THE AWARD-WINNING WINTER SKI BLOG

Our award-winning (eight and counting) ski blog featuring (almost) daily updates on the latest news and views

The latest Ski Blogs brought to you from the Southern Alps with guest posts from our contributors, currently including the coronavirus situation and its effect on life in the mountains and the future for skiing and ski resorts...

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Running and down up the Col du Granon one of the Big Three Cols of Serre Chevalier - and the final dramatic climb for the Tour de France on 13th July

So it was Big Wednesday, yesterday, as we ran up the Gruesome Granon. It's just over 1000m climb and 11.4k, hard enough on a bike but even more of a challenge to run...

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Upping the ante, running up the famous cols of Serre Chevalier, starting with the Col du Galibier and building up to the mighty Col du Granon...

It's our annual ascent challenge, running up the The Big Three: Galibier, Granon and Izoard. This week we ticked off Galibier accompanied by Ullr our Husky cross, known as Ullr the Puller...

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Serre Chevalier Briancon has gone Cycling crazy it seems

There are so many cycling events up and down the valley this summer. Apart from the main events there are many independent groups and private events cycling the legendary cols....

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As so many have our same mindset, switching from skis to wheels or running shoes for summer action adventures, SCOTT Sports have launched SCOTT Travel

The end of the ski season isn't the end of keeping fit. We are now pedalling and running, swapping the mountains for a beach, the snow for sand, maintaining fitness until we ski again...

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Packing the van complete with three dogs for a month kitesurfing, road cycling, mountain biking and trail running in Los Canos de Meca close to Cadiz.

Our Road Trip to Los Canos de Meca in Spain became a Road Drip with epic rain for nearly the whole three day drive. If only we'd had half that precipitation as snow during the winter in the Alps...

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Ski touring or cycling later in the day are the decisions to be made this time of year as we hope for sub-zero temps overnight or temps in the 20s by noon

As so often happens in April one day we can be ski touring early in the morning in perfect spring snow and the next taking cycling up to the snow covered cols that may or may not be open

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Serre Chevalier has displeased the Snow Gods this season, the icing on the cake was substantial snowfalls in the Northern Alps and on the Italian Frontier

What a difference a few kilometres make. With little fresh snow in Serre Che, Montgenevre, 11km as the crow flies, scored 30cm and Claviere next door Italy had nigh on 40cm...

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Exercise. Fresh Air. Camaraderie. These are all said to contribute to a longer and happier life. Which is why ski touring must be good for you...

10,000 steps a day? Pah. Try ski touring up a mountain and skiing down in technical conditions. Yesterday we met a group all over 85, proof that ski touring helps you live to a ripping old age...

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What is the best way to cross the Channel, the tunnel or the ferry? Does comfort win over speed, whilst Eurotunnel is faster, is it better than the ferry?

Over the years we've travelled to and from our home in the Hautes Alpes many times. But which is the best way and the cheapest to travel, the tunnel or the ferry, as both have their advantages?

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Last new snow we had in Serre Chevalier was 9th January followed by 5 weeks of sunshine. While the pistes have been good, off piste has been non existent

It's been a long wait but, finally, we have new snow, opening up the options for scoring fresh tracks, using first lifts and a longer ridge hike to stay ahead of the off piste pack desperate for powder...

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While snow is sparse in France at the moment, Covid cases are spiralling out of control., just in time for February half term holidays

With infections hitting over 500,000 in one day in France and a lack of masks on ski lifts, it was inevitable we'd catch Covid. So will half term mean infections going through the gondola roof?...

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On a cold Sunday morning, 200 runners headed up the mountain, slipping on the icy trails, to take part in the 10k and 20k Serre Chevalier Snow Trail races

We slipped and slid 589m up the icy trail then waded down in deep snow and tripped over rocks for the multi-terrain challenge of the 10k Serre Chevalier Snow Trail - that was actually 11.57km...

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How an e-bike can add to the ski touring experience taking you far and beyond the usual ski tour routes. Why it pays to switch on to ebiking for ski tours

So investing in an e-bike to ski tour was a big decision. For one, I'm not a great fan of power-assisted cycling BUT it has to be said that for ski touring an e-bike opens up great possibilities for new routes...

