Friday, January 02, 2009

'Ski heil'!: Skiing, skiing all day long

I haven't had much of a chance to do much the last few days due to our time spent in the mountains.  The weather has been great, lots of blue sky and about -5 degrees up there which means you don't get too hot while skiing along.  

We have been mainly cross-country is great to get out and explore different parts of the forest and it has been packed on the downhill slopes, lots of lift waiting time so we thought we'd try to tune my 'lang-lauf' skills.  Today we had not so much sunshine but we found a beautiful quite part of the forest and it was snowing, big fat soft snowflakes....really magical.  I achieved my goal today of being able to make it down a decent downhill without crashing.  Until this point I haven't managed it, the trails have been quite crowded and I definitely have not had the skills or control to avoid people and brake sufficiently whilst turning corners.  Today we were coming back as the sun was setting (4:30pm) and so there was not so many people around which made things a little easier.  I have been relishing learning this new skill, being able to go up to the mountains every day means I can improve just a little and learn something new everyday.  Today whilst out in the forest we were greeted by oncoming skiers with "Ski heil"...apparently this is a greeting by skiers, the 'heil' means health and happiness, long life and good luck.  After hearing it a few times I asked Gunnar what people were saying, and then started using it heartedly myself.

The skiing has been pretty exhausting, using muscles that haven't been used in a long time, if ever.  I return home with intentions of studying but instead fall into a heap on the lounge and watch some winter sports.  Tomorrow we'll head up again for some more skiing action.  Gunnar must start work on Monday so our time will be limited to night-time downhill skiing.  I have to say this is a great way to start 2009 :)  Very different to my normal schedule of racing Bay Series in Victoria or getting ready for Nationals!