Snow white X’mas

This is the time of our traditional X’mas ski trip and the conditions are fairly good this year: enough (if not plenty of) snow, (mostly) blue skies, really warm weather, and much less people! (This may be an impact of the economic slowdown but, indeed, despite repeated announcements of those perfect snow conditions, there are indeed less people both on ecrins4the slopes and in the local village, compared with the setting of earlier years.) This clearly makes for better skiing, of course, even though I somehow find skiing vacations the ultimate lesson in frustration: for skiing rather than climbing tantalising nearby peaks (or La Meije in the distance), for spending only 2 minutes going down a slope and 15 minutes or more going up again on a freezing lift, for queeing at the lift (moderately so this year!), for ending up the day with only 16 to 20 minutes of excellent rides (say, four in the morning at the opening and there is no one yet on the slopes and three to four in the afternoon when closing but this is less enjoyable as the slopes are mostly frozen), for never finding the same excellent skis as the ones I had once in Switzerland at Flumserberg near Zurich, the same dry snow as we had at Mount Hutt in New Zealand. the same smooth and long (9 minutes!) runs as we had earlier this year at Adap’skii in Bormio, etc., etc.! Anyway, this is still an overall pleasant time spent in the mountains and I wish all of you celebrating X’mas a very happy Christmas 2008.

Ps– A game for the lift that drives my kids crazy but that somehow alleviates the boredom of sitting in the cold is to try to guess the number of chairs in a given lift as early as possible. (If you wait long enough, you can obviously get the exact answer.) While this may sound like the traditional tramcar problem, it is not because the chair numbers you see are obviously correlated with your own chair number.

2 Responses to “Snow white X’mas”

  1. […] On every Christmas vacation, we take our usual trip to the Alps. Here is a nice picture taken by my daughter at the top of the highest skilift […]

  2. […] in fresh wet snow has something in common with biking on wet sand… Good training for the ski week starting this […]

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