This was the final day of our long weekend skiing at Chamonix, and the last chance for my 14-year-old daughter to overcome her fear of black slopes it was now or never.
As we stepped into the swaying cable car that would take us to the 2,525m summit, from which the only route down is.
A two-kilometre vertiginous black run, Kayla had second thoughts. “I'm not ready, can't we do another red before we try the black?” she asked.
I tried to soothe her fears but it was Julien Couret, our charismatic private ski instructor, who took charge.
“Mais oui Kayla, I think you are ready,” he said in his heavy Savoie regional French accent. “You must forget about colour. Anyway, a blue at Chamonix is like a red elsewhere, and a red at Chamonix just like a black.” But this only made her more alarmed. “So what is a black at Chamonix comparable to?”