Happpppppy World Snow Day everyone. Hope you are out enjoying the white stuff wherever you may be. Today is also my birthday. I love the fact I was born on what has became World Snow Day. How fitting. I share my birthday with two inspirational snowy friends. Brian France who I worked with at Silver Star and John Moon who I have had the pleasure of skiing and rooming with in Cervinia. Happy birthday boys – miss you both!!!
One of the best birthdays I can remember (well just about remember) was turning 30 in the snowy lands of Canada. Brian, a snowboard instructor at the same snowsports school, also turned thirty on the same day…it was a big night. A nine hole round of pub golf. We were all decked out in makeshift golfing outfits with obligatory false moustaches.
The bar was set high when the first player hit a hole in one..if I remember rightly it was Dave and a pint of Guiness. Heavy going. I think it was actually allocated as a par 4. Being my birthday and being a Scotsman I had to do my nation proud….so I dully sculled the next six drinks. Six holes in one. I can’t remember too much after hole six to be honest. A big thank you to the two Johns at Long Johns (the best ski bar on the planet), The Den and the Bulldog for putting up with our shenanigans. All the rumours you read or hear about the mischief snowsports instructors get up to are justified..in fact if you only new the half of it. I have often thought of penning a “Confessions of a Ski Instructor” book but think I would probably get a lot of people into trouble..including myself. It would make an awesome read though. Winter life high up in a ski resort is all you could imagine it would be and more. If you have ever seen the 90’s film Ski School..believe me reality is far crazier and even more implausible. The mountain living years are without doubt some of the best of my life. I guess for now what happens on the ski hill stays on the ski hill…
There is a light dusting of snow in Edinburgh this morning and when I was teaching at Hillend yesterday there was just about enough snow for some off mat adventures. Yesterday was mental. As soon as the snow hits everyone heads up to the hill…as you can imagine quite often chaos ensues. Sledgers on the golf course, parasenders swirling about in the wind, a million skiers and boarders trying to cram themselves onto the lifts, cars being jammed into every conceivable nook and cranny. A snowplough attempted to get up the Hillend road to spread some grit but got stuck..not because of the mountainous snow (unfortunately) but because of all the tightly packed cars blocking the road. I have a great picture from a few years ago when I was walking down the mountain road heading to work in Canada and came across a slightly off track snowplough..I bet the driver was on round buying duty for the rest of season because of this!!
I have lost count the number of times I have been asked “If it snows at Hillend do they close the slopes?”. I can’t quite get my head around why people would ask if a ski slope closes because it snows…still makes me scratch my head in disbelief no matter how many times I hear it. Be it plastic, snow, combination of both I hope that no matter where you are sliding you are having a fantastic world snow day.