Reporter: Chris Fildes
What more can I say? Let’s start at the very beginning… doh!
Initially I was apprehensive about the trip however David(Sh) did a sterling job providing reassuring step by step information prior to leaving UK and on our return. We were disconcerted when a few days before travelling, Valle d’Aosta was put on Omicron ORANGE ALERT, the next stage, RED LOCKDOWN didn’t happen thankfully.
Petit Palais exceeded our expectations. The hotel has undergone a make-over since our visit in March 2018. The staff went out of their way to help us, and the food was excellent! Rumours have it the hotel has a Poltergeist. It’s completely unfounded. Furniture moving around in bedrooms? Whatever next!
There were SEVEN David’s on the trip (and definitely not dwarfs). With two casualties at the end of the first day, there were FIVE still skiing! Dave(Hod) and David(St) were stretchered off with shoulder injuries, coincidentally to the same shoulder, on same run, and the same patch of ice??
Cervinia has a reputation for being cold, with icy pistes during early season, but we enjoyed perfect weather with deepest Azure blue sky for the entire week.
The skiing in Valtournenche was enjoyable, with a secret, sheltered picnic spot amongst the trees. The lower slopes were impassible for off pisters, a metre of snow coverage was needed. The Italian Polizia, (grinning from ear to ear) were on Omicron patrol by the gondola in Valtournenche, looking for non conforming skiers!
Zermatt was delightful, excellent snow conditions, runs to suit all. Impressive views of ‘Toblerone Mountain’ with plenty of photo opportunities. Up- market Zermatt known for horse drawn carriages and fur clad passengers. The rack & pinion train up to Gornergrat/Observatory, has tremendous views and worth the excursion and afterwards, more skiing!
Swiss tunnel and rail engineering lead the world. The Glacier Express through the Eiger/Jungfrau is absolutely phenomenal.
Pam, Graham and I skied to Zermatt twice in one day, (don’t ask!) It was a fantastic day. We had a lunch stop at Schwarzee and returned tired but elated!
By late afternoon on Friday, strong winds threatened lift closures. And inevitably on our last day, most lifts were closed and runs limited There was an hour delay for the lift to open but we braved the queue. A few of us finished early. Pam, Linda and I had a late lunch in town, with the inevitable browse in a gift shop.
All agreed we had a fantastic week and didn’t feel too short changed. Was there a conspiracy to entice us up the mountain on the last day to avoid refunds?
As for the injured, intrepid Dave(Hod) was back on his skis by day three. Is there any stopping him? David(St’s) dislocation could take a while to mend, he’ll be back though!
My embarrassing moments: Locking a lift gate twice (ask Tony C) Oh and missing a step down Plan Maison elevator.
Unfortunately, Omicron took a few victims, including me, all OK now I believe, and perhaps a little bored (like me), hence this report. However it’s good to recall memories of a great holiday. Great Skiing and Great Company — of course!
On arriving home, one member said, “I’m happy to have caught the virus because IF I survive I won’t catch it on the Tignes trip!” We’ve had a wakeup call though. So make sure you’ve got a good supply of effective masks and keep a hand sanitiser in your pocket.
A BIG thank you to members of the committee for their hard work helping to organise this trip, especially Tony(S), David(Sh) and Janet (W).