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Why do we ski?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've just had four days of frying in the sun. It was lovely and, importantly, I had my nose in a book for the whole of that time, but it was enough. Four days on skis isn't nearly enough!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
As others have mentioned Clarkson puts it rather well;

"SKIING by JEREMY CLARKSON

For your next holiday, why don't you take all your money and put it on the fire? Then stand in a fridge for a week, beating your children with a baseball bat until their arms and legs break. And then, after you've eaten some melted cheese, dislocate your shoulder. If all of this appeals then you are probably one of the 1.3m British people who go on a skiing holiday at this time of year.

Skiing, for those of you who've never tried it, is an extremely expensive way of combining acute discomfort, butt-clenching embarrassment, mind-numbing fear and a light dusting of hypothermia. Plus there's a better than evens chance that at least one member of your family will come home in a wheelchair.

The first thing you must understand is the ski boot. It is specifically designed to be as heavy as possible and to ensure that if you fall over - and you will, all the time - your leg will break at its most painful point:just above the ankle. The only way to prevent this happening is to cushion the fall with your face.

These holidays are called winter "breaks" because at some point you will end up in a doctor's surgery that looks like a Baghdad market after a nail-bomb attack. Once, after I'd broken my thumb for the second year in succession, I sat in the waiting room with a chap who had a ski pole sticking out of his eye. And opposite was a pretty young girl whose left foot was on back to front.

Of course you might think it is possible to avoid such injuries by going very slowly. Unfortunately this is not possible because to counter the surprisingly powerful effects of gravity you need to dig the edges of your skis into the slope with such force that after a very short time your thigh muscles actually catch fire.
When the smell of burning flesh becomes too overpowering you let go, and suddenly you are travelling at 700mph. Then, equally suddenly, you will be breathing gas and air while the doctor sharpens his hacksaw.

This year, on my skiing holiday, the air ambulance was lifting five newly formed paraplegics off the mountain every day.
Falling over, however, is not the greatest danger. Far worse is being hit by a teenagerwith baggy trousers on a snowboard. Snowboarding is like skiing, except you have absolutely no control over your direction of travel,mostly because you will have had a lot of marijuana at lunch time.

It's certainly better than eating the food. The food at ski resorts is cooked by people whose only qualification for the job is that they are called Arabella. Once, I was served salt soup. Mostly, though, it's bread, which you dip in melted cheese.
And because you are expected to melt the cheese yourself, the Arabella has more time to have sexual intercourse with her surly French ski-instructor boyfriend.

I am a very good skier . . . in my mind. However, video evidence suggests that I'm rubbish. I look like a bus driver in a primary-coloured anorak, sitting on an imaginary lavatory. Also I can only turn right. So to mask my embarrassment, and the pain in my thighs, I ski only when very drunk. I can recommend this wholeheartedly.
However, what you must never do is ski while under the influence of Billy Idol. No, really. I can absolutely guarantee that within five seconds of putting an iPod in your ears one of your bones will shoot out of your skin.

Of course you might imagine that there are other things to do on a winter holiday apart from skiing. 'Fraid not. On a normal summer break you can sunbathe, swim, snorkel, jet ski and, if you like The Guardian, go to look at museums.
But on a skiing holiday what you do is get up at dawn, eat some salt soup and queue for hours to get on something that makes a Tube train look deserted. Then queue for some more hours because your place keeps being taken by burly Russians who have daggers tattooed on their foreheads. Then you ski until it goes dark.

You have probably heard about après-ski activities. In your mind, you see nightclubs and pretty girls and drinking fiery cocktails till dawn. Well, I'm sorry, but what actually happens is that you get back to your hotel or chalet, climb into a relaxing bath to try to jump-start your burnt-out muscles and fall fast asleep.
This is a good thing because in addition to the cost of the holiday and the flights and the ski rental and the lessons and the ski pass that lets you use the mountain, you will have been utterly bankrupted by your wardrobe.
This year the cheapest pair of padded trousers we could find for my 13-year-old daughter were £250. And it's not as if she can wear them anywhere else.

Finally there's the weather. If it's poor you will freeze and crash into things because you can't see where you're going. If it's good - and over half-term it was very, very good - you will need sunglasses. And that means you will come home after a week with a face like a barn owl.

