OK so much for the writing something every day bit – our typical routine here is wake up, have breakfast, head out & slide down the side of a mountain somewhere, come back, have a nice cold Austrian lager or 3, go for dinner, come back, flake out. Rinse & repeat.
As you can see, it wasn't particularly snowy in the village of Kaprun when we arrived. Thankfully though the main ski area is on a glacier, and that has snow all year round.
The first day was primarily the usual aches and pains of getting one's body back into the right mode for snowboarding. Typically for me this means lots and lots and lots of foot pain, because for some reason my feet want to cling on to the surface of the board and this cramps up the entire underside of the foot. Vivid & horrific pain aside though, I pulled a few runs with Rich and Em and Daryn & Kat, and generally came to the conclusion that I'm still rubbish.
Monday I went to the ski shop to get them to look at my boots, cos my heels were lifting within the boot, and this is a definite no-no – it guarantees foot pain, apparently. In an effort to make things nicer, the guy stuck some cork to the insole and a couple of bits down the side to stop my heel lifting, and that seemed to solve the issue.
Unfortunately it created another issue, in that it stopped most of the circulation in my feet, and on my first run I had to bail out & walk down, and was starting to wonder just how long one can go without blood in one's limbs before amputation is an option.
I took the boots into the shop up on the glacier, and the boot guy peered inside to see the modifications that had been made – his summary: “Das ist bullshit !”. We pulled most of the cork out, but the whole arrangement still wasn't ideal… so that evening I went into Kaprun & bought new boots.
Tuesday kicked off with quite a decent snowfall (Richie sort of lethargically got out of bed, trudged over to the window, then saw the snow and suddenly sprang into action, and was out the ski-room door in no-time flat. It's the only time I've seen such enthusiasm without being attached to the prospect of free beer.).
I decided to give the glacier a miss, because I'd heard there was a really good slope in Zell Am See (the next ski area over from ours) which was perfect for practising turns and stuff, and that's generally what I needed to do. Upon arrival however I discovered visibility was not good.
I gave it a few runs down, and the slope was indeed excellent to practise on, however given that you couldn't see more than 2m in front of you, you tended to be less predisposed to doing anything in the slightest bit adventurous. Coupled with that, I managed an entirely spectacular fall right onto my shoulder – nothing broken, but it has limited my beer options to 50% of my available hands.
I had a stab at a little blue run at the top of the mountain, but generally spent the rest of the day riding gondolas up and down. Had another go at the practise slope and there was enough of a cloudbreak to get some good boarding in. Then the clouds came back and it was Jack-the-Ripper-style weather again.
Today lethargy seemed rife among the punters – Hannah and Katie elected to take the day off completely, but as there was fresh snow I managed to convince Em, Paul, Scott, Rob, Sam, Dan & Gav to come up to Zell & try this slope out, and visibility really was on our side this time !
So we've just spent the day cruising down a fairly easy slope, working on our turns and generally picking up some quite valuable info about our techniques (which we wouldn't have done on a blue run on the glacier because of all the other random things you need to pay attention to !).
That'll do for now. More later. I would write more now but I have to go off in search of some cough lozenges and perhaps a refreshing, electrolyte-replacing beer.