A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Posts tagged ‘skiing’

Ski Fever and Downhill Skiing

We might live next door to them, but I think I can safely say the Swiss don’t like the Austrians. I think personally that this has got a lot to do with envy if not even jealousy. For as far as I am concerned (even though I married a Swiss) the Austrians have everything the Swiss don’t have.

For most of the year though we have a peacefull co-existence ,except for a few digs here and there,but then the World Cup Ski racing starts and the rivalry between the two countries gets out of hand.

There are probably just two downhill races on the European circuit that share the crown, because they both demand courage, technique,experience,and respect for the piste. One is the Lauberhorn run in Wengen,Switzerland and the other is the Hahnenkamm run in Kitzbühel, Austria.

For the last it’s almost a national tragedy if an Austrian doesn’t have the highest place on the podest in Kitzbühel.The Swiss don’t really care who wins the Lauberhorn just as long as it isn’t one of the neighbours.

Ski Fever is epidemic here until these two races are over.

Last Weekend I invited family members over to a belated Christmas Dinner as we had been away over the Holidays.

“What time”? was the astounded question when I suggested 12pm . Had I forgotten the Lauberhorn?

Yes, of course I had, and it meant replanning the whole three course meal around the race. The last change of plan was made at 10am on that day because the race start had been postponed for an hour due to bad light. Surprisingly enough it all tasted very good but even so everyone disappeared from around the table between the second course and the Trifle.

The day was saved though because an American won, followed by a Swiss and a Canadian.Not an Austrian in sight. Gott sei Dank.

This weekend I’m planning Beans on Toast.They are racing the Hahnenkamm,and Daniel Albrecht was the fastest in training.

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Is it just plain stupidity?

Yesterday a 12 year old boy was killed while skiing with his parents outside a marked ski run!

It happened in the well known Parsenn area,near Klosters in Switzerland.

How sad for the loss of a young life, how sad that people who don’t understand the mountains can’t take the advice of people who do.

If you want to Ski in Switzerland we have lots of places to do it in.We have probably the best prepared runs in Europe ( a money thing)

We have Nursery Slopes,Blue Runs,Red Runs and Black Runs. If you really want to kill yourself then believe me the black ones are best for the novice skier. They are planned by experts and mountaineers, like the ex Swiss Downhill World Champion Bernhard Russi who still plans the World Cup runs.

But every year there are fools who know better where to ski,and succumb to the call of virgin snow, even after heavy snowfalls with an Avalanche alert like on Sunday.

To me it isn’t being clever,it’s just being downright stupid.

Do you want to learn to Ski?

I got my first introduction to the joys of skiing outside of Charring Cross station in London. Invariably one doesn’t live next door to a ski lift so it means transporting whatever you may need with you, and believe me you are going to need a lot.

On that cold February morning I was waiting with a case full of warm clothes for my fellow travellers.

I had seen an ad. in a London evening paper about a holiday in Leysin in Switzerland, organised by an army ski instructor.It was cheap,- and that was the first priority for students like myself,- so I toddled along to the orientation meeting.

We were to travel in a mini bus and stay two weeks at the Club Vagabond,which as I learned later said all.

I happened to be sitting next to a young woman teacher, who unlike the rest of us had her own car and was willing to drive it, as the trip with the mini bus had proved to be very much in demand. Being a nice sort of person who also tends to like comfort I offered to go with her, and it wouldn’t have been England if two Gentleman hadn’t insisted on accompanying us. To protect us from the Heathens en route of course.

So there I was waiting apprehensively for I had never been skiing before.
The car proved to be an old Ford Anglia! There were already three pairs of skis fastened the wrong way round on the roof.

This is the first problem with packing for a ski holiday,the ski and sticks have to be fastened to the car roof so that;

a) It doesn’t take off on the motorway

b) By a sudden stop the points don’t go through the rear window of the vehicle in front.

c) They are not scattered along the way causing devastation without you even realising it.

Nowadays there are of course good ski racks, but they don’t entirely eliminate the problems.

In the boot of the Anglia was of course already the luggage and ski shoes of the other three. How the hell was I supposed to get mine in.

Naturally everything had to come out and we had to figure a way of fitting it all back in again.

This is the second problem when going on a ski holiday, it involves taking a load of stuff with you. This problem increases of course if children are with you. Then you will also need to pack their sledge or (help) sledges,along with everything else from ice skates to diving gear for the indoor swimming pool. My husband drove a stationwagon for years because of winter holidays.

Much later the four of us, plus a guitar,were packed tight in the little Anglia and off to the Continent. We were of course later than scheduled and because of the heavy traffic in the Blackwall tunnel missed the car ferry at Dover and the mini bus which we should have been following to Switzerland. It was the start of quite an adventure.
It was the beginning of my skiing career.

My advice to anybody considering starting too, is, unless you can live with the unexpected, the discomforts, the wet, the cold, the pain and the expense

DON’T

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