Learnt to ski:
When I was 4 at the Lecht in Scotland. I can vaguely remember the occasion – I’m sure I had red boots and was simply taken to the top of the hill and pointed down. My current style of skiing could still be considered similar!! In reality I think the hill my Dad took me to the top of was more likely a small lump by the car park but it’s good to imagine it was much bigger!
Most likely to be skiing on:
Armada Invictus or Rossignol Hero Masters. I love the Rossi’s for all things piste related. They are beasts and you can really concentrate and hone technique on them. Then it’s the Armada’s for the all mountain approach. Perfect tool for enjoying firmer snow on the pistes but also diving off the sides into deeper snow or more varied terrain.
Favourite area for teaching:
Probably straight out of the Chaudanne in Meribel. The Eterlou drag lift provides a brilliant red run with a quick turn around. Tougnete 2 has all those fantastic blue and red runs from the top with unbelievable views looking down the valley. And then of course – when it’s in condition – Les Bosses is a bumps run from heaven!
Favourite area for off-piste adventures:
So many to choose from. Mont Vallon. It’s massive. With so many choices. K2 couloir holds a very special place in my heart and reminds me of my very first season in Meribel back in 1998/99.
Can most often be found after skiing:
These days normally heading home to be with the kids and spending time with them. I do manage to squeeze in the odd apres ski drink from time to time or maybe a visit to the climbing wall.
Preferred choice of Savoyarde speciality dish:
Top 2 restaurants on the hill:
I think Soucoupe in Courchevel is a solid champion year after year and is a great place to enjoy a very good lunch. Then next choice is the Refuge du Lac du Lou which is relatively new and only accessible via some of the off-piste in Val Thorens or La Masse.
Favourite restaurant off the hill:
La Fromagerie in Meribel. Fondue “From Tom” every time.
Local bar of choice:
Sadly no longer an expert in the drinking establishments of Meribel!! Barometer is always a good place to visit. Will be nice to see Jack’s bar reopen again now too.
Best view in the 3 Valleys:
Skiing home from Courchevel to Meribel at the end of the day when the sun starts to set. From the top of Vizelle/Suisse area. Gives a fairly humbling view of the mountains.
Best advice (skiing related):
Just like learning any other skill or hobby it takes effort and concentration to get better. So if you are keen to progress and improve then be prepared to put those in. That said it’s also important to enjoy the challenge, the mountains and the sport for what it is. It’s supposed to be fun!!
Never spend a day on the hill without:
A snood. How did we ever live without them? Keeps you warm when it’s cold and protects you from the sun when it’s shining. I love mine. But I prefer the thin ones rather than the thick ones. We have some beauties at Marmalade that are perfect. Make sure and ask any of us for one and we’ll find you one.