Skiing despite the weather in Les Saisies
2023 has been one of the worst ski seasons for some time. A combination of low snowfall and warm temperatures have left the slopes with little snow. The weather gives with one hand and takes away with the other.
So far, during the first week of our trip, we have had heavy snowfall, followed by rain to wash it away. Strong winds and low visibility made skiing a chore. The following sunny days were accompanied by high temperatures to soften the wet snow until it became sticky. Then a night of thunder and lightning crashing around the valley kept us entertained but took out the electrics (something we noticed when Paul woke up to the click of the fridge changing over to gas but we chose not to remedy until the weather cleared the following morning). The storm was accompanied by a second large snowfall that finally gave us fabulous conditions.
Thank goodness we are travelling for more than one week! If we were just doing the usual week’s package holiday we might feel duty bound to ski on a daily basis, but instead we can mix it up a bit with some snow shoeing and walking and just hanging out in the van.
We managed four days skiing out of seven. A full day when we first arrived, skiing through the snow and low visibility and just thankful and excited to be there. Then a half day on warm slushy snow. Our last full day was in beautiful deep powder conditions and then we sneaked a half a day before we moved on, tempted by the crisp, cold and well pisted slopes. Despite the weather we did quite well.
Our last half day’s ski also meant we didn’t rush down the hill. The idea was to wait until the day had warmed up and hopefully the roads had been cleared of the snow that had fallen during the storm. Our hopes were only semi-fulfilled. Heavily snow laden trees had dropped their load onto the road, leaving snowy patches usually in the most shaded spots. Paul coaxed Bertie gently over these sections. By the time we got down to Flumet the roads were clear enough to feel more confident although the relentless turns shook up the contents of the cupboards.
Our first mishap
The heavy snowfall was the cause of our first mishap this trip.
Paul, with a very uncharacteristic lack of practicality, tried to open the skylight while there was still several centimetres of snow on the roof. The already ancient, brittle and crazed plastic gave a gentle cracking noise as he realised his mistake and hastily lowered it again.
A couple of days later on a sunny day he went back onto the roof to assess the damage. I think it’s safe to say that we wont be opening the skylight again until we are home. Plenty of gaffer tape was used to stick it down and hopefully that will last for a couple of months until we can inspect in more detail and decide whether to repair or replace. If we do need to replace then spares for our Remis Remistar skylight are no longer made so we’ll have to do a bit of research on the best option.