I absolutely love it when the weather changes in the high mountains. Watching how cloud formations develop and swirl around in the sky; seeing how it affects the lighting, colours, humidity and temperature and even the mood of people. It's fascinating to observe.
Quite often I hear people state with conviction: 'that cloud over there is the start of a snow storm', or 'I heard a local say the other day that the winter isn't over yet'. Another I heard last week when on a chairlift over in Couchevel - from a scary looking character - was 'I always come out for two weeks and this same week in March is invariably awful weather, I'll guarantee it!'
Poppycock. Unless half the population has suddenly qualified with honours at High Altitude Meteorology, it's a very difficult science to understand. After more than thirteen winters, I'm not close to being able to understand the weather.
Pah, 'You Ski Instructors should be able to sniff a snowflake from a hundred miles' I hear you cry. Not at all, but I do love the benefits of a few snowfalls, which is exactly what we've had over the last few days.
Every day last week was different. Some days were lovely and sunny, others gave us poor visibility but precipitation. With the temperatures bouncing up and down like crazy. But the quality of the snow for skiing has improved hugely since last weekend, especially on the top half of the mountain. So, who have I been teaching in the last week? I started with Maria and Vivian over in Courchevel at the start of the seven days. Then Sarah from Cork midweek, followed by Megan from near the Irish Republic border. Spot the Irish theme here, something to do with St Patrick's day Thursday I think. And finally I skied with Lexy at the end of the week for three mornings.
I first met Lexy this time last winter along with her boyfriend, now fiancé, Nick. I met Nick again along with his brother a few months ago in December as well. It was a last-minute booking this week which instantly got me excited because I remembered how much fun they were. Lexy lives and works in New York over the pond, with Nick based in London. Needless to say that whenever they meet up it's such a high energy atmosphere.
We all had a brilliant time together both on the pistes, relaxing on the chairlifts, impromptu stops in mountain restaurants, and sharing experiences with wedding planning.
What were they talking about whilst I took this photo? Does anyone remember the 'Carry On' films? The subject matter was similar, with Nick performing an amazing Kenneth Williams impression. I can tell that whoever their Wedding Photographer will be in New York later in the summer, they will have to be prepared for constant fits of laughter. Good luck guys, I hope it goes well.
My work is looking thin on the ground this week, so who knows what I'll be rambling on about again on Sunday?
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Hi everybody, and welcome to a long overdue blog post from your favourite blogging Méribel ski instructor. With the season soon coming to an end, I'd thought that I'd write another article that might help you become more aware about the possibilities of improving your skiing in all conditions.