Weathers got me in a whirlwind

Hello my Snow Lovers,

I know it’s been a while but who can blame me, the season has been weird and wonderful so far, finding time to Blog in between work and skiing isn’t easy #seasonnaireproblems. I have to confess every time I sit down to write I have this awful temptation in front of me… the view from my window telling me “you could be skiing this right now”

The view from my flat

Just BEAUTIFUL, how LUCKY am I! Hate me all you want but I wake up every morning, open my curtains and sit in bed with a brew looking at THAT view. The motivation to stay indoors and tell you about what’s been going on out here has been lacking and I do apologise profusely… but really, can you blame me?

My readers have been asking what has happened to my blog, so after such positive feedback I thought it was about time I dusted the cobwebs off my laptop and let you guys know what has been going on in the 3 Vallees this season. Sorry my Snow Lovers, but good news is… I’M BACK!

SO let’s start with the weather shall we? O lordy it’s been a bizarre season for weather. If I had any doubts about climate change before I certainly don’t now! December greeted us with ice and rain with dreams of a white Christmas being utterly ABOLISHED. January brought a bit of snow followed by 30 degree heat and slushy Spring like conditions. February was better with the snow sticking and a few sunny pow days followed by high winds and white outs. NOW, we are hitting March and we have had seriously heavy snow fall in the past 5 days.. WHAT IS GOING ON??? Locals are predicting March being THE month of the season and next weeks forecast is looking promising with a mixture of low temperatures and snowy spells, anyone thinking about skiing/boarding holidays I’d be booking something asap if I were you.

Events wise it’s all kicking off this SHemonth… SheRide a girls freestyle day at the Moon Park is on tomorrow with girls skier/boarders of all levels getting together to shred the park, learn some new tricks, eat burgers and win lots of fabulous prizes.

 

Newton Faulkner does Meribel

Newton Faulkner does Meribel

Newton Faulkner is making a guest appearance in Meribel next week, performing at La Chaudanne on the 15th March.  AND to top it all off  “Charity day” is officially running on the 6th April!

Next post I’ll be giving you a “Guide to…” and filling you in on the latest brands and gadgets trying to make it big in the Winter Sports industry.

It’s good to be back,

Blog me, until next time…
Snow Love,
Eloise

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FollowMeSki is back in the Alps! #Winter2015/16

Hello my Snow Lovers!

It’s the last Friday before Christmas and after a very intense few weeks training my new recruits in my day job I am officially back in the Alps blogging my little heart out for you.

The 3 valleys have been investing a lot of money in their resorts this past Summer to ensure a lack of snowfall doesn’t stop us from getting out on the hill. There are 75 NEW SNOW CANNONS and a local told me the other day that they have already spent over HALF a MILLION on electricity and water to coat the pistes with snow.

I got out this week and can honestly say the snow conditions are way better than I thought and much better than this time last season. Courchevel as always still has very well groomed-corduroy pistes. Meribel is struggling a little on the lower slopes where you will find yourself ice skating and rock dodging, however, if you follow the sun Faon at the top of Tougnete 2 is a fantastic morning warm up run and as good as ever.

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Courchevel Altiport

Les Menuires at the top of Le Masse has some great start of the season snow and as always Val Thorens has the best for this time of year. We had a slight sprinkling of snow on Tuesday night and my ski over to Val Thorens on Wednesday morning couldn’t have been better. No lift queues nearly every piste to myself all with a fresh topping of white stuff – AWESOME DAY OFF. If you are holidaying in Meribel or Courchevel anytime soon have no fear the resorts are well maintained and its only 35 mins Meribel to Val Thorens and 50 mins Courchevel to Val Thorens for competent skiers, so you can be skiing in fantastic snow conditions by 10am if you get first lifts. Check out Courchevel last weekend….

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Biollay, Courchevel 1850 #winterishere

All the pubs, clubs and bars are in full swing with my favourite watering hole LDV (Lodge Du Village) in Meribel Village opening their newly refurbished wine bar/restaurant “La Terrasse”. I’ve been scoffing my way through the menu with friends and celebrating birthdays; the salt and pepper squid, pork main course and Genepi triffle pud is seriously TASTY!

 Keeping with the food theme I had my first “Frog Burger” of the season yesterday at the Frog and Roast Beef “highest pub in Europe” in Val Thorens. You can access it off the top of the Plein Sud lift and take a cat track that branches off to the left half way down the piste. It is really good value and you get hash browns and an egg in your burger – what more could you want?

The weather forecast for the next week isn’t looking its finest with mainly sun everyday and no natural snow on its way. BUT lets all do a little SNOW DANCE and hopefully it will come. I’m going to be getting in the festive spirit this week and will be wearing my Christmas jumper all next week with my Father Christmas hat, whilst blaring Christmas tunes out of my little RAV – pics to follow…

If you have any questions about what is happening over in the heart of the 3 Valleys drop me a message below or tweet me @FollowMeSki.

FollowMeSki would also like to give a BIRTHDAY shout out to RUTH,

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Birthday Girl

who turned the big 30 this week and celebrated it in true alpine style with a ski, dinner at LDV, Genepi shots and a boggie to the fantastic Hobo Chic (featured on last season blog posts)!

