I’ve been living in Val Thorens for almost seven years now, and as I’m sure you’ll have guessed, I love the mountains, the snow and skiing. The mountains have this incredible ability to stir strong feelings inside of me all year round, but more particularly in autumn.

It’s true that we want everything to be perfect before the start of the winter season, and our workload is more intense as a result. But it’s also a time of year when the mountains change. The cows and goats come back down to the valley, the lush green alpine pastures of the summer take on hues of yellow and orange. Even in Val Thorens, where trees are few and far between, the vegetation changes colour.

Without even realising it, I change the way I do things too. Right from early September, whilst I’m still snuggled up under the duvet and my alarm goes off, I listen carefully. I hope that I won’t hear anything, or more importantly, that I’ll hear the silence. You know what I mean, that special silence that comes with fresh snow… When I hear it, I jump out of bed and look out of the window, my eyes sparkling with delight. That’s when you know you’re in for a good day!

That said, we don’t get many snowy days in September and October, and you know what they say about patience being a virtue….

I start out by surfing all the weather sites that I know of; I’ve got about ten or so stored into my browser. I have a good look at them all, as well as the long-term forecasts. I’m desperate to speed the whole process up but I know I can’t, and that the snow will come when it’s good and ready. There are still so many things to do before the start of the winter anyway.

Now the days have got shorter, I make the most of my evenings to prepare my equipment; wax my skis, sharpen the edges and stick the skins back on, ready for those long awaited ski touring sessions.

The weekends are busy too. I decide to sell the freestyle skis that I don’t use any more at a second hand ski sale, which is where I see a pair of racing skis on sale for a snip. Maybe I could try my hand at ski cross this season?? I’m not pretending I could take on Jean-Fred, but it does look like a pretty cool discipline! But logic (and a nudge from my girlfriend…) wins and I decide against it as I’ve already set myself too many telemarking and ski touring goals this season to take on anything else.

Anyway, enough talking, I need to get back to my fitness training; I want to be on form to make the most of the start of the season. Only another 25 days until the opening of Val Thorens and I can’t wait!!!!!


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