24 hour ski challenge

A big thank you to so many of TDC’s clients for having sponsored Paul, Giles or Ben for their forthcoming mammoth ski on the Bellevarde mountain. The event starts at midday on Wednesday 20th April and finishes at midday on 21st and will see a team of 6 spend 24hrs skiing the mountain. When the lifts close for the day, the guys will don their skins and will spend a good 16hrs walking up and down. Original plans were to be based on the Face but with the conditions as they are the pisteurs have stepped in and for safety reasons we will now be lapping up and down from La Daille.

From tdc various photos

If you haven’t already done so and would like to support our efforts have a look at the website that explains the event and the charities involved. Along with off-line donations we have raised almost £15000 so far.

Thanks again for all your support and generosity.

There is good snow in Val and Tignes

Just a few words to contradict completely some of the rubish that is being circulated in the UK about the lack of snow in the Alps.

I can only speak for the resorts of Val d’isere and Tignes, but there is good coverage on the pistes, the entire area is open and we have been enjoying some brilliant skiing the past few weeks in bright sunshine.

It is true that we have not had a lot of natural snow this season and a great deal of thanks must go to the STVI and their team responsible for making snow and preparing the pistes.

That said, the off piste is still there and it is skiable. Check out the link to bumps skiing in val d’isere only last week. There has not been a lot of fresh powder to be skied this season, but this is not a reason for lazy journalists to write off our resorts as being low on snow. Just not true.

Snowing this week too!

Tignes Glacier skiing

Whilst the final touches are being made to the renovated chalets and Hotels in Val d’Isere and Tignes, the glacier is being put to good use. Not only are TDC coaches running pre-season BASI prep courses and slalom training, but national teams have been up on the hill making their final preparations for the World and Europa cups.

See how the slalom training is getting on at: http://www.youtube.com/thedevelopmentcentre

All our coaches regularly use video analysis as a tool for teaching and all you need to do is ask you coach. You may even feature on this site!

Ski Clubs Unite

Thank you very much to the members of the Ski Club of Manchester and the Ski Club of Great Britain for their enthusiasm and good humour at the Chillfactor in Manchester over the past week.

We have run nine sessions together and they have been really well attended. Over the nine sessions there must have been a few thousand runs completed. We have covered topics like balance (a lot), rotation, edging, pole plants, relaxing, flowing, skidding, gripping, jumping, arcing, carve turns, short swings, short turns, punchy turns and more. Thank you for listening, talking and asking questions, the sessions have passed really quickly.

We all need to extend warm thanks to John Weatherell for organising everything, a great effort.

We are back next year so if you are around next September then put the dates in the diary. Unless i see you in the Alps, until next year.

See the videos on our youtube site http://www.youtube.com/thedevelopmentcentre

Giles x

Ski Club of Manchester kick off the season

What a good start to the winter season!

The Sale Sharks were improbably victorious against the reformed but unloved Harlequins at Edgely Park and the Ski Club of Manchester were enthusiastic and dashing at the Chillfactore indoor snowdome in Trafford Park.

The combination of these two events is becoming a much loved fixture in my diary and the dates for the SCM 2011 are already confirmed. The skiing was good and the Chillfactore was busy. More dates throughout the coming week. On snow dates for BASI prep and preformance training available on the website.

Mountain Triathlon

For those of you who have been following the progress of Paul and Giles in Pontis Mountain Triathlon, or indeed for those who have donated to the cause – here is an update. If you haven’t heard about our fund raising event please have a look at www.pontismountaintriathlon.com

Well, what a day. We were rolling by 0945, slightly behind schedule but we can blame Justin for that!

The ride along the valley flew by; a 400m climb but very gradual and the boys were all riding well. Some beautiful scenery and some welcome cloud cover as we made our way towards Bourg St Maurice for a quick sandwich stop. We had been joined by some new recruits John Langridge and Paul Alcock who both rode impressively. John being less experienced and with fewer miles in the legs set off before us. Not knowing quite what to expect he showed great form and put in a sterling ride, finishing well before the rest of us. We quickly worked out that Paul had some pedigree when it comes to endurance events and were very grateful to ride in his slip stream until Bourg…then he was gone!

Piers and Tom joined us at Bourg (great effort Tom…first alpine col and in trainers on a hire bike, very impressive) and then locals Jules and his mate Nicholas rode the final leg from Val to the col to add a Gallic flavour to the day.

We always knew the climb would be hard and it didn’t disappoint – it was gruelingly long. Just shy of 50kms of steep alpine road from Bourg to the col, everyone fighting their own battle to arrive exhausted at the top.

We had some great support on the road and in the pub afterwards, which really added to the occasion. We’re looking forward to the run now…after a little bit of a rest! and look forward to seeing many more friendly faces in Malvern on Saturday 9th October.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who has donated, we can’t believe the total and with two events still to go hopefully we’ll smash the target. Keep an eye on the blog for more photos and training stories and finally a big hand to Jon who rode like a Trojan and then drove 16hrs back the UK today, I bet the hamstrings has something to say about that!

Boss des Bosses 2010

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


Sunday 27th December 2009, beautiful blue skies as you can see and some tremendous snow. Although old timers in Ste Foy, Jenny and Louise had never made the trip over the back of the top lift and down to the summer village of Le Monal. Along with Dad Andrew and tdc’s Paul, the team had a memorable ski across the undulating upper slopes and then down through the woods to the village. The walk back always builds a good appetite and once  back at the chalet we feasted on Christmas left overs. There were some weary legs in the afternoon but not so for the tireless Mr Wright senior and the well rested Phillipa, who joined me for a few runs on the new lift…still lots of soft snow up there. I am not sure the frozen rain forecast for tomorrow is going to be quite so nice, but maybe memorable for other reasons though.