Like Hannibal into the Mountains…
The time has come.
Months of reluctant preparation at the mercy of my heartless physical trainer will soon be put to the test (I can confidently say that she’s ‘heartless’ because she’s made entirely of electrons and only exists in my living room courtesy of Xbox, Kinect and a group of very clever and clearly sadistic programmers). High altitude beckons with it’s thin, dry, oxygen levels and bitter freezing temperatures. Dramatically brutal landscapes which have been shaped by ancient and mighty forces will paint themselves majestically onto my retinas.
Yes, I’m excited. It’s time to go skiing.
Our destination is Colorado and this will be our fourth consecutive visit to the Rockies. Making the trip over the Big Pond necessitates the discomforts of a very long flight, a substantial time difference and a large slice of altitude acclimatisation but we’re getting used to this now. Lots of water and an occasional sleeping tablet will no doubt help.
The benefits, however, are plentiful: pretty much guaranteed snow, wide open and well managed piste, huge amounts of space, polite – and short – lift queues, an ever present friendly reception from the locals and, an extra plus, I’m almost fluent in the language.
But it will be cold. Very cold. The coldest place I’ve visited outside of Scandinavia. These last few years have seen under-layers being added to our clothing arsenal like they’re going out of fashion – if they could ever be described as having been in fashion in the first place… This is the kind of cold that can crystallise the moisture of your breath, in your mouth, while you breathe. Where eyebrows, beards and moustaches will be frosted white. Where, especially on long open chairlifts, a neck ruff is no longer sufficient protection…
And so, to the to title of this post. One of my earliest additions to my American ski-sports kit was a face-mask. And very cozy it is too… I’d wear it on cold days in England if I could but I’m not sure I can carry off the Hannibal Lecter look anywhere else other than in the mountains…
See you soon!
(p.s. Just in case you’re looking for something to read while I’m away, “A Table for Two” has now been added to the Shorts section)