Bitter about dogs and bitter to the olympic core

Remind me again why this nation of cruel ruling cretins is getting to host the olympic games ? I wrote this as a draft May 21 … and left it sit to make sure I felt the same way, and now in August I do, so I am publishing it. It is an odd mix of writing because it talks about the global cruelty to dogs on one hand and the utterly personal issues about one dog I knew on the other … oh well.

China of course right after the quake did what any ‘normal’ country would do. The ordered the slaughter of all dogs in the region of the quake. Yep. They slaughter dogs at the drop of a hat in China — 2007 saw them ordering dog owners to kill their dogs even if they could prove they’d been vaccinated against rabies, due to 1 case of rabies in a particular region and in 2005 50,000 dogs were beaten to death after a rabies outbreak in another region all by government order. They torture them to death for food as well. Now after the earthquake – time to kill more dogs, of course – because what is more logical, right?  Why not cull all the screaming children and mothers who lost their kids as well – they are also a bit inconvenient now. Or maybe only the girls, because they are less valuable. What do I see on the internet first though ? Propaganda about 1 Chinese woman who has taken in something like 200 cats to prevent them from having the same fate of being ‘cleaned up’ before the olympics come to town … which is nice of course that someone like this exists … but this old lady has to live with 200 cats because her government and a majority of people around her are so freaking disgustingly cruel to animals.

Or let’s go on to Korea – where they have cruel dog meat farms (BBC reported on it without judgement – I for one believe there IS a right and wrong and am sick and tired of ball-less people who can’t denounce cruelty for what it is.). Maybe they will have a devastating earthquake soon as well. Meat is murder, flat out. I don’t eat it. But when a nation can both keep as a pet and eat the same creature – that says a lot about their lack of good emotional make up and morality.

Well I for one am acting at home as well. Similar circumstances about someone’s lack of moral make up someone who can keep a pet and then throw it away when it becomes a bit inconvenient. Am I planning to kill local Chinese dog torturers ? No, but I am dropping a friend for her lack of morality and loyalty to another living creature.

She told me today she’s giving up her dog of 2 years (well, he has been bounced around a lot in that time thanks to her wishy-washy-ness), and sending him off to another country where they don’t speak his language to people she’s never met, because it’s ‘for the best for him’ and that is that. She is fine with it, pleased with herself in fact. Self-satisfied and smug. Best for him because … ? Certainly he was not complaining.

She is a good manipulator but not with me. This decision she made has zero to do with the dog, since all he wants is to be with a person who he’s known as his ‘leader’ and loved since he was 8 weeks old (her). It’s for her own selfish reasons she’s doing this and nothing else. She wants to be more free, and sod the fact that she took on a dog who loves her a couple of years ago – that was then, this is now and the fad is over (for her).

She got the dog 2 years ago, in my current opinion out of her own insecurity rather than true desire for a dog for companionship etc. like most normal people would. To fit in with the Chamonix ‘in crowd’ who all had Bernese mountain dogs, I now realize that this is why she fixated on the idea of getting a dog as well. Well this is what I see now in hindsight.

It was the summer that I got to know her, and we ran a lot together. I thought we were becoming close friends. We did some super long runs (8 hours) and trained together on a regular basis, and I certainly talked from my heart about various issues that were personal to me, and assumed she was doing the same, and was being sincere etc.. She talked endlessly about her excitement over getting a dog, and how she’d hike with him and make him a part of her life and even of her future job as a hiking guide etc.. She always walked and ran with me and our dogs together and she liked our dogs and asked about training them and that sort of thing, and also purchased a number of dog training books, dog massage books, alternative dog care books etc.. 

I explained to her how I’d fallen in love with Bernese Mountain Dogs I’d met in Switzerland, but that after researching the breed we’d gotten a mixed Bernese on purpose because purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs have a huge problem with inbreeding and hereditary illnesses that kill most of them before 8 years old. I couldn’t stand the idea of a dog with such a big personality living for such a short time, and I wanted the best possible chance at health for my dogs. So, we searched Swiss websites got Bernese/Appenzeller mixes to try to (we hope) avoid some of these health issues but to keep a lot of the basic looks and personality that I loved about the Bernese. So far we have found our Bernese-Appenzeller mix dogs do not go lame and have not gotten dysplasia the way so many Bernese do and they are very athletic dogs. Only time will tell about the cancer issues. I explained about how I fed them raw and real food diets to avoid health issues found in diets of commercial dog food, which is like a human living on a diet of tinned macaroni or boxed cereal for all their life.

