Saturday (our last day of skiing)
By some miracle, we all made it to breakfast by 8:30 and were ready to hit the slopes when the lifts opened at 9:00. (I think we all wanted to make the most of our last day on skis!) We made a one short run together as a group before Ximena bid us goodbye to spend the day with her uncle. She said she had a wonderful time. When we asked her where they went she replied “downtown”. When we asked what downtown she said, “......Switzerland.” Funny, I didn't see that on the map.
In the morning we split up by ski level. Ms. Reinhardt tripped herself on her pole and took a dive on her injured shoulder. (It does take skill.) She took a break and agreed to meet everyone in about an hour. Mr. Ort went up a very high slope by himself and had a very interesting encounter. I will let him tell the story in his own words: (will be updated tomorrow)
At noon, we all met up again and made our way to Champery. We all got some goodies at the pastery shop (we will miss this!), ate at a local cafe, visited some shops, and headed back for a few more hours of skiing. It was really warm, so the snow was the stickiest and slickest that it has been since we've begun our trip. I think we fell a little more than we usually did, but came away feeling okay.
We met back up at 4:30 to turn in our ski rentals. The people at the shop don't really speak English, but we kept repeating, "Merci!" Bien! Bon!" We were really happy with the service. On our way home, we stopped one last time at the market and went our separate ways to begin packing.
A few of us met later to eat dinner at a local restaurant, and had a lovely time visiting and munching. Dispite my "9:00" packing dead-line, most of the girls were still packing when I stopped by to bid them goodnight. We take off for Italy tomorrow at 9:00 and the girls are starting to get very excited. Mr. Ort has been googling Italian phrases and making sure that we know the customs and have guidelines for our visits. We are all looking forward to our first glimpse of Milan.
On our first lift line up, we noticed this ski suit. It was exciting for Ms. Reinhardt--since she is from the state of Montana.
A photo of our "ride" to Champery heading up the hill.
Uh oh...we gave Yvonne the camera! . . .
Poor Mamma Maria poked herself in the eye with her pole! Ouch!!!
Yep...she still has the camera!
... the ride down to Champery is REALLY only 5-7 minutes. But isn't Ana cute?
Mr. Ort LOVES fresh pastries!
The Coop (grocery store) was closed, but it was a great opportunity for "photo!!!!"
Lunch in Champery.
What is that you ask? Does it matter? It is covered in CHEESE!
Mr. Ort tried cheval. Google cheval if you must but be warned you may not like what you find.
Ana almost has the "Mrs. Reinhardt" look down pat.
Wow. I just learned to walk last week!
D'avalanches: The story of Mr. Ort's brush with death!
So, I was left alone due to another Mrs. Reinhardt injury. I decided to challenge myself on a piste which I had a great deal of trouble with earlier in the week. The Grand Conche is a fairly high piste at about 2227 meters. It is a blue run but has a very narrow trail which I stink at since I can't turn very quickly. After a 5 minute ride up the lift I bounce straight off the chair and into the first turn. It starts with a extremely sharp left turn that is completely blind and fairly steep. Brimming with confidence from the week of skiing I take off like a bat out of hell down the piste. While rounding that first corner I hear someone exclaim “attention”. I look up to my left just in time to see a wall of snow pour down right in front of me.
I instantly steer to the left trying to put my skis parallel to the piste to stop as quickly as possible. This was a mistake. Since the avalanche dumped about 5 inches of snow across the path I hit fresh snow with my skis parallel to the slope. The skis caught on the fresh snow and I went “you know what” over tea kettle and rolled for about 30 yards. I lost both skis and my baton (French for pole). A young snow boarder came to my aid and handed me my skis. I wasn't hurt at all and was laughing at my poor choice of trying to stop instead of just cruising through. I asked the guy “avalanche?” He said “noooh noooh. Petite avalanche.” Well, that made me feel better. I was beaten by a 'petite' avalanche. Not to worry though since I wasn't the only skier who fell prey to the avalanche. Two 8 year olds tumbled down the piste with me.
Off to dinner.
Mrs. Reinhardt thinks this is the best chocolate cake ever!
The chicas agree with Mrs. R.
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