Present: Dave H (organiser), Nicola, Sarah, Bruce, Richard S, Fiona B, Dave W, Paula (plus a few of Nicola’s friends)

It was another of those stupid o’clock starts, but the drive to Heathrow was easy and we were all excited about the skiing, especially with more snow promised on top of the huge amount that has already fallen this winter. Our transfers were waiting for us at Geneva, and it took just over an hour to reach Morzine, where our accommodation was in two chalets within 200m of each other. Friday afternoon was spent sorting out ski hire and lift passes, before an exploration of some of the bars the town had to offer and finally, an Italian restaurant willing to fit our large group in on a busy evening.

On Saturday, enthusiastic plans to get the first bus for the first chair lift didn’t quite materialise, but we were still out at a reasonable time and heading up on the gondola. Over the next few days, we explored most of the runs in the Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz area. There were a wide variety, in excellent snow conditions (although some of the reds and blacks did get a bit “mogul”y as the day went on) and mostly good weather, with the occasional stop for “une petite biere” or “un vin chaud” or to puzzle out the slightly confusing piste map. The main exception to this was Monday, when the majority of the group skiied at Avoriaz in a blizzard. We just about managed to ski into Switzerland without extending the limits of Dave and Paula’s lift passes, but on reaching the highest point (Mossettes, 2277m) on possibly the coldest chair lift ever, we were highly relieved to find the cafe open and hunched over hot chocolate for a while hoping the snow would desist. It didn’t, and we skiied a very slow blue run down, barely able to see the ends of our skis.

When not skiing, we were mostly eating and drinking: beers at the Buddha Bar (including one successful attempt on a yard of ale) while swapping stories of the day’s exploits, and trying some of the restaurants in Morzine. Most places served huge amounts of food: on Saturday evening Bruce and Dave W were defeated by gigantic calzones, and on Sunday the raclette ensured several people didn’t want to see cheese again for a very long time. Sunday was Nicola’s birthday, which was celebrated with cake, kir royale all round, and a very unexpected live firework.

On Tuesday evening Dave W, Paula, Richard and Fiona came home, while everyone else stayed until Friday for more skiing and some quiet nights in with the chalet’s fantastic cuisine.

Sarah Davies

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