Two skis good, two wheels better?


From the top of Les Carroz looking down on the cloud-filled valley

After the drive back from skiing in Meribel between Christmas and New Year re-aggravated my sciatica, the walking in the Lake District went remarkably well.

Having survived that, the sensible thing would have been to rested the creaking body for a while but the day after the Lakes was my aunt’s funeral – and the day after that we left to drive back to the alps for a second skiing holiday. Ridiculously decadent, I know, but this one had been planned before we received the kind invitation to Meribel.

The drive out was good – I remembered to sit as far back into the seat as possible to keep my back supported and no damage was done on the 712 mile journey.

We were out for over two weeks – joined by some friends for 4 days over the first weekend and by our older son and his girlfriend for 4 days over the second.

Initially we had a huge amount of new snow and dodgy visibility but then the sun came out to play and the new snow was a real treat. I was pathetically pleased to record over 60 mph on skis for the first time – only to see that my son had hit 82.3 mph. They are a great reality check, children.

A great holiday all round – it was our son’s girlfriend’s first time out on the slopes and she took to it really well, so another recruit to the happy world of skiing.

Here’s a photo I took on my ‘everesting’ last summer (Everesting, summer 2017) and a photo taken from the ski lift looking back to the point where the first was taken.



The only blot on it all was putting the snow chains on and off – most notably on the decent leaving the resort. It had snowed in the night and the rear wheel drive and ordinary tyres produced almost no grip at all – lord how I wished I’d put them on in the warm, dry garage before leaving. (Reinforced note to self: 4 wheel drive and winter tyres next year).

The drive back went well too – it looks like the seating position is key to helping both the back and the sciatica. Less happily, this morning I weighed in at just over 70kg – the specialities of the Savoie (particularly cheese, bread and potatoes) have taken their toll.

I’m sure the skiing is a relatively poor exercise – the Garmin typically records me as burning off 3500-5000 calories in a day out on the slopes …. but that’s recorded without the knowledge that I’m on a ski lift for the uphill bits!

So, enough of the skiing and back to the cycling – something I’ve not done on the road since early November (during which time I’ve only done 2 hours on the trainer). It’s going to come as a bit of a shock to the system – but a necessary shock, I fear.

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