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King of the Hill

4 weeks ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


20 May 2024

Winter, to misquote Game of Thrones, is not coming. It’s been and gone. Birds are a-twitter, sap is rising and buds are a-budding. Sadly for those of us who are almost as obsessed with skiing as we are with cars (and judging by the reaction to Henry’s piece, there are more than a few of you), it was a short, mild and dry winter here in the lumpy bit of France that I am fortunate enough to call home.

Much like last year, the snow came on early and eager in late November, but by January it was all blustered out, and we failed to get the regular top-ups and steadily low temperatures that make for a great ski season. Finding decent snow meant hunting it out – watching the weather forecast and searching for those resorts that have the high north-facing slopes that best protect the white gold.

All this meant I spent much more time than I would have liked this winter in various ski resort car parks, usually grimy expanses of what Mrs T calls ‘snirt’ (snow-dirt). Fortunately, the cars to be found in these mountain car parks managed to somewhat distract me from gloomy ponderings about climate change and whether I’ll ever again see a decent cold winter. Because they are a fascinating and unique mix of metal – eclectically unlikely comrades, united only in their ability to forge their way through the salt, snow, ice and filth of winter Alpine roads.

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