The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

That time of year again

– January 14th, 2006 –

{title}It’s that time of year again when Emma and I set off to deepest Europe in search of the white stuff - I’m not talking hard drugs here of course - but snow and it looks like there’s going to be plenty of it this year.

Seven years bad luck

I must have broken a mirror seven years ago to have the run of bad luck we’ve had with snow conditions. Emma and I started snowboarding seven years ago and every year since then we’ve managed to skillfully avoid the best snow in Europe every time.

Take last year for example, loads of snow all over Europe in February. The French, Swiss and Austrian alps are waist deep in the stuff. In fact in Austria it was a bit of a problem last year, too much of the stuff. Where did we go? Italy, where there was none. No, that’s a lie, there was loads of fake stuff on 30% of the piste. Pretty rubbish really. So, this year we thought we’d go high in the mountains to give us a fighting chance.

Les Arcs 2K

We settled on a trip with friends to the French resort of Les Arcs 2000 (2000m altitude that is - imaginative eh?). There’s already a 90cm base there, although it’s a little icy, but the good news is there’s up to 50cm forcast for Tuesday.

The child in me

Snow, amongst other things, really does bring out the child in me. Unfortunately with that it brings a child’s reckless abandon which is why I end up injuring myself whilst on holiday. So, I’ve tried to complile a small list to ensure I have a better time than the past couple of years.

Notes to self

  • Do not get over-excited in the new snow.
  • Do not compete with much fitter, younger brother.
  • Do not leave Wife behind at any point on the slopes.
  • Do not get lift rage with badly-dressed European skiers.
  • Do not get lift rage full stop.
  • Try to do at least one jump safely.
  • Try not to be jealous of talented five year old European skiers.
  • Do not drink Port - you don’t like it.
  • Do not drink cold Gluwein - It’s gross.

You might think, on reading that list, that in previous years I’ve been a bit tetchy on the slopes. Well, yes, sometimes, but that stress has mostly been directed at the badly-dressed, skiers (sorry skiers, but you’ve bugged me - especially last year) and smokers (how anyone, despite having an addiction, wants to fill their lungs with smoke rather than mountain air is simply beyond me - but I’m a non smoker, so there you go.)

This is year, I’m determined to rise above it all and enjoy the mountains. There’s something about being up there, in those surroundings, that is so good for the soul.

Filed in: personal.

Further reading