To get away from everything we’ve had thrown our way since 2015 started, Pat and I went to Courmayeur, Italy, to ski, ski, ski, ski, eat, and ski some more. We also did a bit of trail running too.
The day we left was very much a day of peaks and valleys – we were going to the mountains after all! The day we left for Italy was the day I found out about my grandpa. Not a great start, but there’s nothing one can do about it. The entire day was could be basically summed up as a series of first world problems, but at least I found a new, completely natural sparkling water drink at Starbucks!
We also walked past Ralph Fiennes (I love him) at Heathrow airport; that was very exciting.
We were staying in self-catering accommodation in Courmayeur, extremely close to one of the cable cars that takes you up to the ski resort. Yes, it’s a luxury to have the skiing right there! After some early morning grocery shopping and cooking, we were ready to hit the hill.
The next five days were pretty much the same: wake up early, breakfast, walk to cable car, ski, lunch, ski, snack of a shared slice of cake, ski, back to apartment, dinner, shower, film or reading, bed. Creatures of habit we are!
Despite Courmayeur closing while we were still there (due to little snow at the base), we got some great conditions for skiing as long as we stayed above 2000m. Anything below was like skiing in quicksand, then walking on mud back to the cable car.
We also skied another resort in Italy called La Thuile, higher up, with more snow, and very quiet. It’s shares a border with La Rosière in France, and for one lift ticket, you can ski two resorts. Which we did, and it was awesome.
I also made sure to wear my compression tights while skiing every day, and compression socks at night. Both greatly helped and I didn’t deal with sore legs this time, the way I have skiing in the past. We were also able to stay up until our normal bed time of 10-10:30pm; last time we skied Italy, we were asleep before 9:30pm! Our fitness has vastly improved since we were in Italy in 2013, and a primal diet helps too.
Every day was clear blue skies, sun and warmth. This was the first time I got goggle tan!
Our last day in Courmayeur was spent trail running at Planpincieux, a rural and quiet alpine village, nestled higher up in the mountains, with access to many trails and refugios – large alpin cabins at different points up the mountain, that people could use for shelter, water, food and accommodation. These weren’t Scottish bothies; more so a hostel! And the only way you could get there was to hike, climb or by helicopter.
As for food, we made our own every day, sticking to primal. I made a delicious stew of chicken, pancetta and Italian sausage with lots of vegetables. This was served with fresh rocket (arugula) and padano cheese.
Once I get through this mental backlog of posts I need to write, I will post this stew recipe.
We also found big tubs of mascarpone cheese!!!!!!!
And ate it with berries every day. Oh my god, this stuff was incredible! Think the thickest whipped cream you’ve ever had!
While it was difficult to find some primal mainstays – coconut milk, natural nut and seed butters, ghee – we did find other ones instead: full fat dairy, avocado, smoked salmon, nuts, and butter. I also saw lard for sale, seasoned with herbs and spices. I didn’t buy any though.
We did have non-primal treats though: alcohol, focaccia, potato chips, cake up the hill, gelato, tiramisu for Pat and a melt-in-your-mouth apricot tart for me, bought in Chamonix on our way home. Yes I’m primal, but when in France and Italy, you indulge!
Active holidays are our favourite, and we took advantage of what the Aosta Valley had to offer. We can’t wait to go back.