I have always felt that winter is less gloomy out here in Chamonix and part of that is due to longer spells of sunshine. But, I have also discovered, we get longer days here than back home on Gower. At present there are roughly 50 minutes more between sunrise and sunset. Of course, the longer days in winter are reversed in summer and the day length in Swansea on 21st June is 16 hours 40 minutes while in Chamonix it is just 15 hours 45 minutes.
Today was a good example of a winter’s day out here, rain and snow overnight and gloomy morning but bright sunny spells in the afternoon; just right for a spell of skiing at Les Houches. It is still school holidays so it is quite crowded on the pistes, with queues at the lifts but it took more than that to spoil the bright weather and a scattering of fresh snow. My New Year challenge is to travel on every ski lift in the valley during January. This is not a very taxing challenge, bearing in mind there are only about 70 of them, but since I have been coming here for nearly 20 years and still not been on all of them, it is still a challenge I warm to. I am also starting to collect statistics like length of lift and height gain because I cannot find this information online. I hope, therefore, the final list I publish may be of use to other snowheads.
The most surprising event of my day was skiing past an accordion- playing snowboarder in mid-tune; a definite first for me.