Thursday, February 19, 2009

Espace Killy - you kill me!

It's been a week since Gruff & I got back from Tignes/Val D'Isere (collectively known as Espace Killy) and the gloom of city life is beginning to encroach. It's a measure of how fabulous the holiday was that I could still feel happy and chilled for that long despite leaving it all behind. The Espace Killy region is just awesome, so much to ride and explore that we really burned our leg muscles trying to cover as much as we could. Gruff and I were almost thinking of foregoing our trip this year due to the crappy Pound to Euro exchange and the 'Credit Crunch' but our love of snow prevailed.

It dumped every single day, what we lacked in sunshine was more than made up for with fresh powder each morning. Two of the days were far too windy which meant that a third of the lifts were shut but having a full Espace Killy pass meant that it wasn't too much of an issue. I preferred the runs overs in Val D'Isere but hated the town itself - in all fairness, it was the World Ski championships so the place was especially busy.

I've waxed lyrical about previous holidays here and here but I really relished every minute of this one. Hovering above the tree-tops in your chair-lift, it's as if the passage of time is somehow suspended when you're in the mountains amidst the frozen landscape. The pristine whiteness of the scenery like a blank canvas waiting for a burst of color. There's something really pure about the environment that makes you feel somehow cleansed and the world looks somehow simpler without the messy chaos of colors vying for your attention.

On our last night which also happened to be the chalet staff's evening off, Gruff and I went off in search of our calorie-rich, artery clogging raclette (Lucy, you may wish to look away now).

Good thing we piled on the extra protein too because the next day, we decided to get another day's boarding in before catching our night train back to Paris. It turned out to be our best day yet.

The chair up to one of our favourite runs was shut that morning but I spied some preparations to reopen so we made a quick dash over to stand first in line. The minutes ticked by, a long queue started forming behind us and we were all chomping at the bit - all I could think about however were the fresh powder lines awaiting us. When the chairs finally started operating 45 minutes later, it was a complete bun fight at the top as everyone struggled to quickly strap onto their boards, each man for themselves. It was pretty windy too and you could hear some people losing their way but it was one of the best, most exhilarating runs I've ever done, even the sun made a brief appearance. It was so worth the wait, I love the feeling of riding on powder, it almost feels like you're floating. We bombed down that 850m whooping and cheering, I tumbled twice and it didn't matter - I was buzzing on such a high when we got to the bottom, it had us beaming like idiots for the rest of the day.

What a perfect way to end an already fabulous week - Gruff and I barely managed to stay awake to pack our stuff and make our train needless to say, I was out like a light when my head touched the pillow.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hello 2009!

I am crawling out of hibernation to say a quick 'Hello' - have tired unsuccessfully to ward off the nasty flu that's been going around but given that it's been the coldest winter for 30 years it was some what inevitable. So 2009 has started in a spate of sniffles and a mountain of soggy tissues - nice eh? But it's been great to have had such a peaceful break where all anxieties and worries were banished over the yule-tide and for once there was no need to fret about the phone not ringing. Will post a review of 2008 soon but I'm happy to report that amidst the frantic csstingons thus far (4 on the last count!) we already have our first FO for the year.

A heavenly collar knitted in double-seed stitch using 2 beautiful yarns - Shilasdair Luxury DK (Lambswool, Cashmere, Angora) & Windy Valley Muskox (Extrafine Merino, Qiviut, Silk). Despite my cold, it's a lovely kick-off to the New Year with such a beautiful item. Roll-on 2009!!