Alpe D'huez 13/03/2010

Up very early caught a cab with Paul, Tim and Juzar to Gatwick arriving just after 4 PM were we were greeted with a very long queuing session, before boarding a very busy and cramped flight that was delayed. When we got to Grenoble we had a other long queue for the bags and we had a delay while Charlotte located her boots. We made it to the chalet and myself and john were the first to purchase a beer. We headed across the road then to the underground bar and had lunch, which was some soup in my case. We then strolled into town and some giant sweets were purchased. We found the freeride bar which had a slide in it, which I was first to try. Back then to the hotel and we had dinner for 60 of us, I then led a small charge out to find a night-club. Myself Darren, Adam and Colin, first hit the freeride bar which had some special French people in it. Then we went into the sporting disco which was quite full but mainly with men, and it was quite expensive. We stayed for a while then headed home at least making it till after midnight UK time.
Up early for the lesson with Carla and Megan two hours from 10 PM, we got in a green run first and then we went up the bubble car to half way and worked on the parallel turns. It definitely felt like it was coming together by the end of the lesson. We then went back to the chalet as Megan needed to change her boots. We met Tom there and we had lunch by the boot shop, or at least I had a brownie. Back then on the slopes and was doing fine getting better and better, then we met Raj and nick who took us to the top of the dmc, there was very hard blue route there and it was a terrible struggle to get down, I left the others and tried to get down by lift but it was closed so got down somehow in a bit of a battered state. Had a rest but still managed a run, though it was difficult at altitude, just managed 2.5 miles and part of that was chatting with johns group I met along the way. Rather nice meal was had in the evening of pork and then ice cream and Steve was the first winner of the fancy dress prize a comedy horse soon named Neville. We decamped then to the underground bar which had a band on called bungalow bill which were Ok, and Juzar joined, us then him me, olive and her friend headed off into town it was quite misty and it was a little bit empty we finally made it into the sphere bar but that closed shortly after we got there so it was back to the underground bar which was still kicking. We finally left after 2 PM and Ross started an impromptu sledding session outside the hotel.
Up reasonably early met Carla and Megan and Raj, and John came with us to do some greens on the other side of town. I was a bit rubbish to start with but then got the hang a bit better, we then headed over the other side of a mountain and we skied down to a restaurant, there were some steep bits there and I wiped out a couple of times on the steep bits, but no injuries thanks to the body armour. We had a coffee then back up a very cold lift to do it again, Ross and the others joined us then for lunch, we headed back again over the ski lift and then back to the centre of town this time with Richie and Ross two borders of very different ability levels. We went halfway up the dmc then and did a long run, then back to the chalet and over again via the slow lifts for another couple of runs before calling it a day. Back then to the hotel and after a brief rest it was time for another run a bit better today, up to 3.5 miles. At dinner Shane won the horse outfit for sliding down a run on his face. It was quite tricky to get people out in the evening. Myself and Adam went to the grot de la yeti, and played table football against the Dutch and lost unfortunately. Back then to the hotel were folks were and we drank some more beer until the bar closed at midnight, so got a relatively early night.
Lesson in the morning but was feeling pretty good, id did the lesson with Megan and Carla again and we started on a green then went to a very tricky blue which was quite steep and near a slalom course, for some reason I kept messing up and fell a couple of times, once quite spectacularly. Not injured but didn't really feel I progressed. Afterwards we did some blues and then we went back to the chalet and got on the fancy dress kit, my large chaps were well received and we went to the top of the marmot and the restaurant there with amazing views, and met all the others in their kit for lunch. We skied some more then we all met up again for apres ski at the ice bar. Then from there we skied back to the chalet. Went for a 4 mile run then felt a lot better. The meal was quite boisterous with water pistols making an appearance and Ross got a cake and a really messy pint to drink, which left him quite drunk. We then all donned our outfits and went across the road to the underground bar where football was being watched. It soon livened up with 60 folks in fancy dress. Ross was wearing the horse and Shane had a blow up one with a fan, after a few dance offs in the bar we moved on to the pacific bar this had two piece band and we practically took over the place. Sandy even did a number with the band 500 miles. We then went to Smithy's bar which was a bit larger and led to some very large group dancing and crowd surfing and even power ballad dancing. John even gained a fancy dress outfit and found his dancing shoes, when smithy's closed we nipped next door to the igloo but it wasn't the place for comedy chaps so I popped home after half a pint.
Up a bit late we got our act together and set off just before 11 am. We started with a couple of easy runs then got our acts together and got over the signal for lunch that took a while but it was nice eating our packed lunches in the snow outside. We then did a blue run back over the hill and then I called it a day. Had some nice pineapple cake. Myself Adam and Johan then set off for the sports centre and finally found the bouldering room in the basement. It turns out Nick and Jackie had only used one tiny wall on Monday. We did quite a lot of overhanging routes which were tough at altitude. We rushed back then and got ourselves ready for our meal out, Sarah was the nominated wearer of the horse outfit for her ineptitude on the chairlift. We went to a rather nice restaurant near the pacific bar and had a very nice meal though it was a bit tricky to work out the bill. Talked a lot to Jacqui, Jackie and David. We then went into the pacific bar where St Patrick's day was in full swing with a live band. We jumped around to that and Sandy did a version of 500 miles before we left to go to smithy's bar, and from there a group of us went to o'sharkeys the Irish bar were we drank them out of Guinness and listened to Irish music. We went back then to the underground but it was winding down so I went with olive to the cave des alpes, which was really just a smaller version of the igloo. We stayed for a while and watched a woman with funny hair then came home.
Got up in time to meet Carla, Megan and Raj at the end of the lesson and paid up. Then got some money from a cash point. I didn't follow the others out then, I did my own thing for the rest of the day. Had a big climbing session in the afternoon. Myself, Adam, Tim, Nik, Jackie and Johan went to the boulder room in the sports centre and had a big game of plus 2. Back then for dinner
Last day I was up pretty late and hit the slopes on my own. I had a few goes at the slope behind the hotel then ventured across to the green runs. Unfortunately they were so slushy I could only do them a couple of times and even fell over though I didn't lose my ski's. Back then and I went for a five mile run down the mountain to Huez then back up again. Then I spent a lot of time in the hot tub with Ed and tom and Stacey and Carla and Megan. After this went with Adam to the sports centre to have a go at the assault course on the roof. It was quite fun, though I never fell into the net that would prevent us falling 30 ft to the floor, enjoyed the skateboard on wires and the swinging. Back then to the hotel, the meal was 5 courses that night and Richie won the horse after a bit of a nightmare on the slopes with his bag, board and walkie talkie. After that we continued drinking steadily in the bar.
Had to get up at the ridiculous hour of 4.30 am which meant I went to bed with my clothes on. Grabbed some quick breakfast then it was off down the hill with our luggage to the coach. When we arrived at the airport it was still closed and we had to wait for it to open to get off the coach. Grenoble airport was quite small but I got a scientific American to keep me occupied on the flight to Gatwick. Said goodbye to John at the airport and headed home.



8th Day UK