I am now back in Manchester having returned from a week of Skiing with my nearest and dearest. I was also induced to abstain from accessing the 'net for the week so will be summarising the week from memory :-)
I headed down to Cambridge on Friday as the clan (and partners) assembled for the denial a.m. departure. We were up at 3 in the morning to catch the flight. We weren't doing a package deal so Dad had arranged for a private transfer at the other end which meant we walked straight out of Salzburg airport into a minibus to Soll. After sorting out Ski hire I crashed out while the others went up the rather green mountain.
Apparently despite having a reasonably good base of snow the last few weeks most of it had been blown off the previous few days. Luckily they managed to keep 3 runs open with artificial snow. After the first few days the temperature dropped enough for the snow cannons to kick in and by the last days skiing we had enough snow to cross from our resort across to the rest of the area.
It was Fliss' first time skiing so we arranged for 3 days of private lessons for 2 people. I attended most of them so I could re-learn my technique from first principles. Luckily Fliss proved to be a fast learner who impressed our instructor Simon with her ability. We were off the nursery slope by the first afternoon and skipped learning "Snow Plough" turns and went straight for parallel turns. After 3 days of tutoring we went out by ourselves and did a bit of a tour over the Scheffau region and a mixture of blue and red runs in rather cold conditions. By this point I really got the impression she was fully paid up skiing fan :-D
When it comes to buying ski boots the days of trying lots of boots and hoping it feels the same on the slopes as it did in the shop are over. The latest system involves a scanner that measures the exact shape of your foot and then can match that to templates of various boots. They are then heat formed for extra fit and you can even have computer molded insteps. My parents had brought some snazzy new boots the previous day and were already singing their praises. As Fliss was now a fully paid up skiing fan we invested in two pairs ourselves. We only need another 5 skiing holidays before they have paid for themselves.
Perhaps spurred on by her new boots Fliss was persuaded (or possibly did the persuading) by my brother to try one of the harder red runs in Soll. Two runs passed without incident but the 3rd one proved to be the reality check. Luckily she suffered no permanent damage and assures me she's certainly up for skiing again.
All in all it's been a fantastic week. It was really nice to spend the whole week with the full family (to which Karen and Fliss were added for the week) while enjoying a cool sport. Pictures will follow in due course :-)