No broken bones

I thought using my final week’s leave from work as a chance to spend some quality time with friends I won’t see for a year would be a nice idea. In retrospect, choosing to spend it skiing was perhaps not the wisest idea I’ve ever had: I’ve spent the past few months frantically worrying that my love for adrenaline (which translates as skiing rather faster than is wise, considering my rather sloppy technique) would inevitably lead to a broken leg two weeks before my trip – which would not be the ideal start.

Complete white-out in a blizzard

Complete white-out in a blizzard

Luckily, the weather came to my rescue: our first two and a half days were one solid blizzard, meaning that every slope was covered in huge piles of fluffy, nearly waist-deep snow. Every fall was like landing in a pile of pillows (so much so that it was almost fun to do), and therefore a hell of a lot less painful than the icy conditions on my last two trips. The extra cushioning even gave me the confidence to tackle my first three black runs, which were some of the most fun I’ve ever had, despite the regular falls (and the difficulty of first retrieving a ski that’s flipped off several metres back up the mountain, and then trying to put it back on again on a forty-five degree slope with no flat surfaces).

Perfect skiing conditions: blue skies, loads of snow, empty pistes

Perfect skiing conditions: blue skies, loads of snow, empty pistes

After it finally stopped snowing, we were then treated to glorious blue skies and warm sunshine for the rest of the week – I really couldn’t have asked for better weather.

Perfect weather for paragliding on skis

Perfect weather for paragliding on skis

As always, the mountains were the other star of the holiday, they are just breathtakingly beautiful. Which makes me very excited about all the mountains I’ll be seeing over the next year (Sierra Madre in Mexico, volcanoes in Guatemala, three months in the Andes of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia & Chile, Tongariro in New Zealand, more volcanoes in Indonesia, and the lush green mountains and limestone peaks of Laos).

Best of all was the chance to spend the week with good friends I won’t see for a while. As I’ve said before, solo travel is the only way I’d want to spend a year away; despite that, it’ll be my friends I miss the most when I’m gone.


9 responses to “No broken bones

  1. You’re a brave lad for risking broken bones before the departure. I talked my husband out of a last minute ski trip in the Rockies a few weeks ago. For one thing, we don’t ski, and for another, we’re very accident prone. So I’m very glad you were skiing in fresh cotton fluff. :)

    Since your departure date is very soon, I wanted to add some advice. Anything you’re hoping to do in the last week, try to get to it sooner as these last moments will slip by super fast. Only 14 hours til we have to be at the airport and I feel like I’m scrambling to get stuff sorted (particularly the computer, camera stuff).

  2. Thanks for the advice! I’m trying to get as much done as I can now but my last week at work promises to be very busy indeed! Good luck with all the last minute preparation, just imagine how exciting it’ll all be when you get to the airport.

  3. Oh you are brave! I’ve been being careful on my mountain bike and we’re not leaving for 11 weeks yet! I’m glad nothing happened…and I’m excited that you’re leaving soon!

    Glad too to see Liz and Adrian posting again!


  4. well, you could do what I did on my trip and fall off a mountain bike at the top of a hill in auckland, dislocating and fracturing my shoulder……. nice

    hopefully the only things you’ll be breaking will be hearts Geoff ;o)

  5. You are very brave, Geoff. I wonder how much I would have worried had this happened to me.

    Hope you are ok now.

    All the best !

  6. Really nice travel blog and great photos, thanks for sharing.
    Kind regards from Gudauri Hotels & Travel

  7. some very evocative shots in this series…so all ready for Mexico then??

  8. Great post , i like your writing :)

  9. wooow breathtaking pictures

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