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Going the extra mile for ski touring to find peace and quiet and well as untracked snow, where the new wave of ski tourers have not flooded the mountain.

There's no such thing as a free lunch, especially when you're ski touring and burning off calories to not only earn your turns but also to ski down for a backcountry lunch in the sun...

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What are the logistics in using an ebike fatbike to ski-tour, is it possible & what preparation must you consider & what type of snow is best for an ebike?

For a few years I've been considering if using an ebike / fat bike to go ski touring might be a good option, knowing full well that it's not simply a case of taking skis and getting on your bike!

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With a bad start to the season came good snowfall then strong winds and rain, followed by 40cms and more wind. So where to find best route for ski touring?

After shredding the fresh 40cms of snow from the lifts with the stress of skiing untracked before others took your line, we decided on the calm of ski touring but where to go given the current conditions?

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Why skiing or snowboarding is great exercise and also declutters the mind so all you think about is skiing better and avoiding ice, bumps and trees.

Do you think about politics and pandemics while skiing? A pint of beer for après. Or when the mountains are calling are you too busy thinking about how you're skiing to answer them?...

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With no off piste conditions at the moment, the only option is skiing in resort so it's finally time to buy some piste skis to enjoy the groomers.

It's taken a snow drought creating zero touring conditions, to persuade me I need skis a little more user-friendly for the hard-packed pistes in resort than 106 lightweight touring skis...

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Wrong Covid test, missing documents and no residency or essential reason, are all traps to fall into when travelling to France under current regulations

As in The Great Escape, we Brits need all the right papers plus essential reasons and vaccination proof for travelling to France or risk being sent home. So hold your nerve at border control...

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The wearing of masks in lifts and queues is compulsory but are people adhering to the rules, and are the lift staff even attempting to enforce the rules?

The high season hordes are now in the valley, so I chose to go up the mountain at lunchtime to avoid the lift queues, using the Pointillas gondola rather than the chairlift. So face masks on? ...

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British skiers and snowboarders now have to cancel their Christmas holidays in France, bringing another wave of despair to the French ski resorts

The headline in Le Dauphine says it all, 'What to do without the English?' The announcement that France is closed to Brits from midnight Friday, came just as many are due to arrive for Christmas...

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The wind, sun, aspect and temperature all affect the snow off piste, so what looks like perfect powder can turn out to be something a lot more challenging.

According to the saying, there is no such thing as bad snow, just bad skiers. Even for good skiers, off piste snow can be far more challenging than it looks. That's when it becomes 'technical'...

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It's the week before the official holidays, but the pistes here in Serre Chevalier are super-deserted thanks to Covid caution causing cancellations.

So what is it like using ski lifts again after 21 months? There's varying enforcement of Covid regulations such as face masks and a distinct lack of people on the pristine pistes of Serre Chevalier...

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Transceiver, radio, mobile, avy bag, smart watch, GoPro 360. Ready for action? Check. These days we have to remember to charge and turn on the gadgets.

Going on a ski tour means remembering a whole load of tech gear to bring with us and have fully-charged. It also means testing our search skills with transceivers, helped out by the rando chiens.

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Ullr the Norse God of snow & Patron Saint of Skiers delivers and Ullr the Alaskan Husky sled dog discovers deep Japow cold powder is easy to run through

We had about 45cms of Japow cold powder up the hill and it was deep, so deep I daren't take the Jack Russells as I would have lost them!! While, Ullr, who you can just see behind me loved it...

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After 21 months, we were back on the chairlift, masks on and pass sanitaires on our mobiles. None of which were requested. Goggles, though, were essential.

We expected queues on the first pre-season day in Serre Che, with the pass sanitaire and masks at the lifts now 'obligitaire'. But the chairlift was empty at noon with no checks made by the lifties...

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It was our first ski tour of the winter and the first ski tour EVER for our mountain pup. Happily we found 30cms of powder for him and us to play in.

