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Falling down a mountain...

Jackie Beedie

It will soon be time to participate in the annual madness that is skiing. We travel from Bahrain which is just beginning to be fabulous in late February or early March, to a resort in Europe or the US which is high up the mountains, covered in snow and freezing.

Obviously, we take clothes specific for the purpose, it always amused me that you could buy ski wear in Bahrain. Anyone remember when you could get a full ski outfit for BD 10 in Marsims?

On arrival at our resort, with lift passes, skis and boots sorted, we are ready to go. Well ready anyway to cram our poor feet into the single most efficient torture device man has ever invented called the ski boot. These things are horrible, they take a huge amount of effort to put on. You cram your foot in as far as it will go and then wiggle your toes in a sort of scrunchy forward motion to drag your foot further into the boot until eventually it slides in the last little bit. Then you have to tighten the clasps one catch at a time until you cannot get it any tighter. Now you have to do the same for the other poor foot. By about lunchtime your feet will be numb because your boots have cut off circulation, but that’s all part of the skiing experience.

Once boots and skis are on you are ready for the lifts. Work your way through the pass scanner and the lane organiser and you are standing in front of a chair that comes at you at 100 miles an hour crunching into your calves and setting up your first bruise of the week. If you manage to survive this and get off at the other end you are now on a slope. Before you the mountain falls away at an alarming angle, but not to worry because what you have to do now is throw yourself down it. I prefer to think that I fall down the mountain in an elegant and controlled manner. However, Mrs Beedie tends to have a different opinion. She is the one who insists that we get ski insurance each year, as she is convinced I am heading for evacuation off the mountain by helicopter. It has not happened yet, but one must not tempt fate, ski insurance it will be. 

Skiing tends to be very hard work, which is why you need frequent stops for refreshment and vin chaud. Generally two runs equals one stop, then you have lunch and then you can’t be bothered skiing in the afternoon, so you have more lunch. When you finish skiing, or lunching, for the day you experience the most pleasurable part. When you take the bleep bleep boots off, oooohhh yeeah. Then it’s straight into Apres Ski and dinner which is what you really came for anyway. 

At the end of each day your legs are killing you. Each morning you need to load up with ibuprofen before you can get out of bed. By the end of the week you’re shattered. It will take six to eight weeks for your body to fully heal and recover. Do you then swear you are not going to put yourself through all that torture again? No you don’t because you have spent a fortune on air tickets, accommodation, equipment hire, lift passes and food and drink. You can only justify it by convincing yourself you had a great time and can’t wait to do it all again next year. 

Someone mentioned that it might be good in Georgia next year, hmmm.

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