Travel Stories

Confessions of a Chalet Boy – Part 6

So you thought the last installment of Nick J’s blog (with it’s tales of incredible pow on days off) contained enough happiness for a whole season? Well, wait ’til you get a load of this one!

In this crazy fucked up parallel universe of single season friends it’s nice to be able to tell you all about some genuine romance for a change. No, Carly and The Small Boy, I am talking the real deal. Jim and Nikki, veterans of many a campaign in chalet kitchens, got engaged the other day. I don’t think Jim’s smiled so much since Franny Lee was playing up front for Man City and who could blame him? Congratulations guys, you’re a lovely couple!

The highlight of the month for me was my trip to Sainte Foy on my day off. The owner of our chalet arranged the whole thing, invited me and Simon, The Skeek, and employed a guide for the day. Contrary to what you may think, not everyone who owns a chalet in Courchevel is a deranged, unreasonable Frenchman or some cock-sucker hedge fund manager with a Porsche Cayenne. That would be our neighbour by the way. Richard, our chalet owner, is a down to earth Yorkshireman who has a surprisingly good grasp of what being a seasonaire is all about. He treats me and Skeek well and realises we are out here to ski and ride, just like him. So with a mild hangover, me, Simon, Richard and his friend Jill set off down the road nice and early to try and find some pow.

Sainte Foy kicks ass. After an hour of climbing a fairly exposed ridge line the guide stops and tells us to get ready. The first pitch is steep – easily 50 degrees. Properly sphincter-clinching stuff. It drops down into a bowl with remarkably few tracks to our right, that promises fresh lines for us. We could not believe it! Courchevel has icy, tracked-out shite and this place still has fresh snow. What followed was one of the longest and most varied off piste descents I have ever done – and that includes a few missions to La Grave. Chris was a great guide and we all had a blast. On one pitch I just stopped turning and straight lined it for a couple of hundred metres throwing, a soul arch in for good measure. Happy days.

Not all the snow was great, and for me, as the only snowboarder, the run outs back to the road were a nightmare. I had to ride down several kilometres of narrow, winding and icy footpaths till my back leg went to jelly and I ran out of energy. The Skeek was cool though. He hung back with me as darkness set in, and we staggered into the pub at 6 pm to a well-deserved beer. Two runs had done me in, but what a day! One of the best days off I have ever had as a seasonaire. I have got to go back to that place, the potential is mind blowing.

Another week and new guests in the chalet. We are working well and everyone seems to be happy. Despite the pants conditions on the slopes, I am feeling the love right now. I hope you guys are too. Time to throw some shapes on the dance floor… Hasta Luego Chicas and Chicos!

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