On the chairlift above peaceful slopes of Monts D’Olmes

‘Venturing’ G and I have been skiing. As we drove the one hour, scenic route along sunny but windy, snow-free roads leading to Monts d’Olmes in our happy red Fiat hire car, we each had very different expectations of our day. As I have mentioned before, one could almost believe that ‘sporty’ G was born with skis on, whereas I am a latecomer to the sport, and a bit of a scaredy cat to boot. We had been told that the skiing at Monts D’Olmes (the resort most local to the house) is rather basic but the views are fantastic and the resort is generally quiet, particularly during term time. During the summer, following our ride up Monsegur, we ate a picnic at MD’O and without a dressing of snow, it did look tired, outdated and bleak.
So, our expectations were not too high as we trundled up the twisting road, crossing the snow-line that still seemed rather skimpy. The roads were clear and well gritted and a few other vehicles were parked – fellow skiers? We couldn’t see anyone on the slopes, but the chairlift and button lifts were working.
On visiting a ski hire shop (we both have ski boots) I was fitted for a pair of intermediate skis with pink poles that didn’t match at all… piste fashion was not on my agenda today. The cost was just 9euros and the service was professional and friendly. Ski passes next. They cost 27Euros each plus 3E insurance (better to be safe than sorry), then off to the chairlift.
Finding my ‘ski legs’ took a few repetitive runs down the same blue piste and ‘patient’ G then suggested lunch. We ate a good lunch (chestnut soup for me and sausage, lentils and rice for ‘hungry’ G) at ‘Le Perce-Neige’, which like the resort was simple, friendly and clean.
It was decided that I would hone my skills and gather my confidence on the wide, gently swooping blue runs for the afternoon, while ‘downhill’ G explored and flew down the reds, blacks and off-piste sections. I was unruffled by using the chairlift on my own – and I mean literally on my own. At times the only other humans I could see were a few small dashes on the distant snowy landscape. There were a number of school parties having their weekly lessons which meant that on occasion a cluster of considerate, singing teenagers, some with music playing from I don’t know where shot past me. At one point in the afternoon, I was on the chairlift when two teenage boys skied down below me wearing only their pants! They were followed by very capable skiers bringing their discarded clothing to the bottom of the slopes.
The man in the cabin at the top of the chairlift stopped waving and gave a tight nod by the time I slid off the chairlift at the top for the 5th time – he may have thought he was having deja vous. I was having a splendid time – feeling more confident and recalling some of the nuances of staying upright with grace.
At 3.30 we had agreed to meet back at the ski hire shop; each able to report success and pleasure on the slopes of Monts D’Olmes.

The view towards Frome from the slopes

I will ask ‘correspondent’ G to write a detailed piece about the skiing for more capable, daring skiers who might visit the area – he was very impressed with the landscape and snowy challenges available to him, pointing out the only drawback was that access to some of the slopes was by steep button lift only.
The facilities were all functional, clean and the people welcoming – I can recommend a wintery trip to Monts D’Olmes for every level of skier.

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Published by Carol

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