Thursday, February 24, 2011

Skiing in the Alps

A few weekends ago we went skiing in Auron, a small ski resort town in the lower Alps, just 1.5 hours from Nice by car. I was very excited to be doing some real mountain skiing, especially Alps skiing. Here we are, ready to go.

The mountains were gorgeous, of course. Unfortunately the snow was not so great. I actually could have used some powdery Michigan snow. It had not snowed in a long time, so the snow was very hard and pretty icy in many spots. I was enjoying it anyway.

The slopes were so long compared to what I am used to, which made it pretty fun. However, I had a slight problem. I love skiing and have been skiing a few times a year on average since 5th grade. I'm not great, but I enjoy it and am not afraid of the more challenging runs. I should have rented skis, but used those of a friend instead. They were way too long for me (the same length of Olivier's), they were the old style, and I just could not cut the snow well with them. Anyway, this inability to use my edges well was not helpful on a rather steep and icy slope. Unable to slow down and slipping every time I tried resulted in the biggest fall I've ever taken in my life while skiing. Somehow I ended up sliding face first on my stomach, skis above my head (no they didn't even fall off!) for a very long time. I could not stop because it was too icy. Finally it flattened out enough for me to slow myself down and finally stop. Luckily Olivier stopped when he heard me yelling as I slid down the hill and was able to help me. It took a few minutes to get back on my feet, but finally, I was up. Other skiiers stopped and found my hat for me, which I lost a few yards back. Needless to say, I was all of a sudden quite afraid to continue. Beind halfway through the run, however, I had to finish it off. I skied back and forth, falling often from trying to slow myself down. I was so angry with myself for all of a sudden being so afraid and I couldn't understand why I seemed to have no control over myself. After my fall I was slipping all over the place. After another run or two I suggested we stop for lunch. I really just wanted to get the heck off of my skis for a while. We stopped and ate as I clumsily cut my pizza (it was not the kind that was easily eaten with hands) because of an injured thumb. As we were gearing up to get back to the slopes I thought I should tighten my boots because they felt pretty loose. Somehow (during the fall I'm guessing), they had both come undone. No wonder I had no control! They were the kind that close from the back with one clicky thing. I have no idea how it happened, but they somehow detached. The difference after that was remarkable. Duh! Finally I could control myself. I was still a little shaky from my fall and very sore, but I tried to enjoy the rest of the day, while avoiding the steepest slopes, of course.

I was glad to leave by the end of the day, but I am anxious to get back out there (with rented skis) and actually enjoy skiing a little more. I was just so sore and anxious after my fall that I wasn't really having fun. If the weather cooperates, we'll be going again this weekend. I'm hoping for better luck! I guess I can be glad that I was not badly injured, just lots of bruises and a sprained thumb.

1 comment:

une autre mère said...

Yikes! That is why I don't ski real mountains. I just stick to our mountains Iowa ranges. ;) But what a cool experience to be skiing in the Alps with Olivier! Love the pics of you guys!