Posted by: sunshack | May 19, 2019


It seems odd looking back, that my summer sports activity could have an influence on my whole winter. However, this is how it came to be.

The Problem

Just a little bit broken……

I’d gone for a Water Ski lesson at the end of August, and I broke my Foot! It wasn’t painful in an acute ouchy way, so I showed the bit of swelling to my Instructor and then drove 40 miles home, and went for a quick shop around my local supermarket, en-route. On that evening, I thought it might be a good idea to have an X-ray! As you can see, it’s not necessary to be a Doctor to make the call!

So, as the Hospital had no footwear suitable for a Fractured foot, I went back the next day, and walked out wearing an ugly shoe. Two weeks later I saw a Consultant who told me that my sunshine holiday to Tenerife a week later was a no-go. Apparently I had a Deep Vein Thrombosis risk. As he was looking at my image on his screen, and holding my foot in one hand, said “this may hurt a little” and squeezed my foot, and in doing so pushed the bones back in line.

My focus was now on getting this healed and me back into a Ski Boot. This I achieved on 3rd November. Still some swelling, so no room for a sock!

The Hospital discharged me, apparently I’d healed well, and and I could expect pain and swelling for 6 months. By now, I was seriously unfit,  and was walking very badly using a walking stick some days.

I am pleased to say that, by persevering, I made it to Zermatt to ski by mid December, and though I was unfit, I had a great time!

Zermatt delivers the goods Some of those tracks are mine

I was so relieved that I could still ski! My left Boot was awfully tight, I still had an odd shaped foot, but I took a selection of different socks with me. I found I could get the Boot on without too much trouble, but removing it, oh dear!

Christmas came and went, and I headed out to Chamonix in January and March. Chamonix seemed to be having problems running it’s lift system. In January, I’d based myself up near the Brevent Gondola, which broke down for several days. Never mind, I could use the bus to get into town and change for another ski area. The morning buses regularly failed to turn up to the published timetable, so I took to walking up onto the Savoy slopes and skiing into town, then walking to a bus stop.  It snowed, which was wonderful. Les Houches is lovely in deep snow!

Take the Train from St Gervais

I returned to the area in March and the Kandahar race piste was being prepared for a race, but still open to the public, so smooth, huge fun! It’s not often that the public get to go down a race course, smooth, with nets up and a chance to let my skis run, to the level of my fitness, aka exhaustion!

The Kandahar in race preparation, super fast!

As I was staying in Chamonix town, I’d figured that being at a Bus Stop by 8.15 would be enough to avoid the crowds for Grand Montets. Wrong! I watched a Bus driver get off and physically push people further on, in order to close the doors. So, my bright idea for the next morning was to head back to Les Houches, on an early Bus. Ah, #fail!

And it was raining too. I gave up!

Later in March I spent some time in Courmayeur, Aosta. The weather was cold, then warm, spring was definitely trying to put in an appearance. I took time out to visit the Skyway Monte Bianco It’s well worth visiting, though an early start is useful to avoid crowds at the weekend.

The revolving Cable Car cabins take tourists and skiers up to Punta Helbronner where it’s possible to cross into France on skis. The Punta Helbronner lift to the Aiguille du Midi is currently not running.

I was happy to have made it through the winter, very unfit. I don’t think I’m capable of “skiing myself fit”, others may be. At the time of writing, my foot is still giving me occasional bouts of pain and swelling. I hope this stops soon. Despite gently cruising and avoiding the tough slopes, I still managed to wear out my Boots, so next winter will see me on new Boots, and much fitter!