Archive for the ‘après-ski’ Category

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The final run

March 3, 2007

With Dave and Aggles re-boarded, the four of us jumped onto the bus down the valley back to Bad Hofgastein. A quick trip up the Schloßalmbahn and the necessary cable-car saw us quite adequately to the top of Schloßalm. One long run—the same as Dec and I descended the previous day—and our holiday would be done.

The summit was quite different to the glorious weather of the previous day. It was snowing heavily, and the light was very flat. We quickly got down to our first regrouping point—the first restaurant. Dave took back to the board like a duck to water, and Flo like a duck to an oil slick. At the restaurant, we had a quick drink, where Dec realised that he had spent the whole week doing his boots up wrongly.

A long, trouble-free toe-side traverse followed, at which point we stopped for a bit of filming. After a few days of flawless sliding-backward-down-an-Alp-while-singing-Danny-Boy-and-saluting, Dec did of course cock up the take completely. A steep but mostly unchallenging hundred metres or so gave us the ability to get a bit of speed up for a long flat section over a bridge, after which a few km of tree-lined avenues would give us the chance to sod around a bit. A thoroughly enjoyable rest break featuring a half-arsed snowball fight encompassed the incompetent-yet-contented theme which had been running so happily through the week.

The last few km saw a bunch of slow turns, the kind of which I’d been enjoying all week. We stopped toward the bottom for lunch, and another snowball fight, followed by the last few hundred metres of boarding, and then—at the top of the Schloßalmbahn—I unbound for the final time the board which had been the catalyst of my experiences for the previous week. Part of me was sad to see it go, and other parts—my calves—were overjoyed to see the back of the bastard.

After a taxi ride back to Bad Gastein, checking the boards and boots back in, the boarding part of the trip was done. A night of hideous entertainment was all that now stood between us and the bus back to Salzburg.  More on Power Unit tomorrow.

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The Pointlessness of Fondue

March 1, 2007

At the end of day two, we were invited by our rep (Scottish and as competent as their rugby team) for a spot of ‘traditional Austrian food’, schnapps and tobogganing. After a half-hour scaling of half the mountain we arrived at a dubiously rickety one man chair lift to hoick us up to our restaurant du jour. At this point it was snowing rather heavily – good news for the next day’s activities but less so for the idea of hurtling down on a kid’s toy.

Upon arrival at the top we had a nice warm Austrian Chalet awaiting us, with cold beer and that most preposterous of meals – the cheese fondue. Along with the joy of dipping stale bread in tepid cheese, one gets to eat meat dipped, out of sight, for an indeterminate amount of time. This is not the set-up for michelin-starred goodness. This is the set-up for crap meat cooked craply and dipped in crap cheese.