Val D'isere 06/02/2011

Woke at 4am showered and got on the 25 night bus changed to the 73 at oxford circus and made it to Victoria early. Got the 6am and was one of the first to check in. also the first in Weatherspoon’s if you didn't count the guys on the earlier flight. Had a set of seats to myself and got some kip on the flight to Geneva. On the transfer sat next to Darran at the back and read my kindle a bit and kipped. We stopped for an ice cream halfway through the three hour transfer. Got to the place and john took me straight out to the packed pub opposite to watch some football. Back at 6 to the hotel Morris and got in a jeep to snowberry to get fitted for kit. Back then by bus and it was time for welcome drinks and some happy hour beers in the upstairs bar before dinner where I had fish pie and avoided the free wine. Darran won the costume for the day and got to wear a giant crab outfit. After dinner down to the bar downstairs to listen to some music and play some pool had a bit of a nail biter with Juzar at the end then chatted with Matt and Tim before they closed the bar.
got up a bit later than the others found a route behind the hotel and ran to 2000 metres but was a bit of an effort and a bit slippery. got changed into kit and eventually found right bus to get to the shop, had a problem with my boot but once it was fixed and after a few goes on the beginner slopes I set off up quite a tall route and came down a very long green which was quite hard work, but apparently the conditions weren't ideal. Had to catch another bus at the bottom so went back to the shop and changed kit. Met the others back at the hotel and after a coffee went climbing with Adam and Johan. the centre had a tall leading wall but we had no rope unfortunately. we did quite a bit of bouldering on the mini monkey house and after that we were joined by some French geezers, did a hard orange route that they were struggling on then we called it a day had a very nice meal and discussed matt's anatomy. Afterwards we went downstairs and listened to the live band and danced a bit. Matt got quite drunk and was squirted by the bar staff before we made it too bed.
Up fairly early and went and practiced on the easy slopes with Sarah before she had her lesson. Then I went up and had a very good go around all the green routes in the place, sussing out potential places for Sarah to learn on. Back then to the hotel and went for a run up the mountain. Went a bit further this time but still didn't find route to the top. In the evening there was an attempt at a quiz and we went downstairs again to listen to the band. Which I did for a while but then went upstairs about midnight.
Up and into fancy dress as a Viking. Met all the others and took pictures then went to the top of the Olympiad and we did the Verte route to Marmottes lift then I went back to the shop to divest myself of the wig and beard as I couldn't see where I was going also had a bit of a look for Sarah but couldn't find her. Went back up and did a view runs then ran up the mountain in my boots was very hard work. But eventually go to a spot which looked like an avalanche waiting to happen so had to some back down. Then back to shop skied a bit more then back to the chalet. Couldn’t wear my whole outfit to dinner as it was too hairy, so had to do a forfeit with 10 others drinking a horrible shot. Put the wig and beard back on after dinner and we set off to a bar near dicks tea bar it was really busy when full of us romans and Vikings. We stayed there for quite a while then headed back to our hotel for a last beer. Some of the others pushed back out to dicks tea bar
John dragged me on to the slopes with Sarah and Sophie. We had a gentle morning as the girls were suffering a bit then we had a quite lunch where the girls grabbed some kip we skied a bit more and I did the horrible Verte route yet again while Sarah and john went down the easier blue. Did a few more blues faster that before catching the cable car down didn't feel too bad. No Frisbee as planned this afternoon so me and Adam hit the climbing wall again did some tougher stuff than last time and got pretty pumped. we got home and dressed in time to meet the others in the bar then head out for tex mex with quite a lot of the others, Wendy, Sarah, Juzar, nick, Xena, Darran, Adam, Alex, Ian and Jey were on our table. we had a good laugh with Wendy singing along to desperado each time we mentioned the word then we had a couple of rounds of tequila’s and then went downstairs were me and Alex had laughing gas, unfortunately it didn't seem to work on me. Also Antonia wore the crab costume for using a walkie talkie that was switched off. After that we wandered back to the Morris bar and had a drink with johns group discussing a few issues of the world before retiring.
up quite early helped Sarah ski on the beginners slope and I had a go on the mini slalom course beside it. Then she carried on while I went to the top and had a go on the madeleine then we met in the Restaurant and then we went up and had a go on the green runs at the top of the solaise. Finally coming down about 3.30 pm I then went for a run up the hill and along the valley which was quite pleasant now I was better acclimatised. Back down then and Frisbee didn't look like it was happening so it was down to the bar for some après ski. Nick won the crab outfit at dinner for his drag on the button lift and then after dinner it was jaegers of the world. The liquorice Sambuca proved popular. We also had coffee tequila and Ricardo and some lemon grass vodka and some Slovenian liqueur of Matts. Wendy also bought two rounds of tequilas. Then it was down to the bar to watch the live band that was broadcasting to the UK. Had some Coors light which was on offer and made it till about 1am.
Up early and picked up boots helmet and crampons for ice climbing with Adam at the shop across the road. Then went and blasted out a few green runs then a number of blues. One though was very tight and mogully. I got down it though. Then back to the chalet and got some lunch. Met Adam and we got our kit together and set off for the oxygene shop there we met Johan and he took us in his car to le daille we got out and walked to the base of the ice wall. We popped on our helmets and crampons and used them to get to the first pitch. Here Johan went up while I belayed him. He put in three ice screws and then two to make an anchor at the top and then he came down and I had a go. didn’t do too badly got up ok though at one point I caught myself with one axe when my feet slipped I was also stripping out the ice screws which was ok.. Adam had a go then and was a bit hesitant at first and almost seemed to be digging himself a stairway up but he made progress and we had some drama when an ice screw came loose, luckily it was not part of our system and didn’t hit anyone. We then moved over and Johan set up a thirty metre pitch which was more vertical I climbed this well but had my arms wide spaced which was using extra energy. Adam went next and did better, getting to the top ok with less effort than his first go. The guide also showed me some ice protection techniques, while Adam climbed we had a third climb where we climbed even more vertical section of the same pitch. This went well and Adam climbed it well also while I took footage from the bottom of the ice wall. After that back to the chalet and packing and dinner. Tom got the crab costume for having his radio on voice activation all week. And we all headed down to the bar, and danced to the dj till about 1am.
Up early at 6.40 am and a quick breakfast then slept on some of the three hour coach trip. Got a penknife in Geneva airport then had a bit of a bumpy approach to Gatwick, caught a train really quickly back home



8th Day UK