Sunday, February 07, 2016

Step away from the desk and into the light.

Before going on holiday I had the most stressful week at work.  Forget everything I've told you about stressful weeks over the last 2 years.  This was the worst and left me clenching my jaw again and the resulting chronic toothache.  Thursday and Friday eased off but I was balancing handing things over to the grad, getting my essentials done and empowering my boss to do the rest.

Friday night was as uncomfortable as it can be for two large people in a 3/4 size bed and every time I lay on my front to put my teeth under gravity and stop them clenching, a knee or an elbow fell out of bed or abused my husband.  I felt like I had been asleep for 20 minutes when the alarm went off but it was holibobs so I leapt out of bed.

Father was not so speedy so we arrived at the airport stressed, late and without a seat together on the plane which was, at least, on time.  4 hours later we were dropped off at our luxury hotel and all of the stress fell away like shattered glass in the opalescent blue sky of a mountain resort.

Skis were stashed, our suitcases were wheeled into the building on a golden trolley by a man wearing a suit and cummerbund and our balcony looked out onto nothing but pine trees, snow and the crags at the head of the valley.  W.E.P.!

We passed the day in the valley, sorting out forgotten ski kit and sat down with the rep in the evening to pick his brains.  We were really impressed with Neilsen Italy's rep Richard Frost aka "Frosty" who, rather than laughing at our uphill skis and excessive kit, gave us some really tantalising pointers for great days out.  He genuinely seemed to appreciate that we were out there to hunt for nature and escapism, not thrills, queues and over-priced excesses.

We went to dinner inspired and in return for our investment, the dinner was inspirational.

There were no surprises about the view from the window in the morning except that the promised snow had not arrived.  Flurries fell as we ate our breakfast.

The ski-ing was a little faltering as Andrew realised his bindings had not been set correctly by the vendor in Germany so we wobbled down the hill to the shop who gleefully and helpfully fixed the problem on the first set of touring skis they had ever seen.  We then quickly lifted up to the top of Stanta Croce before stomping over to and around the church and Refugio.

The weather was already taking on a biblical feel and we soon skitterred back down across wind slabbed ice and mud to the safety of the blue runs for an easier warm-up.

We had coffee before heading to Corvara resort proper to ski the longer runs and have a play on the blue slopes.  Andrew lost a bit of boot so I skied the black before being reunited with both Andrew and the bit of his boot.  The tastiest veggie pizza I've ever eaten was lunch before one more trip down the black then ski-ing the riverside path from Corvara all the way back to the hotel.  Mostly downhill but enough flats and rises to give Andrew the opportunity to learn to walk with skis on.

We called it  a day around 3pm.  I was resolutely satisfied that although my downhill muscles had a burn on, my ascending wasn't bad at all and in fact, my endurance seems OK after my weeks off with the lurgy.

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