We’d arranged to meet the representative from the Portes Du Soleil today, for lunch. The plan was to head over to Chatel using the slopes, have something to eat while discussing the wsg review, and then head back afterwards to meet up with the group.

When we woke we found it was raining down in Morzine. Never a good sign – but rain in the valley can mean snow up on the top – so I wasn’t too bothered…

And that turned out to be the case. Once we got to the top of Avoriaz, it was snowing, and there was a healthy dose of some fresh piling up in places. We only had time to make one run down towards Lindarets before going further – but it was a good one. Ciara and I had left the chalet alone and I was starting to think that the others were missing out; the visibility wasn’t great, but there are plenty of trees in that area that help to keep things clear, and that’s where the stash is!

You can take a bus from Pre La Joux to Chatel. It goes through Linga before reaching Chatel, and in total takes between 10 and 15 minutes. That option makes reaching Chatel from Avoriaz a small deal. However, we’d decided to use the lifts to get as far a Linga, and take the bus from there. Probably not the best choice given the weather.

Once away from the trees is was a complete white-out. Having goggles with great peripheral vision was absolutely essential. We took a long red from the top of Tete du Linga down to the base, which was probably really nice, but to be honest, it was hard to see anything. Once we were around half way down, the snow gave way to rain, heavy rain, and we were subsequently drenched!

It’s worth pointing out that on the lift up to the top, des combes, I thought I’d spotted a good deal of cliffs and rocks that looked good for dropping…

We arrived in Chatel, wet, and later than we’d planned. With the weather and one or two stops, the journey over there probably took twice as long. We had lunch with Cosima, from the Portes Du Soleil press office, and chatted about the reivew. All went well.

As the weather was bad we decided to head straight back. Unfortunately we were caught out. After taking the bus back to Pre La Joux, we used the first of two lifts to take us back towards Avoriaz, only to find the second lift was closed due to high winds. This was around 3 o-clock, and it was closed for the day. Not good. Stuck at the bottom of Pre La Joux, we were faced with the prospect of a long taxi ride home. Ouch.

Lesson: don’t stray too far on bad weather days.

Luckily for us, we had a car in the group, and they were willing to come collect us. The journey, 45 – 50 minutes, takes you along a fairly high pass running between Montriond and Abondance (roughly) – which I decided might come in hand later for parts of the reivew.

Ciara and I did our bit for the whole skier-snowboarder divide, and offered two skiers a ride back in the car, to save them getting a taxi. It meant one of us had to sit in the boot, so there was a small sacrifice involved. I’d like to say it was me that downgraded seats, but after a quick discussion, I gave in to Ciara’s logic that she’s the smallest, so it was easier for her to fit…

It turned out that the rest of the group were put off by the rain and took the whole day off. I still think they missed out. Avoriaz that morning had good snow. Oh well. The played Kings instead; by time we got back, they were all pretty wasted!

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