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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Skiing in Switzerland

With food supplies having been packed (literally) into the back of the trusty german-made volkswagen golf, I was off to Switzerland, as you do, to "get in a spot of skiing", with some (8) of Cecile's friends, one of whom's aunt had a chalet in Switzerland.
On the way we managed to make a stop in Geneva and I got to slip in the mandatory shot of me in front of the UN (sporting my new beanie - Christmas present). I didn't intentionally mean it to look like I am handcuffed.
We were staying at a small Chalet in a picturesque town called Charmey, tucked away in one of the valleys of the Swiss Alps. There wasn't a lot of snow, but having never skied before I couldn't really tell whether that was just by Swiss standards or by Perisher standards. All the French people we were with looked more comfortable on skies than they did without them. In my opinion, when it comes to skiing, the phrase "it's easier than it looks" could not be
more inappropriate. Cecile spent her time trying to teach me the "chasse neige" or snow plough technique which is used for stopping and turning. There's nothing more humiliating than falling over, not being able to get up, trying to regain equilibrium, and as you writhe around on the ground like a small child caught up in the bed sheets, getting skied on by an 8 year old going about 150km/hr down the slope... without any ski poles. Anyway, by the end of the five days I was "chasse neige"ing the hell out of everything... ok, so maybe not... but I do remember on the fifth day as I was "skiing" down one slope I managed to break from the focus on my skis, look up and realise how beautiful the mountains were.
The Swiss Alps reminded me of my time trekking in Nepal where you were surrounded by a huge awe-inspiring, wholly dominating range of mountains. Strangely you could go a whole day without really realizing they were there. They just sort of seeped into the skyline. It was only later, when you looked back at the photos that you took that you realized just how beautiful they were, and how much you miss them.


andrew_nm_yong said...

mate, looks awesome! who would have ever thought that 6ft plus would be allowed to ski?!

hope you enjoyed new years. mine was nothing compared to yours no doubt, but you will be proud of me that i have safely lay claim to being the first male to do a nudie run in 2007. camping on the eastern tip of tongatapu on NYE has its rare advantages...

hugh said...

I can assure you that it's only a poor season by Swiss standards. There has never, and nor will there ever be, an eighth of that quantity of snow at Perisher Blue, Thredbo and Hotham combined.

Anonymous said...

Aw, your ski story reminded me of when I went skiing with Angela Lehn in Poland! It was absolutely terrifying. I made it down the mountain twice- tumbling and falling the whole way. I came out alive and I am glad you did too:) Hope you are well, miss you guys! -meg

Dan Ilic said...
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