Ash over Europe – Continent isolated

17th April 2010, by Chris Gill

The family park above Courchevel 1850 on Friday

The family park above Courchevel 1850 on Friday

Nothing much has changed in Courchevel since my last posting, except that skiing back to the door of our excellent Le Ski chalet has become impossible as the snow-line recedes up the sunny slope surrounding it. The weather has remained indecisive, and for several days has followed a pattern of blue skies in the morning, clouds in the afternoon and a token snowfall in the early evening.

The snow cover is still pretty well complete, and we have become highly expert in timing our arrival at key runs to get good conditions, whether on Suisses, Pylones, Combe de Saulire, Creux or Chanrossa - the Jean Pachod here was the highlight of the day on Friday, with some worthwhile nearly-powder beside the piste as well as a soft surface on it.

Of course, we’ve all be following the explosion of Iceland closely, and were relieved to be told on Friday night that Le Ski had arranged to bus us back to Gatwick. It’s clear on Saturday morning that they made the right call. With Europe’s air space closed down and the Eurostar trains booked out until the early part of next week, a door-to-door overnight coach and a ferry crossing suddenly sounds more attractive than it normally would.

So that’s my season more or less wrapped up. I haven’t heard whether Mr Watts’s planned trip to Val d’Isère next week is going ahead despite lack of flights, so this may or may not be our final bulletin from the slopes.

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