Blog me, until next time…
Snow Love,
Eloise

The FollowMeSki Guide: what to pack for a Winter Season

Hello My Snow Lovers,

#Winteriscoming

#Winteriscoming

Only 4 weeks until I am back in the Alps and my shopping habits are exploding with new kit for the forthcoming winter. I for one am awful at packing light but for 6 months, this can be a challenge for anyone. SO here is FollowMeSki’s Guide: what to pack for a Winter Season and a little advise on useful websites to purchase those last min essentials….

Equipment
Purchasing your own equipment is not essential but I promise you after 4 weeks using rental kit you’ll want your own stuff. If you are keen to make a purchase I always start with BOOTS – having the right fitting ski/board boots is a game changer.  Make sure you get them fitted by a professional in a shop this is ESSENTIAL for maximum comfort and performance.
Below are some great websites that deliver internationally, SAVE them on your phone for when you decide to purchase your own equipment or if your new ski buddies are unsure of where to look…
FREEZE PRO SHOP: a FollowMeSki favourite I search all over the internet for ski clothing, kit, accessories and always wind up back here making my final purchases.
TELEMARK PYRENEES: this LITTLE  GEM of a website is a MUST for equipment, a French company who’s service and speed of delivery if just fantastic. The team will answer any questions you have and keep you personally updated with when to expect your parcel – this is where I bought my DREAM Armada ARWs a couple of years ago.
ELLIS BRIGHAM: a popular UK company who this week have exceeded my expectations. The customer service advisers are really ON IT and they are currently special ordering replacement parts for my ski boots that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else… SHOUT OUT to Wayne who has been dealing with all my emails.
GLISS SHOP: Popular with Seasonnaires they have great prices on equipment throughout the season, regular discounts + speedy delivery.
MOUNTAIN WAREHOUSE: this place is great for base layers, the products are long lasting and won’t break the bank.
BLUE TOMATO: a popular snow boarding site, stocking all the latest gear if you sign up to the mailing list they are always giving away some cheeky discount.
ABSOLUTE SNOW: all you need in one place and they stock some cool brands – my partner in crime is a BIG fan of this site.

Park Rats and Off Piste explorers
Aspiring or pro you will need some protective gear to help with the impact of taking your sport to the next level. Some may say these aren’t necessary but I am an avid supporter of anything which will help prevent injury or support an existing one:
Helmet
Back protector
Impact shorts
Wrist guards
(snow boarders)
Mouth guard (more for the pros)
Knee support – if you have dodgy knees get yourself a decent brace, they are very expensive to buy in resort and if you are skiing an existing injury is likely to get worse.
Avalanche kit – essential for off piste exploring, at a MINIMUM you should have a shovel, probe and transceiver.

General stuff:
x10 underwear and normal socks (gives you extra when you haven’t had time to do all your washing)
x7 pairs of ski socks
x2 PJs
Belt – nobody likes to look at your underwear when you are getting your cake out of the oven
x3 ski gloves (one thick pair for skiing, one thin pair of “pipe style” gloves for when it gets warmer, one pair of cheap black ones for snow shoveling and nights out)
Hats – beanies, bobbles, woolly, cap, any style you fancy a Seasonnaire essential
x1 ski jacket
x1 pub jacket
Salopettes
Thermal base layers
– essential for keeping warm and dry, try and get ones that say “quick wick” or have Merino Wool
Helmet
Buff for your face – wind chill sucks if you don’t have one
Wrist guards – if you are a snowboarder (the most common injury I’ve seen is broken wrists)
Goggles
Sun glasses
Winter boots
Trainers – for later on in the season
x1 Shorts – believe it or not it can get quite warm in resort at the end of the season
iPod/music device & headphones – If you like listening to tunes whilst shredding
Big baggy hoody – it will be your most worn item outside of work
Ruck sack – get one that is suitable for skiing, handy if you want to save money by taking food, water and extra clothing out on the hill
SPF50+ suncream & lipslave – even if you tan the sun is at it’s strongest in the mountains and the white snow can reflect to leave even darker skin tones burnt, use your head and protect your skin!
Extension lead/multiple plug thingy – this is the best thing I ever bought, you only need 1 adapter and 1 plug socket if you pack one of these
Xmas jumper – everyone seems to wear them around resort during the festive season
Face paint/glitter – at some point you will participate in DIY fancy dress
Hip flask – day off shenanigans
Condoms – nobody wants an accidental Alpine baby and the French Pharmacists are very judgmental if you have to do the “after pill” talk with them… pfft L’anglais 

Girls
No need for handbags just x1 small across one will do.
NO heels unless you want to BREAK YOUR NECK.
Cosmetics/toiletries you can buy from the the local Super Markets & Pharmacy but branded make-up is expensive so I would stock up and bring your own.
Sports Bra – you are doing extreme exercise, that lacey Victoria Secret number can be worn in the evenings.