He's called Ullr, after the Norse snow god, bred here in Serre Chevalier, born to run on the snow-covered slopes. His mum is an Aussie Collie, his dad was a bit of a mystery, until now...

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Author of best-selling Skiing With Demons, Chris Tomlinson is hiking in the Lakes and taking selfies, holidaying on his own before the ski season starts

Taking selfies with inconveniently located rocks is one way that Chris 'my shadow's the only one that walks beside me' Tomlinson is filling his 365 days of holidays before the ski season...

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Author of best-selling Skiing With Demons, Chris Tomlinson is stuck in the UK, walking with demons, all the staycationers currently unable to go abroad...

With selfie-seeking hikers queueing up Snowdon, Chris Tomlinson, says it's like half term on the piste, without the fear of being felled on a fell by a French kamikaze walker...

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Our Style Altitude ski touring Jack Russells, have been joined by a mountain mutt with the strength, stamina and character to make a great powder hound...

He's called Ullr, after the Norse God of Snow, and Patron Saint of Skiers, said to 'cover the land in snow' so let's hope our mountain pup brings us epic snow next winter in Serre Chevalier...

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Yesterday, we got a weather warning, here in Serre Chevalier. A chilling reminder that mountain weather is unpredictable and can be brutal.

One day it's sunny and warm, the next it's cool. That's what we expect here in the mountains. It can be cloudless in the morning and raining a hooley in the afternoon. So be prepared...

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After last season's Covid-created ski drought, Rob Stewart, ski journalist, is determined to make up for lost ski time with a plan for winter 2021-2022...

For the first time in 40 years ski journalist, Rob Stewart, did not ski last winter. But he's planning to make up for that lost ski season with 5 months of ski trips for winter 2021-2022. .

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The classic route up, the Col du Galibier, the fifth highest mountain pass in the French Alps running 6.5km to reach the top at 2642m,

How I managed to become not only Queen of the Mountain but also the Local Legend by running up the classic Col du Galibier, which at 2642m is the 5th highest mountain pass in the French Alps...

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The valley is getting ready for the Summer season and as you drive along the valley so there are numerous bike shops with their hire bikes outside,

It's that time of year when best to get out early and be back before 14:00 so as to avoid getting caught in a violent storm of which there have been quite a few causing flash-floods and landslides

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The first lift is open is Serre Chevalier since September 2020. For this summer, it's Vive les Vacances, holidays as usual and a Gallic shrug to Covid...

Sacre bleu what's happened to elbow bumping, here in France? Faire la bise, cheek to cheek greetings are back. As resorts open for summer, the French are treating Covid with a Gallic shrug...

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Usually by the end of April I've managed to cycle at least one Hors catégorie (HC) climb with Covid restrictions limiting me to 10km that was not possible

So on arriving back in Serre Chevalier after two weeks in the UK, I had some catching up to do but would all the cols be open? And would the weather gods be smiling on me?

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As the Humans have come back to the UK we're all in quarantine. And we're all going barking mad.

The Humans said we dogs would be put in quarantine if we didn't have our jabs so it's kinda ironic that they are the ones now locked up - and now we're all in the doghouse for possibly 10 days...

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Post-Covid there's a rush to buy property in ski resorts. Semi-residences in the mountains are the future for guaranteed skiing and a healthier lifestyle

Second home in the mountains? Or is it now your semi-residence? There's a rush to buy property in the mountains to spend more time skiing, even WFH - and as a refuge from future pandemics...

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With lack of snow, warm temps AND radioactive sand from the Sahara, this ski season in Europe has not been the best - even without the chaos of COVID...

For all those who didn't make it skiing or snowboarding in France because of COVID we bring you RANMO - Relief At Not Missing Out - as the snow disappears after one of the worst winters...

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You have to question the wisdom of heading uphill on rented kit with knowledge of ski touring - and no idea how to ski what are now quite gnarly pistes...

The Covid crisis has been a huge catalyst in the increase of ski tourers, which has been predicted for the last five years. But those who go up must come down - and not always successfully...

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While most Brits have written off skiing this winter in the Alps, I made a last ditch attempt to make it over the barbed wire fence to France.