We even agreed to give her and her fiancee three kittens from a litter of kittens that our cat had (accident, she is now spayed). The first bad sign was that she promptly let all the cats wander in and out of the house ‘at will’ from the time they were kittens rather than keeping them inside for the first few months and they lived next to a road. One got hit by a car and died that winter … but I put it down to tragic accident and stayed friends, though I guess I was starting to feel like she was a bit detached as her reaction to it was not terribly sad really. I felt I was more sad about it than she was, as that was my favorite kitten.

Back to the dogs – despite all our friends with Bernese purebreds having screwed up dogs with dysplasia, cancer and personality issues – she wanted a purebred, so fixated on the Appenzeller side since I had mentioned to her this was the healthy breed with the same coloring, short hair but with a much more athletic personality. Despite being warned by me and others that purebred Appenzellers are energetic working breeds that need a lot of attention (maybe not best for first time dog owner with a lot of other interests), she wanted one. She was 100% certain of it. This was the best type of dog for her, clearly. They wanted a female, but ‘couldn’t wait’ 1 year on a list for one, so got a male (more dominant) that Fall.

She went to a Swiss breeder (a very good one from what I understand) who even tried to talk her out of the breed because she was a first time dog owner (working dog breed, needing lots of exercise and lots of training especially as her line tended to be dominant). But my friend knew, if nothing else, what she wanted at that moment in time, and she manipulated the situation brilliantly and managed to convince the breeder this was the perfect dog breed that she’d been looking for. She paid a good sum of money for this dog IMHO – 800CHF. She didn’t have that kind of money to spend btw … neither she nor her fiancee at the time had high paying jobs, so this was a big outlay of cash for them. She took him to exactly 1 puppy training class in Geneva where she was told he had aggressive tendencies with other dogs (he did) and then never went back because she was ‘too busy’ and because she felt the class was insulting and didn’t understand her breed of dog. Thankfully our adult dogs put him in his place enough times that he did learn some manners around other dog, but he is still often aggressive towards dogs when he first meets them. Also he’s incredibly energetic and always trying to see what he can get away with. He’s also very loving and searches for love constantly.

Then that winter she called me crying that she and her fiancee had split up. I assumed from the way she phrased it and her tears, and her lack of talking to me about any problems between them before that he’d dumped her. Strike two. I found out a week later, that she’d dumped him but had not ever mentioned to me she was having issues or second thoughts about it. Her excuse ? Oh, it was not that she didn’t trust me to confide in me about this, she said – she simply did not want to put me in an awkward position since I also knew her fiancee. This is when I realized she was not very sincere as a friend, and I started to emotionally at least keep myself more distant from her and stopped treating her like a ‘good friend’ that I could confide in, as obviously I was not getting the same back.

Then, she spent the next 6 months couch surfing after the split. She couldn’t seem to get it together to find a place, or to even get organized enough to tell any of us what her budget for renting a place would be in fact so we could help her find a place. A number of friends wanted to help but actually felt frustrated by her lack of responsibility about the whole situation or lack of clear answers for what she wanted in a place to live and what she could afford. Who suffered? The dog.

He became unwelcome in several houses since he often challenged and barked at guests when left alone there by her, as now he was probably feeling pretty insecure being under 1 year old and in constant flux and obviously w/o a clear leader as he was often left with various people. She had of course no time to train him and would not think to bring him back to the Geneva class where she was told he was aggressive (she was insulted by that insinuation). Then she said she was going to re-home  him with the breeder.

This is when her ex stepped in and took him over, saying it was wrong to just abandon him like that. He also got him neutered, which helped his aggressiveness a bit, but didn’t completely solve it. Her ex didn’t really want a dog in the first place, but seemed to at least for the Fall and early winter do a lot with him. But then, as winter wore on, he found a girlfriend and suddenly the dog was not convenient for him anymore either, as his girlfriend didn’t really like them. We took him in at that stage, because he seemed stressed out between working 7 days a week in high season, dealing with the dog and finding time to stay up late shagging – and we liked the dog. I worked with him to try to correct some of his aggression and to try to make him feel more like he had a leader etc.. Then – she took him back after we had him for 3 weeks and were considering keeping him – she came over suddenly one day w/o calling and said she was taking him.