I’d love to hear what YOU think are the essentials when packing for a Winter Season, please comment below or write to me & anything I’ve missed I will give you a shout out – let’s share the knowledge. 
Blog me…Until next time,
Snow Love,
Eloise

8 things to do in preparation for the Winter Season

Hello my Snow Lovers,
As the season countdown begins and only 8 weeks until FollowMeSki is back in the Alps, this list is for those Ski Bums heading out for the Winter Season…

1. TIME TO DUST OFF YOUR GEAR 

Put the summer kit away #winteriscoming

Put the summer kit away #winteriscoming

There is nothing more satisfying than putting the Summer clothes away and getting out all your old gear. Who wants to prance about in swimwear, shorts and T-shirts when you can wear big hoodies, woolly hats and cosy scarfs. Dusting off your old planks or board is like entering a time-machine taking you back to your last time on snow. This yearly ritual will having you itching for the Winter Season and the ADVENTURES you are about to embark on in a matter of weeks #winteriscoming .

2. SWOT UP ON THE LATEST GEAR AND TREAT YOURSELF TO SOMETHING NEW

Skier in the 80's vs Skier in the 2000's #parkrats #FollowMeSki

Skier in the 80’s vs Skier in the 2000’s #parkrats #FollowMeSki

Do you know your twin tips from your touring skis? Which board will help with that much needed pop and which will enable you to float in powder? Start swotting up on the latest gear and lingo for the forthcoming season and you can join in on the knowledge sharing when you get to resort. Check out:  Free Skier Magazine, White Lines and New Schoolers for gear reviews, forums and insider info.

3. AWAKEN THOSE MUSCLES AND BOUNCE YOUR WAY TO SKI
FIT

The ultimate pre-season workout #jumpnation #followmejump #skifit

The ultimate pre-season workout #jumpnation #followmejump #skifit

Try something different and check out your local Trampoline Park for the ultimate ski/board work out. My buddy and I went to Jump Nation in Manchester for an evening fitness class. * WARNING* you will nearly die, BUT your body will thank you later and what could be more fun than bouncing around on a trampoline, doing a full on aerobics workout whilst laughing your head off with a mate and listening to pumping dance music?
Visit: Jump Nation for more info

4. BRUSH UP ON YOUR LANGUAGE SKILLS: PARLEZ VOUS ANGLAIS?

Parlez vous Francais? #Followmeski #learnfrench

Parlez vous Francais?
#Followmeski #learnfrench

Even if you are migrating to an English speaking resort (cough Meribel) you will be surprised just how much further you get if you can speak a little of the Native Language. Our fellow Frenchies have all the time in the world if you show some respect and try to speak to them in French. Contact your local Community Centre or College for evening classes. I’ve just started a 10 week beginner course at the Guild in in my local town. If you don’t have the time or £ then order yourself the BBC Talk French book, CD and Grammar book – this is what I’m following in my night classes. 

5. PRACTICE BAKING THOSE DAILY CAKES

Baking's a bitch #glutenfreewhat #whywontitrise

Baking’s a bitch #glutenfreewhat #whywontitrise


If you are signed up for the chalet life this season then you better get practicing baking some cakes! Nearly all chalet companies will serve afternoon tea and this is one of your morning duties which holds you back from getting out on the hill – the more practice now the quicker you will be when it’s the real thing (psst it is harder for cakes to rise at altitude). My biggest advice is to practice baking gluten and dairy free cakes – you will be shocked how many dietary requirements you have to cater for in 6 months.   

6. GET SAVING SOME PENNIES FOR A WEEK OF OPENING PARTIES

Party time #FollowMeSki #RondPoint #Meribel

Party time #FollowMeSki #RondPoint #Meribel

One of the best things about the start of the season is OPENING PARTIES. If you are working in a resort you will no doubt be deep into training learning how to: clean chalets, serve up a 4 course dinner from a weekly set menu or how to rack up a line of “domino effect” Jaeger Bombs to Seasonnaires in their favorite watering hole. So when the pubs, clubs and apres bars start opening their doors, it’s a chance for you to let your hair down and get to know your new Seasonnaire buddies and Village Idiots.   

7. MINGLE WITH YOUR FELLOW SNOW LOVERS AT THE SKI & SNOW BOARD SHOW OR iF3 FILM NIGHT

Spend your evening watching the latest Ski Films and mingling with the pros

Spend your evening watching the latest Ski Films and mingling with the pros


Ski and SnowBoard Show #TheTelegraph #FollowMeSki

Ski and Snow Board Show #TheTelegraph #FollowMeSki

Nothing says Winter is coming like attending a Ski/Board event. Surround yourself with like-minded-people, drink some beer or mulled wine and immerse yourself in everything the Snow Sports Industry has to offer. Attend The Telegraphs: Ski and Snowboard Show for everything Industry related OR the iconic iF3’s International Freeski Film Festival where you get a sneak peak at the latest ski films for 2015/16 whilst rubbing shoulders with some Pros and BIG Freeski Brands.
iF3 London: Oct 15th 2015, @Clapham Grand.
Ski and Board Show: Oct 30th – Nov 1st, @Events City Manchester AND Nov 5th – 8th , @Battersea Evolution London.

