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Skiing in the French Alps

skiing in the french alps

In the middle of March, Gloria and I went skiing in the French Alps. As you can see from this photo, it’s a long way from where I was born – 18,525 kms away to be exact!

skiing in the french alps

It was quite an interesting and eventful holiday and there are a few more photos below, plus a little more on what happened.

The town we based ourselves in is Chatel which is part of the ski area called the Portes du Soleil. This is a really nice ski area that links up with so many places in different valleys. It’s very difficult to get bored here. 

When we arrived, it was quite warm and it was raining. There was still snow around but it was a little off-putting to have rain. During the ten days we were there, there was lots of snow however. It was almost like January weather at times, with big snow storms that closed a lot of the lifts on a couple of days. Here you can see a pictures of our car on arrival (in the rain) and part way through, absolutely covered in snow.

An injury skiing in the French Alps

About half way through the holiday I was hit from behind by another skier. This is the first time this has happened to me and it’s quite unnerving. The other skier knocked me forward and my left shoulder hit the snow and took not only the impact of all my weight but that of the other skier as well, because he fell on top of me for good measure. As soon as I felt the impact I knew something wasn’t right. Luckily, it ended up that there were no broken bones, just pulled muscles and ligament, but it was still quite difficult to ski down and get back to the chalet. 

That night and the next day, the shoulder was very sore. Actually, I figured out from the location of the pain that I’d badly pulled my pectoralis minor muscle (which is beneath the pectoralis major – the well known pec) as shown in this graphic. Man was it sore!

pectoralis minor

I took a day off skiing to nurse the injury and you can see in this photo below that we drove and walked up to a mountain restaurant to meet the other skiers for lunch. That was a very pleasant walk and a nice lunch, even though I had a bad shoulder.

skiing in the french alps

The day after this I got back into skiing, with the help of ibuprofen. I was taking things easy and wary of being hit again, or just falling on my own, but I had a good time.

In the final days of our holiday the sun came out and we had some beautiful skiing. In one funny incident that you can see in the photo below, Gloria ended up under a tree. Not as bad as it sounds as she was going very slow in a silly off-piste area and somehow overbalanced and ended up under the tree. Not so easy to get out, but no real injury here. Gloria is such an amazing skier, it always seems like a little victory for me when she falls and I don’t. Normally, it’s me falling. However, it’s also true that she tries things that I wouldn’t and she almost never falls.

skiing in the french alps

The holiday finished really well with lots of great skiing and amazing views (see the photos at the bottom). There’s also good news on the shoulder front, as it’s improving noticeably each week since we’ve got back. Beginning to look forward to next winter for more skiing in the French Alps.

[Click on the photos to see them full size]

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