I’d been looking after the dog even after that stage whenever she went out of town or simply couldn’t deal with him for the day (which was often) and I would have kept him myself immediately if for the fact that we already have 2 dogs and he’s not an ‘easy’ dog to keep as a third dog in that yes, he requires constant attention because he’s domineering and always challenging everyone for dominance in the household. Walking the three of them is possible now, and I did it daily for two weeks but it required a lot of attention to watch him or how they all acted together esp. at first – because he will be the first to challenge other dogs we meet or even to bark at people on the path and he would also start challenging my dogs and they’d all end up barking and the walk would become very noisy. He was unsettled, especially when her ex abandoned him. But he was improving a lot by the time she came back to take him.

He’s been emotionally damaged – having been shuffled back and forth through several homes in his 2 years while she split from her fiancee and couldn’t be bothered to find a place to live for a year. He started to act out and get incredibly aggressive with other dogs to the point where I’d have to put a muzzle on him for the first 15 minutes or so of meeting a new dog – he’d growl at them and be aggressive even with the muzzle on, but after being with them for awhile, you could take it off and then he’d play OK – he was therefore really fear-aggressive and insecure, having been shuffled around (every day for about 6 months her ex dropped him at someone else’s house to watch him for the day where sometimes he’d spend the night, sometimes not).

At first I was pleased when she had him back – he did love her a lot and he’d gotten much better when she took him back after this winter and he’d calmed down a lot in the last few months and had become really pleasant and walks with the three of them with her were quite nice at times. In fact, I though things were going really well and she said she loved having  him and would love to keep him permanently if only she could find people to help look after him while she went away several times this summer for various reasons.

So I offered to look after him for much of this time. I started to think she was going to keep him permamently too – she’d found all the things she’d claimed previously had prevented her from permanently keeping him – she found another place to live (with a garden), found more people than only me willing to look after him when she was away etc. all in the past few weeks before her next change of mind.

But then she called May 20th and no, now she announced w/o prior warning that he was leaving on that Friday for another country and did I want to see him again before he goes? I felt a ball in my throat when she said this. We were supposed to look after him for 5 days in May, and then for all July and suddenly I hear I will never see him again, ever and he will not know why at all. CUNT. That is all I can say – FUCKING CUNT.  I asked her why she lied to me about wanting to keep him, and basically hung up on her. My husband called back and explained we’d like to keep him ourselves rather than having him go to strangers – but she refused and would rather ‘stay with what she’d arranged with the breeder’ (not sure if that involved money or simply she didn’t want him around anymore at all to remind her of the guilt). 

I have not spoken to her since, except one time running into her in town where she told me that since giving him away she heard he is ‘doing well’ in his new home in Austria. Well I hope for his sake he is but have no idea if this is just her own wishful thinking again, because she doesn’t really know what his day to day life is like anymore; how could she ?

This all came up the day after the program on the BBC about dog meat farms in Korea was advertised on our cable, which already had me going about dogs. And two days after I read about the earthquake dog cull in China. There are some people there who try to have dogs as pets, but they are constantly being told to kill their pets or having their pets grabbed from them and beaten to death in front of their eyes – therefore beating the humanity out of the humans at the same time, causing more emotional and psychological damage to an already fucked up population. I have read huge numbers of Chinese websites (and seen anti-French protests) where clearly they also believe their own government’s lies about Tibet and call the Dalai Lama a ‘violent’ man. This coming from people who order pets beaten to death at the drop of a hat is well – bullshit. Pure and simple.

I suppose it could be worse for my friend’s dog if he lived in Asia, certainly. But I think she has a parallel type of personality to the Chinese – compartmentalizes her emotions and never forms bonds even when she cares for and loves a creature. 

France is a dog-loving nation for the most part – no place I’ve lived in before is it easier to own a dog than in France if you ask me. Housing easy to find if renting that allows dogs (by comparison to the US), hotels and refuges in the mountains often allow dogs, and you can bring dogs to most restaurants with you in towns all over France). How she can say it was difficult to find a place to live with him is beyond me and is a pallid excuse. And she will never know if his life is better or if these people beat or abuse him instead – she was willing to give up a dog she’s lived with and supposedly loved for 2 years, and give him to total and complete strangers so that she can have a more convenient summer rather than see him go to people she knew would treat him well … because that would likely make her feel more guilty if she still saw him from time to time in town (is my guess).