Facing a barbed wire fence on a Triumph TR6 Trophy would be less daunting than jumping the Covid created fences to get out of the UK and into France but, yes, The Great Escape is possible...

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Ski touring around Serre Chevalier in February. The latest report on conditions

As we enter a decidedly warm spell of weather I decided to ski tour on the south-facing slopes above us to score some spring snow where I discovered the peril of the red snow...

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Gutted not to make it to the mountains this season thanks to Covid? So how do you feel about videos of skiers and snowboarders out there shredding the pow?

Are you stuck in The Comparison Trap? Unable to get to the mountains, do you watch videos of skiers and snowboarders shredding the pow (including those from our crew) - and weep?

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So what is life like in Serre Chevalier Ski Station with the lifts, bars and restaurants closed and curfew from 18:00 and how is it affecting businesses?

Over the New Year the resort was busy even with bars and lifts closed. There was the hope that the ski resort lifts would open for half-term holidays, just one more forecast that failed to deliver...

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The prospect of no ski lifts working is not much of a problem for us as we don't tend to use them the majority of the time

Now the problem is getting away from all the people who have recently discovered ski touring, or just climbing up the mountain on snow shoes with boards and skis on their backpacks...

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With Brexit on the horizon careful planning was needed to make sure we could spend the ski season in Serre Chevalier but that was before Covid took hold

When we left Serre Chevalier in June 2020 after enduring 58 days of 1km and 1hr from home lockdown we planned to be back in Serre Chevalier before the beginning of the ski season...

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How to stay safe ski touring. Carefully study the aspect and snow conditions, choose a not-too-steep slope. Then go up, transition, ski down - and repeat.

With no lifts open, ski touring is the obvious option. But there's dubious snowpack at high altitude. What to do? Study the terrain, find a safe slope with cold pow. Then do laps Japanese style...

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At the start of what should be the ski season, the lack of snow, closed lifts and Brexit are creating a perfect storm for the future of ski resorts...

There's high pressure over the Alps - and that's just from European governments insisting on lifts closing. It's also caused extreme pressure for the industry with fall out for the future...

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The new DPS Pagoda Touring skis with Phantom waxless base and Xenic 10 bindings. Also SCOTT 105 Scrappers and Alpride avy bag. Ready for ski season 2021.

New DPS Pagoda 106 touring skis. Tick. New Xenic 10 touring bindings that release below DIN 6. Tick. Skins. Tick. New ski pants. Tick. Now all we need is snow - and to be able to ski again...

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The effect of Covid-19 on skiing is a potential upswing in ski touring this ski season winter 2021 to avoid restricted lifts and crowds in ski resorts

With ski resorts potentially having to restrict lift and restaurant services, this winter, if not even cancel, there's a big buzz about going ski touring instead but is this really good news?...

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If you're not fit it's going to hurt going skiing or snowboarding. Literally when it comes to thigh burn and, possibly worse from serious physical trauma.

There are now less than 70 days before the start of December and first lifts opening in the Northern Hemisphere ski resorts (just don't mention the 'c' word as in Covid-19). So time to get ski fit ?...

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Post Covid travel in Italy. What happens when the van breaks down and you need to rebook your ferry? Then risk life and limb in an Italian taxi.

Let's face it there are worse places for your van to break down than the Italian Alps where there's always an adventure to be had whether climbing, hiking, taking a bus to Chamonix or an Italian taxi...

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Travelling back to the Italian Alps in July post Covid-19 lockdown. What could possibly go wrong?

Getting out of Dodge (Italy) in haste back in March, it seemed a good plan to return, post covid lockdown, and collect all the gear before heading back to the UK. But make a plan, make God laugh...

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The latest ski blog reporting on the latest news from the mountains and life as lockdown restrictions are lifted and businesses go back to a new normal.

For all those with FOGO, Fear Of Going Out after weeks of living in a secure bubble during coronavirus confinement, here's the perfect summer holiday, a bubble in the mountains...

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The latest ski blog about the Covid-19 effect on skiing life next winter from Chris Tomlinson, author of Skiing With Demons

What is the future for skiing next winter? Avoiding covidiots on the piste? Why even go to resorts with no apres? So will it be ski touring in the Alps? Or maybe skiing in England as a last resort?...

