January 15, 2004 · 7:30 pm
We hunt for somewhere to eat. Chef wants to go to the “Asian
Fusion” place, but he’s outvoted. Instead we end up at La Pergola,
While waiting for our food we’re harrassed by a very insistent
woman taking photos. She eventually takes no for an answer; the lesson
here is to never pick on Melanie! We watch the photographer try her
luck with other diners. One or two succumb, and then no doubt regret
it as she makes them pose and adjusts their hair.
Food’s very good. Bruschetta ai Funghi (the waitress didn’t
understand my “funghi”; how do you speak in Italian in French? I end
up saying “mushrooms – champignons” and pointing at the menu) and a
Linguine. I can’t eat it all.
After the meal Chef rushes off to Big Ben for more pool with Barrie
and Mikey. The rest of us return to the apartment and, variously,
beds, books or TV. Andy’s suffering with his cold tonight; Chris
reckons he might have picked up something too. I am, so far, fine.
January 15, 2004 · 2:00 pm
Neither Andy nor Melanie is skiing down with Chris and me. We leave
them in the cafe, saddle up and head down the blue. Straight into
cloud. Wind whips up the surface snow into our eyes as we traverse a
narrow section near the top. Blindness plus narrowness minus barrier
As we descend further it eases off. We come to the conflux of
multiple runs; choices choices! Just then Barrie pops up from nowhere.
Using some sort of hypno-ray he persuades us to forget the blue and to
take a more interesting route: some blue, with a bit of red, and a
hint of (easy) black. The red/black bits of this route are apparently
wider than the blue, but steeper and bumpier.
Chris tumbles once on the first red section due to overcrowding;
I’m OK. The black part is pretty straightforward really, considering
it’s my first black. Then there’s a blue section that snakes through
the trees, quite shallow and narrow, but very pleasant. Barrie takes a
black shortcut to avoid it and meets us again a few minutes
later. Then there’s another red section that Chris is a bit uneasy
about but we both do fine.
The run back to Verbier ends with more scenic blue through the forest,
punctuated by hairy rutted hairpin turns. We safely negotiate those
and finish by the Médran station. Where Chris promptly falls
Time to head back to the apartment. Following the lead of some
other skiers we ski a bit down the road towards the centre of town,
making way for traffic, until it gets a little too roadlike for
comfort. We walk the rest.
January 15, 2004 · 1:00 pm
To Médran, up the cable car to Les Ruinettes. It’s still
misty here, and windy too. Predictably I have spag + tom again. Damn,
more chuff change to get rid of before the end of the week.
January 15, 2004 · 12:00 pm
Over drinks we decide to have lunch at the top of the Médran
cable car, and maybe ski down the blue from there. Maybe Andy and
Melanie would give it a try too? We’ll see.
January 15, 2004 · 10:30 am
Something’s up with one of my snowblades. Ah, the back wotsit that
is supposed to fit snugly against the heel of my boot has become
disengaged. I put it back together again and cross my fingers.
Andy has trouble putting on his skis; oh, the language!
On the piste, Andy needs to lean forward more. Melanie’s doing OK.
They both need to ski more to get their confidence up. Half-way down
the first run I stop and talk to Melanie; for some reason there are
half a dozen playing cards on the piste ahead. They don’t seem to
belong to anyone, being half-buried in the snow, so I take one as a
I notice that the drag lift has stopped. This often happens, but
usually it springs into life again after a few seconds. This time it
stays stopped, long enough for people to get fed up waiting and jump
off. The only option left is the moving carpet: oh the shame!
We go up and down a few times. I get Andy to try lifting his uphill
ski off the ground during a traverse, to help him lean down the hill
and to recognise that he’s in control and won’t suddenly fall over. He
does it, too. Not sure he’s convinced though!
January 15, 2004 · 8:00 am
Still snowing! Mountains hove into and out of view as clouds tootle
along the valley below. I don’t fancy the idea of following the
adventurous skiers around again, and my back suggests an easy day, so
I decide to go up Les Esserts with Andy, Melanie and Chris.