Before Monday the last time I skied was in Switzerland in 1991. A lot has changed since then. Skis have changed shape. Boots technology has changed. Clothing has improved. And my body has aged nearly 20 years. Needless to say I was apprehensive about getting on skis again, particularly in, potentially at least, such an extreme climate.
I have been covering my London Derriere by saying that my main interest is in seeing the Rockies and taking photos rather than becoming a whizz-bang skier. But I need to be reasonably competent at skiing in order to get into the mountains with the camera. So there will have to be a sharp learning curve.
I have been skiing for two days now. I have improved a bit though there is a long way to go. But my legs are screaming. There is a lot of stress on the thigh muscles, particularly with the inefficient way that I ski and by the end of the skiing day I could hardly walk.
And then there is the matter of ski boots. Technology has improved and the pair I have borrowed from Mike are by far the most comfortable I have skied in. Nevertheless there is no escaping the fact that ski boots are designed by sadists for masochists. They are really instruments of torture and should by rights be outlawed by the Geneva Convention as inhumane. But people put them on for pleasure and so they presumably are not covered by the Convention. I have no inclination to take up snowboarding but one thing I do envy is that they get to wear boots which allow them to walk normally and not like chronic invalids or weird alien beings.
Despite my slow progress at skiing I have very much enjoyed the high mountain scenery. Fresh snow has fallen recently and today there was a blizzard around the middle of the day which brought lifts to a halt for a short while.
The landscape is very dramatic with vast pine forests coated in snow which stays on the trees because the air is too cold to allow any melting and above the tree-line towering rocky peaks etched with snow. There has not been much blue sky yet so the light is a little flat for photography. However, I managed to take a few photos with the Canon S95 but it will be a while before I venture out with the SLR.
Forecast for Calgary: getting about 10 degrees colder over the next 5 days. By Sunday it will be max -19C, min -23C! Good luck! I’ll be interested to know what those sort of temperatures are like to experience. Presumably Banff is even colder due to elevation. More snow expected here as well. Thinking about Greece! Enjoy the skiing.
“ski boots are designed by sadists for masochists. They are really instruments of torture and should by rights be outlawed by the Geneva Convention as inhumane…”
Funniest thing I’ve read in ages!! Haha! Have a great time Pops – the -23C forecasted should numb your screaming legs to the point that you only feel the pain once you’re back home in a hot bath!! Hey on a side note, if you find a decent sample of some Grizzly bear hair (should be on most tree trunks) could you bring some home for the kids? They’ll think it’s the coolest thing ever!