The cables stretch up into the sky, down into the valley, a perspective drawing in black and blue. The sky is bisected with cable-trail and con-. An infrastructural skeleton carries the cable-car line to a trunk with legs and a shadow.
There and then: people transfixed, frozen on a wide piste; here and now: snow traversed by swift skiers. The cable car shadows wobble across the snow on an off-piste slope, sometimes nearer, sometimes farther away. Seen from above, the snow and trees and ski-tracks are like a Wayne Thiebaud painting.
The camera packed away, we leave the resort, and drive back down the mountains through some cloud.
Five, ten, fifteen feet off the ground there are chock stones here and there, caught under the netting that prevents rocks falling into the road. These are the size of footballs, and have slipped, rolled and dropped down the mountain-side, falling in the gap between netting and rock-face until the gap narrows and arrests them. They have then caught other smaller pebbles, resulting in gravity-piled cairns of stones held tight, up in the air.
Only the near-vertical surfaces are free of snow. Streams and water drops have slowed and solidified into ice stalactites. The roads switches back on itself, descending into the valley.
In the distance there is a band of green-black conifers. The top of the band is a serrated silhouette, the bottom fades through grey into white. The band itself is flecked with a billion dots of white, as if it were a picture that had been pin-pricked and held over a light.
It starts to snow lightly as we drop into the valley, and the taxi driver frowns and switches the meter to the night/snow/ice conditions tariff. Black tarmac tracks indicate the modal route that other tyres have swept clear, and the taxi follows these, and takes the corners on tiptoes.
We are flying back across France, above a thick and seemingly endless layer of cloud that looks like snow. Blue-grey shadows in it look like footprints on the piste-edge. The plane rushes slowly forward over it. Instead of a line, the horizon is a saturated fill from white snow cloud layer up into blue sky.
Occasionally we fly over a gap in the cloud, and our apparent height appears to contra-zoom suddenly as the gap reveals a patchwork of fields far below through the cloud window.
As we descend, it looks less like snow and more like a layer of wispy cotton wool, marked and lumped up into momentary images, like landscapes from Botticelli's thrown sponge. Speed lines drawn in the sky, in the glass, in the cloud, in the snow.