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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

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Hurrah for the Summer Solstice

Posted on
June 14, 2014
Hurrah for the Summer Solstice

Hi everyone, I hope your summer is going well. It's amazing to think, at the time of writing this blog post, that it will be the Summer Solstice in just a few days' time. This is where my wife's eyes roll back in hopelessness because she can predict exactly what I'm going to say....."Get in, the longest day of the year is out of the way, bring on the the shorter days and the winter." There you go, not that I'm obsessed about the winter at all !?! But does it actually feel like summer at the moment?

Meribel-in-Spring-2.jpg

Granted, the days are long and we've actually even had quite a few non-rainy periods as well recently. But as for those endless scorching hot days, nope, no sign yet. I have a theory that has been quite accurate the last few years, on average here in the UK, I reckon we are on the receiving end of three heatwaves. There, I've said, and will now look a right berk (see last blog post) if that doesn't happen this summer. My personal definition of a heatwave is three days over 25C here in sunny Leamington Spa. For those who don't know me, or haven't seen me in resort during spring, I tend to wilt rapidly as soon as the temperature needle rises. However I'm in the minority because most other people absolutely love these conditions. Hang on a minute, did someone mention a ski resort in the spring?

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As mentioned in previous blog posts, I was lucky enough to spend a few days relaxing at the end of the ski season before returning back to the UK. It really is a precious time to have, and one that helps me appreciate the utter beauty of the French Alps. I'm often guilty, along with many people, of getting caught up with the whole of the skiing thing. You know, talking about snow conditions, planning what route to take around the mountain, lunch (that's one for you Michael), ski kit..... and the list goes on. But boy oh boy we are all incredibly lucky to have all of these pleasures as well as being within one of the prettiest environments on earth.

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It is a privilege to be able to experience this all around us when in the high mountains, the scenery and the fresh clean air. But it is possible to poke a little deeper into 'la région sauvage' (wilderness) with a bit of thought and application to really heighten the alpine wonders. So dusting off the walking boots and collecting the camera kit is all that's needed right? Mmmm, not quite. Don't forget this delicate flower struggles in the hot sun, even at the end of April and early May, the sun is HOT.

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One of the things that helps combat this is to head out early in the morning before the mercury climbs. Likewise, if it is sunny, it isn't too powerful and damaging for getting half decent photos. Notice the first photo in this post of the bouquetin (or Ibex as more commonly known) has got some gorgeous backlight. A few hours later in the day and the image would've been bleached and less interesting. Anyhow, don't start boring people with photography speak again Martin.

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Being in the close company of wild animals, in such an environment, is a very intimate and quite frankly a priceless experience. I realise that for some, sitting on a hot sunny beach is the pinnacle of their summer. Or for others following the Football World Cup is theirs, or bog snorkelling, how about camping up in Scotland amongst the midges? This is why life is so great, being able to choose, look forward to and experience your dream holiday time.

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If you are someone who loves those hot summer days, trust me, they are on the way (at least three different times remember). And I really hope you will be able to make the most of it. But don't be surprised if you see me all grumpy and sweaty, sitting in the shade with my feet in a metal bucket of ice holding one of those useless battery operated hand-held fans towards my bald patch. Blimey, I found myself shouting out aloud there, even thinking about heatwaves gets me grumpy!

By the way, all of these photos were taken within an hour's drive and a couple of hours' walk from Méribel. Hey, did you see that, I've found a way on my iMac keyboard to do the 'é' thing. Look, here it is again, é é é é é. Only took a year to find out how to do it !?! If you enjoyed this article you might like another I wrote last July from Méribel during a heatwave, called 'Méribel in the Summer', click here for the link. Please feel free to share away on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ by using the social media icons. Or leave a comment below. Back to normal next time, ie a post about skiing in the winter. Right, where is my useless battery operated hand-held........... Martin

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

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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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