Last Private lesson  and an old coffee grinder?
Easter ski teaching with New Generation Ski School in Vallandry.
Well, seen here is my last private lesson of the season, Diane, Hanna, James, Megan, me and David. Not forgetting Ali behind the camera!

What a glorious afternoon, this is why I enjoy ski teaching and being with happy people. We had a fantastic time on the Grand Col in Les Arcs. Ali certainly went for it, we discovered a few off piste areas to challenge everyone and put each other through their paces.  A simple strategy of making sure that everyone understood the basics of good ski performance and we were off! The snow was fun to ski in, deep and, almost light and fluffy.  Everyone in the group were very sound skiers with the ability to tackle most gradients and terrain. Ali enjoyed throwing himself down the slope with vigour and a real go for it attitude! James, 19, listened to all the information and adapted his skiing accordingly to start improving his technique. David, who was the instigator in getting the rest to join in on the session, was in the mood to be challenged! Well done David for your commitment and open mindedness to try the lot! Diane just did what it says on the tin! Exceptional performance and looked just great on the mountain, terrific Diane, a ski star in the making! And the girls, well, no slope or conditions were ever going to be a problem,   two very enthusiastic and capable skiers, both have the ability to become great performers!

What an end to the season, good snow, lovely people and ho yes, I almost forgot, a fantastic cup of coffee in Bourg St Maurice.

Carolyn Thomas, my host family with John, Lotti and Matilda, whilst I work in the area, took me to a remarkable coffee shop. I hesitate to call it a ‘coffee shop’ more of a coffee roasting factory! In the rear of the café was a very impressive looking machine, more akin to something you might find in Willy Wonkers chocolate factory!  It was a roasting machine, dating back to 1935! This is one of only 3 working machines in France. Listening intently to the machine operator and owner, (my French is pretty bad, even though I have worked in France skiing since 1978!) I gleaned, with lots of help from Lotti, that the heat needed to roast the coffee beans must be within 140 degf – 180 deg f in order to get the best results. I watched him for a while, he was constantly removing a few beans at a time to smell them, ensuring the coffee was at its best. He certainly knew his stuff. Did you know it takes 5 years from seedling to the first beans? Another interesting non-ski fact!

We ended up having a few cups in there, undoubtedly the best coffee I have ever tasted. Powder skiing, happy people and a great cup of coffee, what else do you need to end a season teaching?

Off to Hintertux tomorrow, it’s a long drive…..wonder if we will find another coffee shop like that one?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Carolyn, John and the girls for your hospitality this winter!  Alex

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