It’s been quite a while since I wrote about what I’d actually been up to out here in Tignes. I’ll fill you in on a few things!
Half the people who started the season working here, have left. *Sad dramatic pause* Whether for personal reasons, getting injured or just having had enough, our original family of 40 is dwindling. It’s a shame, but the silver lining in this cloud is that we’ve got so many new staff, and fresh faces to get to know and ski with!
I don’t know where the time has gone; we’ve passed the three month mark since leaving London on that rainy winter night in November. It’s now March! While friends from home have been battling exams and dissertations, I’ve been living a comparatively care-free life of daily skiing and menial work. But, the thing is, other staff are already talking about, and anticipating ‘The End’; for some it’ll be a relief to head to the warmer climes of a summer season in Greece, for others it’ll be an emotional break-up with skiing… until next winter anyway. For me? It feels too soon to be talking about the end already, but it’s true, it’s only next month that I’ll be heading home, at last seeing friends and family again, and making the final preparations for my bike trip.
Depending on your outlook, we’ve either been incredibly lucky, or rather unlucky with the weather this season. With the exception of one or two big dumps of snow, winter has been pretty measly with her snowfall. Much of February, and even good chunks of January have been amazing blue-sky days, often too hot to even wear a ski jacket! Skiing in the sun has left its mark on my face, with wacky tan lines around my goggles and across my beard – I kinda like the Panda look I’ve got at the moment!
Having said how nice the weather has been, it has taken a turn (Is winter finally deciding to show up?), and the weather forecast for the next week looks something like this every day:
Everyone’s fears that the snow may be gone before April may be without justification after all!
I’m still loving the skiing as much as I did at the start and have become a bit of a Jack of All Trades, as I am with everything, loving the powder as much as the piste. I’ve also begun to try my hand at the park, which has resulted in more wipeouts than you’d think possible! Through successive crashes I can now do a 180 in the air. I had slightly more sense with a 360 and rather than just going for it, and inevitably crashing, I had a go on the airbag first. I’m glad I did as I somehow landed on my head! Had it not been on an airbag, I’d most likely have been less willing (read: unable) to walk back up and give it another go! I’ve honed my skills now however, so maybe soon I’ll give a 360 a go on the bigger jumps. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to video it!
I just want to finish with this epic off-piste adventure I tackled recently. The ominously sounding ‘The Lost Valley’, or slightly less-ominous ‘Le Vallée Perdue’, is unknown to most people visiting Tignes or Val D’Isere just for the week, but as a seasonairre I heard about it early on. So narrow, you can hardly even snow plough, so committing, once you enter the top, you’re coming out at the bottom, it’s a real experience, requiring you to, at times, take off your skis and squeeze through small cracks in the rock, like you’re caving, or slide down chutes in the snow on your bottom. I’ll leave you with a few photos to make up your mind – Would you do it?
Until next time, take care, and go chase that adventure!