Saturday, April 19, 2014

Skiing progress (Alex; me)

Alex, visiting us for the Easter, brings his unique gastronomy. In three days he has eaten his way through two whole packets of Waitrose ginger cookies (150 calories per biscuit) and thinks nothing of munching through three crisp packets or devouring multiple choc-ices in fifteen minutes; he still weighs less than me.

On Wednesday the three of us (Alex, Adrian, myself) made our second visit of the week to the Mendip Snowsport Centre. A. and A. were going to try snowboarding for the first time there; I eschew any sport where you wear your cap back to front.

They had fixed a leak in the sprinkler system and in the afternoon sunlight, a fairyland of water fountains bathed the slope: it made the surface an ice-rink. I immediately found my skis had almost no purchase: my turns didn't grip and I was spinning round so much I'd finish facing up the slope and then slide backwards (help!). By the time I had gingerly made my way down to the end of the second slope I was terrified. The bottom (training) slope was crowded with beginners erratically snow-ploughing. All hope gone, I slid sideways on my skis slowly to the bottom. Normally you can't get the skis to slide sideways .. that day it was easy.

As I arrived at the bottom Adrian looked on with concern: "Was the crash very bad?"  Admitting my new-found incompetence somehow felt worse. It took an hour to adjust my technique to the point where I could finally make a top-to-bottom descent (hurrah!) and then it was straight off for a hot chocolate ("Gonna quit while I'm ahead"). I have to report that no-one else seemed to be having the slightest difficulty, and that Alex did just fine on the snowboard (Adrian was super-expert, in full instructor-mode).

Yesterday we returned to skis. The sprinklers were off and the course satisfyingly dry. A few runs had my confidence back and here are some videos: Alex and me.

(We're going to try the Skiplex system in Reading in a couple of weeks time).