Eating pizza and trying not to die of hypothermia!

It was -16C today with an Artic breeze that took the temperature down to below -20C.  The locals were saying that -40C was recorded at the top of the Marmolada.   But the sun was shining brightly… so of course, we had to go skiing!

We seriously had to re-think our skiing attire this morning. Fortunately I was allowed to borrow one of Graeme’s as yet un-worn puffer vests.  Lucky he brought so many ;-)) !  To give you an idea of the clothing I was wearing:

  1. Thin silk body singlet
  2. Long sleeved polypropylene underwear top
  3. Merino long underwear top
  4. Primaloft Dynafit outer jacket
  5. Down Vest over the Primaloft
  6. RAB windproof shell over everything.
  7. Lava Legs fleece long johns that I’ve only ever worn in Japan at -17C
  8. Mountain Design salapettes overall trousers.

I had my scarf wrapped right around my face and tucked into my goggles so there was nothing showing of my face.  And finally I had drawn the hoods of both the down vest and my shell jacket over the top of my helmet….and I was still cold.  Graeme was similarly dressed.  But the saviours of the day were our Black Diamond Mercury Mitts.   No cold hands, everything else… but not our fingers.   Good job BD.

We’ve skied in Japan and Graeme in Canada and it’s the coldest we’ve ever been.  We literally lasted one run before we had to dive into a little mountain hut to get warm.  And so set the tone for the day.  It was really like a progressive hot liquid tour today, interspersed with survival skiing between venues.

At one point we even had our boots off, with our sock-clad feed pressed against the hut heater trying to rub feeling into our blue toes.  So coffee at Stop 1, bowl of soup at Stop 2, hot chocolate at Stop 3 and finally… at Stop 4.

Our pizza was considerably smaller than this one!!

No other photos today. We couldn’t risk frost bite by taking off our gloves.  Also no stopping out tonight. Straight home for hot shower. It’s surprising how tired you get after being so cold.

Graeme did mention to me tonight that I didn’t do a “before and after” shot of our lovely Gino after his bath.  So here he is feeling all shiny and new again!

We are loving having a car.  After our experience in France all those years ago, we learnt that when you’re staying somewhere for any extended period of time, it’s essential to have a car.  It just gives you so much freedom.  We have been able to explore so many different areas of the Dolomites.

Gino, our Peugot 2008 “Grip” is turning out to be a little beauty.   Being diesel, he’s very economical. We spent more money on road tolls than fuel in our big trans-Italian trip to France and back in December. But he does have some funny little quirks.

I’ve already mentioned Gino’s bizarre glass roof but wait….he lights it up at night!  Seriously!   As we drive along at night, there’s a subtle blue glow from our roof!  All we need now is a disco ball or fluffy dice for our rear vision mirror!

Gino’s night “mood” lighting!!

On the subject of lights.  Gino is also well adapted to mountain driving.  Whenever we are driving at night around a tight corner [ of which there are hundreds on all the roads to and from Arabba], an additional little light comes on the passenger side to illuminate the side of the road.  Graeme likes this feature. I’m still so busy concentrating on staying on the correct side of the road….I haven’t noticed it!

But there is one little styling feature which is proving a little problematic!  The Peugot stylists in their wisdom have added some nice little metallic touches to the pedals, door trim and instrument panel but also unfortunately to the gear stick.


This is all very nice, unless you are regularly driving Gino in below freezing temperatures…which of course we are.  Unless you wear a glove on your right hand like Michael Jackson…your flesh will stick to the freezing metal!  Ouch!

Ridiculously cold gear knob
Ridiculously cold gear knob!




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