Yesterday saw a freak snow storm hit the Tarentaise valley, almost half a metre fell in Val, whilst even down in the valley there was widespread chaos as trees laden with fresh wet snow came down onto power cables. It was pretty strange going sledging with my son on 1st June when the last time we’d had enough to sledge was Christmas! It hasn’t snowed properly in the valley for about 4 months and now it decides to come down thick and fast and ruin our tomatoes and geraniums!
Here today gone tomorrow. The summer snow was short lived. The sun was back out today, the sledge got put back in the shed and it was time to get back on the bike…what a strange old world!
(You should be able to ski parallel on a blue run in order to take part in these sessions. Equally you could have a very high level and still develop your performance and understanding during these sessions.)
Dessert: Informal Performance Development discussion led by TDC coach…over drinks in the bar.
So you thought bumps skiiing was dead? Last week a couple fo thousand people proved otherwise and TDC was there to participate and record some of the action:
The Boss des Bosses is a 21 year old grudge match between Val d’Isere (we have the best bumps skiers in europe), and Chamonix (no, we do).
The first event was just between these two resorts but then other resorts have wanted a piece of the action too. This year’s line up was Val d’Isere, Chamonix, Meribel, Zermatt, Verbier and Courchevel. This video is of the Val team in their play off for third place against Verbier.
Teams are made up of 2 telemarkers, 2 snowboarders, 2 female skiers, and seven male skiers. Head to head.
Well done to team Chamonix, who took home the trophy.
Go to the TDC facebook page to see this with music added
On friday night, as the lifties were thinking of shutting up shop, 8 tdc coaches were frantically packing supplies into back packs, ready for the inaugural tdc night tour. The snow had been falling all afternoon and visibility wasn’t great but what did that matter on a night tour, surely that’s the idea! It proved to be a pretty strenuous journey to the Refuge des Fours, a two hour skin that culminated in a steep bumpy gully high above the Cugnai Valley, but once we had the stove fired up and pumping out heat we were all glad to have put in the effort. A delicious 3 course meal washed down with lashings of red wine was then topped off with a few glasses of whiskey. The laughter continued into the small hours as the snow and wind continued to drive against the hut outside. Although heads were a little fuzzy in the morning we had enjoyed a brilliant night, very different from your average Friday evening. The ski home was almost as much of a slog as on
the way up! Poor visibility and heavy wind blown snow made for a long arduous trudge out of the valley. Any hopes of cutting our efforts short by taking the Manchet Express chairlift were dashed as we rounded the corner to see it closed! Lets get the weather right next time team…looking forward to it already.
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I spend every autumn looking forward to the Ski Club week, it’s a bit like an official start to the season for me, I get to spend six days with some old friends and get royally spoilt by the Mark Warner staff in the ‘Perce Neige’ in Tignes le Lac. Full English breakfast, tea and cake, evening dinner, jacuzzi and the opportunity to ski with two groups of Ski Club members 6 hours a day for 3 days each.
The lesson format is great from a coaching point of view because we have plenty of time to make changes to people’s performance, so I took my time today warming the guys up. I could tell they were all itching to get going as they all beat me on the walk from the hotel to the lifts, but after a warmer to make sure we all knew each others names and a quick physical warm up we headed towards the Gratalu Chair into the sun to sample some of the awesome piste skiing on offer in Tignes. The snow was cold and grippy and perfectly groomed and the team soon found their ski legs.
We started with some balance drills to get everyone over their outside ski and then I filmed the team to use as a benchmark to compare their progress over the three days. We quickly outlined some common threads to iron out, starting with the vertical ‘pop’ to reduce the amount of wasted muscular effort while at the same time improve the skis’ grip at the start of the turn. The session progressed by focussing on active leg stretching and rotating with some free practice before finishing off with another filmed run to assess the changes the guys had made over the course of the day.
I’ve decided to follow the advice of Louise Alison of Bonne Sante Physio and start incorporating a warm down when time permits – after the warm down we returned to the hotel for some video feedback where a few technical hitches caused me a touch of stress as I couldn’t get the t.v. to work. Fortunately for me the Perce Neige bar manager- ‘lovely Lily’ saved my bacon by dropping everything to fix the problem, and we spent probably too long analysing the days skiing, without a doubt this improved everyone’s understanding of the movements we’re making and the changes we need to make.
Tommorrow’s another day and I can’t wait to show off the awesome skiing in Val d’Isere, in the mean time, I must dash, the Jacuzzi is calling before a three course dinner with wine – I feel like I’m on holiday!