She has no real excuse for giving him up. She doesn’t have kids and is trying to make it as a single mom (even then I know plenty of single mom’s who have dogs and kids both), she had found a place to live that would accept a dog and was not lacking in friends willing to help her if she has to go out of town, and a job that makes enough money to feed him. She simply finds him ‘inconvenient’ is what it boils down to – and is basically throwing him out – far away so that she will not have to be reminded. But he will be. He will wonder if she is coming back, or not – why she is gone ? Why he is not seeing any of his friends anymore, what did he do wrong ? He will adapt I hope (maybe … he certainly acted out viciously in the past when he was not happy, however) but he will never know why his pack abandoned him and there is no way to tell him that we tried to take him in and wanted him, and that it was not his fault, but hers.

It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been disappointed in her as a human being but now I am making sure that it will be the last, as I do not consider her a friend any longer.

She previously gave him up when she split with her ex and had nowhere to live and thought her ex was looking after him – which I personally would not have done anyhow and that had already caused me to lose respect for her. But I wrongly assumed that she would want him back (emotionally I mean) as soon as she had a place to live again.  

Her ex is also off our friendship list but I don’t blame him as much as the dog was not his idea at all and was thrust upon him by her (this was obvious and known to all from the start). He now admits he did take the dog back in at that time she first wanted to re-home him in effect because he was mad at her for splitting up with him and to spite her because she wanted the dog to start with and claimed she was too busy to look after him. He was trying to ‘show her’ and he said he felt it was morally wrong to give up the dog they’d taken — but then he went back on all that ‘moral’ stuff as soon as he got a new girlfriend (who doesn’t like animals) and the dog became a liability for him as well and he suddenly abandoned the dog at our house, refusing to have anything to do with him because ‘he couldn’t deal with it anymore’, which is the time at which she took the dog back ). He then refused to speak of the dog except as ‘it’ and would not look him in the eye when he came to visit us and we had him – the dog would howl and howl after he’d leave, completely not understanding what he’d done wrong to be abandoned.

So first he was abandoned by her, then him, and now by her again. We’d been the consistent minders for the dog all this time, and I am really upset that he’s gone away to people I’ve never met, and that I’ll never see him again – our dogs were all ‘doggy friends’.

At the time when they split, the dog was less than 1 year old – if then they had re-homed him with the breeder then and there it certainly would not have been as traumatic for the dog as it certainly will be now – he loves her, was bonded to her. She’d taken him running every other day for months before doing this and supposedly ‘loves’ him (what a pile of horse shit – clearly she has no concept of what love is about). So now she claims she is just ‘doing what’s best for him’ — code word – ‘what is easiest for me because I am too selfish to really care about another being’s feelings’. She has equally selfish girl friends (all w/o dogs of course) who encourage this line of thought in her and agree with her. They also don’t have sustained human relationships and are, if possible, even more self-centered than she is about their own lives. So how will the poor dog know the ‘next time’ if someone is or is not sincere in their treatment of him – he may well always be insecure since she was so schizo, acting as if she loved him one second, and abandoning him the next with no warning or seeming real ‘reason’ to her behavior.

There is no way to explain to him that she really won’t be coming back this time that she has left him – that where he is going is where he is staying (maybe?) How will he know and trust ? His life will now always be a ‘maybe’ about whether or not this time that I am left behind, will anyone come back for me? And he won’t know that he will never see his doggie friends or many human friends here anymore . He howled when we looked after him and his ex-master showed up and left w/o so much as looking at him – he howled and howled. If she visited he would jump in her car as if to say ‘take me home now!’ and she would think it was just ‘cute’, rather than me finding it really heart-wrenching and a clear indication that dogs do remember far more than we think or like to conveniently believe for ourselves. Clearly he has deep emotions and she just ignores them so she can be selfish. She says it will be for the best. Only for her will it be best – she doesn’t need or want him as a status symbol anymore as he’s no longer ‘convenient’ and now like yesterday’s garbage, he’s off to Austria and out of sight, out of mind.