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It's a great time of year to take advantage of roads still closed to traffic as the Col du Galibier and Col d'Izoard do not open till the end of the May.

With better weather since restrictions were eased it's perfect timing to take advantage of the roads that are still closed as they clear the snow up to the Col du Galibier and Col d'Izoard...

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It's now May and the Rando Chiens are riding the coronacoaster by playing games with the wildlife in Serre Chevalier

Now the marmottes are out in full whistling force it's game on for us Jack Russells. It's like Whac-A-Mole but we have more fear of catching the Humans' COVID-19 than we do a marmotte...

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Finally able to cycle more than one km from home and leave the turbo in the garage to gather dust, only one small problem we still have snow at altitude

The cycling season for me would normally start in late March but 8 weeks of confinement meant I could only cycle within a one km radius of home, so other strategies were required to get cycling fit...

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The latest ski blog from the French Alps where the resorts are gearing up for opening in seven weeks time for summer holidays.

The French hills are alive with the sound of the tourist industry gearing up for opening in seven weeks time with all the optimism of Julie Andrews skipping over the hilltop meadows...

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Skiing With Demons author, Chris Tomlinson latest ski blog about life during the coronavirus crisis in the UK

The ever-chilled Skiing With Demons, Chris Tomlinson on lockdown in the UK is now facing the Fridge of Life and assessing his own sell-by date during his mid-to-late life coronavirus crisis...

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The coronavirus effect on skiing next winter with the latest news plus views from Simon Hudson, Tourism Professor, skier and author of COVID-19 & TRAVEL

Social distancing on chairlifts? Is this the future for ski resorts plus higher costs? We look into the murky crystal ball - and run up the hill to see if there's enough snow for a last ski tour...

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The lastest ski blog during week 8 of lockdown in France with deconfinement less that a week away.

There is less than a week until the lifting of lockdown. Will there be fear of going out, FOGO, or will everyone rush to escape the cities? Here in the mountains the biggest fear is an avalanche of invaders...

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The lastest ski blog from Serre Chevalier during the coronavirus lockdown in France

France has unveiled plans for AD, After Deconfinement with more freedom to exercise and socialise. Will life go back to BC Before Coronavirus? And will there be snow for a final ski tour?...

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It was an abrupt end to the season in La Grave where mountain life in the villages has meant adapting to the restrictions to freedom let alone freeriding

They're not used to restrictions in the freeride playground of La Meije. Josefine As, married to high mountain guide Per, describes life in lockdown in their village above La Grave...

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The regular dog's blog about two Jack Russells, the Rando Chiens, who are surviving with the Humans during the coronavirus lockdown in Serre Chevalier

Surviving corona as in virus rather than beer, the Rando Chiens are on heightened guard duty. Food-wise, they've got the situation licked but currently they're much less keen to lick the Humans..

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Skiing With Demons author, Chris Tomlinson writes how living with the demons of Covid-19 suddenly got a whole lot worse...

Life at the moment is a puzzle for Skiing With Demons author, Chris Tomlinson facing the real demons of Covid-19. When his ICU consultant wife becomes unwell he goes to pieces...

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The latest report from North America from sewing face masks to second home restrictions to Sundance optimistically giving an opening date of 15th May...

Ski goggles are still being donated and The North Face is giving 50 percent discounts to frontliners, Ikon is extending earlybird offers, there's virtual apres ski and FOGO is now the new FOMO...

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The regular dog's blog about two Jack Russells, the Rando Chiens, who are surviving with the Humans during the coronavirus lockdown in Serre Chevalier

Training the Humans is a work in progress. We've taught them basic obedience so they feed and stroke us on command but when chasing scents we've found you can't teach an old Human new tricks...

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Skiing With Demons author, Chris Tomlinson, is now living with the demons of Covid-19...

Dispatches from the home front in the UK where Skiing With Demons author, Chris Tomlinson is fighting for the sofa with the Labrador while his ICU consultant wife is battling on the NHS front line...

