I did not learn to ski until I was 30. A few visits to the dry ski slope in Nottingham followed by two weeks in Sauze D’Oulx in Italy, with the aid of the Sunday Times we learned to Ski book saw me knowing just enough to be dangerous. To begin with, I thought, if I did not fall at least once every run I was not trying hard enough. Someone must have been looking after me during this period as I did not hurt myself or anyone else. Mind you that little lady ski instructor on the dry ski slope that I managed to mow down twice would not agree with me.
Although I was pretty fanatical about hang gliding at this time skiing was a good alternative over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. So I took groups from college, getting my BASI, I partied hard with friends and even started a joke Ski Holiday company called Dunckertours to get discounts and make bookings for groups.
Once money was not quite so tight and the pull of hang gliding had diminished I was going skiing two or three times a year. It is difficult to say which was the best holiday ever, but the first time after I had my knee rebuilt following a serious injury involving a molehill might well get the prize. I had been told that I would never ski again and had only a 50% chance of walking without a stick. So a bit of gentle touring around with friends in the three valleys, being very careful not to fall, gave me the chance to savour the return to the white stuff.
I had to hang up my 220cm Autier GS planks and slow down a little but the mountains in winter are just so magnificent that each year I was back there, with friends, giving it laldy.
I have topped it all off this year with a three week bucket list trip round some of the Colorado ski resorts. Winter Park was great but I think I liked Beaver Creek best.
There are too many friends, days and incidents to recall them all but here are a few.
Bryn Price teaching the Italians to play Zoom on New Years eve.
Jim “the schuss” and his unique style in mogul fields.
A fellow teacher, who must remain nameless, who filled the lift in Avoriaz with snow.
The group who hijacked the local radio station in Les Arcs and read out our own version of the “news”
The chocolate races and the prize for coming last.
Rachel’s comments on fellow guests attire in Italy.
A day out with Judy Leden in 3 foot deep powder.
Michell and Annie teaching me to board on a home made winter stick in Meribel.
Rumbling down to the alps in the Drab Van with every body asleep in the back and returning full of Fitou.
Gustie telling me “ You ski like a fat sack of s*** but I suppose it is OK for a Dutch Scottish West Indian” and passing me for my BASI.