Pre-Season Tune-Up 2014 A great start to the winter

Pre-Season Tune-Up 2014 - A great start to the winter

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The Grand Motte glacier in Tignes once again provided the training ground for our Pre-Season Tune-Up. This is a very early (first week of November) opportunity to get back to the Alps to work on your ski technique and help get set up for the winter. It’s often an inspirational trip, with many young racers (and occasionally some of the top World Cup squads) training alongside us. For our Pre-Season trip in 2013 we were very disrupted by stormy weather, but for 2014 the weather gods were much kinder to us, with just one day lost due to high winds keeping the lifts closed. The rest of the time we had terrific piste conditions and even a day with some nice variable snow. All in all it was a most excellent trip!

Day 1 brought a perfect blue sky and somewhat firm piste conditions - it was a real joy to be back in the mountains! The glacier was extremely quiet, with no lift queues at all, and much quieter on piste than we had previously known. All that contributed to an excellent start to the trip.

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A great view to start the week Coaches for the week Rob, Andy and Scott

As we were leaving the glacier at the end of Day 1 the weather was closing in and the wind was picking up. Sadly this was to worsen overnight and on Day 2 the glacier was being hit with 140km/h wind so nothing opened. The silver lining to these particular clouds was that it also snowed, so the icy patches on piste that were beginning to show through the pistes. Day 3 started more or less on time, and gave us some fresh snow to work with, allowing us to skip in great variable snow, lapping around as frequently as we could on an almost empty glacier. A pretty awesome day!

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Overcast conditions, but some fresh snow came in to give us great skiing

Day 4 returned to perfect weather and perfect piste conditions. The views from the top of the glacier are quite spectacular, providing an amazing backdrop to the skiing and training. Each of the three coaching groups worked on their own training programme, covering such things as skills for steep terrain, high speed carving and general balance and stance issues. It was good to see everyone make solid progress with their skiing.

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Amazing views at the top of the glacier

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Feedback at “Coach’s Corner” as the three coaching groups lap around working on their carving skills

One of the great things about our Pre-Season trip is our accommodation base at the Hotel Melezes in Tignes Les Boisses. It’s great budget accommodation with a fun bar and a nice sauna and outdoor hot tub to relax in after the day’s skiing

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Shot-ski! A new way to practice synchro skiing Relaxing in the hot tub

Days 5 and 6 were busier as the weekend ski clubs turned up, but piste conditions remained perfect so we focused again on high speed carving. Despite one or two high speed wipe outs (well done Greg!) everyone was skiing really strongly and it was a great way to finish to week. Celebrations were had with a ‘giraffe’ of beer in the Taverne des Neige and a much needed burger in the ever popular Aspen Bar in Val Claret.

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Amazing conditions for the first week of November Celebrating the end of a great day with a tall beer