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The latest report from North America from sewing face masks to second home restrictions to Sundance optimistically giving an opening date of 15th May...

How are they coping in the mountains over the pond? After 3 weeks of lockdown there's talk of banning outdoor exercise but there's optimism keeping the stoke going #wewillskiagain...

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Locals getting a little frustrated now along with Fake News

As we enter the third week of lock-down and the Easter Holidays many who would normally welcome visitors to the valley are up in arms on Social Media as a few tourists arrive...

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The lastest ski blog from Serre Chevalier during the coronavirus lockdown in France

The world has been turned on its head these last 21 days of lockdown in France. But we're fortunate that our view of the pistes, even upside down, is still breathtaking albeit frustrating...

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The last two weeks of lockdown have seen us exploring our backyard in far more depth. In fact, we've been going back over some 70 years to plan new routes

The last two weeks of restrictions in France have seen us exploring the trails in our backyard in far more depth. In fact, we've been going back over some 70 years of mapping to plan new routes...

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Ski gear is still being worn in North America. Donations of goggles and ski gloves for protective wear are now being given to healthcare front liners...

It's an uphill struggle and we don't mean for those continuing ski touring. No we're talking about the fight against coronavirus as ski goggles and ski gloves are being given to healthcare front liners...

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How two Jack Russells, the Rando Chiens, are surviving during the coronavirus crisis lockdown in Serre Chevalier

The Humans continue to worry us. They've become obsessed with exercise. What used to be a fun walk everyday has turned into boot camp, which might not be such a bad thing for Mamma Kiki...

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We're now getting into dangerous territory when it comes to surviving lockdown in Serre Chevalier.

This should have been the last day of lockdown, instead we have at least another two weeks so route-finding is a new pastime that takes us into dangerous territory (domestically-speaking)...

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How the lockdown seems to be working here in Serre Chevalier with only a few cases or coronavirus.

In France, the PGHM are hunting ski tourers, even locals, and fining them. But, the good news we learnt, yesterday, is that there are currently only three coronavirus cases in Briancon hospital...

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The coronavirus crisis with lockdown in France from a dog's view.

It may be a crisis for humanity but for us dogs these are the best of times, with daily walks up the hill, welcoming the fresh smells of spring and giving chase to a very large sausage on short legs..

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Now getting used to the lockdown in France although starting to become a little paranoid about going shopping.

So much has happened to affect our daily lives since the start of the lockdown in France but who would have thought that two weeks later we would become almost nervous to go to the supermarket!...

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There's lockdown in North America but, in some resorts, ski tourers are still heading up and down the slopes and porch parties are the new apres.

While it's Groundhog day here in Serre Che with lockdown just extended to 15th April, check out the latest from North America, where there's still ski touring and porch parties are the new apres...

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The coronavirus is a crisis for humanity but it's a cloud with a silver lining for the planet, reducing pollution and giving nature a chance to breathe.

While noticing the silence of the roads, the lack of planes in the sky and the bees in the blossom, it's as if the planet is taking a long, deep breath of fresh air while humanity is on forced lockdown...

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Now we are facing new challenges to stay fit (and sane) as the rules of lockdown in France and the limits to exercise become even more strict..

All the normality of life with ski touring at this time of year in the mountains has now been replaced by the latest rules of lockdown and a new normality with its challenges to stay fit (and sane),...

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Today we have an even stricter lockdown in France limiting exercise to within 1km of home and for only one hour a day..

From today there is a stricter lockdown in France reducing the distance and time for going out in the fresh mountain air. The Rando Chiens, meanwhile, are oblivious and go on a wild boar chase...

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Day 6 Lockdown: Discovering the best walking routes for when we might have to go into stealth mode

Evidently later today Macron might well introduce more stringent measures to the current containment protocol, which for us seems bizarre as we are already well isolated here...

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The end is nigh for exercising if France restricts going out to 500m from home but that's the least of our worries.

As Pestilence, the First Horseman of the Apocalypse is riding the earth and the PGHM is hunting down ski tourers, we're left to run on (or lie in) the eerily empty roads and hike in the hills behind us...

