August 10, 2006

Still snowing

No run this morning, I stayed up a little later than usual and had a little more wine than usual and decided to set a sensible alarm rather than an early one. When I did get up it was snowing and had been for some time; lots of big, fluffy, wet flakes. The drive to the slopes was interesting, again. The road was covered in snow and we didn't appear to have either snow tires or chains. After a little sliding around as we left things got better, the driver knew what he was doing but, for some reason, the crucifix hanging from the rear-view mirror seemed to take on a whole new level of meaning...

TaxiCross.jpg

Lifts didn't open until quite late this morning, around 9.45ish, so we sat around in the ski locker for a while, some got coffee, some dozed. Eventually the gondola was running and we took to the slopes.

The snow today was, not surprisingly based on the flakes, heavier and wetter than yesterday's. My first run was crap, my head just wasn't in the right place, I wasn't thinking and when we dropped off of the slightly bashed cat track into the powder I was was too heavy handed and instantly spun into a heap. Still, at least with all the snow it didn't hurt! We cut down Piste 6 and then cut left into some rather steep trees and most of us wiped out at least once. Eventually we realised that it was better to take our own lines through the trees so that we were all skiing powder and allowing the snow to help to control our speed rather than all following Tano and running in the smooth, compressed track.

Initially I was too floppy in the upper body and too stiff in the legs. Eventually I realised what was going wrong and tightened my stomach to control my upper body and relied on my feet to feel the snow and let my legs do whatever they needed to. Things got better from then on. These days it seems that I can tell when I'm holding my upper body correctly because my stomach muscles hurt! Pulling my feet up helped keep my weight forward and my tips from diving too much, but sometimes I resorted to leaning back and my burning thighs told me not to do too much of that...

The snow increased after lunch...

SnowAfterLunch.jpg

BackOnTheSkis.jpg

We decided that more trees were the answer to the lack of visibility and the wind so headed off to a new forest. Since we were now taking our own lines things were easier and more controlled even though we had snow above the knee most of the time and it was steep and the trees were very close together. I was doing all the things that I'd not been doing in the morning so the afternoon went reasonably well. At one point there was a loud crack as a tree nearby (but not too near!) collapsed under the weight of snow. We skied a couple more tree runs and then called it a day. The last run had an interesting finish as we cut down between a small river and a path on an increasingly steep section of trees which eventually forced us to jump across the water (and rocks) from a small drop and then ski down a final steep section to the path; I actually managed to land this one cleanly and kept my ski tips out of the deep stuff after the steep section.

The snow was still falling when we got to the base area.

SnowAtTheBase.jpg

SnowAtTheBase2.jpg

Some of the guys went for some aprés ski to celebrate Stewy's 18th birthday and some of us headed home to rest before our Leadership lectures. The drive home was interesting due to the road conditions, but at least this time we had snow chains on.

The forecast is for more snow through until Sunday.


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Posted by Len at August 10, 2006 09:40 PM | Categories: Argentina 06 , Argentina 06 - Photo Album , Argentina 06 - Ski Days
Comments

Superb van picture. Am I imagining it, or it that a bullet hole? ;-)

Posted by: Phil at August 11, 2006 05:43 PM

It's a crack that was probably made by hail. I'm not sure if the hail storm happened here as well but in Buenos Aires there was a really bad hail storm just before we arrived with hail stones like golf balls and lots of the cabs had similar markings on their screens and dents in the bonnets....

Posted by: Len at August 11, 2006 10:13 PM
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