Laetitia’s Birthday Party

I thought I’d have a bit of a do for my big Five Oh.

I’d planned well in advance to try and get as many of my friends and family together, so invites went out months ago.

Party Invite

The venue was a no brainer. We have the fortune of living very close to the excellent Hawkshead Brewery, which has a great space for parties, and of course, has fantastic beer.

I did spend a bit of time pondering whether I should do the catering, but the logistics seemed a little too daunting, so I went with the obvious choice of asking Wilf’s to supply a warm buffet of slow roast Kentmere lamb and slow roast local pork. It was a very good decision.

Dinner supplied by Wilf’s

I supplied the desserts, which seemed to disappear in nano-seconds, but my sister, Caroline, provided the most amazing birthday cake. What an absolute star.

The amazing birthday cake, made by my amazing big sister Caroline.
Pete, escaping or climbing…?
Officially breaking into the awesome cake. It seemed such a shame.
Cutting the cake into small pieces with Caroline and Rebecca.

To get people into the party mood we also had the most amazing singer, Grace Davies. She was absolutely fantastic.

The amazing Grace Davies

I had a wonderful time, because so many of my friends could join me. It was great to catch up with people we hadn’t seen for years.

A big thank you for all the presents you bought. You shouldn’t have… but I’m really very appreciative.

In no particular order, here are my amazing family and friends….

Chamonix CC & Birthday Skiing

Last week we were visiting Chamonix for a week of winter sports. We weren’t sure the skiing would be up to much as this year as there has been very little snow. So we had prepared for what might be ideal alpine winter climbing conditions. However, as it turned out there was a large dump of snow over the first weekend of our trip, and there is nothing that beats skiing fresh powder! More “Chamonix CC & Birthday Skiing”

Springtime France

We’re recently back from a couple of weeks in France, what an amazing (and weird?) series of spring weather conditions we had though… More “Springtime France”

A Vallée Blanche Burfday Pressie

This morning it is snowing so hard it’s like the sky is falling in! Hard to believe that yesterday was clear and sunny. But it was. Perfect for a well timed Burfday descent of the Vallée Blanche… More “A Vallée Blanche Burfday Pressie”

Birthdays and Snow

The weather this weekend is cold! But unlike the past several weekends that have seen brilliant winter climbing conditions in Scotland there’s a strong wind and almost blizzard conditions prevailing outside right now! More “Birthdays and Snow”

Burfday Powder

Lizard-Spock Expansion?

We used the Lizard-Spock Expansion of the classic rock-paper-scissors game to decide where to go and play in the deepening powder on our birthday celebration day. Well, actually we used the game to decide who got to choose the venue… Laetitia won, and Les Grands Montets was chosen.

What's the Lizard-Spock Expansion I hear you shout!  Well, take a peek at the linked page above, which is where this great graphic comes from.
“What’s the Lizard-Spock Expansion?”, I hear you shout! Well, take a peek at the linked page above, which is where this great graphic comes from.

Les Grands Montets

Back to the skiing… We’d read about how the Magic Forest was the place to go for deep powder, but with poor visibility in the still falling snow. Skiing amongst the trees in the Magic Forest offers two advantages: first, the trees themselves give visual references for what the ground is doing in white-out conditions; and second, there’s almost always some un-skied lines of powder to be had (which is very rare in the super popular Chamonix valley). We guess it’s the facts that not everyone knows where the Magic Forest is, and that if you get your line through the trees wrong you end up missing all the lifts and walking a long way back, that provides this rare resource of un-skied powder snow!

Mathias and Rebecca in the Magic Forest powder
Mathias and Rebecca in the Magic Forest powder
Dave enjoys the champagne powder in the Magic Forest
Dave enjoys the champagne powder in the Magic Forest
Pete trying to help John regain his feet after wiping out in the deep snow.
Pete trying to help John regain his feet after wiping out in the deep snow.
John's powder-action blurred by speed and heavy snow fall in the Magic Forest
John’s powder-action blurred by speed and heavy snow fall in the Magic Forest
Laetitia, Pete, Mathias, Dave, Rebecca, and John warming up in the Lognan cafe.
Laetitia, Pete, Mathias, Dave, Rebecca, and John warming up in the Lognan cafe.
A fun gang of fancy-dress skiers at Grands Montets - the theme was "Jungle", so the Woopie cushion needed closer examination...
A fun gang of fancy-dress skiers at Grands Montets – the theme was “Jungle”, so the Woopie cushion needed closer examination…
Pete gives the "Woopie" cushion a squeeze!
Pete gives the “Woopie” cushion a squeeze!

Birfday Dinner Celebrations

After all the fun in the powder it was time to get back to Chamonix (after a swift après-ski beer in Argentière), get showered, and dash out for a birfday dinner celebration at Le Serac. But not before another après-ski beer (or two) at The Pub (Cham’s least imaginatively named bar) where we’d arranged to meet a fellow CC member, Katy, who’s recently moved to Chamonix.

Pete and John get a lesson from Rebecca on tying big knots used for protection in soft sandstone routes in Germany
Pete and John get a lesson from Rebecca on tying big knots used for protection in soft sandstone routes in Germany
Richard, Dave, John, Rebecca, Mathias, Pete, and Laetitia out for dinner at Le Serac
Richard, Dave, John, Rebecca, Mathias, Pete, and Laetitia out for dinner at Le Serac