8. TAKE TIME TO CHILL OUT

Chill Out #thewinteriscoming followeski

Chill Out #thewinteriscoming  #followeski

You are about to endure a Winter of WORK-SKI-WORK-DRINK-REPEAT make the most of being able to do nothing. Spend time with your family and friends. FollowMeSki says RELAX!

Blog me… Until next time,
Snow Love,
Eloise

ONE TO WATCH: Sarah Hoefflin

Hello my Snow Lovers,
I’m bouncing off the walls with EXCITEMENT. I’ve bagged an interview with one of the newest members of the SWISS FREESKI TEAM – SARAH HOEFFLIN!!! This female Shredder is an up-and-coming Park Slayer who is seriously ONE TO WATCH – you saw it here first peeps enjoy!

Sarah Hoefflin - one to watch

Sarah Hoefflin – one to watch

Name: Sarah Hoefflin
Age: 24
Country of origin: Switzerland
Languages spoken: French and English

Where did you learn to ski?
Various resorts around Geneva. La Dole and Hirmentaz (two tiny resorts) were probably the first places I step foot in, although I haven’t returned since about age 9. Meribel, Chamonix and Flaine were other resorts I frequently went to as a kid on holiday.
How has your skiing progressed over the years to get where you are today?
 As a child I lived just outside Geneva and so we often went skiing on weekends.  I moved to the UK at the age of 12 and I was a holiday skier up until I did a ski season in 2013/14 in Tignes and ever since I essentially haven’t stopped skiing. I got into freestyle in my first year of university (2010/11) and I took part in the university competitions but I used to get injured a lot from the lack of practice. I definitely progressed the most since I’ve been skiing on a regular basis, so the last year and a half. Being on the Swiss team is dope because I get a coach which makes it so much easier and faster to learn tricks. Plus I get to travel and ski all the time which is the dream

This Girls Can Fly

                 This Girl Can Fly

Tell me something we don’t know about you?
I have a degree in Neuroscience and the reason I did a ski season in the first place is because I failed to get into Medical School. It’s hard to think how different my life would be now if I’d had been accepted.
Slope style skiing only got accepted into the Winter Olympics last year. What do you think this has done for the sport – specifically females wanting to advance in freestyle?
Hard question as I don’t feel I’ve been in the sport long enough to know what difference Slopestyle’s acceptance as an Olympic sport has made. From what I’ve gathered so far is that it makes my life a lot more structured in terms of training. I’ve got to keep fit, go to the gym regularly and learn technically correct tricks all the time. In my opinion the increased structure to the sport will make girls progress a lot faster, but I know it’s put some skiers off due to a certain lack of freedom now.
In the ski world who do you admire the most?
I admire skiers who have a combination of the most skill, style and fun on the hill. I love Candide’s (Thovex) creativity and how he uses the entire mountain as his playground, and he’s one of the best and most diverse skiers. I also really like skiers with unique styles like Daniel Hanka and Henrik Harlaut.

Tail Grabbin

Tail Grabbin

Favourite trick & why?  Flat spins because they’re easy and fun.

Favourite resort? Le Fornet in Val D’Isere. I used to ski in the forest there as a child. 

Favourite ski film: The Level 1 films are really cool.

Favourite song/album to ski to: I don’t listen to music when I ski, it distracts me.

 

What is your advice to anyone wanting to take their skiing to the next level?
Practice in the right way. Knowing how a trick works is the most important thing so you know how to build up to that trick, which all goes down to having the right basic skills

Follow this up and coming FEMALE SHREDDER on Facebook  and Instagram and check out her latest pics, videos and travels – she’s just nailed her cork 7’s:

First cork 7 #winner #skiing

A video posted by Sarah Hoefflin (@hoffalish) on Aug 14, 2015 at 7:11am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Grab that tail - Sarah training in Sass Fee, Switzerland

Grab that tail – Sarah training in Sass Fee, Switzerland

Switching it up – making it look easy!

Big thank you to Sarah for her time, GOOD LUCK on your touring adventures!

Blog me…Until next month,
Snow love,
Eloise

Summer Inspiration PART 2

Hello my snow lovers!

Happy Monday! Lets take a trip to the EU and see what non-skiing summers have to offer…
City life… Do I hear London calling?

Meet Martha…

The beautiful and crazy Martha #londonbound

The beautiful and crazy Martha #londonbound

Summer location? Brixton, London, England

Do you have a job? If so what? Yes, I work in south London selling ski holidays!

How did you go about finding a job & what advice would you give to someone looking?  I’d suggest having something in mind before you get home, after my first season (13/14) I had nothing lined up and spent the first 4 weeks after I got home feeling massive season blues and bored with no job! After the season 14/15 I had everything sorted and lined up for getting home, so started my job 5 days after getting back.

