This is not a blog post that needs much in the top half. So suffice to say it’s snowed loads, it’s snowing again today. Loads. And tomorrow. Loads. And last weekend you could ski Col de Mouche because the Chassoure bubble was open. OK the actual Chassoure-Tortin itinerary isn’t officially open yet, but does Verbier get better than a powder day with nobody around and Col de Mouche to yourself?

Probably, but right now I can’t think of anything.



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Last summer Toby found a brilliant new toy on the internet. A remote control helicopter. Well “quadrocopter”. And you control it from your iPhone. Which is a pretty cool way to fly anything really.

So naturally we saw this as a valuable addition to the ski school and got one. Sadly as it’s been a busy winter Toby hasn’t had the time to practice flying it much, so after he and Caroline organised an epic barbecue Tobes decided to show off his skills. They were slightly lacking.

A highly controvesial rule has been agreed by FIS the Skiing Governing body and SRS the Ski Racing Suppliers’ Association that will throw the Giant Slalom discipline back to the 90’s. The new rule effects the radius of the ski. The current FIS requirement is 27m, the new ruling will see an additional 8m to 35m.

The radius of the ski is the way of measuring the sidecut (or the hourglass shape) of a carving ski. Technically if you trace a line around one edge of the ski and continue round the full circle that then gives you the radius. Most piste skis have a radius between 14-18m. This gives you the opportunity to carve the ski at slow speeds.

Fundamentally this new ruling will make the skis straighter and longer similar to the 1990’s. The racer won’t be able to carve the ski round the gates so will have to steer and skid the ski.

Bode Miller is one of a number of high profile racers that are fighting to change the ruling “(The new regulations are) a complete joke,” Miller said. It’s going backwards every time they do a regulation. “This is another step back in time. Next year you will see people walking into a ski shop and buy better skis than we can race on in the World Cup. That’s a really bad situation.”

The new ruling has been defended by FIS and SRS as they claim it will reduce injuries (mostly ACL injuries of the knee) caused by the strain and stress of carving at high speed. but Bode disagrees:

“So to go back to skis from the early 90s is kind of a joke … It’s been a big jump from 27-meter radius to 35-meter radius. That could lead to a jump in injuries as well.”

Similar measures have been taken by other sports governing bodies in the past to reduce speed and incidents such as the FIA removing turbo chargers and grooving slick tires on Formula 1 cars. It was argued then that it would dilute the spectators experience. It seemed to make no difference down the line.

It would be surprising if this new radius ruling doesn’t effect the sport, you cannot argue that watching Bode carve round the GS course is impressive, will watching him skid around the gates have the same visual effect.

One thing is for sure. All those involved in the Euro test as part of their instructors qualification, will not be looking forward to jumping on a pair of straight retro skis, although it would give you an excuse to wear a one-piece!


Well, on the advice of Mike, Tobes an I nipped up to Ruinettes to see exactly what Mike, Televerbier and the massive double prop helicopter that’s been hovering over Verbier were up to.

Well, a lot. And very quickly. Because since 7.30 this morning they’ve put up absolutely loads of pylons, and all the running gear. The top station is looking like all it needs is a cable, some lifts and a bit of snow.

The pylons look ready to plonk that cable and some seats on and start rolling.

The bottom? Not so much…

Yeah, there’s some work to do down at the start, but it’s the big bit where they’ve been pouring concrete and building a pretty heavy duty installation. But that’s enough typing, because we have pictures of helicopters and that’s why you came here.

Plus a video. And if it sounds ‘a bit windy’ that’s because it is. Very. Try 100kph coming off those rotors…

Didn’t seem to bother the livestock though.

Yes, the interesting evening that is the Performance team dinner was held last night. As usual, Toby got over enthusiastic and started arm wrestling the girls for cash. He was less amused when he was beaten. Twice. Well done Gina and Karro, and thanks everyone for a most amusing night…

The time had to come eventually. Kent has decided that he will accompany me to the Ski Show this week. I am not sure if I should be scared or grateful. I mean I could use the help, there is only one of me and a whole load of people to talk to (business..!!). But considering that he hasn’t set foot in the UK for a number of years I am a little concerned that he may have something else on his mind.

Well, we’ll soon find out. What this space for photos and comments…! It should be fun…T