Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Days off and days away

Last week was an unusual week in that we had two days where the mountain was shut due to bad weather. Whilst this was quite common when I worked in Scotland and New Zealand, it is a rare event here (we have only had one closed day in the last two seasons). The first closed day was spent in the flat, catching up with various websites etc. The roads were pretty dicey so no one was keen to go anywhere else. On Friday though the roads were clear and we had the opportunity to head toward Ordino for lunch at Gaspa's (the Hotel Gaspa). This is a well known spot amongst the locals although it doesn't look much from the outside, being dominated by the petrol station next door. A very pleasant afternoon was spent enjoying Catalan cuisine and a few bottles of wine.

This weekend the weather cleared up, and the snow was excellent where it hadn't blown away. On Sunday I went to Baqueira in Spain with another instructor. We made an early start as it is just over two hours drive, but the skiing was fantastic with some great off-piste opportunities. The sun shone all morning and it was just nice to be skiing somewhere else for a change. After lunch the weather changed dramatically and we were soon skiing in a whiteout with visibility down to a few metres. It took me back to learning to ski as a child. Too often these days I don't go out when the weather is bad - after all I have all season to ski - but days like this are really good for your technique. Obviously high speed carving is not safe, but doing short radius turns when you can't see the terrain ahead of you really makes you feel for what your feet are doing.
I'll try and post some pictures over the next few days, but I need to get them from my colleague first.

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