Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Ski week in Chamonix, Day 3: Plan A & B

By yesterday evening, I was tired and sore and wondering how I could handle another day of skiing. And then I woke up somewhere around 3 or 4 am and never got back to sleep. I was Grumpy Rixa in the morning. But things improved. I had plenty of energy all day and even felt better than the day before. We started out by going to a different resort just up the valley (all part of the same ski pass). We usually ski there once every year. We went up the gondola to the base, took the main chairlift up, and promptly decided that we were Les Misérables. It was horribly windy and cold. The snow wasn't great, either, and there were still long lines. Ugh. So we headed straight back down after just one run. We drove back to our favorite resort because we knew the snow was good and it was protected from the wind. We ate an early lunch on the way so that we could ski the rest of the day without interruption. There was a heavy cloud cover starting at 2200m altitude, just above the middle area of the resort (where the first gondola ends and the next set of gondolas and chairlifts depart). We knew what that meant--skiing blind! We first stayed right under the cloud over, taking the smaller chairlift runs and doing fun jumps, etc. Then I convinced the kids to go all the way to the top via gondola and ski down. They reluctantly agreed, and once we entered the dense clouds, they wanted to back out. Nope, we were doing this! We broke out of the clouds just as the gondola reached the top. (Cue angelic singing--it was amazing to see). We traversed over to our favorite area, still largely unskied. We had a few glorious moments of deep powder skiing...and then we entered the Clouds of Doom. We could hardly see each other and not at all where we were going. Fortunately we had skiied off-trail enough in this area to know that eventually we'd find our way back to the run and that we were pretty unlikely to hit any cliffs or drop-offs. We still had to be careful about avoiding rocks and tricky spots. We were all relieved when we spotted the red poles marking the run. We still had to ski very slowly since we couldn't see anything at all! But we stuck together and, despite me having a weird moment of vertigo while skiing while essentially not being able to see anything, we made it down. We did the middle chairlift runs again until it was time to head home. We all had plenty of energy left so we skied the last long run all the way to the very bottom. It went from winter skiing at the beginning to slushy spring skiing at the end! We went in the hot tub, ate dinner, watched Doctor Who, and (poor Dio) did some homework. I handwashed laundry in the bathroom sink and I think we're set for the rest of the week except a pair of socks here or there.


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