While humanity continues to battle against Covid, the ski season approached and the valley dwellers speculated wildly on what it would look like. Surely the economy needed to keep moving and generate some taxable income for the state that was haemorrhaging cash keeping the people off the bread line? The Swiss certainly thought so and were quick to announce their ski lifts would be open. France adopted the opposite approach going into lockdown in the autumn as covid cases per day accelerated past the 30k mark. They set a target of 3000 cases a day which gave hope to many that things might be under control by Christmas. Furthermore they actively sought a united European approach to keep the ski resorts closed aligning first with Italy and then a reluctant Austria. The ramifications and negative publicity behind the handling of the Ischgl covid outbreak that resulted in the virus being spread throughout Europe and class act law suits against the Tyrolean town must have weighed heavily on the Health Minister from each of the Alpine nations. In the end the target was not met and despite stricter curfews the numbers stayed near the 20000 / day mark. The ski lifts remained closed for Christmas and January and now the whole of February.
Drought in the northern Alps meant biking was the order of the day but like the pervious years, a massive storm on the Mediterranean brought huge snowfalls to the Dolomites and Piedmont. The rules and covid level classification for each Italian region made travel a dubious proposition and I had to wait patiently for things to change at home. And then it dumped for ten days providing one of the best periods for skiing the lowers in living memory. After ten days of averaging 2k/day ascent, it was a luxury to get a couple of days rest before the next cycle!