London map from: mapsoftheworld.com

London map from: mapsoftheworld.com

What is your favourite summer experience so far? Living in London; I have only been a few times before, so it’s all new! I love my food and Brixton is great for that! Pop Brixton & Brixton Village have amazing pop up restaurants and just general London activities; Borris Biking, Camden Market, Portabello Road, Buckingham Palace etc…

Martha during her season in Meribel - she won "Best Line" at the womens SheRides competition

Martha during her season in Meribel – she won “Best Line” at the women’s SheRides Competition!

Quote of the summer:
‘Enjoy the little things’
– spending time with family and your best friends becomes SO important when you spend 5 months of every year away & summertime is not only a perfect time for this but the only time in our case!!
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I fancy a beach break…

Meet… Kean Dawg

Mexican, Kean Dawg, sun bed anyone?

Mexican, Kean Dawg, sun bed anyone?

Summer location? Jersey, a small island located North of France! The weather here is hot, and the surf is PUMPING!

Do you have a job? If so what?
My job is a Deck Chair Boy, I work down the main tourist beach called St Brelades Beach, the sand is the best in the British Isles apparently! My role involves setting up 150 sun beds in the morning depending on the weather, whilst in my speedos and my Mexican hat! I am on the beach from 8-5pm and spend most days re applying factor 50, at lunch I usually go for a dip in the sea to cool down!

Jersey map from: world-guides.com

Jersey map from: world-guides.com

What is your favourite summer experience so far? My favourite summer experience has to be the endless amount of parties in Jersey, the night life and community in Jersey is quality! One experience would be the summer of 2012 where we had a festival on the beach and ended up partying all night! Then the next day dragging sun beds at 8.00am dressed as a hobo!

Quote of the summer:
“Good morning Sir, that will be £4 for a bed”
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South of France anyone?

Meet…Mehole and Percy aka Mike and Ruth

South of France with Percy and Mehole

South of France with Percy and Mehole

PERCY…
What’s your Summer location and job?
 Admin and Marketing for a Luxury Transfer company in Cagnes Sur Mer, South of France

Tell me what you got up to when your Winter in Meribel ended? It started with a road trip from Meribel to Nice, a group of us drove down company vehicles in convoy. We made the driving more interesting by playing games like MOONING when we passed each other on the motorway.  En-route we stopped at some beautiful places; Sisteron, Bresson and Gap some of which were the locations for the TOUR DE FRANCE!

We bought bikes from a traveller we named CIA Tony and road them to Monaco for an adventure. Mike and I also did a camping trip to the Gorges Du Verdon you HAVE to go to this place it is just BEAUTIFUL! We also went to Cannes during the film festival and got a sneak peak of Cara Delevignes!

MEHOLE
Summer location and job?   Private Chef on Luxury Yachat

How’s boating life?  Hard work and can be good fun but it isn’t as good as skiing. On a winter season you get a better experience than your guests whereas boating your guests have all the fun. Sometimes you get a day off and can go Jet Skiing, Kayaking or take the Tender out. Boating life is the same day in day out, ski season life  – no day is the same. In the 3 valleys you can do something NEW and EPIC every day!

What is your advice to people thinking of joining the boating life and what will they need to get a job? Yacht work is good fun, good money and you do sometimes get to do awesome stuff. BUT you need to be sure you want to do it, you sacrifice a lot for money.
If looking for work there are two good websites:
Anglo Info: http://jobs.angloinfo.com/
Grey Coat Lumleys: http://www.greycoatlumleys.co.uk/
To work on a boat you will need to take the STCW Yacht qualifications this cost around 1200 euros. However, lots of people do the more traditional route and walk the docks handing out their CV and asking if there are jobs.

Percy’s quote of the summer:

“JUST BRILLIANT”

Mehole’s quote of the summer:

“Yamaskoona” – on the boat we used to listen to an audio book called “Sailing alone around the world” in the book one of the characters a Native American goes round the boats in the docks saying “Yamaskoona” which means give me.

Until the end of the month my Snow Lovers,

Blog me,

Eloise

What to do when the snow melts – Summer Inspiration Part 1

Hello my snow lovers

It’s the end of July, the height of the UK Summer and I’ve been tracking down my buddies located around the globe to see what they get up to when Winter Season is over. Hopefully this will inspire you to think outside the box and do something different.
When I initially asked my friends a few questions I did not anticipate what AWESOME answers they would give (THANKS GUYS!)  So in order to bring you as much detail as possible this month’s  post is going to be in 2 PARTS. The second part will be released on Monday(3rd August) – hopefully this will help you have your personal light bulb moment in planning your 2016 Season adventures.

PART 1: Beyond the EU boarders… First stop Chile

Meet Hannah…

Hannah skiing in Chile

Hannah skiing in the Andes #followmeski

First stop CHILE

Chile map from: operationworld.org

Summer in Chille

Photos of skiing the Andes, Farellones baby

Summer location?
Farellones, Chile – its Winter here and only 32km from Santiago the capital city of Chile.

Do you have a job? If so what? I’m managing a ski rental shop called BASE CAMP. There’s 4 chalets here but not catered so we have to look after clients in these chalets too. We also sell adventure tours on quad bikes in the snow, raquetas de nieve tours, ski tours etc…

How did you go about finding a job & what advice would you give to someone looking?  I was backpacking from Mexico to South America, my best friend in the UK has a friend who has this business here. They posted an ad on Facebook for a winter job and I applied. I had a Skype interview whilst on a beautiful beach in Nicaragua. After getting the job I made my way down to Chile for the ski season.

