And like turning on a light switch, all of a sudden there is a million people in Chatel, all clogging up the highstreet, parking everywhere and walking down the middle of the road. The shutters on hibernating chalets are being thrown open and there are finally people walking around the streets with skis on shoulders. Christmas has arrived.
The Chatel locals are lamenting the loss of the free vend pool table in the Avalanche Bar, which has now been replaced by seasonaires and the occasional tourist. The tourists tend to go to the other bars in town and it’s always interesting to see the looks that the tourists give to the locals as they high five everyone that they know in the bar (which is invariably most of those with seats at the bar and their own glass appearing to drink for free). You can see the tourists thinking ‘Who is that guy? How does he know everyone? Must live here – sooo lucky..’
The party nights have started at the L’Avalanche Bar and L’Escalier and Tuesdays through to Thursdays and on weekends, you can take you pick of live DJ’s Muff and Jason Shutt as well as resident local bands. The missus doesn’t start work in L’Escalier normally until about 5.30pm which means that by the time these nights start at about 10pm, I am completely wasted and have to go home. This isn’t a bad thing though considering I have to get up and go rid the world of bad skiing the following day.
Last week I was teaching a group of Kenyan students from Nairobi from an international school who were over learning how to ski. Considering some of them had never seen snow before and the lowest temperature that they have there is apparently 25 degrees, the -10 at the top of Morgins was something of a culture shock.
The weather here was really cold all last week, the lowest I saw was -14 going over the Pas de Morgins one morning but it’s warmed up considerably and snow is expected on or about Christmas day.
Of course, for many of the seasonaires, Christmas day is a work day and I know that my missus will be working flat out from now until early January. The most that we will manage is a romantic cheap champagne Christmas breakfast of some sort before we both go off to work…
Merry Christmas all.