Chalet Sales and Snow

Very busy few weeks with offers coming in for both Chalets Soldanelle and Chardonneret, which we have accepted. We’re also full on with new building projects and enquiries for potential work.

Got a bit of skiing in today in beautiful sunny weather. Unfortunately, it was blowing an absolute hooley yesterday which wasn’t great for the snow conditions today, but the recent snowfall is keeping us going.

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When the snow is scarce

With skiing a total write-off, I was getting a bit fed up in the lead in to Christmas so decided that if the snow wasn’t going to come to me I would go to it.

Got on my motorbike on Xmas Eve with skis strapped to my back and rode up as high as possible and then skinned up to ski on the glacier above Sainte Foy. Quite a good outing as it turned out and my first ski of the season – horrendously late.

Went out with the kids on motorbikes for a decent ride on Christmas Day – shot below is one of the very bare pistes in La Rosiere.

And then, mercifully, the snow came. About 30cm. It’s stayed cold so the snow has hung around but it’s getting a little bare on the lower slopes.

Last pic below is of Emily in a GS race for Tignes in Val Thorens – click pics to see full gallery.

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Last Bike Ride and Ski Training

Bike ride last Saturday to Moutiers and back was probably the last one of the season.

Kids have been going pretty hard on the ski training and poor Emily broke her nose slalom training – the gates are pretty bendy at the top but don’t have a lot of give if you face-plant into the base of one. Two black eyes and daily selfies to record the rainbow of skin-colour changes.

First ski race was meant to be yesterday but heavy snow, bad visibility and high winds put paid to that one, unfortunately.

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Les Laix and Dutch Ski Training

Both our kids had a week off from studies the week before last for ski training on the Tignes glacier. This week is half term and Sam is off for another week’s training with the Sainte Foy ski team to, erm, Holland. Yes, that’s right, a twelve-hour coach journey from the Alps to the flattest country in Europe for ski training, but it will be in a large indoor centre and it will at least have the guaranteed snow that they were looking for.

Please check out the link to the gallery page for the Les Laix chalet renovation which also has a few lines on how we got from initial contact with the client to finished product. The chalet looks amazing and the photos don’t actually do it full justice.

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Building Projects and Calanques

We have finished the chalet build in Les Laix, which looks fantastic – will be adding a full gallery with more pictures soon. As per photos below, we have also started work on renovations in Villaroger and one above a restaurant in La Daille – one of the oldest buildings in the town, and we are about to start on a renovation in Valezan. Lots to do.

Some photos also of the camping trip I did with Sam over the Italian border recently. Last weekend we all went down for a bike race in Calanques near Marseille, the kids tagging on the back of the short race just to give it a go. Making it to the start line was a close run thing, though, as we were staying 15km away and our hotelier was none too keen on getting an early breakfast out. All okay in the end, the kids loved it and I managed to better my time from 2010. My legs were paying for it on Monday.

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Tour De Beaujolais

Some photos below from the Tour De Beaujolais that Lesley and I did last weekend after dropping Sam in Lyon to catch the coach that took him off for his surfing camp on the Bordeaux coast.

Did a very long ride with the cycle club on Sunday, the longest for quite some time – 220km, taking in Col de Telegraph, Col de Galibier and Col de l’Échelle, amongst other landmarks, and crossing over into Italy along the way.

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The Chartreuse and ProBeef

Pic below of me below, second on podium at Les Menuires cyclosportive, as per last post.
ProBeef cycling recovery
Traveled to the Chartreuse with Lesley, Rob and Ian last week and did 140km ride with 3500m of climbing. Rob is pictured below with Lesley and his new post-ride-recovery snack of choice – ProBeef (dried strips of lean beef). You can get pretty sick of protein shakes, so a quality savoury alternative is most welcome. I’m getting a bit of a taste for chilli flavour, but have now made a note to not rub a finger in my eye after a mouthful!

It’s a bank holiday in France today and we’re off to a weekend bike race north of Lyon where a lot of the top pros will race in the morning, with us amateurs following on the same course in the afternoon.

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Tour de France, Pennines and Provence

The Bethel Cycle group came over for their annual cycle trip during the Tour de France, and we did a 3-day ride from Sainte Foy to Risoul, our arrival timed so we could watch the finish of Stage 14. Great riding but it wasn’t great weather, lots of rain, which has been something of a theme this summer in the Alps.

Emily has been over in England and did some mountain biking with the family in the Pennines, followed her first pint of proper beer – Thwaites Wainwrights. She liked.

Lesley and I have had a weekend cycling escape to Mont Ventoux in Provence to escape the weather here, only a four-hour drive, and on Sunday I got on the podium in the old fellas’ category of a race from St Martin de Belleville to Les Menuires. I did the 80km short course and it was a miserable start in the peeing rain, but happy with the result.

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A few pictures below from last weekend’s 2014 Ardechoise. We didn’t race but cycled the routes over three days with about 20 people from the Bourg St Maurice cycling club, Lesley coming along with me to this event for the first time. We split in to groups depending on experience, covering 450km with around 9000m of climbing.

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A stormy Col St Martin

We had a great cycling trip down to the Côte d’Azur by way of the Alps in beautiful weather, other than on the climb up Col St Martin above the town of St Martin Vésubie. We hit the most almighty thunderstorm with hailstones bouncing a metre off the tarmac, the temperature plummeting from 30°C to 9°C inside thirty minutes.

Most of us made it to a restaurant, but a couple of guys in the group got separated, one of them diving into a garage to take shelter, the other, caught in no-man’s land, had to slog his way through and was a little bedraggled by the time he got to us. We all had to be bussed down.

We finished the trip with the same number that we started with, and although some in the UK contingent were apprehensive about climbing Alpine cols, they all put their heads down and kept pedaling.

The major building season marches on and we have several clients visiting in July and August.

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