What… …a ski report?!
The squash fixture for this week was rearranged because a large proportion of the squash team were skiing – so for this week you have a ski report.
The regulars, Simon Barker (captain), Richard Barker and subs Adrian Chappell, Simon Richardson were joined by a couple of other squash players Mark Davis and Martin Brewin. Finally, making up numbers was a snow boarder who many of you won’t know – Chris Wright – but not to worry we all know how snow boarders get in the way on the slopes!
Rich is the lucky chap who gets married, goes on honeymoon, gets back for barely a week and is off skiing with the lads. Not only that but he met Mark Davis on honeymoon!! Who has he spent the most time with?
We all met at Luton airport except for Adrian Chappell and Mark Davis who were going to arrive a day after the rest of us as thay had booked
through SAGA holidays at a later date. From Luton we would fly to Zurich at which point a hire car (Golf Estate) arranged by Simon Richardson would enable us to drive to St. Anton, Austria.
After a half hour delay taking off from Luton we were on our way.
Whilst waiting for the luggage at Zurich airport Simon Richardson gave the paper work to Rich to go ahead and sort out the hire car and we would pick up his luggage. Rich glanced at the paperwork.
‘One problem,’ Rich said.
He paused and continued to look at the paperwork before saying again,
‘What?’ replied Simon Richardson.
‘You’ve hired the car from Geneva and…’ he paused again, ‘… we’re in Zurich.’
‘Yes, you have.’
Simon Richardson wiped the sweat off his brow with a very concerned look. The rest of us were wondering how long we were going to be in the airport without a car. Anyway, we sent Rich off to see if he could get hold of a car while we waited for the luggage.
Whilst waiting it became clear this was actually going to be a very entertaining story for the rest of us to bring up over the next 30 years!!
Simon continued to be very concerned, rightfully so – but we consoled ourselves that this was indeed a classic cock up! Once we had all the luggage we headed to the rental car desk to see if Rich had managed to get Simon out of this mess….indeed he had, they had a Golf but not an estate – hmm, 5 of us with our luggage including ski boots, skis etc into a non-estate golf….fortunately, a few minutes later an Audi A6 had been conjured up and we were now far better off than ever. You’ve never seen a man look more relieved than Simon at that moment. So next time you see Mr. Richardson down at the squash club feel free to ask him what the difference is between Geneva and Zurich.
Having stayed over at a hotel half way between Zurich and St.Anton Friday night we were up early the next day and had a full days skiing on the Saturday. Rich led us through some trees, though he claims Chris was leading the way. Yes, through some trees – a little bit away off the piste, but far enough away that we were unable to turn back. He stops and comes to the conclusion that there is only one way forward – to squeeze over and through the trees. Not only that but we had to stop quickly as there were metal avalanche barriers in the way. Rich got through without injuries. We all followed and survived the only casualty being a bent ski pole belonging to Martin. Simon Barker, sweating profusely, appeared to have a tap in his body which gushed out water randomly throughout the day! Later that evening Adrian and Mark arrived and we made sure we got them upto speed on the car hire story!
A historic day – Monday January 12th 4.05pm – Mark Davis fell over skiing, leaving his ski 2 metres above him on the slope. This is the man that hasn’t fallen over skiing in the last 20 years. Unfortunately, I can not repeat his words at the time, though he was definetly not happy!
5 of us hired an Off-Piste guide on the Wednesday whilst Mark (I’ve only fallen once in the last 20 years) Davis and Simon Barker hired an instructor to improve their techniques.
It was an enjoyable day, though the interesting part of the day came toward the end when Adrian struggled to maintain control down a narrow section where a snow plough was required – the guide, who was female, was doing a snow plough as was Martin but Adrian came perilously close to wiping Martin out down a cliff face. His claim was that he doesn’t know how to snow plough. After a day off-piste skiing and Adrian claims he doesn’t know how to snow plough?!
For those that don’t know a snow plough is one of the first things you learn when you go skiing. As defined in the ski dictionary – The SNOW PLOUGH TURN is the first way of turning during skiing. The use of the beginners lift, small runs at the practise area open a totally new perspectives for the learner. Skiing becomes easier and effortless with regards to getting uphill. Satisfaction and pride fulfills the learner about the level reached. Above all the SNOW PLOUGH TURN is the platform for further steps in the learning curve. The coordination of the movements – PIVOTING – WEIGHTSHIFTING – EDGING are the mechanics of the SNOW PLOUGH TURN. These movements will be key elements in the following development of the skier. The ability to hold and control a straight snow plough over at least 5 to 8 meters is the basis for learning the SNOW PLOUGH TURN. The snow plough remains in place when linking turns, the outside leg is flexed in order to shift the weight on to the turning foot. To shift the body weight on to the turning foot, the skier flexes the ankle and knee of the outside leg. The upper body tilts slightly outside over the turning ski, the center of mass remains within the base of support.
There seems to be a lot of shifting of bodyweight, ah yes, this may be why Adrian can’t snowplough – it’s a good excuse to hold on to the guide while she shows him!
In the evening after the meal the day has proved to much for Simon Richardson as he sleeps at the table!
The following day, Simon Richardson (or should I say his secretary) sent flowers to his wife – this then seemed like a good idea to a few of the others. However, those that didn’t send flowers would like it on the record that it was only those with secretaries that sent them!
More skiing the following days with Adrian cursing Chris – the snowboarder – for being in his way, for being in his line, for wiping the snow off the slopes and many other anti-snowboard comments. However, Chris took it all in good heart and continued to moan about nothing! Meanwhile, Simon Barker was thinking about calling for a plumber as the sweat was constantly dripping off his chin!
As for Martin, he just had major equipment failure through out the week. After the ski pole bending, his sallopates ripped, the skis came to the end of their life, he broke a ski pole and finally his ski boots, well they needed replacing about a century ago!
Now back to the squash!