Both owners are jerks to do this and it is very revealing of all the other cracks in their personalities that have made them undependable and disloyal friends in general and I have to say this is not the only way she’s been lacking in ‘loyalty’ as I would term it, as a friend. She has this nasty habit of compartmentalizing her friends, of keeping them separated and not even referring to other friends by name when she speaks of them in a conversation. So instead of doing something with ‘John’ it would be ‘one of my friends’ … this starts out as odd sounding at first, and you chalk it up to maybe having just met a person – but then gets really grating when you’ve known someone for a few years and they still pull this shit, let me tell you. When making plans to do something together, the plans were always subject to change, and eventually I got the idea that she plays friends off each other in her own personal little playground, figuring out which option on offer will be best for her to do for that day, and at the last minute, she either is or is not doing something with you, based on what else is on offer from anyone else who is organizing something. So rather than doing something together in part to be doing something with you as a friend, it becomes apparent that all her friendships are designed simply to serve HER — well we are all selfish to a degree — but this particular degree is just too high for me to deal with, as it was not the occaisional change of plan, but a regular occurence and a complete unwillingness on her part to COMMIT to any given thing EVER. Dogs, relationships, friendships – even a fucking rental contract.

Oh and as for the 2 remaining kittens … well she totally abandoned them to his ‘care’ when she left and didn’t give a damned about them thereafter. He kept feeding the 2 now cats, but was mostly at his girlfriend’s place for many months and then decided to move in with her even though he owns the house. So, it was only at my prompting when he was to move out that he gave 1 cat (the one that always seemed to like people and miss him when he was gone) away to a family he knew somewhere in Chamonix (supposedly if I am to believe him), and the other one he says always disappears for weeks at a time only returning every once in awhile, always looking well cared for so he *thinks* someone else has pretty much adopted it, but of course he really has no clue. Fucker. Well he’s moved out now and I live far away from his old house so nothing I can do to try to find the last one, which in any case no longer knows me at all to trust me or come to me. More reason to stop being friends with both of them. I would have rather kept the cats myself rather than have them owned and then ‘lost’ like this …

Humans are self-serving creatures most of the time – selfish to the bitter bitter core. This is why Nazis existed, why the Killing Fields in Cambodia could happen, and is why any ‘ethnic cleansing’ happens. ‘Never again’ say the survivors. I say ‘just wait until next week’.

It’s human nature – humans are far too often being brought up as unevolved shells who are incapable of empathy (ie thinking of others). There are far too many of them on the planet and more and more empty shells, murderous, selfish and cruel arrive daily to continue to use the earth’s resources and breed more of their evil offspring.

This is why I so often have no time for much of humanity. The number of enlightened intelligent and worthwhile humans is a small part of the population and this small part of the population are ignored, laughed at, killed or ostracized when they try to change things for the better.

When any of us try to suggest population control, vegetarianism, to end factory farming, grow organic foods, conserve natural spaces and waterways, to make laws to end global warming at the expense of industry — no — these are all ‘liberal ideology’ – money is king.

Money represents humanity perfectly. Money is our ego and we exchange it. The more money we have the bigger our ego feels – we feed our ego, we gain our money. If something will cause us to lose money (ego) it is ‘bad’. There are so few people with concepts of morality, of kindness, of doing more good than harm as you live your life.

Where the f*ck is Noah and that Flood ? I think it’s high time for another one.

One cool thing happening around here in opposition to the Olympics, is that there is a Tibetan KORA des Jeux Olympiques autour du Mont-Blanc  (a Kora is a Tibetian buddhist religious procession turning around something, in this case Mt Blanc) being held during the whole Olympic games as a protest … the sister of the Dalai Lama is one of the speakers at the event. It follows the Tour du Mont Blanc route, passing through France, Italy and Switzerland with various concerts and debates happening in the towns along the way. Their official blog is here.

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The Addictive White Powder Which Makes You Tired

Wow – so it’s funny – hits dropped suddenly about a month ago – seemingly after a search engine removed referrences to my number one hitter Hot Sex Makes You Fat  post 🙂 …

BUT I still get more hits on the blog in general than in the months before I added that market trawling porn post. So I think my experiment in marketing for the blog worked.

Time for a personal report which is strangely, not bitter. The more time I spend in the outdoors the less bitter I am (temporarily of course). It briefly stops me from thinking about things such as how cruelly the Chinese treat dogs by beating 50,000 of them to death in front of their owners (and how they treat any animal in general) in their country and how shitty they are to Tibetans, how much general torture and evil is present in the world and how a 77 year old woman murdered homeless people to make money on insurance scams and about all the wars, tragedies and famine. What a crap world. And why does one of the most disgusting countries on the face of the planet get to host the next Olympics ?! I am still pretty sure this is actually Hell … but at least I do get occaisional glimpses of what it must be like to live in Heaven on days like yesterday.

