The day started with cloud in the valley due to a temperature inversion, a fairly frequent occurrence in the Chamonix valley. But it was sunny and cold on the mountain. With Mrs D, I started out fairly early for the Flegere ski area. However, not early enough to beat the queues entirely and, despite arriving at around 09.30, we did not get to the top of the cable car until just gone 10.00. On the slopes the snow was quite crunchy but very skiable and we headed up to do the Crochues run, after a warm up run on Chavanne. Crochues was in excellent condition right at the top and, further down, despite variable snow conditions and quite steep slopes Mrs D took it all in her stride.
There were lots of people heading up from the top of the Floria lift to go over the Col du Berard and down to Buet village, as you can see from the photo
Most of the skiers were on skins but at least one skier was climbing in his ski boots with skis on his rucksack, a bit crazy in my opinion. This is quite a long climb and there is another later on!
Being a weekend, it started to get very crowded in the afternoon so we left the crowds to it fairly soon after lunch. We rendezvoused by the cable car station at the top. While I was waiting a skidoo arrived towing a blood wagon with a skier in it on a stretcher. About 10 minutes later we were ready to take the cable car and were called forward as it was about to descend. As we joined the car an Englishman was speaking (loudly) on his mobile. “I am on the cable car with Bertie (real name withheld) coming down. Bertie has had a bit of an accident… Yes he is OK but we need to go to the hospital and check nothing is broken… No finish your lunch he is fine. My fault really I lead him off the track. My mistake.. No he is fine. They are picking him up in an ambulance.” Then, I realise by peeping through the crowd in the cable car that poor Bertie is on the stretcher, strapped up and surrounded by first aid recovery people. He was on the skidoo that I saw earlier. I wonder if Bertie is still on good terms with his “friend in need and ski guide” when he leaves hospital.