How not to learn to ski….

I’m in my last day in Alta in the north of Norway, watching fresh snow come down and contemplating an easy day. Yesterday I “acquired” Skiers Thumb, the day before I landed on by backside so hard that I’m still struggling to sit comfortably and I ache all over. Still nothing broken and me and lovely wife have avoided a divorce (narrowly – but she has also learnt to ski).

I thought it might be nice to share my experience of learning if for no other reason than to demonstrate that there is a better way i.e. get a lesson, book an instructor, hire proper gear – do it right.

There’s a few obvious things not to do I mentioned in my last post; wait until you’re 44, buy the world’s cheapest ski gear, assume it’s easy and sign up to an expedition dragging your gear on a pulk for 10 days but I thought I would concentrate on the details.

  • Day 1 – put on gear and head out onto a trail; fall over cry, have a fight then go home.
  • Day 2 – read a bit of a book, realise you’re basically doing it right then head out again; fall over, cry, try not to have a fight, have a fight then go home.
  • Day 3 – watch a YouTube video, realise you got some things wrong, head out, run into a child, break a ski, cry, fight, go home.
  • Day 4 – buy new skis, not wax them (cos previous skis were waxless), struggle like hell, watch lovely wife do well and laugh, not fight, fall over, go home.
  • Day 5 – read bit in book about waxing skis, wax skis, go out and have quite a nice day thank you very much.
  • Day 6 – try to learn to “skate” – an advanced technique. Fail, fall, go home.
  • Day 7 – drag sorry asses out again despite being exhausted, try to learn to skate and go fast, fall, slam into each other, hurt, give up, go home.
  • Day 8 – rest day go to shops, discover there are boots especially designed for skating and that attempting to skate in our 30 year old boots is a stupid idea.
  • Day 9 – attempt done ungroomed trails. Still knackered, fall, hurt thumb, fight, go home.
  • Day 10 – well, it hasn’t happened yet, 5 cm of fresh snow with a frozen base is a game changer so let’s see how it pans out.

I’ll keep you posted…..

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