Yesterday was pretty gloomy and snowing all day. Most of the ski lifts in the Chamonix valley were closed, except for Les Houches. There was about 30cm of new snow in the valley, the Col des Montets was shut and the ski buses were working rather unreliably. I took the train to Chamonix intending to go to Flegere but, after a long fruitless wait for a ski bus in Chamonix, I decided to walk up to Savoy and thence to Brevent. But, on my way there, I encountered a car that had tried to cross a central kerb, hidden by the snow, and had got stuck. One wheel had crossed the kerb the other three were on the other carriageway. It had driven over a plastic orange snow marker pole which was bent round the front axle. The car could move neither forward nor back. This was a single carriage way road and there was a stream of stuck traffic behind it. A ski bus was immediately behind the car and most of the bus occupants were out of the bus and trying to push the car free. A police car was in the opposite carriageway in observing mode. I joined the pushers and shovers and, after the car was freed, I climbed aboard the bus which was going to Brevent. It saved me a walk.
Up the top it was snowing hard and visibility was poor. Only three lifts were working but there was loads of powder to ski in and it was great fun, if somewhat cold, featureless and not a little wet. It was not crowded!
I stayed for about 2 hours, then caught the telecabin down and caught the ski bus into Chamonix centre and walked to the train station. Ski buses are free to anyone with a ski lift pass throughout the Chamonix valley and the trains are free to anyone with a visitor or resident card. This is excellent for minimising car use in the valley and is a big saving for people like us who need not spend money on petrol/diesel.
There has been a good deal of media attention to Jack Lew’s signature. For those that have missed it, and I nearly did, Jack (Jacob) Lew is currently Chief of Staff at the White House and is Obama’s nominee as Secretary to the Treasury. I was curious to see what his signature looked like, to have caused such a fuss, and here is an example. It is truly bizarre.
If he becomes Treasury Secretary Lew’s signature will appear on dollar notes and Obama is reputed to have said “Jack assures me that he is going to work to make at least one letter legible, in order not to debase our currency should he be confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury.” The story has run and run and as an interesting development anyone can see what their name looks like when written in the style of Jack Lew’s signature. If you want to do this go to
It is worth a try!