Skiing 2004 Courchevel 1850


Thursday 12 February

Left promptly at 1600 with back of car full to top of seats. Queues at Waltham Abbey and then a 10 mile queue to the Dartford bridge due to earlier accident. Arrived at Dover at 1900 just as the boat was leaving. Slightly surprised to be directed to a separate shed and asked security questions. Got the 19.45 boat. Very pleasant because mostly empty. James not happy with being on the boat. Found Calais Holiday Inn and the Dawsons easily. Katie not happy with sharing a bed witrh James but we managed.

Friday 13 February.

Buffet breakfast at 8.00 off at 9.00. Misty morning. New car going well. Used same route as last year. Stopped north of Rheims at 11.10 at Mont-de-Nizy. Then straight forward run to Langes? for picnic lunch of pasties at about 1300. Ended up about 3/4 of an hour earlier than last time. Sun came out eventally. Stopped again after Bourg-en-Bresse just after the hills started about 1600. Through to Annecy at about 1700. Traffic was much better than last year. Novohtel was OK except right about railway was the train vibration was noticable. Walked through the old town to the lake. Sun just making some to the rock go pink. Back through the old town, very picturesque with an interesting collection of Castles, catherdral, old houses, rivers. Meal at the hotel, quick but a bit bland. Kids watched Cinderella in French. Kate's cough was bad. Difficult to sleep; room was too hot, Debbie snored, James wriggled and made funny noises. Kate coughed and the trains came through.

Saturday 14 February

Up very early. Breakfast 7am. Kate tired. Off at 8.00 Traffic picked up after Albertville. Held for a few minuted by the traffic lights for the Alps but got up to Courchevel for about 10.00 as last year. Sunney day. We seem to have managed to get three apartments together. Ours had a very small living room. Nick and Rosie's was palacial. On the slopes by 13.00. New boots feel OK. Family run down Verdon then chair to Biolley and the Biolley Verdons run. Bit harder than Debbie was wanting. Ben in clips but going apace. D went down we did Praulang. Bit icey. W & C rather slow James & Kate bombng down. Some more Verdon and bumbs. Kate went right down and spent some time looking for her. Pizza supper Dyers arrived about 19.20 Kate thrilled. KD. looking very jaunty in Lulu hat. Tired. Early to bed.

Sunday 15th February

Up to another sunny day. James went off with the Dawsons. Rest of us up Verdons and met up with the Dyers. Down and back a couple of times. Debbie discovered she could do half-pipes. Early lunch at Verdons before the girls ski lesson at 12.30. Debbie and Anne went and lunched instead but the three girls enjoyed themselves. David and I went off to Vizelle to do Creux. I did it in one and went too far down to get round back to Verdons so wentr back up Marmottes and then did Marmottes. It wa rather icy. Met up with David at Vizelle and we did Combe Salire, which was easier than expected, but more coplicated near the bottom than I remembered from last year.

Met the Dawsons and James at Verdons and went off the Coqs to Chenus and Loze and down towards La Tania. Back up the Dos des Lauches to the Col de La Loze, down Lac Bleu right down past the Forum to the Plentrey lift. Down Loze Bleu, which was a bit icy in mid section but good at the top. Down just after 4. Welcome beer, bath and soak. Malcolm had arrived with pictues of ski touring. Sledging under the Forum again. Hurt my pelvis on a nasty bump on a tea tray. Big joint meal in Nick and Rosie's. Kids played Monopoly and gameboys. Tired. Generally good day had by all. Difficult to get to sleep with the bump.

Monday 16th February

Out with the family up Verdon about 10. Another glorious day. The lifts were getting crowded so we went back up Chenus and all came down Lac Blue and Loze Est. Debbie and Katie stayed down for lunch while James and I went back up Verdon in time to go down with the Dyers. While the girls and Anne had a lesson Dave James and I went up the Boilley chair and down Marquetty for James. It was a bit icy and fast at the bottom. I had a fall on the bumps and wrenched my left calf.

We went back up to the Verdons restaurent to see Debbie. She had gone but we found the Dawsons and started a tour with Nick, Malcolm, Dave James and me. Up to Vizelle, down Creux up the Chanrossa chair down Roc Merlet and Mont Russe to the Aiguille de Fruit chair. Down Park City and back up to Vizelle. Nick was called away so we went down combes pylones in Malcolm's care. The top was steep and icy and James was very careful but relaxed a bit later. The up Coqs and down the green runs for James's benefit, although we were all tiring. Kate had locked herself out so we came in and left Malcolm to do a bit more.