The thing is, though, that when the sun shines and you are whizzing along, drunk out of your mind, under a perfect blue dome with your happy, giggling children on a deserted, freshly pisted slope, and you're about to have lunch in a restaurant with a view that is unparalleled anywhere on earth, none of the misery matters. Because there is no feeling quite like it. It's called perfect happiness."
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
As a snowboarder (who can ski, sort of) I very often ask the same question. Toofy Grin
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
All of the above rings so true for me; the exhilaration, the being in the moment, the scenery, the challenge, the cold clean air, the satisfaction when something just 'clicks', the lunchtime pint of Leffe in the blazing sunshine, all of it.

It's when I feel alive.

That sigh of relief when you take your ski boots off at the end of the day is quite something too.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

I usually find that turning the question back on the person that asked it is the best route. "Why do you play golf?" is a favourite, I've yet to meet someone that provides me a decent enough answer to that one.

Please report if you ever get any answer to this one. It beats me why someone would like to spoil a good walk

Likewose @DrLawn, did you get find out why your mates wanted to goto Benidorm simply to increase the risk of skin cancer instead of staying quietly at home getting drunk?

Actually I did go on a beach holiday this summer to spend most of the week standing on a windsurfer in a wetsuit wishing the wind would pick up. Then discovered there was a good sport climbing venue only a short distance away.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
johnE wrote:
Quote:

I usually find that turning the question back on the person that asked it is the best route. "Why do you play golf?" is a favourite, I've yet to meet someone that provides me a decent enough answer to that one.

Please report if you ever get any answer to this one. It beats me why someone would like to spoil a good walk


If I ski to make myself feel alive, playing golf would make me feel closer to death.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I ski mainly because I am the best skier on the mountain, so all the babes are at my feet...



In my dreams.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
For me I'm just not very good at sitting still so have much the same reaction to people going to Benidorm for a week. What, seriously? You're going to spend a week either lying in bed or lying next to the pool, and of the tiny amount of time you aren't lying down you'll be sat down, either at a table eating or one some excursion bus?

Bordom's seldom an issue on a ski holiday as you're either sleeping, skiing, eating or socializing with old/making new friends before returning to bed.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
dp wrote:
HossDoc wrote:

The only other things that come close to skiing with regard to mind-clearance (being 'in the moment', forgetting all other concerns) are scuba-diving, hot-air ballooning and fly fishing for me.


No mention of masturbation?


Isn't that what HossDoc meant by "fly fishing"?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Nights are getting longer, daylight's getting weaker and colour is fading into winter's grasp. Work seems to last for more of the day and a less cheerful atmosphere seems to set in as spring is too far over the horizon to even dream about.

Yet -
Snowheads is getting busier.
Snow was reported in the Alps and a flurry of excitement raises a thousand questions 'Will it settle?', 'Is it a sign of a great winter?', 'But this happened in 2016 and it was terrible' or 'This happened in 1976 and it was fantastic'.
Alpine weather forecasting sites lead to experts and novices debating exactly why there will or will not be a huge dump of powder on the first day of my holiday.
Where shall we book this year? Should we book it now or nearer the time? How will we get there?
Should I spend so much time researching the winter holiday? (Yes is the correct answer - it lifts the spirits).
All this and much more before even skiing.

Actually skiing:
Total mental involvement and stress release - nothing from work gets a look in.
The environment - is there anywhere more beautiful and tempting than the mountains with a ski run beckoning?
Getting it right and the feeling of sheer joy and pleasure that creates a smile as wide as the piste itself.
Getting it wrong and knowing that you will have something to laugh about later over dinner with like-minded folk.
Sharing this incredible pleasure with loved ones (sorry to my boys for passing on this addiction Laughing )
It is an individual yet social activity.

Quite frankly, skiing gets me through winter and I never want to stop.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@banksi,
Quote:

It is an individual yet social activity
ooh yes, I forgot this bit. I utterly love the feeling of being alone in the environment when I'm on the move and yet not alone when I stop with my companions for a breather.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
For reasons I'll not even begin to explain nor try to justify I stopped skiing from age 25 for about 12 years.

