A rest day today. And the wind has stopped. Surprisingly even though it’s a sunny -5°C outside it doesn’t feel as cold as the last two days when the temperatures were above zero, but a cold wind was blowing. Wind-chill factor indeed.
So, some “mooching” for us today. Domestics like washing, catching up on reading and a bit of computer work.
But this evening we’d been invited to join John, Peter, Sarah & the girls at R.Plan Boe for apres ski. Graeme didn’t want to go, so at 4:30pm, after the slopes were closed I donned my skins and headed up the piste. I was surprised how many skiers were still on the piste, coming down from higher up the mountain. I hugged the side of the slopes as always and I wore a flashing red head torch as it was now twilight. Skidoos were zooming past making deliveries and taxi’ing people to & from various refugios above, but they all gave me a wide berth, thank goodness. All was going well until I heard rumblings behind me and turned to see the glaring lights of 3 groomers driving side by side coming up the piste behind me.
Eeek! I sped up, now almost jogging on my skis. I was in a narrow section of piste which has been dug out from the side of the hill. I was hard up against the netting protecting skiers from the significant drop-off on this side of the run. There was no-where else I could go. I turned around and I’m sure the look on my face would have been hilarious to the groomer drivers. Think “rabbit in the head-lights” combined with frantic hand movements. There was no discernible change in speed or direction of the machines…so I somehow managed to hook my skis in the bottom overlap of the netting and hung like I was climbing a chain link fence while dangling over the abyss. Turn’s out that I had over-reacted a tad. Despite looking as is if their front blades filled the entire slope, there would have been about 1 metre clear for me to stay standing on the snow right next to the netting. Of course I didn’t know this at the time… and to be honest I’m not sure that I want to test the theory again.
Needless to say I broke the speed record up to R.Plan Boe – 22 min vs. our usual 31 min. The party was in full swing with the music so loud that the bass was making all the wood in refugio throb. There were people dancing enthusiastically in ski boots and at one point there was a spontaneous congo line which I was pulled into. Conversation was impossible – so… “I may as well join them”. The enthusiasm of the German table next to us knew no bounds and the leader of the pack, a very attractive blond young woman who had the physique of a well-honed gym instructor was in charge. She had kicked off her ski boots and was risking serious foot injury by enthusiastically dancing with her large, ski boot clad compatriots.
There were howls of protest about the music from our English speaking corner as the music was predominantly German drinking songs – including a particular favourite which was played over and over again…”Schatzi schenk mir ein Foto” [loosely translating to “Darling give me a photo”….???] Have a listen for yourself..it’s not pretty!
Finally …after the fourth repeat of “Schatzi” the English speaking crew and I piled out of the Refugio, ready for the more death-defying ski home in the dark. My head torch wasn’t bad but they had the snow guns running full tilt so it was like skiing through a blizzard which reduced the effectiveness of the torch. Poor old John, took a tumble, but we put him a back on his skis and I drove him back to his hotel before heading home to Graeme. Not sure if he’ll let me out again on my own ;-))