Tuesday, 1 March 2011

'For those of you still on your feet, welcome to the Aspen Ski School hiring clinic'

Life in the goldfish bowl of Chatel continues at a relentless pace and I can’t believe that we are into March already. I either need to find work somewhere that has a longer winter season or start appreciating what I’ve got a little more.

An ego of ski instructors.

I say goldfish bowl because in a one horse town like Chatel (essentially it is if you take away the tourists who have no idea how the place really works) every little event or piece of news seems magnified.

For example, it seems like a really big deal if you skip going to the pub for a week (because you have the same stupid flipping cold that everyone else has got) you miss so much of what’s going on. Silly little things like who is or isn’t splitting up with each other and whether the owner of this or that business is leaving town or going out of business. If this was London, no-one would give a monkeys but because it’s here, it’s likely to affect you in some way or other, hence the goldfish bowl.

Finally today, I forgave the owner of The Avalanche Bar, Gavin, for a slalom ski stealing incident when the Rossignol Demo Tour was in town. This afternoon, Gav effectively guided me around all the best off-piste bits in the Pre la Joux area of Chatel. Although I’m a ski instructor, I’m average at best at off-piste and I also have a mortal fear of falling over and looking like a dickhead so I tend to make pretty ’S’ shapes in the pow like I’m in an 80’s ski video and some of this stuff was almost waist deep. A great 2 or 3 hours and probably the best skiing of the season so far.

Taking of old ski videos, my copy of ‘Aspen Extreme’ arrived via Amazon the other day and it is my gift to Gavin is return for his constant ribbing about how I’m not allowed to have fun when I’m skiing because I’m an instructor. For those who haven’t seen it, the funniest section for me is the scene with the Aspen ski school ski off which brings back memories of the Morgins Ski School ski off at the start of the season.

Talking of instructors, Jimmy King and Timmy Rah arrived last week for a short visit and the constant drinking (although not on the scale of my mates from home) did nothing to shift my cold but it was great to see them. We all qualified together in Saas-Fee and we are planning a re-union there this summer for some glacier action.

Timmy was still skiing well but it seems that Jimmy has more or less forgotten everything he learnt and also his choice of GS skis for the powder day we had was not a good one. Because it was half term, I could only find 45-mins to ski with them in the time they were here but for those 45-minutes, we ripped it and it was like being beamed back to the final day of Saas-Fee all those months ago when many of us achieved a lifetime dream.

Note: We were searching for the collective noun for a group of ski instructors. ‘Ego of ski instructors’ was the best we could come up with. I can offer a spare copy of ‘Aspen Extreme’ to any better suggestions..

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