Katy’s Blog: A December day in Courmayeur
Words and pictures by Katy Dartford
It’s been just under a week since I made the drive over from the UK to Chamonix and yesterday I finally managed to go skiing… a timely reminder of what all the stress of the last few weeks has been for!
Driving up on Friday there was just a light dusting of snow – but since Sunday it’s been dumping down. Being unused to all this, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of time you’d have to leave yourself for digging the car out of the snow before going anywhere – I just thank all the people who warned me!
I haven’t yet started my new job so took the opportunity to head over to ski in Courmayeur with some recruits from Chamsocial to split toll and petrol bills. So on Wednesday I squeezed three of us into my Peugeot 107 and headed to the Italian resort which already had a few lifts open, and I can honestly say it was some of the best conditions I’ve ever skied.
Heading up on the Emporio Armani ski lift to Plan Checrouit at 1704m there were a handful of chairlifts and a bubble to get us to some lush powdery blues and reds, enough to keep us going for a first day of rusty skiing on wobbly legs. As my confidence grew I ventured off piste a little but to frequently get buried in chest-height powder. In the corner of my eye I spotted – just off the piste near a pulley lift – the really charming Chiecco mountain restaurant and dragged everyone there for lunch. Oh well, a little more money than we intended to spend but a definite first day skiing treat – and the best mozzarella I’ve ever tasted!
After a predictably lethargic re-start to the skiing, we discovered a few other nooks and crannies to explore – and watched in awe as the local Italians bombed straight down a vertical cliff face – clearly not showing any of the signs of rusty skiing that I felt.
Courmayeur was a perfect location for a warm up for the season session, with hardly anyone on the pistes, masses of power and just 16 miles from Chamonix! Now I’m over the first day back nerves and looking forward to the Grand Montets to open this weekend – rumour has it, it may even be open by Friday…