Katie, Ellie and Kate had a fun time trying to clear the balcony of snow when Katie was suddenly sick and continued to be sick the rest of the evening. The boys and big Kate went sledging and great fun was had by all. Early night. My leg had now swollen up and was hurting so took 400mg of isobrufen.

Tuesday 17 February

Restless night listening for Katie and looking after the leg. Debbie snored. Another splendid day. James went off with Malcolm for a boys day's skiing. debbie Katie and I went off for a little shopping. She went off to her lesson and Anne David and us did Gardin Alpins. Anne went shopping which Debbie did a formidable Verdons down the half pipes. Such control I could not follow! David and I did Pralong and met the Nick and the boys and James and Malcolm. We four went off up Coqs and down Cretes and bd arolles and praz bovier down to La Tania. The bottom of the route was rather narrow with lots of jumps and some ice. La Tania was pleasant and we had a beer. James drank huge quantities og water after his coke. The red runs down looked nicer. Took the gondala and Dou des Lanches chair back to the Col de la Loze. The sun had gone behind the mountain and it was gettin cold. Down the beginning of Lac Bleu and off left to Chenus, which was fine and led to the decent bit of Loze Est. Tired legs but the calf wasn't too bad. Hot bath seemed to make it worse. Lots of girls on balcony, the gameboys and noisy UNO with James. James had had a very full day but still went off with the Dawsons for sledging. James's runs.... Deu du Midi, Praz, Plantrey, Biolley, Roc Mujnier, lunch, Sighut, Pyramides, Roc Merlet, Aiguille de Fruit, Coqs, La Tania

Wednesday 18th February

Debbie had a bad night and woke me up at 5am making a cup of tea. The day was grey with cloud on the tops. It was Malcolm's birthday so Katie made him a card and we gave him a present of brain floss. With the exception of Anne and Ellie, who was boot changing, we went for a rather late (10.45) combined ski. Up Gardin Alpin the down a steep crowded slope below the altiport along bd prameruel to the gravelles lift. Ben and Debbie were going well but Kate D was scared. Katie moaned about her poles which she was using for the first time. Back tothe altiport and Dave Kate Debbie Rosie and Ben went down while the rest went back up Pralong and down Verdons. Katie was skiing to quickly for the conditions and took several falls, which were blamed on the poles. Back to the apartments for lunch alfter which a certain somulence took over.

Thursday 19th February

Tool James to the doctors with his cold-sores, they were very bad. Tablets and cream. James didn't ski today. It was very windy and the visibility variable. Most of the gondalas were shut but surprisingly the car car to Salirre was still working. Some snow had fallen. Went with David up the Plantry chair several times doing Coqs, Chenus. Also went down to 1550 on Touvets. WE eventually managed to get across to the bolley chair and did Pralong before falling back down Verdons. Usual comunal meal after which all the girls went to the ice show and arrived back vey late. Kate nearly choked in the night.

Friday 20th February

Out slightly earlier than of late, about 10, weather fine but windy, cold when the clouds came across. Family ski up Verdon, biolley to verdons then Debbie went down and James led Katie down Marquetty, her first red run. After lunch when the girls went off for their lesson Dave, James and I did a tour, First M, James and my first black, tricky but not too bad, then down Creux and up Chanrossa, down roc merlot and pyramide to Signal. The run was icy and bumpy. There was a large queue at Signal so we went back via marmottes and combe roc mugnier to Aiguille de Fruit and down the second half of suisses. This was probably more difficult than M with deepish snow. Most people were going somewhat carefully from side to side and James and I almost collided. We then did it again while David peeled off home. Met Nick and Rosie at the top and derived great satisfaction by saying "Just doing Suisses ". Couldn't persuade James to do much more. We went up Pralong and down the bottom of M and the bumps of Verdon home. Great afternoon, weather sunny but still windy. Pizza for dinner and much packing. Couldn't get to sleep with Kate choking, alarms wind, sore leg...

Saturday 21st February

Up early and left just after 6.15. Engine reluctant to go. Bit hairy to start with, ice on road but eased by 1650. No chains required. Motorway in 2hrs 20mins. No sign of pizza for breakfast, must have left it behind. High wind and rain through central France slowed speed to 80ish. . Dreadful queues tthe other way. Stopped briefly twice for snacks and once for deisel about 50miles from Calais. Reached Calais at 15.45 and got 16.15 boat. Dawsons on 15.30 boat. Off at 17.00 and home by 1850. Heavy traffic on M25. Tired and full of cold. Leg hurting. 695 miles in 11hours 3mins driving time 13hrs 40mins approx. Calais