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Report 918: Skiing Val d'Isere and Tignes

By SeaJay from Virginia, Winter 2005

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Page 5 of 13: Sunday, January 23 - More Whiteout

The bells of the famous Val dí IsŤre church wake us at 0800. Itís snowing like crazy. CJ goes out on our patio in bare feet and docksiders with a little shovel and cuts a path to the railing. He creates a snow gauge by removing some of the snow from the railing. Two hours later, there are eight inches of snow accumulated. No way can we ski in this whiteout. We canít even see the mountain.

We decide to blow off the day and socialize. Good for Claude and Marine who havenít purchased their lift tickets, bad for CJ who gets reminded that we were advised of the bad weather at the ticket window yesterday and have now wasted two days of lift tickets. We bundle up for a walk in the blizzard. A nice lunch is enjoyed at a good slope side restaurant. Their wait staff wears a great sweater jacket embroidered with the logo of the 2009 World Cup Ski Championships. CJ and Marine both purchase one.

We have another food list to fill. CJ and Claude return to the apartment to await delivery of the food while Carol and Marine continue to browse the village shops. The food, and more importantly the wine, is eventually delivered. We accuse Claude of slipping since his initial food purchase didnít have enough wine to get us through one day.

In 1990, we arrived for our first ever ski trip to France. We joined with Claude and five other friends. Shortly after our arrival the groceries were delivered along with 24 bottles of wine. CJ, in the naÔvetť of his ďyouthĒ (as a French traveler), wondered who in the world was going to drink all that wine. Three days later he and Claude had to go to the store and get a couple of more cases. Since we have shared many vacations and many weekends together, how could we have run out of wine on the first day?

We enjoy cocktail hour (or two) of Tombe de Savoie, nuts, and Rousette (white wine). Italian reds are served with our dinner of magret de canard a la zest de citron vert (duck with lime zest) and potatoes. Although Marineís chocolate mousse is a big hit, the meringue is a disaster. The blame for the catastrophe squarely lies with the unfamiliar oven and the altitude. They are used to cooking the meringue at sea level and we are now at over 1850 meters. We watch an old Zorro movie with Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone before retiring.

We hope for ski weather in the morning but the forecast is for more snow and even colder subzero weather. All day, they have been clearing the roads with snow blowing vehicles and bucket loaders that deposit the snow directly into dump trucks. We guess that they take the snow somewhere down the mountain toward the lake. Local authorities are demanding that travelers remain off the roads. The roads to the mountain are clogged with accidents and travel in Savoie in general is a mess. Depending on the altitude, we have received between five and 10 feet of snow today!

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