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The start of the Season

The comedian Billy Connolly once said that the Queen must think the world smells of new paint as everywhere she goes everything has been freshly painted.Early season view from Les Coches


And so it must be for the season's first skiers season as the week before they arrive everything in the resort is buffed, painted or polished to within an inch of its life. And if you're not sure what to do you paint it anyway.


Step off the pavement without looking that week and you're likely to get mown down by a UPS driver “whose got a package” as the shops take huge deliveries of new stock and the chalets fill their larders. Empty boxes litter the pavement as the stock is unpacked and piled high.


Getting about is surprisingly hard in these first few weeks as the free resort bus service has usually yet to start. So pavements are full of giggly chalet staff keeping close order whilst whispering how “fit” so-and-so is. Second-time seasonaires talk about what they did in the summer, the discounts available at the various bars to them (surprising few) and how they will spend their precious day off.


Bars usually have an opening night where they launch their season's new menu and invite all to sample it free of charge (rude not to really) - keen to get seasonaires to recommend them through the season.


Usually, the municipal snow clearance team get all their shiny new kit together in the town square one Sunday. This gives the locals a chance to see what their Tax D'habitation has been spent on and sage old timers a chance to walk around it nodding their heads and kicking tyres.


Legend has it that the piste groomers in Sauze d'Oulx lost one of their piste bashers at the start of one season due to the size of the initial snowfall and the wind that had turned every feature into a smooth snowy lump. They thought they knew where they had left it but it took them two days to find and recover it


As the opening day fast approaches so the nerves kick in; What will the first guests be like? Serve from the left and clear from the right – or is it the other way around?  Will we all last until the end of the season?


All the while everyone is looking skyward and hoping, nay praying, for the fall of the first snow. But not this year. It’s cold, it’s snowy and the snow machines are working 24/7.


The only one question remains; When will you be joining us?


Monsieur Mogul – Our man in La Plagne

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author alone and not those of Ice and Fire Ski.

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