07 April 2021

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January – Chamonix Without Skiing – Part 4

After the New Year…., I was about to write New Year celebrations, But if you read our New Year without skiing blog, you’ll know it felt far from the celebration we normally enjoy. So after fabulous Christmas and a ‘calm’ New Year, normality beckoned. Well, not really, with covid active, the ‘new strange’ beckoned, to be precise! This meant a January with probably no skiing or snowboarding. Officially, a decision was to be made on the 6th about possibly opening on the 20th, but we were under no illusions by now. It wasn’t going to happen. Cases and the R rate were rising. The R rate, whoever cared that much about statistics, least of an ‘R Rate’ before 2020?


We all resigned ourselves to recognising that this ski and snowboarding season was not going to happen. Chalet No.5, yours and our favourite luxury chalet in Chamonix wasn’t going to be able to open. To rub salt into the wounds, January continued where December had left off, snowing, snowing, and snowing some more! Old pairs of ski touring skis and boots were dug out of the back of lofts and outhouses, and the local ski shops started to make a roaring trade in cross country ski rentals.

January Skiing
Chamonix Town

Ski de Fond – Cross Country Skiing


It is hard to talk about winners in such a terrible year and after such a great loss of life. But the reality is, companies like Amazon, ASOS, and others have definitely done ok financially. In the Chamonix Valley, this was also the case for the Intersport Ski Rental store close to the MBC bar and opposite the Chamonix Club des SportsESF Cross Country Ski School and Ski de Fond (Cross Country Skiing) ticket Office. Every day it seemed that there was a long line of cross country skiers queuing for their equipment. It was nice to see at least one or two business doing well and, strangely, added hope for the future.


We are sure there will be some recruits to cross country skiing after the closure of lifts. So many friends and acquaintances tried it and have been raving accordingly since. It does help with the fabulous scenery, we note!

Cross Country Skiing
Ski de Fond Chamonix

Dog Walking and Ski Training


The constant snowfall seemed liked heaven for our two dogs, but you may be surprised, not entirely so from our son Josh who is training for his speed test and monitors qualification. The lifts being open was fantastic, as we have said in previous Chamonix articles and blogs. This said, where they could ski was limited. On heavy snow days, training is normally cancelled, and the teams head for the powder. It is the day of dreams, and at this level, it is just fun, fun, and more fun! Deep snow, however, on training courses with carving or GS skiers is a different story. But with no lifts open apart from training areas, that was what it was. Clear the piste, and make the most of it. We did, of course, remind him how lucky and fortunate he was, of course, as parents always do!


And finally, what about Victoria in January? Whilst Josh was avidly checking weather forecasts, she was doing what all good snowboarders do, sitting back, taking it her stride, and simply looking simply snowboarding cool about it all!

Cross Country Skiing
Ski de Fond Chamonix

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