Today was rain, rain and more rain and not only had it rained all night but it had not frozen, to that end it was going to be a potential problem for skiing. With breakfast done and kit packed we loaded in to the “Happy bus” and Ash drove us the usual route tot he hotel car park at the slopes. A varied music collection this morning which while it was not a disappointing choice, did not get the usual head and body bouncing or singing that we were used to. The rain was still falling and as I looked out of the windows of the bus I could see how much of the snow had melted away. Admittedly this was the low ground and the slopes were a reasonable height above but I could not help but wonder just how much of the white would have gone leaving more green. We arrived and parked in our usual place and as I looked out of the left window I was shocked at just how much of the snow had been melted by the rain overnight. The area which I would have as my alternative route if I was struggling for speed was only a meter away from the large green area which had materialised over night. As I listened to the skiers coming down over the Blue slope, (beginners slope that I am learning on), the sound was not that of hard snow but instead had the sound of sticky snow which would make things really difficult for me. It was decided that I would sit in the cafe and have a cuppa while Ash, Kev and Hannah went off for a ski to see what the snow was like, which routes I could use and how difficult it would be for me.
After half an hour they returned and delivered the verdict and the suggestion of what today would involve. The snow to be blunt was crap. They were not happy with the running of it and so they had talked and decided that for me to try to continue my learning on the snow after the rain and no frost overnight would be a waste of time and potentially take things backwards for me. Instead then we would be going up the t bar lift and across the slope to the opposite t bar lift. This is known as the “8 minute abs” lift as you have to lean right forward to be able to keep the front of the ski on the deck. For this to happen then they had to tip the back of my chair forward and I would have to lean as best as I could on to my legs. I would however have Kev behind me to keep the ski upright to the top. I wish I had been able to take some video of the ride as it is really steep, really steep. Once we got to the top, Hannah and Kev took the tow rig off and Ash told me the route would be taking. The first would take us left while the second would take us right.
I steered with my head and “Riggers” which was to assist Ash who was “driving” my ski with the grab rail, this was because the red slope was a bit steeper than the blue as it was for the more confident skier, Ok, ALOT steeper! The view was amazing, the snow was much better, the skiing was fantastic and I did nothing but belly laugh all the way down over. It was such an amazing feeling and experience to have done, we were joined as well by a few of the other sit skiers who could ski when they were able bodied and as such have progressed on to the red slopes skiing happily on their own with their instructors following. I am not nor do I think I will be at the stage before the course ends but I am not gutted about it as I am happy to have learnt what I will have learnt by the end. Once we had done the left side we then went on to the right side and bloody hell was it different. Ash and I very nearly got air over one of the bumps. He is an amazing skier who turns my ski like he is driving a car, explaining everything we are doing all the way as well as explaining the ground and the snow formations that we had been taught on the previous day. It made it clearer to me as a picture I understood better than the explanation.
We did the to runs and then we called it a day. The runs had been an introduction to the slopes for me and also to allow me to rest my shoulder some more ready for the seriously hard day planned for tomorrow. Tomorrow I have to ride cable cars and gondola’s too because we are going very high up the mountain. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow. Until then.