Gloomy Sunday, says the legendary Serge Gainsbourg. A day of cleaning and washing. Low cloud, grey, overcast. Gloomy indeed. Such a great word.
We are here early season in Zermatt to ski train, so that we at WoW have perfected our ski technique for the beginning of our WoW Season in the Mighty Italian Dolomites. We aim to keep our Lovely Ladies safe and happy and thus we take our personal ski competence very very seriously. It’s been an interesting few weeks; not everything has gone according to plan. I’m apparently too rotary in my short turns and not patient enough in the fall line to make them rounded, and my carved long turns on my left foot are sometimes not quite clean. Frustrating, though there have been positive moments too and I’m getting to grips with new movement patterns all the time. Conditions have often been equally challenging . We’ve had blustery days and zero visibility, lift closures and sheet ice. A near white out caused me to be kicked out of a narrow ski corridor littered with unexpected lumps and bumps of accumulated snow on the piste and yesterday’s ice rink was nothing short of scarey.
The view from my window in this little studio I’ve rented is quite magical, as if time has been suspended. On a sunny day, the Matterhorn is right in front of my window, it’s sheer face coated in snow, and it’s pinnacle always accompanied by a plume of frothy cloud, trailing softly with the wind direction. The curtains do little to block out morning light, and pulling them back reveals this incongruous tooth of a rock just reaching high high into the sky. You can’t fail to be impressed.
No skiing today though. High winds up top have closed the lifts and the FIS World Cup race has been cancelled. In the valley though, there’s not a breath of a breeze. The clouds hanging in the valley today have brought with them roughly 50 centimetres of fresh snow, settled heavily on the landscape of old wooden chalets and pine forest fronds, gilding them like well dressed Ladies. There’s that peculiar muffled silence that follows a heavy snowfall and sounds of scraping as clearing gets underway. From time to time there are innocent peals of giggles from tobogganers braving the powder, or the whizz of an electric bicycle attempting the steep hill up the village paths.
But there’s a chink of hope in this pervading melancholy. On Friday afternoon, there was a truly joyous moment. The cloud lifted and a weak sun peered through the cloud. The slope revealed a painting of glorious chopped up fluff, just waiting to be whooped on.
So, as the trainer’s hand went up to announce my turn, I kind of forgot all the technical humdrum going on in my head, and decided to JUST SKI IT. And ski it I did. WHAT a run! WHAT a total blinder of powerful turns, cutting through the lumps and swooping out into the new turn with the confidence of a teenager. I came to a stop with a grin as wide as the turns I’d just made, slightly panting, slightly overawed at just how beautiful it all was, and remembered that skiing IS a sport, but skiing is also supposed to be fun.
If you want to capture those moments of pure skiing joy, join us on one of our Women Only Weeks. Zermatt will do for training, but our hearts lie in the untouched beauty of the Italian Dolomites.
We call our tours WOW, simply because they are.
There are a few slots left. Transform your Gloomy Sunday to a Weekend WoW.