Follow the crowd

I’m sweltering in 35 degree Celsius, it’s clammy and  close.  I am not sure which is worse, the direct sun or this cloud holding the heat in.  So I’m thinking of cooler times.

When I was 16, I was introduced to the dry ski slope of Rossendale, it looked ok…..until I got to the top, went straight down, over the bump (where you should stop) and head first into the carpark luckily landing on some grass.

That’s enough right? No, it was just the beginning.  I was booked for a class and learned to zig zag and put the brakes on.  Back up to the top and …..same result.

Much later maybe I was 22.  Some friends were heading up to Glen Coe in Scotland for New Year.  Proper snow!  Ok, I’m in! Skiing (4)

Crushed in the back of a Mazda MX6 for 7 plus hours, a stop by the police for a broken back light delaying the journey and eventually I peeled my way out of the car into a lovely bed and breakfast. I was in awe of the spectacular scenery. Untitled design (1)

The next day we went to get our skis and clothing.  First the humiliation of the weigh in, why did they need to know my weight?

Next we went up to the mountain and boarded a cable car.  This was the sort you sat in like a child’s fairground ride with a small bench on each side facing each other and sensibly it stopped for disembarking.  We walked across the mountain to find our guide and teacher, the friends had thought ahead and booked me in properly with an expert. (!!!)

I began zig zagging, all was going well and suddenly I have passed the teacher, my friend trailing me, I can’t stop! I must turn! I must turn, thank goodness I learned the basics.  I joined a lane hurtling southwards on the mountain at an ever gaining pace and the experts were moving out of my path.  Eyes darting left, right, forward…Woah!! Think! Think more! Think faster, there’s a building ahead!!!!  There’s soft snow on the boundaries of this fenced in downhill run and with about 20 feet left to go i hurled myself up and into the snow, better I risk some injury than certain death by hitting that building!!!

My friends caught up with me.  I had the mask off now, shaking but proud of my fast thinking.  We walked the final few feet to the lift.. a different lift.  There was no way down from here, only up.  This was a T bar.  I watched a few times as people mounted the T bars.  When I thought i was ready I took my turn. Weyheyyyyyy!!  Thump!  Down the crevice I went, skis in the air, my face down some hole, i could hear the shreiking above me, not in fright but in sheer histerics my friends were belly laughing!  I climbed my way out of the crevice and continued to climb the mountain carrying my skis and kept going until i reached the nice lift to get back on to go down.  “It’s not normal to take the lift down” i was told, “well” i said “if you have a helicopter, I’ll take that option, otherwise I am boarding this lift!”

We all met at the carpark and I turned in my skiis and swore it was the last time I would meet such a ridiculous set of gear again!  We were all laughing by now but then i looked in the rear view mirror……  I had make up everywhere and the resemblance to a Panda bear was startling… I know why my friends were laughing so hard the whole time and they had left me looking like this for hours!

Untitled design

Back at the hotel, i joined in a highland jig, drank copious amounts of Southern comfort (I was scared of the whiskey) and from then on I chose to while away my remaining days in the spa…..alone haha.

Tomorrow…. Beautiful Banff, Canada.





Karoline Simone


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