Having taken one skiing holiday during which I found myself to be hopelessly inept on the white stuff I decided to remove myself to the indoor slopes at home in order to hone my skills. I questioned whether or not to bother wearing my helmet. After all I had a tendency to overheat and what damage could I possible do to myself when I hadn’t progressed beyond a slow motion snow plough?
Hot and Bothered
Skiing is a surprisingly physical activity and on the indoor slopes there is no wind so it is easy to get a little hot. I quickly felt like casting my helmet aside but being generally rather clumsy I thought that I might just be tempting fate and so I kept the thing on and thank goodness. Despite the absence of the more obvious hazards one might encounter on the pistes like trees for instance, there are still many ways in which to kill yourself on an indoor slope.
The main issue proved to be incompetence and I don’t mean my own. I knew I was rubbish and approached the slope accordingly but other skiers seemed to have a rather inflated view of their own skill sets with the inability to stop being the primary issue. Every so often whilst minding my own business slowing wending my way down the slope I would be taken out at the knee caps by an errant learner travelling at warp factor ten having yet to master turning, slowing down or stopping. This would result in an unseemly tangle of skis and poles and quite often a bash on the head.
The other problem was the snow. Well of course it was but what I really mean is the intensive use of a rather small skiing area. Small hills or moguls start to appear across the day and then gradually build up and so if you ski in the evening it is like negotiating the Himalayas. You quickly learn where the most impressive peaks are but that doesn’t help you when an out of control snowboarder (you know who you are) forces you to change course suddenly leaving you heading straight for the North Face of the Eiger.
On one occasion when I had finally plucked up the courage to travel at speed I hit one of these elevations with such velocity after an encounter with a snowboarder that I was almost sent into lunar orbit. My learning curve had not yet encompassed jumps and so this episode ended with me returning to earth by dramatically face-planting the snow and smacking myself over the head with my own pole.
Ok it all sounds a bit like a carry on film but stick a load of inadequate skiers on a narrow slope and the inevitable consequence is a comedy of errors. It is all quite amusing when you can get up and walk away but your chances of doing that are seriously diminished by not wearing a good, well fitting helmet. You may think you can ski but you could quite possibly be wrong and even an Olympic champion would struggle with those snowboarders.ski
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