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What's happening in ski resorts in Canada and the USA with lifts closed because of COVID-19.

Across the pond, the aim was for 100 days skiing in Sun Peaks for Louise Hudson, But that was in BC (British Columbia), BC (Before Coronavirus) and the shut down of the lifts across North America...

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Day 4 lockdown in France and restrictions to exercising: Now could this hike be construed as a mountain activity?

As we live at 1,400m anything we do exercise-wise could in effect be breaking the current lockdown rules set by the PGHM? So when does a walk from our apartment become a mountain hike?

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Day 3 Lockdown: When even a dog walk in Serre Chevalier can suddenly turn into a rescue service situation.

Dog walking is one activity currently allowed during lockdown in Serre Chevalier deemed unlikely to involve the rescue services. But when you have a fearless Jack Russell anything can happen...

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Day 2 Lockdown: Some still are touring, resulting in us calling the PGHM to report an incident exactly the reason why ski touring is now 'interdit'

So was a tad frustrating to see a fair number of local ski tourers climbing the pistes we can see in front of us, however we have accepted our fate, helped by the fact that I can still cycle...

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The abrupt end to skiing and ski touring is like going cold turkey. But some are taking the request not to ski tour more seriously than others in France.

There are worse places to be in lockdown. The sun is shining, the view is spectacular and we have plenty of loo paper. But it's like going cold turkey staring at the snow covered mountains...

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Is that really the end for skiing and ski touring in France for this winter 2020?

We were ski touring in Serre Chevalier when mobiles pinged with rumours that France was going into lockdown potentially within 24 hours. Was this the last tour before going into ski-hab?

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With lifts closed in Serre Chevalier following the government's decision to close 'all non-essential locations' it's time for some piste ski touring.

Why not? Walk the Rando Chiens and clear the head from last night's end-of-the-world party while enjoying the empty pistes. After all, it's not often that the dogs get to run on groomed corduroy...

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So the ski resorts suddenly grind to a halt in France with four hours notice for non-essential locations to close.

The snow ploughs were grooming the pistes in Serre Chevalier at 8pm last night as French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced that the country must 'close all non-essential locations'...

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Ski resorts remain open in France despite coronavirus pandemic crisis

How long will the French resorts remain open with the government now restricting gatherings to 100 people? The answer is a very Gallic shrug of the shoulders so keep calm and carry on skiing...

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The growing concern over coronavirus in France

With all the ski resorts closed in Italy will France be next to shut down the lifts? The fear of coronavirus is gathering momentum like a snowball down a couloir. So what happens next...?

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They may be small but they have hearts of lions. Why Jack Russells make the best powder hounds (with a lift now and again).

When the going gets tough, our ski touring Jack Russells might need a lift. Our world famous lion-hearted Rando Chiens sometimes need a dog's best friend as in a man to carry them along the traverses...

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The early bird catches the pow. Finally the Southern Alps were nuked last week with almost a metre of snow and cold temperatures providing blower pow.

If you are of a FOMO disposition do NOT read this ski blog about the storms in the Southern Alps, last week, providing four days of some of the best sidecountry powder skiing in Serre Chevalier...

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Our ski touring crew moved to Furano and finally to Sapporo experiencing a snow storm, closed lifts, more skinning, Japow and Japanese culture.

From Furano to Sapporo for the finale of our ski touring adventure in Hokkaido. With a storm blowing in and lifts closed where to go? Skinning up through the trees, of course, for boot-deep pow...

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Ticking a major box while in Japan is to ski tour up Mount Yotei, the famous volcano overlooking Niseko and make first tracks skiing down into the crater.

Stealth ski touring means choosing your moment. Our Backcountry Editor had to wait and see if the weather and snow would provide a window to ski tour up Mount Yotei and into the crater...

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Half way through our Japow odyssey, earning our turns with short but steep climbs scoring 'the best powder day of the whole season' according to our guide.

Ski tour up, Ski down in pow. Repeat. This is the ski touring way in Japan to earn your turns. It's Rule Number 5 for the legs with gnarly run outs and sitting cross-legged at restaurants...

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