My advice for people looking for ski jobs would be to have a good CV, be ready to SAY YES TO EVERYTHING, TRY EVERYTHING, be CONFIDENT and have a SERIOUS PASSION for the sport – network & follow your dreams!

What is your favourite summer experience so far?
My fave experience this summer so far is backpacking with my little sister, my boyfriend and great friends Tim & Bonny. We travelled all the way from Mexico, through central and South America (12 Countries & still not finished). We couch-surfed along the way and met amazing new friends for life! I loved chilling in our hammocks on beautiful beaches, climbing volcanoes and RAVING at secret island parties with my boyfriend DJ-ing in all the different countries. Machu Pichu and the Bolivia Salt Flats also have to be two of the most amazing tours I’ve done on this TRIP OF A LIFETIME. Now it’s skiing the Andes Mountains Baby!

Quote of the summer:
“Travelling is the only thing you buy which makes you richer!”
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Next stop New Zealand
Meet Chloe…

Chloe like a BOWSE #newzealand #followmeski

Chloe like a BOWSE
           #newzealand #followmeski

Summer location?  Wanaka, New Zealand – chasing the winter!

Do you have a job? If so what? Yes I work evenings in a local Thai restaurant by the lake front which is awesome because I don’t have to be in work till 6pm so get the whole day to ski!   AND eat free Thai food! Haha!

Map of New Zealand from: http://www.wordtravels.com/images/map/New_Zealand_map.jpg

Map of New Zealand from: world travels.com

How did you go about finding a job & what advice would you give to someone looking? In NZ the best way to get a season job is to just blitz the town with your CV when you arrive, there’s a lot of passing tourists who only stay for a few weeks so once employers know you’re around for the season, more doors start to open!

Rail it - New Zealand #followmeski

Rail it – New Zealand #followmeski

What is your favourite summer experience so far? Just great days of park lapping! The park here at Cardrona is incredible and the level of riders is insane. The group of people who are here for the whole season is actually quite small so you get to know everyone from top athletes to local groms! Its a really nice community.

New Zealand #followmeski

New Zealand #followmeski

What is your quote of the summer?
“Let’s have some more winter!!!”

Until the end of the month my Snow Lovers,

Blog me,

Eloise

Post Season Comedown

Hello my Snow Lovers!

The Yeti has finally emerged from its’ cave. I’ve been hiding away the past couple of months recovering from end of Season parties (check out my new page “10 things that make the end of season not so bad” to see what I got up to) swiftly followed by a post Season come-down and back to the drain of the UK’s 9-5 lifestyle  – who said we had to live this way?

The more Seasons I do, the more strongly I feel about “making a life you don’t need a holiday from”. Recent Press has revealed more people are being diagnosed and signed off work with mental health issues than ever before – and we are SURPRISED by this?

Wake up – eat breakfast – got to work – come home – eat dinner – go to bed.

Live for the weekends” – which last all of two minutes may I add. If you are active you might fit in a gym session before or after work but seriously FRESH AIR and QUALITY of LIFE is what you need – not sweating it out in an air-conditioned box.

We are well into the Summer now and to combat my post-season depression I will be blogging once-a-month to keep you updated with what fellow Skiers and Boarders around the globe do when the Winter Season ends or doesn’t end as the case may be…  I will be releasing each blog post on the last Friday of every month up until November when Season 2015/16 kicks in.

In the meantime if you are stuck in the UK and need a post Season pick me up, how about heading down to your nearest FRIDGE for some indoor Skiing and Slope Style. My partner-in- crime and I hit up the Chill Factore, Manchester on Bank Holiday weekend to see what their bi-weekly freestyle nights have to offer…

Freestyle Fridays

Freestyle Fridays @ Chill Factore                                                        #followmeski #slopestyle #UKSKI

It’s safe to say after nearly a month of not Skiing or Boarding we felt like beginners. I attempted to Pretzel 270 out of the Yellow Pipe (see left of picture above) failing miserably and leaving with a VERY BRUISED coccyx. As for my other half, he tried Front Flipping onto a Box/Picnic Bench and snapped the tail end of his new Capita “Defenders of Awesome”(D.O.A) Board!
6 months of Boarding in the Park and flying off pro-line Kickers and this numpty snaps it at the Chill Factore!

Until the end of the month my Snow Lovers,

Blog me,

Eloise

EPIC SKI DAY 2: Off Piste with the big kids

So March has been a rather busy month my work/life/blog balance hasn’t gone to plan and the season is quite clearly coming to a slushy end. Anything below 1700 metres is struggling to be maintained and it is making me long for the few powder days that we did get this season. It’s been well over due that I told you about my second EPIC SKI DAY it may have been nearly a month ago now BUT it’s a story that needs telling…

I got a call on the Monday from my manager saying our BIG boss wanted to take us off piste skiing as we had a big dump that week. My nerves had started to kick in as the group I would be going with were all male, quite a bit older than me and very experienced skiers – my BIG boss is an ESF instructor.

