Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Skiing in Voss

Heh, heh, in case you wondered - this is me on the slopes! The moment we saw the ray of sunshine - and there was only one - we rushed out and headed for the lift. DH took this on his mobile phone.

We're at Slettafjellet, heading for the drag lift over to my right. (Your left)

When a drag works well, it is really something. This one goes straight up a couple of hundred metres, and there were very few people about. In fact that was one of the delights of the holiday. We were able to ski at our pace, fast or slow, side to side or straight down - without the dreaded sound of skis hurtling down behind us. As with the slopes, we had the drag to ourselves. No sound but that of the skis hissing over snow, and a track that looked a dream in the sidesunlight coming across the slope. Dramatic ski scapes, photographer's dream. Nearer the top, the wind increased to such an extent that it blew me across the track. Snow spumed off the banks at the side, blew on the wind, made drifts across the track and our skis cut through. By the time dh came up behind me, (next drag) he said my tracks had disappeared.

A beautiful run down. Clear sunlight, every slant and curve of the slope clearly visible. Swooping down, as every skier dreams, with only the sound of the skis biting into the snow. And whoops of joy!

Rush to the lift, panting. Clatter through the turnstile, grab the drag, and up the slope again. This time, the sun vanishes, visibility drops. Near the top, the wind starts to moan. The bones of the face ache with cold, hurt with the cold. Pellets of snow drive into my eyes - why didn't I wear my goggles? Can't see where the disengage point is, wind blows me away over to the right of the track, it's here, let go, stagger off into a deep drift. Blunder around the lift head, can the wind really do this much damage in the time it takes to make one descent?

It can, I assure you. I stood on the top of that mountain, and couldn't see which way to go. If there's one thing I hate, it's trying to ski down a slope where the air if thick and grey, the snow is flat white and suddenly the ground drops away beneath you and you weren't ready for it. Your weight goes back, the skis points come up and you are halfway to disaster. It's like missing a step on the stairs, only worse because there might be another one coming up immediately and you can't see -

It was fun though. I got, down, obviously. And lived to ski another day.

Skiing, anyone?


Ginger Simpson said...

Nope, now matter how beautifully you paint the picture or how many times you tell me what fun it was, there is no way that I'm strapping two pieces of wood to my feet and flinging myself off the side of a mountain.

I will, however, be happy to dress the part and join you in the ski lodge for Irish coffee. *lol*

Nice job, Jen. It does look like you had a wonderful time.

Jen Black said...

I know, the sane folk among us think I'm nuts but hey! on a good day there's nothing to compare