The good news this morning was that Carl was fully recovered from the bug that bit the previous day – so after breakfast all five of us headed up the mountain for a morning of skiing before my and Lesley’s lessons.

James, Lesley, Carl and Chris - a full group again!

We started with a couple of runs down the familiar blue run. By the second one I was feeling it was very simple to handle. Lesley and I made it down in about the same time as the others had taken on a more complex, shorter, run – which we decided to do next. Again on the second run down this more complicated run I felt confident I could try something longer – the short runs felt too short versus the time spent on the button lift to get to the top of them.

We ski’d to a chair lift (I fell once – it was a steeper section and crowded which tends to present problems for me) and headed to the top of Soldeu.

Me, on the way to the top of "Evil Slope"

James on the chair lift

...and the view from the chairlift

We headed down “Evil Slope”. This was my third run down this section, having struggled with how crowded it was and with the clumps of snow the previous two days. This time I found it much easier and at times felt I was really flowing well from turn-to-turn. We did another run down the same slope before lunch too and I felt comfortable and confident on it. “Evil Slope” conquered!

Lessons started at 1.30pm with the run down to El Tarter. Instructor-Lesley had us lifting our uphill ski while straight and then on the turns, so we’re taking weight off the inside ski sooner, and so improving our parallel turns. After this she had us attempting to step up on the skis as we turned – again to get us shifting weight earlier in the turn. I struggled with this. Not because I couldn’t shift the weight, but because I kept lifting the wrong ski. I managed it a couple of times but eventually settled for understanding the purpose and shifting weight, without doing the step itself.

After a couple of short runs at El Tarter we headed to the top of Soldeu once more to run down the newly-conquered “Evil Slope”. Three of the girls ended up getting wiped-out by a boarder who thought he could squeeze through a non-existent gap between them and ended up running over all three of their skis. I also fell once when I picked up too much speed and somebody was occupying the space I had intended to recover in. After that it was plain-sailing though – shifting my weight from ski-to-ski, turn-to-turn, like pushing pedals. It felt awesome!

At the bottom of this run we stopped for a break before starting the run right to the bottom and into Soldeu. This was more of a challenge. I was tired and struggled with parts that I should have found reasonably easy. There were also some steep sections which were icy and crowded. I fell hard a couple of times – sliding down the slope and dragging my hips across concrete-like ice. Ouch. I did make it to the bottom eventually and that was the end of the day’s lesson. I was quite relieved to be able to get to the pub for a beer. We went to the Iceberg bar where it was 2-for-1 between 4.30 and 6.30, so a round was a reasonable price for a change.

We were all tired by the end of the day so decided to go out for food after returning home for showers and a couple of beers on the balcony in the last of the day’s sun.

Chris and James on our apartment's balcony

Sun sets on Soldeu

Once more we went to Fat Alberts for pizzas, before we all went home and to our beds. It’d been a long day!