Some observations from a Ski vacation
- Helmets everywhere. I guess 80 to 90 per cent of skiers or snowboarders are now wearing helmets. Those who do not, form a small minority. As always, I’m with the minority. I guess helmets are some sort of contagious disease. How long until I start wearing one of those? Before or after I get a mobile phone? (And I have seen with my own eyes that helmets do not protect your legs or arms. Guess what body parts are injured most often during skiing accidents? People always worry about the wrong things).
- Cross-country skiing uses different muscles than alpine skiing or simple running. Try it, and you will now what muscles I am talking about.
- If an Austrian shop that rents out cross-country skis claims on a sign that it has open till 19:00, that does not mean that it has open till 19:00. It is entirely possible that it is open only till 18:30. If you believe that it has open till 19:00, that it is entirely your own fault. Prepare to be reprimanded if you complain. After all, Austria is not Prussia.
- When temperatures drop below -20ºC (-4ºF), a balaclava is mandatory.
- Carving skis are fun. For years I have sticked to my 195 cm (77 inch) long, traditional, narrow, non-carving skis, and looked down with derision on carvers (
snow shovels). Now I have tried carvers for one day, and I have to say: those are fun. Pure fun. I guess I will get those for my next ski vacation, but I won’t throw my old ones away (yet).
- After about twenty years, ski boots become brittle. Dangerously so.
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