Back to normal

Chatel is now fully immersed in the January ‘hole’ as it’s known here, with limited tourism going on and all the locals taking a breather before half term kicks in and it goes February crazy.

The Arsenal boots

Something interesting did happen in Chatel last week when a helicopter crashed just outside the village. No-one died but there were some people that got fairly seriously injured but for a town with just 1200 people, this was big news.

There’s been limited snow in the Portes du Soleil and a hot wind that blew through the valley last week bringing weather warm enough to wear shorts in. This played havoc with the snow. I was skiing with a group of kids from an international school that were up from Vevey and the heavy slush conditions on top of sheet ice made the teaching session more one of getting everyone down without injury rather than any meaningful ski teaching.

The January Hole applies to ski teaching also and this combined with the crap snow means that there have been a few bored ski instructors in Morgins lately. My personal January was perked up by the arrival of a week of private work with a delightful girl called Celia who was on her GAP year and in town to ski for the week. She didn’t want to ski with her medical student mates who were mostly hungover for the week, so we skied about and generally had a good time skiing slush and ice.

I got new ski boots the other day from the Vertical Horizons ski shop in Chatel. They are Head Vectors which conveniently come in red and white Arsenal colours. I’ve gone down a half size to 28.5 and although this might sound dull and techy, the improved fit of the boot has taken my skiing to another level. If anyone has old boots and wants to improve I can recommend new boots as a quick fix to better control.

I’m teaching some Russians this week who are delightful and not at all living up to the stereotype of Russians on holiday (except for the expensive gear and impossibly glamorous girlfriend). I figure that we’ve got another week or so until February madness starts and then it’s take a deep breath time for 4 weeks of more chaos.

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