Lynne, Mark and I went back on the slopes for a few hours yesterday afternoon. Mandy joined us as we went out this morning, and headed up to Val Thorens. After a couple of runs up there we headed over to the Orelle valley, and made our way up two slow chairlifts to the top of the Pointe du Bouchet. The lift station there is at 3230m, and is the highest accessible point in the 3 Valleys. The day was clear and bright again, with only some high level cloud, and the views were outstanding.
However, DC’s absence from our group meant the pleasure of such a gorgeous view was diminished, and the carefree joy usually experienced while skiing was missing. Our mood wasn’t lightened by the sight of a helicopter taking off from the side of the piste during a run late in the day. We stood and watched, no-one spoke. Then we pointed our skis down the slope and headed down to the bar where Mark was waiting with a canine acquaintance, name unknown.
Sleep hasn’t been coming easy. All of us have done our bit to lighten the mood and keep the spirits high, but it’s been an uphill battle at times. I think the tunes on my laptop have been cheering everybody up, because of their largely “shiny happy” nature. And Wiseman and I have been growing goatees, for no apparent reason other than it seemed like a good idea at the time. Mine is.. there’s no good way to put this.. more ginger than his, although it does include a grey component, which lends it a certain gravitas. Which I feel his is missing. Not that it’s a competition. Wiseman considered removing the centre section tonight to leave a ‘bandido’ handlebar moustache, perhaps in honour of tonight’s chilli, but mercifully he was persuaded not to.
Crystal Ski, our tour operator, have continued to be tremendously helpful and supportive, and we remain extremely grateful for the texts and calls from friends and family at home.
DC is due to have a scan tomorrow, and will possibly be brought round from the coma over the weekend. By that time, we will be back in the UK, and, I suspect, glad to be home, if upset to be returning without him. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with him and his friends and family in Chambéry.