No Ski Lifts But Still Skiing

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19 April 2021

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Half Term to Easter – Chamonix Without Skiing – Part 5

As we reported in previous blogs and the January without skiing blog, it was now abundantly clear that the y February half-term ski holidays were not going to happen. It felt like a travesty, even though with Covid looming large, it made absolute sense. December and January had seen relentless snowfall throughout. The pistes were shining bright, beckoning all and sundry. It seemed such a waste of such beautiful ski and snowboarding conditions.

 

Visitors nevertheless came from various parts of France. Some had clearly decided to come and enjoy the beautiful white snow and scenery regardless. Cross country skiing had never been so popular, new participants throughout the February weeks. If they were not cross country skiing, children were mostly found on any slope they could to race sledges and build mini jumps to add extra spice!

Cross Country Skiing
Chamonix Cross Country Skiing

No Clients But Lots Of Ski Trips

 

It may have been a quieter half ski break for us, but there was still lots to be done in terms of getting Joshua to and from ski training. Only a select couple of lifts were open for competition skiing. To deter anyone unauthorised trying to get on, the lifts selected were halfway up the lower slopes. This meant constant drop-offs and from time to time, snow chains to get to the lift, regardless of winter tyres.

 

Conditions were great, snow one minute, mostly sunshine the next.

Bellevue lift, Les Houches
End of The Ski Day

Backcountry Skis Come Out To Play

 

But the adults were not going to let just the youngsters have all the fun. The snow and runs were too inviting to be left alone. Old backcountry skis and skins were dusted down and sharpened. New ones in other cases bought, and the local manufacture and Zag Ski Shop seemed to be making plenty of sales in this respect.

 

A reasonable level of fitness is preferential, but if we can do it, most of you can too. Skins go on the bottom of the ski to reduce the risk of slipping backwards, and a special binding allows the heel to leave the ski to aid walking uphill. Get to the top, secure the backcountry binding into a fixed position, remove the skins, put them away safely, and have ten to fifteen minutes of ski alpinism downhill!

Ski Touring
Ski Touring

The downhill ski is earned, but that makes it all the more enjoyable. A hard climb for an hour and a half, mint tea at the top, courtesy of Eiran, and a lovely ski down afterwards. Not every day is a blue sky day, as our photos show. In fact, the Easter one is one of the coldest days, but each was special. Covid may have made things difficult, but there was no way we were not going to ski this year because of it!

Ski Touring Chamonix

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