That little girl down there, she’s like a madwoman!

Dear all,

Time is short and I have to dash off to the salt mines, so a quick wrap of the last couple of weeks:

The weather was iffy the first few days (see previous posts) but unrelentingly beautiful the second week. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, expecting to wake up to another fogged-in nightmare, but every morning the sun would bathe the peaks in a succession of pink, orange and yellow light.

One of the advances in skiing over the past couple of decades is the massive increase in lift capacity. The flipside of that is:


Somehow I managed to get myself through that sloping pinball machine of legs and bodies. Luckily that’s the worst I saw of it, and it’s not like that everywhere, every day.


Something must have sunk into her bones and muscle memory over the past year, or maybe it’s a stark reminder that kids grow up a lot faster than you think, or that you actually do learn to swim out of the pool over the following winter and ski over the summer, because I’m telling you, the little red-haired girl is now unstoppable on boards. I overheard a British lady say to a friend half-way down a run: “That little girl who passed us, she’s like a mad woman!” “Yeah,” I said, “I’m her old man. I can barely keep up.”

I was amazed how she suddenly started a rough parallel this year – most of the time, anyway. She does sit back sometimes, and I can’t seem to convince her that the Canadian method of HANDS STEADY IN FRONT instead of flailing out at the sides like some Austrian is the better way to go, but there’s always next year.

I managed to stop her on the lift long enough to explain that I wanted to film her skiing. I’d go behind her, she’d show me what she can do so we could look at it later. Again, she got away from me.

I was going to be trendy and buy carving skis, but stuck with my reliable 200cm racers. Easier to spot in a crowd. bloglongskis.jpg
After a few days I decided to pay 35 euros for a base, edge and wax job. What a difference! Not that they were heavily gouged or beat up or anything, but it was like stepping into a new pair of skis the next morning. Easier turning, more precise edge control without being grabby, and fast-fast-fast.

Funniest sight of the trip: I walk into the men’s and there’s some little kid, must have been no more than four years old, teetering precariously on the toes of his ski boots in front of a grown-ups’ urinal because the kids’ one is marked “defekt.” He’s just about ready to let fly when his grandfather I guess grabs him away toward the biffies saying,, “you’re gonna have to grow a bit before you try that again!” As he did so I instinctively jumped back, expecting an arcing jet of yellow to splash in my general direction, but luckily that didn’t happen.

Could go on, but I’ve had enough of skiing for one year, and perhaps you have too.



© 2007 lettershometoyou

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The banner photograph shows the town of Britannia Beach, BC, Canada, where I grew up. It's home. But I don't live there anymore.

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