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4.75/hour is a modest sum for a week's worh of snow [that's both awake and asleep]. However with that thought pushed aside it was too late. Cheques have been cashed, bags packed and 16 of us descended sleepless and bleary eyed into a Meribel chalet for a proper 3 valleys experience.

Recent fresh dumps of the cold white stuff had the experienced amongst us riled for an extreme week. As the beginner boarders we hoped that would mean a soft landing for our delicate behinds.

As with all new skills, one must pass from a state of unaware to aware incompetence and overcome the steps to success assimilated. In this case the former took only a matter of hours 'okay i need to relax, commit and curve' however achieving that took virtually all week with many frustrating panics, falls and fist shakes. I think i won the award for longest up-time however that meant a heavy speed trade-off.

The snow was amazing to us. Hard falls and deep soft snow for the first few days, one day of icy conditions and then a temperature rise with softer more slushy runs towards the week's end. Trying to make the most of the E250 three valleys pass we ventured into each Courchevel (Highly recommended), les meinures and would've made it into Val Thorens if the incoming storm hadn't put risk of return lift closure and a E160 cab ride home.

Everything was expensive but we expected that. Perhaps too much of a club 18-30 feel with ski-world but I'm told that's part and parcel. In all a rewarding and addictive experience.

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