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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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Taking A Step Back

Posted on
November 24, 2021
Looking down on Keswick with Derwent Water and Cat Bells behind.

Hi everyone, and welcome back to a fresh post from your favourite blogging Méribel ski instructor. Last time I wrote about how us skiers have all got at least one story (probably several) from ski holidays/experiences; I shared one of mine from last winter. If you missed the article, click on this link for a quick look. This time, I'm going to take a step back and share some recent experiences and observations. Harriet and I have been lucky enough to have had a couple of weekends away this month, visiting the Lake District and then the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. I - of course - couldn't resist packing my camera kit.

Derwent Water at dawn.

We've both had quite a bit of family stuff going on at the moment, some of it has been great fun, but also some much less so. This isn't especially a problem, however - alongside normal life - the recent period has been quite hectic. It was just the two of us in the Lakes in the tiny cottage that we hired. So we took advantage of slowing down, taking a breather and stepping back. As keen hikers we were able to head out up the mountain, enjoy the fresh air and chat away.

We would of course come across other hikers, we would often nod and say 'ow do, other times people might be in deep discussion between themselves. And what are they talking about? General stuff that perhaps they don't normally get the chance to talk about during their busy lives. I also noticed this in pubs and tea and cake shops. Oh, and the other thing I noticed, people (including us) were often stopping and soaking in the views.

On top of Fleetwith Pike, looking down on Buttermere and Crummock Water

The following weekend Harriet and I headed down to the beautiful Dorset coast, where we had hired a cottage with some friends who we've known for a number of years. It was great to catchup and spend some time with them. Plus we went for walks, grabbed a gin and tonic or two in the local pub, and tea and cake in a local cafe. Many times we chatted about their experiences with family, it was nice to hear these and compare to our situation. Oh and guess what? We all occasionally took a step back, and soaked up the views. Especially when I went out at stupid o'clock before dawn a couple of times with my camera.

Durdle Door at dawn.

This got me thinking (and almost back on message with the blog page), do people get a chance to take a step back when on a ski holiday? Oh yes, they certainly do. Granted, a skiing week passes quickly, and there's no doubting that there are hectic times. But there's plenty of opportunity for taking a step back.

The village of West Lulworth, with Lulworth Cove behind.

Having a hot chocolate in a mountain restaurant is a good opportunity for slowing down. Or if it's a beautiful day, a cheeky glass of something (doesn't have to be alcoholic) on the terrace of a mountain restaurant which provides a picturesque scene, good for the soul. How about reaching the top of a ski lift, sliding over to the side of the piste, and soaking up the views for a few minutes? This is something that the French Alps and the 3 Valleys is particularly good at, providing stunning mountain views.

Star Gazing.

In fact, I'm going to give you a challenge the next time you go on a ski holiday......If you are able to, take a late afternoon ski lift up, pause for a moment and benefit from the low winter light that's painting the landscape. Give this a go, before sliding back down the mountain. It'll blow your (ski) socks off.

Why don't I give you some ideas of where you could do this? Close to the top of the Col de la Loze is a stunning position in late afternoon; this is where you can look below at the Altiport ski area and much further down the valley facing north. The ribbons of ridges are particularly spectacular at this time of day. Another spot that's a favourite is Saulire. If you take up the Saulire Express or Pas du Lac bubbles to Saulire, ski down to just below the large rock in the middle of the piste, and find a safe spot to stop at the side of the piste. Take a look across to the other side of the Méribel Valley, and go beyond the Belleville Valley, in the direction of Les Menuires and St.Martin de Belleville. It's stunning. However this can be a busy area, so choose your stopping spot carefully.

Probably my favourite location in late afternoon on a sunny day is on the Tougnete ridge above Méribel and St.Martin de Bellville. Ski down the start of the Jerusalem piste before taking the wonderful Choucas blue piste. You will stay in the late sunshine soaking up the views. Priceless.

If you love mountain views and benefit from slowing down for a moment, take a step back and check out these locations. You won't regret it. By the way, quickly coming back to Dorset, I can strongly recommend a particular gin we came across for the first time........ 'Dorset Conker'. It's very tasty!

All of a sudden the ski season has started in the 3 Valleys. Val Thorens opened some ski lifts at the weekend. And there looks to be a hefty looking storm passing through the French Alps over next weekend and the start of next week. Fingers crossed, a decent amount of snow will fall, this will hopefully provide a welcome base for the pistes. Do come back soon, I might even talk about skiing, and show some skiing photos too. In fact I already know what the title will be...... 'Ramping Up The Amplitude'. Intrigued? Live With Passion. Martin.

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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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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.

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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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