The Foehn arrived yesterday bringing shit snow conditions and generalised mass psychosis.
I called Christophe who couldn't guarantee anything special but who was happy enough to show us around his home hills of Praz sur Arly (his house is the one in the middle of the main piste).
Michelle drove down the night before from Geneve where she's doing a fellowship in paediatric anaesthesia; so in addition to the pleasure of her company, we had a taxi to Megeve.
Morry was also fresh off the jet from a stinking hot Victoria, and I had also roped in Derek, a Kiwi who, whilst having summited Everest and several other 8000 meter peaks, couldn't manage navigating the first run's electric cow fence.
Praz sur Arly is the type of place that every foreigner should be frequenting for the authentic French ski experience. Cheap, uncrowded, good skiing, a well-connected lift system, god off-piste, amazing veiws, friendly locals and good food. It is in vast contrast to yesterday's shit-fight at Les Grandes Montets, full of long queues of annoying idiots.
We found patches of good snow, and some average. More importantly we had good light for most of the day whilst a symphony of bad weather rolled over the Mt Blanc Massif to our north.
Whilst fun and aesthetic, it was a fairly tame day - until Christophe threw in a 30 metre rappel down a frozen waterfall to wake us all up after a sweet descent through gladed powder. For future reference, an absence of tracks leading down through obvious perfect snow is occasionally indicative of terrain traps.
It is a leap of faith, trusting one's weight (and skis!) dangling on a flimsy cord.
The lengths to which skiers will go...