This winter in Europe has been very warm and this was reinforced when we arrived in Morzine, France for a week's skiing/snowboarding. Driving into the town, there was very little snow around and instead of people being tucked up inside drinking a vin chaud, they were outside enjoying the sun and having a beer! We had taken the trip with One Element - the group we do weekly training in the park with and all up there were around 15 on the trip. We had a chalet (mostly) to ourselves for the week and were looking forward to experiencing skiing/snowboarding the European way.
Ellen was skiing for the week. She hadn't skied since she was young but after a one-hour private lesson on the first day she was straight back into it. Darin was snowboarding for the week. He had done one weekend before so wasn't a complete beginner but was close to it. However after a couple of private lessons and 5 days of practice he was at a reasonable level by the end.
The first two days we were skiing/snowboarding by ourselves (away from the rest of the group) so Ellen could get back up to scratch (there were some quite advanced skiers in the group). Ellen then went and joined the group for the next days and went off exploring various slopes around the mountain, even managing to go skiing in France and Switzerland on the same day! The final day we did our own skiing/snowboarding again and met up with the group for lunch. By that stage we were pretty exhausted from the week so headed back early after lunch. Across all 5 days were had amazing sunshine. It was so warm (especially for Darin on the first few days who was falling over and picking himself up a fair but) that we didn't need our thermals and Ellen was even skiing with her bikini underneath her ski jacket a couple of days! On our last day in Morzine it got a bit colder and there was some fresh snow overnight. Unfortunately it also bought some heavy rain with it down in the village. We decided to flag that day skiing and relax around town. It ended up being a very good call as most of the group lasted a couple of hours on the slopes before coming back to the chalet wet and cold.
We had a great time off the snow as well with plenty of après ski along the way. Our accommodation at the chalet included unlimited wine with dinner (therefore not the greatest quality wine you will ever get) so we had a few nights at the chalet drinking, getting to know each other and playing some rather interesting games. We also had a few nights out drinking (including a St Patricks Day in France) and one very nice meal out at a local restaurant.
It was a great week away with amazing weather, friends, eating, drinking and fun. Going back to work on Monday seemed very difficult indeed!