Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Powder parties

I hate skiing and snowboarding in equal measure. If you're assuming that there must have been a massive ski-based trauma in my past to make me feel this way, you're wrong. There were two. On the first occasion I had been invited to a friend's birthday party on the picturesque slopes of Hendon, North London. Making up for the climactic shortfall of soft, fluffy snow, the terrain was an unforgiving latticework of the kind of bristles you usually find beside metal grated doormats. You know, the kind built for scraping hard, dry mud/shit off your boots? Well, even the jeans I was wearing at the time couldn't protect my knees and buttocks from the brutal buffing I endured in punishment for screwing up 3% of every 97%-perfect snowplough. I was ten, but the scars still remain. So the next time I was obliged to go skiing, for a work 'away weekend', I chose snowboarding. I used to skateboard a little with my brother and I could bend my knees in all the right places in front of the mirror before I left, so I was confident. Maybe too confident, according to the infuriatingly talented snowboard instructor that hauled me out of a snow dune on my first (and last) run. It further confirmed that me and skis were never meant to be. Which is a shame because the atmosphere on the slope and around the resort was amazing. And the views? Incredible. My piece in the Ryanair February/March issue is guide for reluctant skiers, like myself, who prefer their apr├ęs ski without all the hassle of having to throw themselves down a slope to deserve it. It was a rundown of the biggest and best snow festivals across Europe. (

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