I know I’ve been quiet recently, that’s because I’ve been away skiing. This was my third and I can finally admit that for much of the time I didn’t enjoy the previous two. This was nothing to do with the people I went with, they couldn’t have been nicer or more encouraging, they were the reason I enjoyed any of the time at all. No it’s the sheer frustration at being the only person on the piste who couldn’t get this skiing thing down.
I’m very much aware this is a #FirstWorldProblem. Oh poor me I can’t do that thing that costs a bomb and most people in the world won’t even get a chance to try – boo feckin-hoo right? I expect no sympathy. This time though, finally, I feel I got somewhere and it was in large part due to the resort, my instructor and (again) the people I went with so I wanted to pay them their dues.
Val Thornes is AWESOME (some accommodation leaves more than a little to be desired but that’s another story) however it does come with a price tag. I believe one time we paid £12 for a portion of chips and £18 for a ham and cheese omelette. That said the skiing was second to none with slow winding greens from the top of the mountain all the way down. Some of these have flatter sections you need to get some speed up for, otherwise you find yourself waddling over the planes but for newbie’s it was a great confidence boost. There were also some fairly challenging blues, a good amount of reds and blacks, ski jumps, a ski cross (which I attempted!) and snow playgrounds. Basically its skier’s heaven no matter what your experience.
I went with Prosneige working with Greg whom I honestly can’t say enough good things about. Greg asked about my previous ski instructor experience (not great) and listened to what I wanted to get out of the lessons (confidence on blues, not to die). He found something positive to say several times over the three mornings we had together saying everything from ‘you tighten your boots like a professional’ to eventually ‘you did that piste really well your right turns are perfect’. By the end of the first day I was feeling better about the week ahead. I trusted him (and it wasn’t just cos he was a cutie pie) so when he said parallel down this section I did. He seemed to know how to push me to do better but not so much that I felt completely terrified of the mountain side. There were points when I was skiing downhill naturally and instead of thinking ‘shoulder, over, shift weight onto other leg, crouch down’ I was thinking ‘I’m skiing! I’m skiing, look at me Greg I’m skiing’ – very 6 year old girl I know but that’s what getting better regresses me to.
PeopleAh the people. Picking the guys you ski with is very important and I got a great bunch. R with her hip flask of alcohol, which gave me the dutch courage to try the snow cross and J & B listening to my ramblings about how fast I was going when they could have probably done the run backwards, blindfolded and on one ski faster. K following me with her go pro (thanks for catching all the falls as well as the good bits) and my long suffering C who deals with my whinging on a daily basis (though now it has changed from ‘I’m crap at skiing’ to ‘ can we go back again before the season ends?
Ski holidays are the place for stories, new drinking games, lemming style falls and a whole heap of fun. If you have the means, I highly recommend you giving it a try.