By now we were quite used to the routine of getting to school in time and today, the last day, actually made it quite comfortably 😉 The children had their ‘tests’ today to grade their progress for the next time they went skiing, but other than that it was to be a fairly relaxed morning.
The blizzard overnight had calmed significantly and the blue skies were showing again above the bowl of the valley, so we anticipated the sun would be showing its face again shortly.
Unfortunately, many of the lifts were still not open so of course the whole population of the resort descended initially on those lifts that were so the wait at the bottom of the runs was extended.
I stayed with Liz for the first lift and then zoomed off on my first run back down, which was considerably quicker than the waiting at the bottom.
That was where I made my mistake.
Thinking I would get a longer run in, I carried on down to one of the lower lifts but when I arrived, found many others had obviously had the same idea and the size of the crowd was ‘disappointing’, to say the least. I had to wait for at least 45 minutes, inching my way forward as the skiers and snowboarders funnelled into the slow three person chairlift.
I eventually got back up after a very frustrating time and by the time I arrived at mid-station they had opened some of the upper lifts, having been furiously blasting away the snow on the higher risk slopes all morning. I continued round for another couple of runs then made my way back down to the children, who were already waiting together.
They had obviously had a hard morning with the weather, the exam and perhaps even the realisation that their holiday was nearly over. Food needed – if in doubt carbs, protein and fat in the perfect form of a ham and cheese baguette had been our saviour throughout the week. It worked a treat and with Liz with us as well, we all decided to go back up to the top mountain on the Arcabulle lift together for a couple of last runs together.
We got onto the six seater chairlift all together which was fantastic but at the top Joshua and Savannah wanted to got with Liz, while Morgan and Luke decided to come down a slightly steeper run with their Dad! Morgan still wanted to go down a red run 😯 so we split at the top of the hill and arranged to meet at the lift in the middle for the final run.
All well and good, Luke and Morgan made their way down the steep blue with moguls and we met at the middle run and waited for a bit, but then realised the run they were on may not have access to the middle lift, Plagnettes. We made our way down slowly keeping an eye out for them from across the piste, but no sign. After a couple of texts and nearly 20 minutes waiting, we heard that they were on their way back up to the top, so we quickly got back on the Arcabulle lift, seconds before it shut for the day.
We were back at the top of the mountain for the last time and met the others. This time, for our final run of the day Morgan was insistent on going down a Red run and of course, Luke wanted to follow him, anything Morgan could do, Joshua was going to attempt and Savannah wasn’t going to be left on her own. Liz was not keen, but in the interests of keeping the family together decided to also come with us.
I’m not sure if this was a red run or not – I think it probably was 😯 and it probably wasn’t the best decision, but Morgan had been keen all week to cut his teeth on a red!
Having started down the run, we were committed and there was no turning back. Morgan and Luke sped off without too much difficulty, and Savannah and Joshua eventually found their rhythm and steadily made their way down the first part of the slope, which was the steepest and most difficult part – I passed them about half way down making steady progress. Liz came down steadily as well, but lost her confidence on the mogully part of the upper slope and was helped down by the slope ‘sweepers’ who had appeared by this stage and were making their way down ensuring everyone was off the slopes! I waited with Luke and Morgan at the bottom and started to make my way back up as Savannah wiped out. Luckily, the sweepers reached her quickly and helped her, and the disasterous final run went from bad to worse when, having left Luke and Morgan they proceeded to take their skis off and venture off-piste and had disappeared up to their waists in the soft snow at the side of the run, which I only noticed as the sweepers were gesticulating wildly in my direction.
Soon, we were all together again, and despite some ‘flat’ work (after not having enough speed to make it UP to the crest of the next downhill part of the run, we all made it down relatively unscathed, but tired. it had taken us nearly an hour to get down this run and it was getting quite dark by this stage.
All we now wanted was hot waffles to revive us but then we had to struggle with the return of the rental equipment! The queue to give back the equipment was almost as long as the queue to be fitted up in the first place, which I could not understand 😉 but after Liz offered to wait with the final pieces of equipement I took the children to sledge down the hill one last time.
We went back to the Mexican restaurant, Los Chicanos, our favourite, in the evening and had one last fine meal to end our stay 🙂