After a lot of questioning whether it was right for me to go and worried I would hold them back, I had a chat with my dad who told me if it was him he would do it and if you are going off piste who better to go with than a professional (he did also tell me to give it a miss this time, which made me think I was going to miss out on something).

So I woke up nice and early on the Wednesday morning and put on my favourite girl rider film Pretty Faces in the hope that Elyse Saudstad’s words of “if I can inspire one girl to go and jump off a cliff that excites me” – would give me the boost I needed to JUST DO IT. Cliff drops weren’t on the menu of the day, however early morning I wasn’t sure what was – until we hit the slopes. Back country and off piste skiing has always been something I know deep down I am meant to do (I watch so many films) but I have this mental block that tells me all the dangers out weight the opportunities and although I can shred I constantly question – am I really good enough to take my skiing to this level?

So I met my colleagues at the top of Plan de l’homme chair lift. Our team consisted of my buddy Tom – Resort Manager, Ben – Ops Manager, Jason – a friend of theirs who manages another company and Iain – French Director who also happens to be an ESF instructor. I felt completely out of my depth. At the top of Tougnete 2 without a warning or a warm up, Iain pulled out his transceiver to check we were all connected – this made me scared. Suddenly he just jumps of the side of the piste and shouting follow me! He literally FLEW straight of the lip and down into some overgrown tree runs towards Meribel Mottarett – NOT my idea of a warm up.

In my general panic I followed skiing the worse I ever have, sweating and flustered I had a few falls and at one point wrapped myself around a bush. I had to flip over upside down in order to get out – all I could think was you stupid girl what made you think you could do this, the others must have been wondering why on earth they invited you. By the time we got to the chair Iain told me I looked shell shocked and that I need to calm down as we have a great day ahead of us.

After I had cooled down we made our way over to the top of the really long drag lift that takes to you Les Menuires. We hung a right  and traversed across the top which opened out into an INCREDIBLE powder field – more my cup of tea. Iain told me to tighten up my turns and lean more into my boots as I was pretty backseat – I was skiing on Line Celebrity 90’s, my first ever pair of skis. Although they are fantastic all mountain skis, they aren’t the most technical ski for chest deep powder.

Here is a rather wobbly attempt at showing you our day out:

Off Piste skiing #EPICSKIDAY #followmeski

Off Piste skiing #EPICSKIDAY #followmeski

We continue to ski this field of powder for over an hour hopping across the piste and then making our way through a deserted farm where the fence poles for the animals were sticking out above the snow.  At one point I caught my edge, stacked it and lost my ski, I have to say the hike back up climbing through deep powder to get it was torture. I thought I was going to pass out – and all I could think was if you had spent more time on your bike and less eating Weinholts Bakery treats this summer you would be more fit right now and not sweating like a pig.

Eventually we came to the main road that goes up to Val Thorens, we took our skis off and walked about 100 metres. We continued to ski down through what I presume was peoples back gardens, ending up in a little hamlet called Le Bettex just below Les Menuires. I didn’t know this place even existed but the 2 seat bench like chair lift told me it was quite a backwards little place. We started to head up to the top of Le Masse in Les Menuires. The initial plan was to drop off the back to the right, ski some famous off piste down to a restaurant and get a helicopter (YES A HELICOPTER) back to Meribel. Unfortunately the cloud came in as we got to the top, we waited 20 mins to see if it would pass over but nothing changed. Iain called the helicopter company who said they didn’t think it was a good idea. So instead we dropped off the left side down towards Val Thorens.

This run is very well know as it leads down to a frozen lake, the area is called Vallon Du Lou. It was some of the steepest and deepest terrain I have ever skied and at one point I started to freak out in my head. But then I had a flash back to the film I had watched that morning and I started to relax. Lynsey Dyer’s dad said to his daughter “dance down the mountain” be at one with the mountain and as cheesy as it is I kept telling myself tight turns, weight balanced, tips above the snow and dance down the mountain. I was shaking when I got to the bottom. I have never felt an adrenaline rush like it. I followed Tom along a path that snaked along the edge of a stream leading to the lake. At one point we had to crossover on a narrow plank of wood – my skis were too wide for the plank if I fell it was going to be VERY WET and VERY COLD.

When we got to the bottom we had to pole across the frozen lake, it was the most bizarre scenario, walking on skis past people in wet suits diving into small holes and going under the ice. People were also having picnics on top of the lake – MADNESS.

