Sunday, 17 March 2013

An Eventful Ski 2013

This year Tom, Ben and I went to La Tania, Courchevel for our annual ski trip and this year proved quite eventful.  We had rented an apartment from Saturday to Saturday but all the trains down and back from the Alps were full.  So we decided to get the overnight train, from Paris to Moutiers, on the Friday night and then the following Saturday stay in a hotel and return home on the Sunday.  This also meant we got two extra days skiing - with no lessons.

La Tania
Just after we got on the night train (which was extremely crowded) Ben asked if he I could get something from the wash bag.  I put my hand in and managed to cut my finger very badly on my razor. Fortunately the first aid kit was next to the wash bag so I was able to get to that and tend to a very bloody finger.  What a start to the trip. And none of us slept particularly well but arrived in Moutiers and caught the bus up to La Tania.

Off Piste - Col des Fruits
The week started very well.  The weather was lovely, albeit a bit too warm at times, and the skiing was excellent. The boys went off to their lessons in the mornings and as I didn't have anyone to ski with I took lessons which worked on my technique and we did some lovely off-piste skiing.  In the afternoons the boys and I skied around and had a good time.

Making Omelettes!
On the Wednesday evening both Tom and my groups were asked if we wanted to do a night descent with the flame torches (for the adults).  We were up for it and I got permission for Ben to come as well.  I had never done one before and had always wanted to. But before then I had a long delay on my lesson getting back to La Tania. The 'bubble', or 'eggs' as they are called in French, we were taking had a couple of operating problems.  Just as we were going to get on one of the gondolas it came off the rails in the station.  They had a problem getting it on again and had to winch it up.  This took about half an hour.  Then just as I, a girl from our group and the instructor got into a gondola, the instructor told us to get out quickly.  It was then that I noticed that two of the gondolas were next to each other and not a few metres apart as normal. How this happened I didn't see but apparently it is quite dangerous.  The French call this making omelettes! As the rest of our group were already on the lift we had to wait until it was sorted out before we were allowed on it.  Fortunately the ski school could look after Tom and Ben.  So over an hour later than we should be we got back to La Tania.
Flame Descent

So after that little adventure we did a little bit of skiing in the afternoon before having a rest.  We met up at 5pm and caught a (different) gondola up to a mountain restaurant ready for the night descent.  We waited until dark in the restaurant and then all the kids were given colourful fibre optic torches and the adults flame torches.  Then we slowly snaked our way down the mountain.  It was great fun and we all had a good time.  

Slalom Race
The next couple of days the weather was not so good but we did have our lessons in the mornings but the Thursday afternoon was really unpleasant and although I went and did a couple of pistes the boys took time off.  I quickly joined them in the warmth of the apartment. On the Friday, after our lessons, we took part in a timed Slalom.  Ben did really well and got off to a good start.  Tom didn't do to badly and me - well lets just say I had to buy one of the guys in our group a beer in the evening as I lost to him.  Still we had a pleasant evening.

Not Where We Wanted to End Up
Saturday we packed up and I had found where we could leave our luggage for the day whilst we skied.  The plan was to get the bus back to Moutiers at 4pm and on to our hotel, but things changed when Ben found a big hole to ski into. We had taken one bag down to the left baggage place and then a lift up and were skiing down to the apartment when this happened. Ben was skiing down the bumps to the side of the piste when he saw this hole.  He tried to avoid it but unfortunately fell into it and when I got there he said his back was hurting. Taking no chances I called the 'Secour des Pistes'. They came and checked him out, then took him in the sledge down to La Tania. 

We were transferred, by ambulance, to Courchevel 1850 medical centre where a x-ray showed he may have very minor fractures to two or three vertebrae. A friend, who is working in the resort, looked after Tom and after I had collected him and all our baggage we got a taxi down to Moutiers Hospital.  Here a CT scan revealed that two of Ben's vertebrae did have very minor fractures.  We were told there was no treatment, as the fracutres are so minor, but he must only lie down or stand for the next few weeks.  He can only sit for meals!

Apart from that we had a good ski trip and Ben is making progress although he does find it difficult to understand the reason he can only lie down or stand. We'll update you on his progress but in the meantime here is a short video of the boys skiing - I planned to do more videos of the boys on the Saturday but it wasn't meant to be.

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