Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Looks can be deceiving

Mountains can look unappealing in poor weather, when the sky and the snow merge into one strangely blank expanse of grey.
Visibility was poor on our first day. We took our skiis on the train and ventured up to Rotenboden (unforgettably dubbed Rottenbottom by a couple of seven-year-old English children on a previous holiday), thinking that our "favourite" run would be easy enough.

The run descends to Riffelberg and is a swooping rollercoaster of a run that leads directly to the sun terrace of the Riffelberg hotel where hot chocolate awaits. The problems began right away - my skiis would not slide. Very odd. I stood on a slope, pointing down the fall line, and did not move. Dh finally admitted he'd coated the skiis with WD40 when he stowed them in the garage after our last trip.

So, there followed much swishing of skiis back and forth in the snow until the wretched WD40 was polished off. We earned strange looks from other skiers, I can tell you. Then we could ski. We set off and soon found we'd descended into mist, cloud, call it what you will. Skiing palls for me when I cannot see more than ten feet ahead of me, when the snow suddenly disappears under your skiis and you land with a thump somewhere down the hill you couldn't see.

We got down, had a hot chocolate and waited to see if the weather would clear, but if anything it got worse. In perfect agreement, we got the train down to Zermatt and headed for the leisure pool and two jacuzzis at the hotel. Call it cowardice if you like. We prefer to say there's always tomorrow.

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