Last time I saw Niall we were summer mountaineering, so it was quite a contrast to be out ski touring with him, brother Stewart and their friend Neil.

When we met up my legs were still aching from the European Championship race from the day before. But with a second coffee, and constant snacking I soon forgot the fatigue! We headed over the border into Switzerland to explore the area near the Bel Oiseau.

We had a hot tour on the south facing slopes, gaining almost a thousand meters to the col. We avoided the obvious Bel Oiseau which was looking busy, and instead dropped over the back of our col, onto the cold north facing slopes which had fantastic powder and had barely been skied.

There was a bit of tree bashing to get out of the valley at the end, but it was well worth it. We finished in the small resort of Marrecottes, where I had actually been racing the day before. We hopped on the train, and ten minutes were back in our original village and the car.