Yesterday seemed like the weather was going to be OK in the morning so I took the train with 3 ski buddies to Flegere. Although, at that stage the resort was only partially open, the queue at the bottom of the lift was massive and, after a brief consultation, we opted to take a bus into Chamonix and make our way to the Brevent lift rather than stand at least an hour in the queue. Chamonix really should think very hard about upgrading Flegere in my opinion.
The bus came very promptly and we walked from Mummery onto the Savoy nursery slope to take a drag lift up to the Brevent station. The queue at this lift took about 20 minutes and my temper was not helped at all by little kids tramping all over my skis and weedling their way forward and the adults were little better. A family of Italians shared with the rest of the queue a conversation about some subject. My knowledge of Italian is non-existent so it might have been trivial like “what shall we have for lunch” but it sounded as though a divorce was imminent, or war was about to be declared. I think all the family was also hard of hearing and they had forgotten to wear their hearing aids.
At the top the snow was fabulous although, by the time we arrived there. the morning was over, the cloud had descended and it was snowing lightly. The conditions did not suit my fellow skiers so we decided to take the runs over to Flegere. On the way over in some off-piste there was an English couple exchanging information on skiing techniques. He was downhill of her and repeating in a very loud voice, probably also hearing impaired, “Just lean downhill”. After four or five iterations of this simple advice she responded with words to the effect that he should “go thither and pleasure himself”. I did not stick around to find out what transpired but as I skied away I could hear the debate continuing, vehemently.
On the Flegere side the Evettes chair also had an enormous queue so I had plenty of time to take a photo of a hut illustrating the snow depth
The wait here was longer than it could have been because most of the 3-man chairs were going up with 2 and, sometimes only one occupant. Is it so serious that a couple travel on a chair lift seperately? There was also a fair bit of senseless ski shoving and trampling. So two rules of ski etiquette for the skiing world to consider are
- If there is a lift queue use the first available place even if it means travelling for a short time with a stranger
- Don’t push and shove in lifts and don’t trample or push others’ skis
When we reached the top station at Flegere I was delighted to see an alpine accentor (bird) feeding in the snow around the skis left outside the bar. This picture is from http://www.10000birds.com
It is a very attractive little bird a little larger than a sparrow and for an Englishman quite a rarity.