We are well into our three months here in Monte Rosa and have really got into the swing. We enjoy the ever-changing views of the mountains, the smell of log fires and the muffled silence of a snow-covered wilderness. The days have been a glorious blur of joyous ski descents and beautiful walks with the dogs under bluebird skies, followed by a sauna, a simple, hearty meal and a DVD.
Our skiing has improved markedly, although the only Italian that I can claim to have learnt is the word for Haemorrhoids. This is a condition from which the Italian version of Facebook seems to think I suffer, judging by the frequency of pop-up ads for some special kind of haemorrhoid-relieving toilet paper!
I had thought that having the dogs here might curb our enjoyment of the skiing, but the walking actually adds another dimension. What we do most days with our little pack is true back-country. We rarely see a soul! I enjoy the afternoon walks every bit as much as our morning ski. Our Yak Trax work well for grip, although unlike snow shoes, they obviously don’t allow us to tread without sinking in the really deep snow…
The dogs are enjoying the snow more than we could have hoped. Rosie gets up with the larks and cries to go out every morning to play in the snow. When crying is not enough to gird her tired humans into action, she has worked out how to flick the curtains. This creates impressive stroboscopic effects with which to disturb our slumber! When called back in from the garden, like a reluctant teenager, she shuffles along and gets distracted by anything and everything as she makes her way resentfully to the door!
All the pups like chewing the copious little larch cones when we walk through the trees. Many of these half-chewed cones seem to find their way into our bed, along with balls of snow, which the pups love to chase and then bring home to eat as an iced treat…
Rosie is definitely our downhill racer. She thrives on excitement and has thoroughly embraced the thrill of bounding downhill for the extra acceleration. Lani and Ruby are The Powder Hounds. They use their spaniel bounce to propel them like kangaroos through the powder snow. Poor Kai has simply had to master how to get up again out of the deep snow when he has been bowled over by a hyper-accelerated Rosie, hitting him like a bullet from above!
Our puppy parcel of snow boots did finally arrive. A brief trial on Rosie, while hilarious, did not fill us with confidence that pups in boots will remain pups in boots for very long! However, we have come to the conclusion that, unless it is really cold, they really do not need boots. The wax obviously helps. When the outside temperatures warmed up a bit, we sometimes walked in the snow for around an hour and a half yet, when we got back, their paws were not even wet.
The pups have made friends with much of the canine community in Gressoney! Red, a little dog from around the corner pops in to see the pack most days and a pair of ears and a nose appearing at the window to a cacophony of barking heralds the arrival of the elderly Alsatian from Selbsteg, whom we met on one of our very first walks.
Socially, we have not been inactive. As well as some very friendly Russians whom we met in the sauna, we seem to have met most of the UK windsurfing community on gondolas here, as well as a chap who went to school in my home town. While Artur and Svetlana were trying to persuade us to go to Moscow or St Petersburg, I learned from a friend that there is a History of the Toilet Museum in Kyiv. While I am not sure about the practicalities of caravanning in Russia, a Toilet Museum has an inescapable allure to someone who planned a whole holiday around an Umbrella Museum in Stresa that she read about in her Italian textbook!
And a History of the Toilet Museum is EXACTLY the place to find out what in heaven’s name Haemorrhoid-relieving toilet paper is!
Anyway. On balance. I think it is fair to say that we are all settled and very content in our little mountain retreat!
If you want to discover more about skiing in beautiful Monte Rosa, check out Gressoney, Monte Rosa – Hidden Gem & Off Piste Ski Paradise!
“Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s PARTY!'” – Robin Williams. Join us next time to see what happens when the mountains decide to join the party!
Happiness to a skier looks like snow and mountains. To a blogger, happiness looks like likes, comments, shares and follows! If you enjoy my blog, I would love to hear from you, or you can follow by using the links / buttons on the right hand side. Go on. Make my day!