Monday, January 26, 2009

Skiing: the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk. with pictures to prove it!

I went skiing (for the very first time) in the Alps this weekend. I have to tell you that before you see pictures of me standing around at the top of the mountain with my skiis off, because if you hear about it from anyone else, they might tell you I spent more time at the top saying, "do I have to go down that?" or scooting down the mountain on my rear grumbling. As I was dreading going down, I remembered trying to creep down a steep hill on a camping trip when I was 4 and being terrified and miserable--and that was just walking on my own two feet! By contrast, if you learn to ski in Switzerland, expect to be shown up by Swiss children who barely come to your knee whizzing by you all day.

But, despite what others might tell you, or what forthcoming pictures may indicate, I did ski a little. Richard's dad was learning too, so Richard spent Saturday teaching us the basics on the bunny hills in Wengen. That wasn't too difficult. Aubrey and Josh were relatively new skiiers too, so they stayed near us most of the day. Sunday morning, we joined Valda, Jen, Dom and Raph on the break-your-neck-and-wish-you'd-mever-laid-eyes-on-a-ski pistes. Richard and Valda and Raph took turns helping me down the hill by holding the two ends of my ski poles while I held on in the middle to stabilize me through the turns. That worked out pretty well. I have my skis for the season and will go again in a couple weeks with the Church, and hopefully at least one more time after that, and maybe by then I won't need so much help. Hopefully I'll get some pictures from this weekend to share with you soon.

The American novelist Shirley Ann Grau theorized that winter is "a kind of evangelist, more subtle than Billy Graham, of course, but of the same stuff." From the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant at 9,748 ft., it seemed likely.

The cones really clear up any doubt about where I am, don't you think?

Here we have Josh, about to demonstrate how to get up after a tumble, which he had already graciously demonstrated.

Standing around at the top of the hill. That's Richard's Dad Malcom on the right, looking very hip. And of course Dom on the left, looking sorta hip.

Lunch! seems like I was once in another restaraunt that revolved, but I can't remember where. It wasn't the space needle; I know that.


  1. Hmmmmm, that break-your-neck-and-wish-you-had-never-laid-eyes-on-a-ski part does not sound like the easy slopes you were telling me about when you reassured me that you would not be risking life and limb. Anything else I ought to know about???

  2. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, Mom! And all my limbs are in tact.

  3. Congratulations! Skiing really is wonderful, the closest to flying I will ever get, not that I've ever done much in my life. Since you now know him, perhaps you will appreciate Noah's first time on skis, which happened just after their return from Switzerland. Maybe some day he will go skiing with his Swiss cousins!

  4. So you had to display a picture of me on the ground didn't you?! I was just resting. I have to admit however that I do feel quite manly with all of the cartoon characters behind me! Josh

  5. Grandpa said you ought not wear white pants in the snow as it would make it hard to find you if you take a tumble. (Insert his laughter here.)