Reporter: Pam Young
Dave Shepherd had suggested arriving at T2 at 4.45am due to the extra Covid checks before departure so I duly departed from home in Liverpool at 4am. I had checked Google maps and knew that the M56 was closed but should have looked a bit closer as when we got to Switch Island roundabout we found the M57 was also shut. In the 10 minutes or so that it had taken us to get there I had said to John, my other half, that the brakes were really low and spongy. Don’t think he believed me until the dashboard instructed us to ‘Stop in a safe place. Brake fluid low’. The car was full not only with my luggage but also John’s stuff for his week in the Lakes and two dogs so the only choice was to go back home — good thing it was so early — chuck the dogs back in the house, throw my bags into the other car and make a second attempt. Successful this time, despite the diversions and the oil light coming on (ignored it). Despite all that I still managed to get to the airport at 5.30am. The queue in the check-in hall was probably the worst I’ve ever seen it and I joined the back of it which was down a corridor. A lucky break next as the back of the queue was ushered away to a newly opened desk and I checked in before people who must have been there for some considerable time. Relief as paperwork all in order. The rest of the journey was pleasantly uneventful and I started to get to know a few other people, remembered some faces from Chill Factore and began to look forward to the skiing.
In the bar of the Petit Palais that night, arrangements were made for skiing the next day. Monday dawned sunny and bright and I spent the day skiing over to Valtournenche with Christine and Graham. Only one navigational error resulting in a bit of a walk back to the gondola!
On Tuesday I joined the group going to Zermatt led by Phil and Ruth. Lovely to just be able to follow and not be worrying about getting lost & stuck in Switzerland!
Wednesday was spent back on the Cervinia side with Christine and Bernard including a play in the kids snow park. After losing each other on our first run we decided it might be a good idea to swap phone numbers too.
Thursday was back to Zermatt, this time with John, Dave, Bernard and Chris. Again thanks to those who navigated us back despite a lack of clear signage in places.
On Friday Chris and I headed back to Valtournenche where it was lovely and sheltered despite the winds increasing higher up. We met up with some others for lunch (An excellent lasagne) then I managed to fall off the chairlift on the way back over. My legs were too short to reach the ground. Well that’s my excuse anyway. Going over the top back to Cervinia was a bit of a shock. The wind was blowing horizontally and blasting us with ice particles and we could hardly move at some points. Luckily the sun was still shining as it had all week so at least we could see where we were going. Amazing clouds too.
Unfortunately on Saturday the winds were too strong to open most lifts so after a couple of runs, Chris, Linda and I called it a week and had a leisurely lunch in the sun in town.
All in all I had a great week. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and I would recommend joining a club trip as a lone skier.