My Sunshiny Life

{March 17, 2009}   That's not a bloody green slope!
Chamonix Group 2009!

Chamonix Group 2009!

It was day two and filled to the top of our ski hat bobbles with enthusiasm, the learner group trooped out to the big mountain with the more experienced skiiers.  I arrived in the late group and the other learner ski bunnies had already tried the green run.  It was tough.  Really tough.  We were at Le Flegere and I think those ski grader guys need to rethink the slope grades.  Just because they ski off piste, down black runs and all over those rocky craggy mountains! 

So I arrived to the slope with the news that the green run was really hard and the learner group were still making their way down, mainly on their butts.  Stopping frequently for little mouthfuls of snow to slake their thirst.  I stood up the top of the very steep gradient and whimpered like a little puppy.  I was scared.  Very scared.  But I’d invested in my own pants and jacket the day before and this little ensemble needed to be modelled on the slopes.  I set off but it was a totally different game to the day before.  I had no control and no amount of snow ploughing could get me to stop. Right behind the danger sign I fell hard and lay spread eagled across the top of the entrance.  I couldn’t get up and my poles were stretched out just outside my reach.  I was pissed off.  Why was I so rubbish today when I’d been so confident on the learner slope yesterday?  I lay there for a bit with other skiiers whizzing past me, trying to get around my spreadeagled body.  I just couldn’t get up.  Sascha came to the rescue and unclipped me and listened to me venting in a total ski tantrum.  Then skiiers started to offer bits of advice, like ‘get up’  and ‘not that good a place to sit’  I can feel the rage return as I type this out.  Thousands of expletives raced through my mind, withering and ‘stop you dead in your tracks’ kind of retorts.  What came out however was ‘shut up you dork’.  I don’t think I’ve said the word dork for about 20 years.  Luckily Sascha came out with a few choice words, clipped on her snow board and left the guy behind in her powder. 

So I dragged my ski’s back up the slope and sat with Regis, who was catching some rays.  It was at this point that I realised that I hadn’t done up my boots before I started down the mountain.  I wonder how much of a difference that would have made.  The other guys finally made it back, after 2 and a bit hours of torture, sore, weary and full of stories of how tough it was.  I sat and listened to their stories, getting scared and then relieved that I hadn’t ventured further.  The words ‘racer’ and the pink racing stripes on my new gloves seemed to be taunting me.  After lunch I decided that the fear of going down was less than the thought that I hadn’t given it a good crack.

With this in mind I set off at a very slow pace down the slope, snow plough, snow plough.  I made it round the tight first couple of bends, only face planting once or twice.  Mar-TON was a godsend and he talked me down and encouraged me the entire way.  I couldn’t have done it without him.  The gradient was so bloody steep, god knows how that is a green run.  The long and short of it, I made it down in 15 minutes.  Ok, a few face plants and a LOT of moaning but I made it in record time.  Getting down from the ski lift at the top was another story and Marton was a bit sick of me whining by this stage, as I was facing the wrong way and adamant that I couldn’t move.  He had to leave as he was so much further down.  I stood there shaking, convinced I was going to slide off the side of the mountain, trying to dig my ski’s into the mound of snow on my safe side.   Every time a skiier came around the corner I would tell them how scared I was.  Finally a nice snow boarder took pity on me, chatted to me and unclipped me out of my ski’s.  I came down the mountain, exhilarated that I’d made it down the ‘scary’ green run and happy to be off the death drop by the ski lift.  Little Miss Sunshine lives to see another day on the slopes!


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