Quite an achievement for a couple of fifty-somethings who aren't really that fit. By day three we found aches where we didn't know we had muscles. More of an issue was that we started to fall. When I start to fall it's time to go in - a broken shoulder many years ago drove home the fact that you don't necessarily just get up again. I'd like to say that I have been a cautious skier ever since but in truth I think I was always cautious.
For a brief period yesterday however we threw caution to the wind. We were at the top of the mountain, on Conrod Straight, and we wanted to get to the Cruiser chair. The safe route was to ski down to the Village and take the Gunbarrrel Express back up. No. 1 son, who as I may have mentioned is a great skier, was all for ditching the safe route and taking the high traverse instead. David wasn't sure but was prepared to give it a go. I was just terrified. The high traverse was marked with a black diamond sign -a leap of faith over a cliff with no hope of knowing what perils might lie at the bottom. I have learned to avoid black diamond routes - they aren't marked in black for no reason. They are always steep, often icy, usually treacherous and once you start on them there is NEVER any turning back. This particular black diamond was reinforced with the words 'most difficult', just in case we hadn't already got the picture - a skull and cross-bones could not have made me any more reluctant.
Just as I was beginning to persuade the guys to take the safe and easy option a class of little girls, no more than six years old with ski instructor in the lead, sailed past us heading straight for the black diamond. Talk about loss of face. How could I be too frightened to follow a group of children? I took courage in hand, tipped my skies over the edge and dropped into the abyss. It was steep, it was treacherous and there was NO turning back, but thankfully at least it wasn't icy. For a few wild, exhilarating moments we flew through the air, taming the mountain and leaving the six year olds far behind.
|Would you ignore this sign?|
|It was nice at the top!|