“They’re all blues today,” says Barrie, meaning that the reds will
be as easy as blues due to the snowfall. He and the others promptly
lead Chris and I down our first red of the holiday. We have no idea
where they’re taking us, we just trust them…
It’s going pretty well. I face-plant in some powder near the end of
the red, which wakes me up. Then it’s up the Les Ruinettes chair lift,
a short red back down to the top of the cable car station, and a narrow
blue bit to the Fontanays chair lift, which takes us to the La Chaux
area at 2260m.
There’s a nice blue here down to the La Chaux 1 chair. At one point
I get ahead of the others so I can film them all descending the
steepest section. Chris sneakily joins me before I can get the camera
out. The others wait until I give the signal, and come down together,
just following another group. It looks great.
Barrie brings up the rear, taking a side route to avoid the crowd. But
he runs out of room and can’t stop, ploughing off the piste into
powder, popping out of his skis and coming to a halt head first with
his legs in the air. “Bye Barrie!” I say. “Best wipeout of the
holiday so far!” says Mikey. The rest of our group take photos of him,
while a few people from the other group, er, go and help him. Action
footage of this will soon be available.
At the bottom of that run we join the queue for the La Chaux chair.
A helicopter buzzes over peaks nearby, dropping charges into the
dangerous areas to set off avalanches. It’s level 3 risk (out of 5)
today, but on-piste skiing is fine.
Barrie, Chef and Mikey decide to take a harder route back down to
the La Chaux chair again – through the “freestyle area”, AKA steepness
and powder. Chris and I take the nice blue again.
At the steep section I decide to roll camera while skiing down.
“Are you sure?” asks Chris. “Well, the camera’s three years old now,”
I reply. Even so I make sure I don’t fall over. At least this time I
get to film Chris’s run down the hill. Just after he joins me I manage
to fall over while not moving. On film, bah.
It’s a glorious day, pistes busy. Chris and I are both enjoying it,
and so’s Barrie, as we make everyone stop regularly so we can take
photos and it lets Barrie rest his dodgy knee.
After some more of this Chris and I declare that it’s about
lunchtime, and we head to the cafe at the top of the Médran