By this point my body was packing in, everything hurt, I felt like I had no breath left. We ended up at the bottom of the Boismint chair in Val Thorens and skied down the haute combe to the Moutiere chair lift. Here we made our way via pistes to the top of the Cascades chair lift where we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Chalet Marine. The chef here is famous for his pastry and has won the award in France in 2009 & 2011 for best pastry chef. We were lucky enough to drink lots of wine, eat lovely home cooked food and scoff 2 plates of patisserie goodies to share.
The only picture I took in the whole day:

Cake

CAKES #nommnomm #followmeski #chaletmarine

It was getting close to 4pm and we didn’t have long to shred back to Meribel and get the last chair lift up at 4:50pm. After such an incredible day and self-achievement I was looking forward to some cruising runs back home and telling my friends about my adventure…

But when you ski with keen off Piste skiers this doesn’t go the way you planned it. We got off the top of the 3 Vallees cable car and instead of following the piste, hung a right, traversed across a ridge and dropped down into a Couloir I didn’t even know existed – I guess this is the best part of off piste; finding untouched, unspoiled terrain. My lunch and alcohol churning in my stomach I managed to get down without a fall. The most satisfying thing was turning back to look at MY tracks. I have spent my skiing life on chair lifts looking up to the top of a ridge to see perfect lines in untouched powder. I have always though what crazy person would ski that? Well on this day it was ME, MY LINE.

We caught the Plan Des Mains chair up to the top of Mottaret at 4:50pm (phew) surely this is it? But no, the last run of the day was not cruising down Sittelle, through the park and down to Mottaret. Iain decided we should hike up the ridge behind Plattieres 3 overlooking the DC Area 43 park and drop off the back into a very famous area called “Mario Land” this place has been a mystery to me for so long – why is it called Mario ? Honestly, there are so many drops and things to dodge it is like you are Mario jumping around trying not to get hit. I have to say that I did not complete Mario Land, I followed Ben back on piste half way down as it was quite sketchy, the light was getting dark and I thought I had achieved enough for one day – sometimes it is better to quit while you are ahead.

We skied back to resort and I was high on life, never have I put my body through so much emotional and physical strain. BUT the achievement of completing a whole day off piste with the big kids, skiing terrain I didn’t know I was capable of, that made this one of the best ski day of my life and of course the most EPIC SKI DAY.

Transfertastic – rocks are falling

Hello my snow lovers,

Pinch punch first of the month… I has been snowing here in the 3 Vallees and the powder has been pretty dam good (another EPIC SKI DAY is on its way soon).

Unfortunately good weather means bad transfers and O BOY have the past two weekends been catastrophic. After the post-Christmas D-DAY of 27.12.14 you would think nothing can get any worse but as fate would have it, it can certainly try. Last weekend saw holiday makers getting to resorts at 2-3am after flights couldn’t land in all the major airports for the French alps. Geneva and Chambery closed due to bad weather, Lyon was partly closed and Grenoble although open, might as well have not been because planes couldn’t take off or land for over 4 hours.

Travellers on the MON2085 flight from Gatwick had their plane diverted to Lyon due to the bad weather and then were stranded on the tarmac with only a small glass of coca cola and nuts being offered for 8 hours. Toilets were full so staff were handing out bottles for passengers to wee in – seriously we are in Europe how is that even allowed? Passengers were unable to disembark the plane during their time at Lyon and no attempt was made to get them food or water. After 12 hours on a short hall aeroplane they finally landed at Grenoble around 8:30pm to then hit traffic on the journey to resort– not the best start to your hols.

After that you would think, surely next week will be fine? The weather forecast was clear what can go wrong? How about a GIANT ROCK falling on the road to Val Thorens on Friday night, smashing up the route out of resort so no one can get in or out? HOW TIMELY!

It's a GIANT ROCK #followmeski

It’s a GIANT ROCK #followmeski

Absolutely marvellous isn’t it? If you Google it you can see a helicopter video of how bad the road was and how far the rock fell. All I think is THANK GOD nobody was hit by it – 100 tons! Consequently for everyone travelling to a ski resort via Moutiers on Saturday the roads were carnage. No one could get out or into Val Thorens resulting in a back log of traffic so long it went past Moutiers towards Chambery. My coach left the airport on time only to hit traffic just past Grenoble. Our superman driver took a back route and sweet talked a police officer into letting us take a short cut. We skipped most of the traffic until we got re-directed back to the motorway by Aire de Langon. It took us 7 hours to get from the service station to resort – a journey that would usually only take a maximum of 40 mins.
So cheers to transfer days 2014/15! Another long day for me and all the holiday makers made slightly more bearable by Anchor Man 1 & 2 being played on the coach. The good news is the local authorises managed to move the GIANT ROCK and open the road on Saturday night so people didn’t have to sleep in sports halls! #seasonnaireproblems

On a lighter note the weather forecast this week is for more snow and although its looking more like rain at the moment I am staying optimistic. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings appear to be showing a bit of sun so fingers crossed!

I thought I would leave you with a treat, my buddy Rob Antill AKA Digital Antill who I bigged up on my first ever blog post has been back to visit. This talented snowboarder made another two AWESOME EDITS to get you in the mood for a shred. Make sure you check out my snow vids tab too to see what I am watching at the moment!.

Jib Ferrets

Jib Ferrets by the ever so talented Digital Antill

Click this link to watch: https://vimeo.com/120311932

Minute 16 by Digital Antill #followmeski

Minute 16 by Digital Antill #followmeski

Click this link to watch: https://vimeo.com/120311933

Blog me…Until next time,

Snow love,
Eloise