The one things that sticks out from that time is the sheer misery of going back to work at the end of the festive holidays with absolutely nothing to look forward to for months and wishing as I went to bed that early January night that I could just sleep until March.

Now I am the one springing back into the office with the sure fire knowledge that its only a very short time until my first trip- usually in mid/late January.

One of my colleagues is usually off to the sun around the same time but even she admits that whilst it's a welcome break from the drudgery of the British winter that she can never seem to muster the same level of sheer excitement and anticipation that I have snowHead
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I like to stare death in the face once a year....Survive (hopefully)....and then do it all again the following year. Madeye-Smiley snowHead

Oh....and everything else that other people have mentioned.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Since I was a child I've always been obsessed and fascinated with snow. I can spend hours watching snow falling, walking through it etc. I'll happily hike all day to reach a lone patch in the Alps in the summer. Even in London i'll spend a lot of time pouring over forecasts and forums if there's even a chance of falling snow! Wherever I am and whatever i'm doing i'll never be disappointed if snow is on the cards.

My skiing obsession probably followed on naturally from my snow obsession. Skiing powder is like being immersed in it.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
1. I love being in the mountains - my shoulders relax, my lungs open, I am happy. I'll hike, climb or ski while I'm there.

2. I love the physical sensations of skiing - managing the forces, going from weightlessness to high g, in and out of balance

3. I find it captivating - one of the very few things in life where I can focus intensely without it feeling like an effort

4. I find the unconscious competence aspect of it very satisfying

5. I love the playfulness - gets you to a child like state at times

6. I enjoy the responsibility and self-reliance - managing the risks of being off-piste

7. I value the "quality time" with my kids and close friends - hardly anything else gives me so much
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mjit wrote:


No mention of masturbation?

Isn't that what HossDoc meant by "fly fishing"?
Laughing Laughing Laughing
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just love it, their is no better holiday for me. I really enjoy getting the ski's on, go down a run and look back and think I have just skied that and I am not even that good. The look of fun and joy on my Kids faces seeing them try jumps and things and know you are giving them long lasting memories (well five mins at most ha ha). The scenery is amazing and nothing better feeling all warm in your gear but a nice fresh breeze on your face.

Just love it!!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Wow!
Cheers the lot of you ... great answers, I just like reading them.
It puts me in the mood for this Saturday evening.

I'm looking forward to seeing a few of you there.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
― John Muir

Every year I think 'is it worth it' Three flights, hassle with immigration hassle with rental car. Maximum guilt trip leaving my cat behind.

Then I drive up to Alta, click in and make the first turn of the holiday.

Yes “The mountains are calling and I must go.”
― John Muir
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I ski, therefore I am.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Because my surgeon advised waiting a year before getting back in my snowboard....
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
As a kid I had two sports that I gave my all to. Skiing and rugby. Rugby was a team game that made you never want to miss a tackle. The joy of winning as a team. Being able to look fourteen other guys in the eye at the end of the game. Skiing was different, it was me v the mountain. No sense of team at all. Just a sense of self. You set your own challenges.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
The mountains, crisp, clean fresh air, stunning scenery are all factors but hitting the hill with family and friends is what it's all about - having serious fun...

Having been fortunate to have introduced our three kids to this wonderful pastime, specifically remembering our youngest being skied down between our friends legs [he was the most proficient at the time] to a restaurant at the bottom of a run in La Plagne, she was 3 years old & she was giggling away - she's 18 now & looking to get to Switzerland this season working - any jobs anyone?

Then there's the apres - drink lots of beer/wine & eat huge amounts of great food before crashing exhausted to bed - generally before 11.00 only to be up at the crack of dawn to rinse & repeat Toofy Grin Cool

The holidays both family & solo are IMO what life is all about, live it to the full whilst you can.

As above, snowheads make the general drudgery of the winter months bearable until we get to go playing, I write this early Friday morning looking out at a wet miserable day - oh well time to read more posts. Toofy Grin
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I tend to tick all of these boxes. Skiing in Feb, beach holiday in August and Marbella in September for Golf Smile

I agree that people are happier in ski resorts. If I really think about it, am I happier skiing or sitting on the chairlift admiring the surroundings? It's a tough call sometimes Smile

The views from the golf courses on the Cost del Sol are also stunning.
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