We were back to the look of reproach from the pups as we left today.
Really. We should have listened…
“Take my picture next to that goat!” I asked Mark. At first he claimed to have lost his phone, then that he couldn’t see anything. Above, you can see an old goat with a big bum somewhere in the picture. I will leave it to you to judge..!
This is the snowy selfie. I can’t blame him for that. Little did we know that photos were not the only thing that was going to go horribly awry today. We got into the next valley and the Mandria lift broke down. It was our only route home. We were STRANDED!
Comedienne Sarah Millican’s philosophy is that “You could be stranded on the end of Brad Pitt’s ****, but you’d want to go home eventually… For snacks if nothing else!” (Click here for a link to the sketch – note that it contains LOTS of strong language!)
We were nowhere near any part of Brad Pitt (and I am not sure that Mark would have been terribly interested if we were!) however snacks were definitely an option. We managed to console ourselves for a couple of hours with strudel and a few too many coffees. However, the lift remained resolutely immobile – and we had puppies to get back to…
So we strapped our skis to our back and set off to walk back up the piste!
They were dropping like flies. Look at those fit young boys just falling by the wayside, walking up a red run! Then to add insult to injury, the indolent laggards who had failed to take charge of their own destiny and had simply waited feebly by the lift all came past us whooping encouragement. They were waving at us as though they thought that we would be really delighted that they were being borne effortlessly up the slope aboard a Pisten Bully!
It wasn’t just the shameless glee of all the lazybones getting a free ride as we slogged up the slope in ski boots, carrying our skis, gasping for breath like goldfish in the thin air. I WANTED A GO ON A PISTE MACHINE!
Then, just as we were in sight of our destination, the Bettaforca lift back into our home valley, the piste machine came back for us! You could say that it took us the whole nine yards (well, about fifty, anyhow. I suppose every little helps!)
It reminded me very much of the time Mark’s boom clamp broke about half a mile off shore. He spent forty minutes swimming in with his windsurfer in tow. Just as he got his feet down and stood up, exhausted, about 10 yards from the beach, the lifeguard (who had been watching him for at least the last half hour) heroically leapt in to save him!
Still, a bad day skiing is better than a good day in the office. And this wasn’t even a bad day – it was just a new (and rather tiring) experience!
As some of our skiing friends pointed out, it’s about time we got ourselves some touring bindings and skins.
Skins, originally seal skins, fit to the bottom of your skis. They slide when pushed forward but grip when pushed backwards so they allow you to walk uphill on your skis. You take off the skins to ski downhill as normal. Touring bindings release from the ski at the heel to make walking easier and touring boots have a ‘walk’ setting. This set-up allows powder hounds and ski tourers to ‘skin’ into remote areas of the back country.
Join us next time for “No Business Like Snow Business!” – musings on our months in the Alps!
If you want to catch up on more of our Alpine Adventures, see Pups on Piste.