If you are hoping for a blog post with some deep philosophical point behind it this afternoon, look away now. My brain is far too addled with red wine, sunshine and good food to think of anything analytical about my trip away. All I know is I had an amazing week, it gave me time to do some thinking about things at home, as well as the time away from the real world to ski all day, eat more carbohydrates than is ever encouraged and drink all the red wine – included with the chalet – it’d be rude not to!
Being up at 7 might be a pain as you struggle to stand after the previous day’s skiing, and your legs ache in a pain no leg-day has ever left you with, but then you get a fry up – every day – and it’s allowed because you burn more calories skiing up a mountain than you do going for a run – and you do it all day! The average person burns nearly 500 calories an hour in downhill skiing, more if you include any flat bits where you need to push yourself along, or, god-forbid, climb up – if your average day is 7 hours (including lunch) thats about 6 hours (ish) skiing – thats nearly 3000 calories of exercise every day – so you can justify pretty much anything!!
The skiing itself in the resort we went to, and tend to visit each year, Val D’Isere, is fantastic (it’s definitely our favourite!) There is something for everyone and it left us with easy runs for when our legs were a bit tired or we needed a bit of a warm up, and seriously tricky ones where you get about half way down and genuinely question whether taking your skis off and shimmying down on your bum might be a good idea – for the record, I kept my skis firmly on in this case, but still!
One of the trickiest things we did all week was the “Piste Perdue” – The Lost Piste. My dad had told me about this in the past and said he would NEVER take us on it. When he did it before, 4 out of the party of 14 ended up in hospital. However, a couple of people staying in our chalet were telling us over dinner that they had done it and it wasn’t that bad – so, with a little persuasion, we headed that way with them the next day.
It was steep. It was narrow. It was icy. It was terrifying. And it was awesome.
There are actually points where you have to take your skis off, throw them down the slope and then sit down and climb through bits of rock after them (see the second photo above!). Unless you are seriously awesome and have no fear. This guy, Leo Taillefer, grew up in Val D’Isere and is one of the only people who can ski the whole thing – Look how scary it is!! (He also chucks in some flips at the beginning just ‘cos!)
Ski wise, over the week, we skied over 148.5 miles, 248.1 including ski lifts(!) and my high speed was 62.1mph! (tracked on the incredible ‘Ski Tracks’ app – it tracks your speed, distance, altitude, where you were, even logs where you took your photos – GENIUS!)
The food on this trip was incredible too. Seriously. I should be the size of a house.
From ‘Tartiflette’ – a french dish which is basically cheese, ham and potato in a cheesy, creamy sauce (I mean – YUM!) to a Raspberry macaroon the size of my face – look at it! (And this was at lunch!) we didn’t go hungry!
The food in the chalet was incredible too – Thank you YSE! Canapes, starter, main & pudding in the evening, plus there is always cake waiting for you when you get off the mountain at 6ish and need some sugar.
We also went out one night (the chalet staff deserve a night off, they work so hard!) & went to “La Caserole” – a restaurant we have been to many times over the years, that specialises in Raclette and cheese fondue!
We were so so lucky with the weather too – weather can make or break a ski holiday – spending 6 days in a blizzard, getting so cold you wonder if your fingers are blue inside your gloves and getting soaked through from top to bottom is not ideal, so when we got there and found out the previous week had even had two days where the weather was so bad the lifts were closed and they couldn’t ski, and our forecast was sunny all week, we certainly felt a bit smug!
Anyway, I’m home now – I’ve eaten, drunk and skied my way through a wonderful week and now I’m back to reality with a hard thump!
If anyone out there is debating going skiing, don’t question it – just go! The season is just about finished this year – but book for this winter – it is amazing!
Fab food. Fab weather. Fab wine. Fantastic skiing. Incredible week.
In case you do fancy going – we went with YSE – a company we have been skiing with several years and they have always been incredible! Have a look at www.yseski.co.uk.