Tales of catastophe, sex and squalor from the Alpine Underbelly...

Belle de Neige

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Giant Punter Slalom

I think it's safe to say I am skiing like a total retard at the moment.

It doesn't help that I am so terrified of shagging my knee off again that I have my din settings set to 5. This means they come off when I crash. Which is great. It also means they come off if I'm ever approaching a dip followed by a sudden rise in the piste at any kind of speed.  The problem is I don't trust my shaky technique enough to set them any higher, which basically means I'm just eating snow the entire time.

SbH has become annoyingly good on skis. He can do that thing where you ski on one leg and is always off 'hucking' things with various hairy reprobates one of which told us on the chairlift today with some pride that the evening before he had fallen asleep with his face still in the girl's growler. Excellent story. Glad to see modus operandi around here is just as it should be. Sadly, though, that was the extent of amusing chairlift chat for me today because shortly thereafter they whizzed off down the back of something steep and inaccessible which I had no hope of surviving intact and since I'm too mortally embarrassed to actually ski with anyone else I know I spent the rest of the afternoon sulking on my own. Well, that was until the aforementioned din-setting issue reared its ugly head again and I found my nose connecting with the piste most unexpectedly after executing a perfectly reasonable left hand turn.

To the obliging punter who retrieved my ski for me,  I'd like to say 'Thanks, but no thanks'. I knew he was going to fuck it up the moment he ground to an inexpert bandy-legged, splayed-armed halt a few feet from it and started prodding it ineffectually with his pole like a child poking a dead rat. He eventually managed to actually pick it up (you know, with his hands) and, you could call it - I wouldn't - skied towards me with it. Sadly though he found himself unable to stop. When he realised he was going to miss where I was by a good 20 metres he simply shied it at me with such incredible force that it bounced off my helmet then slid off again down the piste, ending up further away from me than it had been in the first place.

"Er....sorry," he said, as his compatriot came shooting past me and showered me with snow.
"Don't worry. Thanks" I said, waving a hand and wishing they would both just fuck off and stop making the situation worse / more humiliating.

This week there seems to be an inordinate number of fucktarded punters of this ilk veering about like lunatics with the sole intent of taking me out. Inevitably when skiing down a narrow pathway I always find I'm quite a bit faster than the average skier leaving me no choice but to stick to the very edge of the way or whizz through the gaps whenever possible. Why is it that just at the moment you do this, the aforementioned punter feels the need to put in another completely pointless traverse so that you are left no choice but to cut them up brutally and / or ski over their tips? I mean, how many fucking turns do you need to fit into this 3 metre-wide Norfolk-flat pathway? Are you going for a record?

...Oh and woe betide you if you're one of these types and you get caught in the path / slipstream of an express train of seasonnaires trying to do a 10 minute red run in 2 minutes 43 in order to get back to the chalet in time for tea. You'll be blown off the hill.


  1. I enjoyed reading this - did my season in chalet Mongellaz in la tania in 2009 / 10 and I must say cleaning the kids Miel Pops cereal off the floor was my pet hate.


    1) at the beginning of the week when you give your welcome speech just say we will leave your rooms as they are but of course will change the bins and keep them stocked up with elephant roll.

    2) sell the left over spirits back to your new customers as the ones who leave cant take it with them on the plane

    3) enquire whether people want lessons, if they do but they dont fancy paying ESF prices, Kipp Burns (self catering manager for Ski France) will take a person out for 100 euros per day and usually gives a 20 euro cut.

    4) Im sure your company offers pack lunches as a deal to the customers. Scrap that, sell them your own deal 1.50 or 2 euros cheaper than the companies offer, and buy the extra bread from baker in the village. it takes 15 minutes to do and you make a mint.

    In my experience working for the cheaper / less prestigious companies is such a better option. I hear people / hosts who go on seasons and dont get out onto the slopes until midday because of all the admin of cleaning each room to a T. With the more bog standard companies everything is more informal and more down to earth. In my opinion if you are not out the slopes before 11am all ready to go, you are doing something wrong or you need to change companies...



    I am actually staying in La Tania from the 2nd - 9th Feb in a Ski Amis chalet with some friends, (first time back since my season).

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog,


  2. Wow thanks for your pearls Charlie. I have to agree with your thoughts on working for a smaller tour operator - although private chalet bitching has its hot-tub / large tip shaped benefits which I'm currently making the most of. Having sky TV in your room isn't to be sniffed at...Sounds like you had the old corner cutting down to a 'T'. Another good trick is flogging toffee vodka to your guests. Cheap bottle of vodka, packet of worthers original, in the dishwasher on a quick cycle. Flog it for 50 Yozzas, Roberts your father's brother. Kaching!

    Have a great stay in La Tania!


Your comments will be moderated before being accepted.