Sorry if this is boring for our avid fan base, but from the motorhoming perspective we’re not doing much as we’re staying put here. We’re not going to add much to this section as its likely to be much of the same. Great news for us mind!
What we’ve found is that the snow at Vallorie is better between 9:30am and about 2pm when we tend to come down for lunch. When the sky is clear most of the slopes are in beautiful sunshine and the views really are to die for (though hopefully not literally). Absolutely beautiful.
We’ve found that the weather does vary and it seldom snows and the sun is out an awful lot! When the sky is cloudy and its snowing we’ve learned to have a day off – as you can’t see any contours and we’ve found we’ve had a few moments where we’ve had no concept if we’re moving or not, and thus a rapid head-slap into the snow is the only indication.
If the weather looks suspect we’re happy to just go up to the slopes after breakfast and if they look good get the boards, but if not save it for another day. Christmas eve and Christmas day were sadly quite poor conditions, but boxing day was superb – the best yet – with loads of fresh groomed snow, empty slopes and beautiful clear skies and sunshine. Truly perfect!
Christmas eve was bustling in town with everyone out and loads of festivities. We settled for a few beers in one pub (don’t remind Mel as she totally forgot all her French skills!) and then off for a meal before returning to a snowy van for Christmas day. After checking the slopes and deciding the conditions weren’t great, we had our smoked salmon & scrambled eggs champagne breakfast then opened up all our presents before pigging out for the day. Finding all the hidden nooks and crannies where we crammed them was a challenge! As usual, we were spoilt with our presents.
Over the next few days a bit more snow, and another couple of glorious boarding days. I’ve happily progressed to the blue runs and am trying to improve my ability somewhat before moving on but it does mean I have a lot more of the mountain to play on, and even still we’ve not touched the majority of it.
After a few more days I persuaded Mel to push herself a bit more, so we got her on the more challenging button lifts which she survived “by the skin of her teeth”, though to be fair she made it to the top. Though once right at the top she managed a big roll and all I could see was a spinning snowboard mid-air… But Mel is doing fine on the blues with her technique honed it is just a case of believing you can do it – as some of the blues are narrow with a drop off at one side that you really don’t want to go over….
Just before new year the resort seemed to become really busy and the queuing manners of the French is diabolical – those with the longest skis try and poke them into a small gap and pretend they are ahead of you. Notwithstanding as a boarder when queuing your foot is off the board for balance, and needed to be where there ski was forcing its way in to. Having skied we understand skiers, but skiers don’t always understand boarders have to turn a bit in order to control speed – thus leading to some interesting moments on a couple of runs.
After a few falls we decided to have the next day off, do some washing, and wait for the majority of people to clear off back to work to leave us with no queues and empty slopes! How selfish of us lol!
Surprisingly, New Years Eve and New Years Day were quiet on the slopes, so we were able to enjoy the area without queuing at all. Valloire made quite an effort on NYE though, to our disappointment, all the restaurants were full so we had to resort to cooking in the van. Quite a difference to the quieter Christmas Eve when there were spaces everywhere. There was a free snow-ball disco and at midnight they had a firework display which was okay but perhaps we’ve been a bit spoilt with London computer-controlled fireworks and laser displays to music that Valloire could not compete with.
We celebrated the new year on the slopes and pushed ourselves a bit harder and completed some red runs – a first for us. As boarders, we find the wider slopes a lot easier than the tight narrow ones, so the wide reds were quite fun and tiring, so we had a lunchtime meal and wine in one of the mountain cafes – and funnily enough we were braver in the afternoon…
Both of us are very happy with our marked improvement. Button lifts are no longer a problem and we can safely get down most blues and some reds okay, though technique and confidence on the narrower runs need to be improved. We’re seldom falling but if we do they tend to be more major spills. Still loads of skills to learn and improve on and huge areas of the mountains still to explore. So far, nothing broken, just a few aches, strains and slight bruises, but overall the equipment and us are holding out just fine.
Apart from a day or two between Xmas and New Year, there haven’t been any queues which means we’ve been able to get a lot of boarding in. Towards the end of week 3 of this trip, I sadly took a big knock on one of the runs and bruised my “tail bone”. Thus decided to have a day off, do the housework and chores and let Mel practice by herself. No lasting damage though so no doubt we’ll be on the slopes bright and early tomorrow!
Continue to weeks 4, 5 and 6 HERE