learn improve
enjoy
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

Subscribe via RSS

How Was The Winter

Posted on
April 18, 2022
Hands up who has the smelliest ski socks!

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another post - an early spring edition - from Méribel. Since the previous article, Méribel has remained busy leading up to the Easter Bank Holiday, providing me with plenty of ski instructing work. I've enjoyed teaching a whole variety of people including a Corporate Group from the UK, a private school from Lincolnshire, a mum and daughter combo from South Africa, a lovely Irish family and a repeat visit from a Dutch husband and wife team, plus others. Variety is the spice of life. All of these photos were taken in the last four weeks by the way.

However spring is definitely here, and the daily freeze-thaw process with the snow is in full flow; there's no holding back the seasons. As I'm writing this post, it is Easter Bank Holiday Monday, and I suspect that the visitor numbers will drop considerably in the next day or two. I've now finished teaching, and am relaxing at the moment whilst reflecting on the last few months. It's the time of season when people start asking the question, "How was your season?" In fact I'll be asked this by many people when I return back to the UK in two weeks time as well. So, "How was the winter?"

Chaudanne during the World Cup Finals last month, a dress rehearsal for February next winter with the World Championships coming to Méribel and Courchevel.
Riding the Bouc Blanc chairlift, looking down on Courchevel's new black piste, The Eclipse, converted into an icy race piste.

Sometimes ski instructors can over analyse this question. They'll consider the snow conditions, the weather, the quality of work that they have had, the number of work hours and how many ski powder days that they've had before answering this question. To be fair, each individual will give heavier weight to these conditions in different ways. Before I give a hint of my answer to this question, let's look at how the winter started.

I remember driving down through France at the start of December, not having a clue what the ski season (ie, work) would bring. A familiar emotion from December 2020. As a self-employed person within the ski industry, the previous two winters had been sub-optimal to say the least. Omicron had just surfaced a couple of weeks before I left, increasing the uncertainty further. I wasn't able to get my booster before leaving, plus I still wasn't 100% sure if I was going to be given my French residency (this successfully came through a week before Christmas).

The top of the Altiport chairlift during some April showers!

However, as soon as I arrived in resort it started thumping down with snow for several days. The snow conditions were excellent for that early in the season, a real mental boost. But then another challenge reared its ugly head. Macron decided to close the borders to British visitors just before Christmas, talk about a vicious poke in the eye. I was gutted for all of you who had planned to come out for your first ski holiday in two years. So close, and yet so far. This was a real downer over the festive period, even though the resort was still very busy with other Europeans.

Then from mid January onwards the British market slowly, tentatively, tip-toed back into resort. I was discussing this subject with a couple of colleagues from the school a few evenings ago over dinner. A 'normal' winter for me would be about 75% of my work over the winter being regular clients. This winter it was more like 40%. My colleagues said that they had experienced exactly the same thing. It was of course really difficult for people to plan during the autumn and early winter. Some people may have had their confidence knocked due to the pandemic. Then of course the border closure hardly helped. One thing I would say in credit of the ESF ski school, they provided me with more than enough work this winter, way more than previous winters in fact.

The Altiport on April 4th.

Going back to that question, "How was the winter?" It was RUDDY BRILLIANT. I was sorry that I didn't get to see all of my own clients. Overall, the snow conditions was below average with few powder days (it was a very very dry winter). However I met a whole bunch of lovely people provided by the school, and most of the weather was beautiful. But let's not over analyse, the reason why it was a Ruddy Brilliant winter is that it happened at all. That simple.

Looking down on a sea of cloud, from the Saulire peak.

I really hope that most of you reading this blog managed to have at least one ski trip this winter. It was lovely seeing so many smiley faces on the mountain again. I certainly had loads of cracking ski days with lots of lovely people. I'll probably manage one more ski for myself before the ski lifts close this coming Friday. Then it will be time to start packing and cleaning, before the departure at the end of next week. I'll hopefully have time to squeeze in a few visits to the Vanoise National Park before leaving, just like yesterday afternoon. Here's a photo from that visit. Have a great week, and I'll post again soon. And don't forget to Live With Passion. Martin.

Blog

Ski lessons and coaching in Meribel / 3 Vallees with British instructors

Transport yourself to the slopes of Meribel with MH2ski's blog. All of life is there. Philosophy. Croissants. Fine wine. And skiing, lots of skiing.

Read more MH2ski blog>

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?

Ski lessons & guiding>

Gallery

Ski lessons and coaching in Meribel / 3 Vallees with British instructors

I am a keen photographer, working as a professional in the summer. See some of my favourite photos of skiing and the mountains here.

Enjoy my Gallery>

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?

Ski lessons & guiding>

Latest blog article

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?

Ski lessons & guiding>

How Was The Winter

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another post from Méribel, an early spring edition. Since the previous article, Méribel has remained busy leading up to the Easter Bank Holiday, providing me with plenty of ski instructing work. I've enjoyed teaching a whole variety of people including a Corporate Group from the UK, a private school from Lincolnshire, a mum and daughter combo from South Africa, a lovely Irish family and a regular Dutch husband and wife team.

Follow us on Twitter

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?

Ski lessons & guiding>