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Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors

MH2SKI Blog

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Attrition

Posted on
December 16, 2011
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What’s the first thing you do after getting up in the morning on holiday? It has felt as though I’ve been on holiday the last two weeks whilst being at high altitude in Tignes. Don’t get me wrong, I have been teaching. But because I’ve stayed in a chalet it’s kind of felt as though I was a holiday maker. Back to my original question……I wish I could answer honestly and say I skip gaily out of bed full of the joys of spring. The reality is more like a bumble and a fumble searching for the curtains.

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My bedroom in the chalet was facing due east, perfect for the early winter sunrise. Except that I only had about four days out of the two weeks of clear weather. Don’t get me wrong, the sunrise over the Aiguille de la Grande Sassiere, with Italy beyond, was very special. Fortunately the sunrise disguised the, how shall I put it, pig ugly urban landscape of the resort. Thankfully the breakfast room faced south looking towards the impressive skiable glacier of the Grand Motte. A gorgeous sight as the early morning sun gradually lit up the mountain.

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I taught two groups this week, both under the description of ‘All Mountain Performance’. We looked at how to use skills that can be applied both on and off piste, in the bumps and also in variable conditions. We went through the theory of how the four ‘Performance threads’ can affect a skier's performance, ie Tactical, Physical, Technical and Psychological. This was particularly appropriate because the weather was quite a challenge yet again this week.

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We had to deal with many days of heavy snowfall, and strong winds which resulted in sudden lift closures. We had a bit of a close call early in the week when we were rushing back from Val d’Isere, and only just made it to the Tignes area before the top lift and link closed. Our hoods and collars were used daily, as well as our psychological stamina.

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I particularly liked Jane’s green collar, it was almost the shape of an angel's halo. It gave her the air of ‘butter wouldn’t melt’, but…….Our last afternoon together was focused on making the most of the stunning fresh snow, but at the same time as trying to ignore the very strong winds. We all started together, eight plus me, but within seconds two decided to head back to the comfort of the chalet.

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As the afternoon wore on, and the weather continued to break us down, the group got smaller and smaller until just three of us survived and conquered (just) the war of attrition. Well done team.

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I left Tignes whilst the storm was still blowing. The return trip to Méribel should only take 90 minutes with clear roads, but it took close to three hours instead. Thankfully I was able to tuck in behind a snow clearer between Tignes and Bourg St Maurice.

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Since I’ve been back in Méribel the strength of the wind has increased with the precipitation continuing. In fact Meteo France today has increased the avalanche risk up to the maximum of five out of five above 1800 metres in the Savoie (of which Méribel is part) and the Mont Blanc range. The Mont Blanc range is due up to 150 cms of snow as the storm called ‘Joachim’ crosses the region. I’ve got to be honest with you, it’s a little unsettling to hear the wind outside of my apartment as I tap away on the laptop. But I’ve a fresh pot of chilli, and lashings of flapjacks to keep me company tonight.

Martin

P.S. Already missing the cooked breakfasts, afternoon tea with cakes, three course evening meal and cheese board in the Tignes chalet. Amazing to think I lost weight over the two weeks.

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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