Once upon a time there was a young girl who threw her salopettes and factor 50 lip balm into a case and gallivanted around the Alps on skis. She was always on the first lift up – keen as mustard. Trendy head band teamed with a minor headache just creeping into her consciousness- a satisfying memory of dancing until dawn because: Apres ski.
Not a run was left un-carved. Well perhaps the blacks and maybe most reds…
Ahem: Not a blue run was left un-ploughed.
Oh the crisp fresh air in ones lungs, mountain passes chalked up.
Fast forward ten years: That young girl is now part of a knackered couple who decided to take their darling treasure-chests skiing…
“Won’t it be dreamy! Snugged up with hot choc, a roaring fire, snow capped mountains!” This Middle-age insta-porn swam around my head.
“The girls will build snowmen! They will learn to ski… Maybe they will be naturals” I mused. “And one day they will be ski-champions, all because we took them from such a young age!”
How clever we are being!
Clever is one word for it. If by clever we were infering ‘stable genius’.
Rounding up our kids to go to the supermarket is challenge enough; let along navigating our way around a mountain range in search of ski schools loaded up like abomanble snow-donkeys.
- Four crash helmets.
- Four (Razor sodding sharp) pairs of skis.
- Four pairs of poles to go with those skis: That’s EIGHT meter long poles people.
- Four jackets (it was 23+ degrees most days and jackets were redundant after 10am).
- Two backpacks filled with enough snacks to fuel an Alaskan out-post for an entire season, possibly two.
All the while clapping one foot infront of the other in the worst creation imposed upon the human race: the snow boot.
We sweated and stumbled our way to the gondola each morning to a chorus of “WE HATE SKI SCHOOL”.
Sounds clever so far?
Oh yes, we were feeling very clever as the sweaty panic swept over us when it became horrifyingly apparent that I was going to have to ski down four runs with a two-year-old between my legs to get to the damn-ski-school (God bless Ski-School).
At one point I had a back pack on, two helmets clipped and hanging from each hip, snow ploughing down a green. My non-toned, unprepared thighs burned quite unlike anything my gym-phobia being had experienced before.
Every fibre of my sorry-for-itself body was asking me W.H.Y was I straddling one child whilst dragging the other on the end of a pole, along a slushy white cold path… I was the very definition of a
w i d e l o a d.
This was neither elegant or clever.
“At least the girls learnt a new skill – what fun!” friends asked.
The three-year-old tried to master skiing along a gradient of 2 degrees. And try she really did. With her helmet which sloped off the back of her head, a coat the swallowed her whole and my sunglasses. Because we forget hers.
She absolutely rocked those aviators.
This one time, in the eye-of-ski-hell, Dan and I took Darcie on a green slope. Easy! Just the three of us!
“Take a video! Take a photo!”
“Stay fucking upright and don’t loose the kid.”
It turns out a six-year-old needs a little more practice. Who knew!
Oh the fun we had uncrossing her skis and twisting her body back into a slightly more humane angle.
But, those child free moments, that 1.5 hours of ski time we carefully measured out each day were a joy.
I don’t want to go Karl Pilkington on you, I’m a positive person…
However our alpine-sprint to the lift from ski school was a hyperventilating shoop shoop of Michelin-man neon.
Cries of “Have we got time to go again?”
“That was over too quickly!”
“My legs! My fu*king legs!!”
What legs?! Apparently ten years makes quite a difference to ones flexibility, staminia and ability to control a ski at the end of each foot.
Fancy, we spent all of this wonga to make ourselves unimaginably, inexplicably exhausted. On top of the usual Parent eye-bags.
By the end of the ‘holiday’ my husband and I looked as though we had walked to the north pole.
Sill want to have a go?
- Do ski in ski-out and save yourself the click-clack horror of juggling your ample equipment, equipment that doesn’t come with handy carry handles, and cannot be hung on the invisible snow-buggy.
- Book with a company which collect the kids for ski club from your door. In my fantasies these exist… Mark Warner must have thought of this.
- Be fully catered. We were, and it was blissful. My Hanger was kept well at bay and it was by far my favourite bit of each day!