I spent the day skiing massive amounts of powder and fresh tracks on a glacier in Italy. Other people in the world were working (or not or dying), and I was selfishly skiing and having fun. Indulging in the addictive white powder craze. I skied at a high altitude on a lift that as of next year will be closed for 3 years to rebuild it … so it felt special to do the last of the easy lift accessed laps possible on that glacier for a few years. Courmayeur will be rebuilding the 3 lifts that get you from La Palud to the Point Helbronner in a project that will costs tens of millions of euros – which is lots of money that will not be spent on imported Chinese products (thank god). They will change the bottom departure of the lowest station to start at Entreves in order to meet the rest of the Courmayeur ski lifts. This will actually make linked skiing between Chamonix and Courmayeur possible without taking a bus through the Tunnel du Mont Blanc or taking a bus from La Palud to Entreves … and will probably increase the value of both ski stations. I hope they leave in the midstation at Pavillion so that laps are still possible on the Tuole glacier.

Today, oddly my calves are very sore and even going for a quickie few hours skiing on the pistes at Gds Montets until the weather moved in did not clear the soreness. I have been skiing all winter, mind you, on average 3 days a week and have ski toured more this season than any so didn’t expect any major muscle soreness. But yesterday I suppose I could say that I ‘shuffled’ more than I have all season. We did not take touring skins to go uphill, but as we went off piste on a glacier, there were several short-ish sections where we needed to climb to get to the downhill, and so the skis didn’t go into touring mode, and since it was powder you could not ‘skate’ up the hill … so I ‘shuffled’ in fake touring style without releasing the heels, feeling a bit daft. I think this is what did it to my calves. Either that or it was walking kicking steps up from the bottom of the Mer de Glace to the top of the Montenvers train station (to avoid the long queues of French tourists with tiny dogs under their arms waiting to go back up to the train after visiting the ice cave carved into the Mer de Glace) which did it. Certainly now I wish they looked on the outside like they feel on the inside … then I’d have majorly sexy sculpted calf bulges 🙂

Another personal report and more ski porn – I have concluded through use this season that the new 07/08 model Dynastar Legend 8000s are the bomb in all snow conditions off and on piste. The ones I had from the year before (orange jobs, not this year’s brown pseudo gothic design) felt wobbly and unstable at high speeds especially on piste (and I’d gotten them slightly too short, as it turned out). So I sold ’em to a friend who doesn’t ski as fast as I do 🙂 And who can argue with the good feeling you get buying them, knowing that these skis are STILL manufactured only 20 minutes from Chamonix (well they are as of this season … who knows what will happen in future, as apparently they are having money issues and might have to sell up, which may mean outsourcing their production to China, and thus it would be the end of good quality skis from Dynastar ).

The new ones are either stiffer or the changed shape is better or both – speed is now no problem. Turning long or short is no problem. Powder is no problem. Carving is no problem. Crud is no problem. Ice is no problem. They are a great all mountain ski. I have toured in them (Naxo bindings I bought are a bit heavy) … but if like me you tour with a bunch of people who don’t competitively ski tour, and you are reasonably fit yourself, it will not matter and you will keep up (or even get ahead as the case may be). If you are like some other friends I know and tour with people who have light weight touring skis and light weight Dynafit bindings and like to do ski mountaineer races every other week … then yeah, you’d be at a disadvantage. But would you enjoy the ski down on your piddly little touring skis as much as you would on the beefy 8000s ?

No, didn’t think so.

Climbing should be starting soon – I mean it’s mid-April. But we’ve had great dumps of fluffy light cocaine powder – cocaine in that it is very addictive. Or was that champagne powder ? At any rate, by noon it’s more like thick clotted cream, but it’s still easy to ski and very very enjoyable. I did the hardest couloir I’ve yet done (which is not difficult to surpass as I have not done many!) on the Italian side of Mt Blanc … don’t think it has a name, but it was somewhere around 40 degrees sustained with bits of 45 tossed in to make your heart thump a bit (if you are me and don’t do this type of thing too often). But with the snow like it is … easy enough to ski as long as you can land a jump turn and land balanced, and not ski into the awaiting cliffs. I was proud of myself …