Ski Trip 2009 to Val d'Isère

Starting out nicely the first day, but then followed by almost 3 days of heavy snowfall, this turned out to be one of the most snow rich vacations in our ski trip history.
However, we took full advantage of these conditions - developed our off-piste skills and refined our mogul techniques to near perfection. Also our stunts became more advanced (Che's Didier Cuche ski trick to mention one!).
One can no longer say we are just some corduroy surfers (unless for speedskiing) and we all got plenty of punishment drinks to prove this fact.
In addition to this we also experimented with our dinners and took them to new culinary heights, of which some of the recipes will be published here.


Che Susanne Ken Kevin Willy

Ken's brother Graeme had an unfortunate accident with his bicycle and a fence just days before the ski trip and reluctantly had to cancel in the last minute. We hope to enjoy his company again another year!


As Val d Isère was host for this year's World Championships in downhill skiing, the town was showing up at it's best, with pretty light decorations all over. There were snow sculptures and glowing trees everywhere, with the abundant snow fall covering all in a smooth white blanket. Like a christmas card:


Dinner time. A happy chef.
View from the apartment building. River Isère.


The week started with very heavy snowfalls that didn't give us much opportunity to ski. Many lifts were closed, and if you managed to find an open piste you had to ski against the cold winds and poor visibility. It almost killed the joy of skiing...

So we did our best entertaining ourselves by eating (well!), drinking (much!), shopping (on sales), watching TV, listening to music, and taking many sometimes less beautiful photos...

Susanne taking a mobile photo of Kevin... ...changing the colour of his face! Bracing beers before blind descent in complete whiteness.

Celebrating Willy's retirement (from work, not from skiing!)

RECIPE Susanne's Mom's root gratin:

Various roots (potato, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, swede turnip, for instance).
Diced pork (even better with wild meat, like reindeer, moose or deer - Swedish "skav")
Cream or creme fraiche
Tomato puree
Onion or leek
Optional: Garlic, pepper, chilipepper.

Oven 225 C.

To speed up the process, cut the roots in chunks and boil in salted water until they are almost done (not too soft).

Meanwhile prepare a sauce in a frying pan:
The meat is browned together with some onion and/or garlic, possibly also some chili pepper. Add tomato puree, salt and pepper, and let it fry for a couple of minutes.

Put the roots in a greased gratin form, distribute the cream over, and then on top the fried meat sauce. Cover with some grated cheese.

As the roots were preboiled the time in the oven will be much shorter, but make sure it comes to a boil.

And meanwhile it was snowing, and snowing...

But finally it stopped snowing and the sun came out!

AAAaaahh! Even the beer tasted much better now. Much better!
After such a long confinement within four walls, some of us had a bit of a hard time adjusting to the outdoors. Ken and Kevin found a way to still enjoy that homey feeling of a livingroom also in open air...


Anyway, the first morning after the weather improved we had got the absolutely best of off-piste conditions, with no prepared pistes in sight. Everybody were all over the mountain playing in the fresh snow. It's unfortunate that there aren't any pictures at all from this - but perhaps that just explains it!

Ready to go!
Fresh morning piste.
Lac du Chevril.
At the high gravity Arcelle run. Arriving at the restaurant for a well deserved meal.


Then Ken and Susanne took on the risky project "Valley of Death". A black and in some places awfully narrow mogul run in the Vallon de la Sache (Tignes) area. After a few horrifying and seemingly hopeless moments, stuck in space and time, they came down safely. It can be seen in this movie-clip (that naturally does not show the most difficult section):


Next challenge on the list was the famous olympic run "Face":


Over to Tignes, we visited the famous holed rock through which James Bond jumped when skiing in one of his movies (was it On Her Majesty's Secret Service??). In fact it's quite difficult to ski through the hole as it is on the very top of a ridge.

Willy practiced his french in the lift:

In Tignes we also got to see some free-rider competitions down a very steep and rocky mountainside.
See that tiny little dot? That's a skier...



Views from the glacier area.
Around Arcelle. Chardonnet (Tignes).
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