Ski Sunday has started airing on BBC2 which always makes me yearn to hit the slopes. It’s been a few years since I last skied but it left the most wonderful memories.
I was staying at the Banff Springs Hotel in Canada, which in itself was pleasure enough but those soft white mountains were calling and so I signed up to the local ski school with hope in my heart that I wouldn’t cause myself too much embarrassment.
A 5am start on the first morning and if I wasn’t awake walking through the lobby the icy blast outside took care of that. Promise of breakfast in a mountain cafe was the only motivation I could cling to to stop me running back to my warm, cosy bed.
No cable car for us. Our group of intrepid travellers found ourselves on a chairlift chasing sunrise over snowy peaks, while the frigid temperature made icicles on eyelashes and froze my toes. A hearty breakfast got the blood flowing and we were ready to – oh my God we aren’t going back to the lower slopes, he wants us to ski from here!! Stood atop a mountain and I hadn’t been further than an intermediary slope before, I was going to die ..
Our instructor, Alan, re-assured us we would make it down in one piece but first we needed to ‘get in the zone’, close our eyes and listen. All I could hear was my heart trying to escape my chest – and the possibility of breakfast making a reappearance. Alan (now known as Sven the Zen) had us concentrate on our breath, listening to snow falling gently from trees, a bird calling overhead as it passed on thermals, my heart starting to slow. Eyes open and off we went.
Despite my cries of ‘holy crap’ when I hit a rock and shot off in to fresh air, I managed not to break anything and got to the bottom with everything intact. I looked back up the mountain and couldn’t believe I’d skied the whole way down. The ride of my life!
Have a great weekend, whatever you are doing