Winter is here at last

So it’s dumping down outside, the snowploughs can’t keep up with the volume of snow that’s falling and I haven’t seen sunshine for about a week.  Winter has arrived at last. 

Last year, I was a little apprehensive about the arrival of winter after a long hot summer and very dry autumn.  This year has been very different with much more rain but the arrival of winter came on the same week and so the cycle of the seasons, more noticeable living here in the mountains, continues.

a quick pit stop for a photo on my commute to work

One of the things bothering me last year was worrying about whether I would remember how to ski. So this year, myself and a couple of the guys went to Saas Fee as soon as they had more runs than just the glacier open and went for what is now becoming a traditional season opener.  We had a great day, getting up early in the miserable rain of Chatel and driving for 90-minutes towards a patch of blue sky that gradually opened up into a bluebird day of great skiing.
All fears of not remembering were gone within 10 seconds and whilst my personal technique on the day left something to be desired, I enjoyed myself and tried not to think of anything technical.  Just skiing for the love of it.

I was also breaking in some new kit.  I currently have a spare room full of stuff that replaces old worn out kit or shiny new stuff that is of course, essential to my very existence…  New stuff for this season includes a full NTN Telemark set up on WhiteDot One skis (they look so cool, cannot wait to try these), new race boots, new teaching skis, helmet and poles.  This is the one similarity that skiing has with cricket, a former passion of mine back home, you get to have loads of equipment that you can fuss over, discuss at length and banter about.
new telemark set up – NTN on Whitedot One’s
The deluge of fresh snow means that everyone and their dog wants to go skiing on Saturday when the lifts open.  This means I’m working as of Saturday when the kids from one of the International Schools in the valley come up to bomb about in the fresh snow.  After that on Sunday, the first collective week starts and then we are into the season for real.

To add to a hectic start, I’ve got Cheeko, Hughsey and Stavros arriving, as well as Mrs Burrows’ friend Emma, all on the 15 December.  All are looking to get smashed for 4-days and each one of them is looking for an opportunity to take me down.  I have plan to combat them, the first part of which was to find them an apartment in the same block as ours but not actually in my place so they can disturb each other and not us.  This is a good place to start.

Plans for this season include a whole bunch of training for my Level 3 ski exams in March, less hangovers and more skiing.  I’ll let you know how I get on.