January is such a wanky month, isn’t it. Winter in general for me is just not the one – all the extra layers add to the illusion that I may infact be the Michelin man, and having to toast my hands when I get home just so I can feel them again is just not ideal.
There are some (perhaps mentally instable) people among us, however, who love it. They can’t wait for the summer days of sticky tube rides and frivolous late-night sunset boozing to be over so they can get out their winter woolies and experience the joy of wrapping up against the harsh winds (weather bomb, anyone?).
Now, I’m not completely against Winter, as I can reason with myself that it is in fact easier to warm up in the depths of December than it is to cool down in the sweaty highs of August, but I would just rather spend my little days in a lovely warm environment, and not in minus temperatures.
One thing that is (arguably) good about winter is the much-loved “fun” sport of skiing. I use the term fun loosely, as I happen to think it is both soul destroying and life-threatening, and yes you’re right I am absolutely shite at it.
Like all good human souls, I believe in trying everything at least once (I’m so yolo). In actual fact, I tried skiing several times, and it just would seem that, in hindsight, I was never actually destined for life on the slopes.
I began my skiing career in the climes of a little town called Castleford (some say it’s a bit of a shithole), where the lords of winter sport have built an indoor ski slope. Yeah, that’s right, they’ve made a load of real, genuine snow and allowed the public to pay to whizz about on it, and apparently it’s the perfect venue for skiing lessons. Castleford’s indoor slope, although it seemed terrifying, was in fact a piece of piss, and I was bashing out run after run from the top of the slope in no time, revelling in the fact that I was clearly born to ride the piste. Most skiiers seemed to spend a lot of time on their arse (and don’t even get me started on the snowboarders), so I was feeling pretty confident as the news was broken to me that I was in fact going on a skiing holiday with my fam (minus my mum who also can’t ski for shit).
My skiing adventures continued to be fantastic as I hit the slopes of Grenada in Northern Spain at the tender age of 15, but perhaps that’s because I took a friend with me and we just bombed around on the baby slopes “little egg-ing it” (a genius trick where you sit down on your skis so you resemble a little egg). The only time I tackled a harder slope on this trip, I ski’d into a fucking fence, but that still didn’t shake my resolve that I was in fact a pro. It was during my second skiing holiday that things truly took a turn for the worse…
So a couple of years ago, my father (who actually can ski) decided to brave Europe with his wonderful daughter once more; taking to the slopes with an Olympic standard skiier such as myself must’ve been a daunting experience, but the prospect of basking in my glorious company for three whole days proved to be too great to pass up.
So off I went to the Italian slopes, assuming that this too would be a trip to reflect on with pride. As my dad is actually really good at skiing, he was headed for the top of the mountain, where of course I would be in my element. To be fair, the views from up there are absolutely amazing, and I would probably put myself through another skiing holiday just to get all up in nature and enjoy the scenery. It was the travelling down that was the problem.
It all began swimmingly, with me being a natural once more, until something went wrong, and my tekkers took a turn for the disasterous. Half way down the route, having binned it about 3947 times and suffered a face full of snow, and a load of pointing and laughing from children of about 3 years of age who were skiing experts, I decided it was time to call it a day. I mean, I literally decided then and there that my skiing career was over, and I was not to move another inch on those planks of hell known commonly as skis. I parked my arse in the middle of the mountain, began wailing and crying like a child, shouted that I just couldn’t do it and told everyone around me that I hated them.
Eventually, I made it back to safety (on my arse the whole way down) and into the loving tender arms of a pint of lager. It’s safe to say I spent the rest of the trip on my own two legs with no attachments, getting completely boozed with my father in the aprés ski bars, which suited me just fine. I even partook in some bum-boarding, which I think might actually be my calling in life.
So here’s how you should spend your non-skiing skiing holiday:
1. Bum boarding – so much fun and doesn’t take half as much energy as real-life skiing, so you can slut-drop with ease at the club later on
2. Aprés ski – infinitely better than skiing itself, the nightlife at ski resorts is absolutely phenomenal. If your pals are heading off on a skiing trip, I recommend you go with them just for the boozing, there’s bars all over the mountains which you can reach by ski-lift, which will mean you get treated to the insane views without the terror of making it down alive on those stupid poles (what do those poles even do?)
3. Activities – bum-boarding isn’t the only off-piste activity that can be enjoyed at a ski resort. Many places host quizes, dining experiences and dances which you can get involved in if you’re a drinker or not! Being a drinker myself, I particularly enjoyed the pub quiz I attended in the Italian mountains, although I felt the flaming sambuca the next day and spent it lying on the bathroom floor (“doesn’t the cold of the bathroom floor really feel amazing?”)
4. Sight-seeing! You can guarantee there’ll be loads to see and do in the surrounding area of a ski resort. Whether that means taking a bus to the local town and having a look around, or simply exploring the mountainside, you defo won’t be bored. Once my hangover cleared I saw loads of cute stuff in Bardonecchia.
5. Getting severely boozed – Worth mentioning a second time (I ran out of valid points)
Is it summer yet?