Jules, Amelia, Ellie, Mia, Matilda, Jemima

Dense fog everywhere. Other than when filming that seemed to pose few constraints.

Continuing our “What do you want to be when you grow up” theme:

Matilda – Scientist and skier (or ballet dancer)Mia – Scientist and skier Jemima – “Don’t know” (However when asked what she liked doing most in the world the answer was “Skiing!” This was modified by one of her peers who said “Skiing in front of everybody else”.)

The slushy snow was a bit slow for the lightest group members so when we passed the slalom course I decided to do our technical training early today. Training involved a few runs in the slalom, some pivots with some feedback from me and some improved short swings.
Meanwhile, Jules was adding sugar to his drinks in preparation of Escape #3 – which was successfully foiled this time. Perhaps it wasn’t so urgent today because he was let off the reigns to come along with me and Ellie for a proper ski, right up to 2704m altitude and on the first ever red run for both of them. Unfortunately the dense fog meant they would be deprived of the phenomenal view from the ridge between the Meribel and Val Thorens valleys. It’s easy to forget that this was also the first week ever of skiing for Ellie – just because she’s bigger doesn’t make it any easier. The red runs were of course handled by both with consummate ease. The only technical advice necessary on the steeps was to bring the uphill ski down close to the lower ski to facilitate a pivot at the start start of the turns – to make the starts both highly effective and quick. This prevents the uphill ski getting jammed on its inside edge at the start of the turn and turning into an accelerator pedal straight downhill.

Matilda Unleashed

Matilda joined our advanced team for the afternoon (Mia and Jemima retiring for the day early) and I was a little bit worried that it might not work because only a few days earlier she was struggling just to “stand up” on the nursery slopes. Well, her excellent appearance in the slalom and with her exercises was no deception – she had assimilated everything. After testing her out on a narrow blue – same as Jules did yesterday – she looked very capable after all. This time Matilda joined us going up to 2704m altitude and we did the entire descent into Meribel twice. She was even skiing over vertical drop-offs at least her own height and not only staying upright but really enjoying it.

Amelia led for some short video shoots. Poor Amelia has been a bit neglected this week because all the attention has gone to the complete beginners – though she has learned all the same things as they have and changed her skiing. Amelia really needs personal feedback – to improve posture and get off the backs of her boots, develop angulation and other skills. Those were subjects that the rest of the group were not ready for so there was no time to go into them during the week. In general – with correct biomechanics and physics – most “faults” vanish – so given the constraint of the varied group the focus had to be on transmitting this universal information to everyone.

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