled the Tunnel du Mont Blanc back to the land of cheep coffee.

20180113 - Cormayeur - Clive Day 2We returned to the scene of the incident which enabled me to join the badkneeclub and fortunately all limbs intact and 2 days in Italy saw 2 fantastic runs round the back from the top of Youla and some fun for Clive on a pair of Whitedot 98s rented from Jim in the Whitedot test centre in Les Praz. 8 or 9 perfect turns in the fluffiest of fluffiests before a suitably spectacular wipeout.

Plus discovered a great place to stay for future visits.


Time for one day at the GM

5 laps of the Italian Bowl with Clive on some rented Dynastar Legends … I think he is now a little bit in love … must be some kind of record.

Two Bochard, five Herse, one Retour Pendant and two Tabe … phew. I have to confess I only did 3 Italians.

20180115 - Grands Montets - Clive Day 4


Home in time for the first time lapse, of many hopefully to mark the end of an amazing few days. Just missed the light on the midi but this one is kind of moody.

Day off on Tuesday and new guests arriving on Wednesday .. we’d better go shopping.

Day 1 and 2 on the slopes

You know that thing called the internet where you can find a wealth of info about Chamonix Mont Blanc lift status, snow conditions, weather and other useful stuff. Well having done endless research into aspects, altitudes and snow pack we still managed to walk to the Flegere lift only to find it was closed due to high wind so wandered back to the flat to get the car. Oops.

Anyway not bad for day one slacking after not leaving until 10:30.

We did get to the top of Brevant for amazing views and even found some mounds of fluffy stuff to stack into.

Today was a first down in Les Houches where we got chased off the mountain due to 140kph winds.

Still found this great outfit. Almost enough to get us to take up Snowboardimg.

Oh the most important development of course Maurice The Mammut has his own instagram hash tag


Day 3 Grand Montet….

And last word for the day is we must have settled in as we now have leftovers in the fridge. #intartiflettewetrust.

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

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