Tag: winter

What a difference a day makes

The French Alps have had a slow start to the ski season, with Christmas holiday-makers in La Clusaz limited to just a few small ski areas. My  visitors sought alternative entertainment, opting for the Titanic Exhibition in Geneva and the

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An early start to a long winter

Sheep in snowy St Jean de Sixt

Winter came to La Clusaz earlier than usual this year, with enough snow at La Balme for the ski lifts to open for the past few weekends. These sheep in Saint Jean de Sixt were caught in deep snow in

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The pros and cons of end-of-season skiing

Pictured is how La Balme looked yesterday at around midday. You can see untracked powder and just one guy – my visiting friend – on the entire slope. There are a couple of people on the chairlift, but it was

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Funky icicle in St Jean de Sixt

After a family visit and a whirlwind trip to Rome for the weekend, I haven’t had a chance to write the third and final installment of what happened after we left the refuge a few weeks ago. In the mean

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Is Mother Nature drunk?

What a funny old season it’s been. January, usually a dry month, buried rocks and trees with metres of snow that just kept on falling. February brought both antarctic cold and French Riviera warmth, causing the rocks and trees to

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See an icicle grow

This icicle appeared outside my window last week. Icicles look still, but as you can see from the time-lapse in the photo, they’re constantly on the move. This one shifted sideways as well as growing substantially throughout the day. My

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Let it snow, then rain, then snow

One of the most noticeable and amusing things about living in the French Alps is how quickly conversation turns to snow when winter approaches. Months before the resort is due to open, people start predicting what sort of season it

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What on earth is this?

“What on earth is this?” was the question someone asked me as we drove under this thing. What do you think it is? The answer is actually very simple, and the name gives it away. In French it’s called a

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