Friday 7 April 2017

February skiing

Since I'm about to go away skiing again, I thought I should write a bit about the ski trip from February.

I had it in mind that I might end up going on the trip. I don't know why. I consciously kept February half term free, until about 10 days before when I realised with mild dismay that I had no plans. Then, the experienced skier member of the ski trip staff had a bereavement and couldn't go. I'm fairly sure I wasn't the first person they asked, but I was thankfully the first to say yes. That was Monday afternoon and we left Friday morning.

It was somewhat liberating to not be running it, I have to say. I was a bit worried that I would end up being THAT person ('On my trip...') but I think I managed to avoid it. I brought my favourite bits with me and kept my mouth shut the rest of the time unless I was asked. The trip leader, a woman of 26 years' experience, obviously did not need my help but there were a couple of occasions when I was able to bring my experience to assist her. I'm hoping I impressed her enough to be invited back.

We were skiing in beautiful St Johann in Tirol, just outside Kitzbuhel. I haven't skied in February for years and I'd forgotten how great the snow is, even quite low down. It was quite a gentle resort and we had a day out to a nearby mountain on the border with Germany.

I came second in the race but I was pleased that I beat the really quite annoying rep. It felt like I couldn't get rid of her all week. I spent most of my time skiing with the top group, who weren't good enough to make this too much of a challenge for me, but I did find I covered more miles than usual. The instructor, Bob (a fellow Bristolian, would you believe it) taught me to carve....well, he tried to teach everybody to carve but the girls were a bit reticent about it. So, my skiing definitely improved.

I also found out my jacket isn't waterproof anymore, on the last day; I was so wet and miserable I sloped off for an early lunch and apparently Bob skied the whole piste again to check I wasn't prone by the side of it. Oops. In my defence, he had said earlier in the week that if I couldn't keep up, he'd just leave me behind.

We saw a couple of ski shows, too. These are delightfully cheesy affairs and there's usually mulled wine. Some of us got these at the first one -

One of the girls nearly lit herself on fire. That was emotional. It was one of the moments when I was able to intervene in an impressive way, though, at least.

Gorgeous views from my hotel room (managed to get a room by myself, too):

And there was even a dog. He slept on the corridor one night when there had been fireworks and woke me up at 4am. I had to run down three flights of stairs to let him out before he woke up the whole floor. My colleague Rachael had been quite graphic in her plans for him were he to do such a thing.

So many more stories I could tell! Greta, the least sympathetic ski instructor in the world; German army out on manouevres; a colleague getting airlifted off the mountain with an asthma attack; mulled wine in Kitzbuhel; good bus driver vs bad bus driver; #atmylastschool; the broken picture and the dustpan and brush 'from olden times'. This is a list for me to expand on in my copious free time. But, I'm up early to go off to another St Johann (in Pongau this time) so I'll sign off with a view from the lunch spot:

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