I certainly had a great time it is as if all of my birthdays have come at once. Friday 14th for Valentines day, Richard cooked a lovely three course dinner and absolutely lavished me with presents and attention so the weekend was set on its course, to be the best weekend of the year so far.
We were both looking forward to Skiing on the Saturday although Richard had been on a boys skiing trip with our friend in December I hadn’t been skiing for a couple of years so I was really excited. Richard had seen an advertisement by the Lake Angels for a days skiing at Abetone, we were so up for it.
It meant a really early start for us to get all the animals sorted out such a challenge for Richard who is more of a night owl than an early worm. But with the right incentive he did it, the alarm woke us up for 5.30am, and although it still took me another twenty minutes to actually get him moving, still I was quite impressed. By the time we had finished the horses it was almost 8am the time we were to meet everyone going in Piazza Fiat.
At first we thought we had got the date wrong as there wasn’t anyone there, well not in ski gear anyway, it was more like 8.30am by the time everyone had arrived and I was surprised to see that I was the only woman on the trip, not that I was going to let that put me off. Although driving to Abetone with Richard I was a little concerned as I didn’t want to be the slow coach, or ruin the trip for the others but Richard assured me it would be ok. But I have to admit to being a little anxious.
This soon disappeared after the first run, although the weather wasn’t wall to wall sunshine it was quite kind to us apart from when we went to the top of the mountain to get over the other side. We were now in the clouds, visibility was practically zero and the winds were strong as we climbed the mountain in the chair lift the wind would periodically catch us as we would swing like washing on a line, and I did hear a couple of “Dio Cane”.
But we arrived at the top safely and as I started the run down, the wind caught my jacket which then acted as a sail, pushing me faster and faster and I have to admit to being a little, no a lot out of control. There was so much cloud that you couldn’t even see your outstretched arm in front of you. Not knowing the runs, it was really difficult for me and now I slowed right down to a snails pace, I wanted to get down in one piece.
When a couple of the guys fell in front of me, it was a little disconcerting but it wasn’t long before we had broken through the clouds and visibility returned, what a relief for us all, now the race was on. I have to say Gian Luca, Milton, Richard and quite a few of the others enjoy speed, I wasn’t going to let the side down and I have to say skiing with the lads certainly improved my skiing for the day, I don’t think I have ever been so fast, what an adrenalin rush.
We were literally bombing down the hillside, and I would hate to guess the speeds we were doing but the runs seemed very short as we were once again riding the chair lift to the top. The snow was good, there was plenty on the slopes although by the end of the day lower down it did get a bit slushy but it wasn’t going to stop us.
We spent the rest of the day skiing the slopes only stopping for brief interludes for comfort breaks and a light lunch. The guys were drinking a bombolina, well that’s what I think it was called, it was coffee, rum and loads of cream in the end I tried one, it was nice but not like the French chocolate rums I am used to from skiing the French Alps. I believe you can’t beat them and they are a must on any ski trip, although I have to say the Italians aren’t as good at making them as the French.
We still had to go to the top of the mountain again to get back over to Abetone, the weather was a little better, although only a little, the wind had subsided a little but visibility was still poor. A few of us fell over a couple of times but we were all going much slower now, I think, well I know for me, I was getting tired it had been a long glorious day.
But once again as soon as we popped out of the clouds we were off again. Every credit to Claudio who was using “blades” (shorter ski’s with no poles), I learnt to ski with them and found them great as a beginner because they help with the turns but he was going some. And the problem with them at speed is that they become very unstable. I bet his legs and knees hurt that night. But every credit to him because I don’t think I could have gone as fast as he did on them.
The day was over all too quickly and we finished it all with something to each at Lorenzo’s a perfect end to a perfect day. Thank you Lake Angels it was a great day.
For those who haven’t skied Abetone, it is a great resort which opens up into a skiers paradise. Considering the extreme weather conditions we have had the slopes where great, there were a lot of off piste areas which lacked snow and weren’t open but the pistes themselves were well groomed with plenty of snow.
Keep an eye out for the Lake Angel events I can highly recommend supporting them in their endeavours, they are a great bunch of guy’s, thank you to them all for making me feel like one of the boys on their day out.
I do hope I can get another few days in before the season ends.
Article by Sensone