It happens every year, and it certainly happened again this year. The end of the winter just whizzed by at a frantic pace, with my last blog post being the middle of March. Plenty of excuses to be honest, but I'll just put my hand up and apologise. Having said that let's head straight into this latest.......
I finished teaching in Méribel in the middle of April, and I think everybody did really well with coping with the below-average snow conditions this spring. In fact I'd say the authorities put in a monumental effort to keep the ski area open, thanks to the thin snow cover this winter, and very warm temperatures - so 'Bravo!' Méribel you did us proud. As soon as the daily routine of work finished, I was keen to slow down a bit, and appreciate the incredible environment of the French Alps.
Spring is a beautiful time of year in the Alps. When the sun is shining it can feel like summer, with hot temperatures down in the valley, and still warm higher up the mountain but not too hot to melt all the snow - even this winter! I had a fun day ski touring with colleagues which I'll post about later in the year.
It was a nice way to end the ski season, along with another free-ski with friend and fellow ski instructor Ian Saunders. There was no denying that the winter was ending, with snow having disappeared down the valley - it felt like summer had started early. I'm really lucky to have a couple of gorgeous views out of my apartment, and one viewpoint looks down the valley. It helps give me an idea of what the weather is like, and what the light (spot how a photographer's mind works) is doing. With this information, I can decide if it's worth a shout heading up to one of my favourite viewpoints in Méribel. How can you resist such temptation?
In fact I popped up there a couple of evenings, over a week ago, because.......it would be rude not to.
Further down the valley it was fun to continue exploring the local area. In a blog post a couple of years ago I remember writing about the fact that there is more to skiing on a ski holiday. Zut alors I hear you cry, but it's true isn't it? The views of course are unrivalled, as is the local cuisine, and just the general ambiance of being in the mountains. Whenever travelling to and from your chosen ski resort, I bet you are all looking out of the window admiring the unique Alpine environment. And it's still, after all this time, no different for me.
Spring can be a cheeky season, sunny and warm one day, then it gives you a reminder that winter hasn't yet quite ended. These two photos of the same church were taken just a couple of days apart.
In fact this was the scene on my last day in the Alps, before driving home back to the UK last weekend. It seemed ironic that the snow conditions this winter weren't the best, and yet we were somehow given a reminder by Mother Nature that it can, and does snow, whenever she wants to !?! There was no way this snowfall was going to stop me heading into the Vanoise National Park and enjoy my last day.
Regular readers of this blog page will know that I do love a bit of wildlife photography in my spare time, and every spring I try and find some bouquetin (Ibex) to photograph. Did I have any final luck on my last day before driving home to Leamington Spa?
As the Churchill Dog would say "Ohhhh yesssssss". Right, I'd better stop there. I'll probably write another post soon about a couple of encounters with the bouquetins. In summary, it was another very enjoyable winter. I hope you had as much fun as me if you got out to Méribel this year. It was awesome to see, and ski with, many of my regulars, and also of course it was fabulous to meet lots of new skiers. Please feel free to share away on social media using the buttons below. Have a great week everybody, and come back soon for another post. Martin.
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Hi everybody, and welcome back to another blog post from your favourite blogging Méribel Ski Instructor. This time I'm not writing from Méribel itself, but Leamington Spa back in the Midlands. I've been back for about four weeks, and last winter seems like ages ago now. That's ok, because I love the changes of seasons,life never gets dull.