Skiing: A madman’s sport

How skiing was maybe definitely invented

Skiing is a bit of a ‘Marmite’ sport; you either love it or you hate it. Those of you who have skiied before will understand what I mean when I say that skiing has to be the least comfortable sport in the world- nay, the Universe. Until chaining a tyre to one’s nipples and dragging it through flames over shards of glass is recognised by the Olympics, I think I am safe in my assertion.

The whole ritual of skiing is quite bizarre, don’t you think? We have a heck of a time packing for a family ski trip, put on three of four layers of uber-tight synthetic fabric (and I am yet to see ski clothes that have any visual aesthetic merit), we strap our feet into the unbearably tight Boots Of Hell, clip ourselves onto giant plastic strips and fling ourselves down a mountain in weather that would have penguins knitting themselves thermal socks. It’s all a bit weird, and I spent much of our family ski trip to Bulgaria wondering how the first conversation between skiers went. Perhaps, something like this:

“…Good morning Angus. I trust all is well with you?”

“Outstanding, Ernie, outstanding. Terrific breakfast Clara put on this morning. And yourself? I trust you slept well?”

“To be honest, no, old chap. It was a shame. Something was afoot with my bed. There was a large dip in the middle; it was quite uncomfortable. And the light shone through all night, someone had taken the curtains down for some blasted reason. Anyway, that’s done now, mustn’t grumble. What does your day hold?”

“Well I was actually wondering, Ernie, if one would like to come for a trek tomorrow, before the bear hunting, what what? Glorious weather for it.”

“Angus old chap, it’s minus thirty degrees. Everything’s frozen. The freezers are frozen. Clara hasn’t even been using them, she said she just throws food out the back door and rummages around in the snow when she needs to defrost it.”

“Ernie my good man, ’tis but a little nippy. All will be fine. Pop a scarf over your tweeds and let’s go see if we can get some of those rascally wolves, hmm? I bought a new musket, really must try it out.”

“Ah, I suppose I mustn’t grumble. Fresh air will do us good I suppose. One thing, though, how do you propose we get over the snow? It’s four foot deep in places. Hugo went for a stroll last week and fell down a ravine, he broke both his legs and has to only eat soup, he’s got no teeth left.”

“Hugo’s a darn softie. And the soup here is delicious, I don’t know what he’s complaining about. Look, I’ve been working on something for a while, it’s a new kind of snow shoe. See for yourself!”

“Erm- Angus, that’s four planks of wood. They’re all long and square, how are we supposed to- Angus, are they bed slats? Are they MY bed slats?”

“Let’s not trifle, shall we, Ernie? The point is, if we strap these to our feet I think we have a good chance of sliding over the snow, none of this shuffling nonsense.”

“You took my goshdarnit bed slats to wear in the snow? And how is that supposed to work, exactly? They’ll slide right off!”

“I’ve thought of everything, Ernie. I’ve made some boots, comfortable as you like, weatherproof and we just strap them on with some twine. Foolproof- take a look for yourself.”

“Angus, that’s a kettle. Oh there’s more- they’re all iron kettles, Angus, they’ll feel blinding awful on our feet. And what about balance? First couple of yards and we’ll be headlong into the snow, I guarantee you.”

“Where’s your faith, boy, I’ve thought of that too. We have balancing poles, see?”

“Curtain poles- you took my curtain poles, Angus?! Blinkers McGee, you’re a madman I tell you.”

“Ernie, this will be all the rage. Everyone will want some of these. They’ll come on holiday to do this very thing, slide from the very top of the mountain to the bottom.”

“You’ve lost it, Angus. This will never catch on.”

So that, almost certainly, is how it all started. And it hasn’t got any more comfortable! Skiing with kids is, however, one of the most fun ways to spend a family holiday, especially a family holiday to Bulgaria. Why not take a look at these Bulgaria family ski trip packages and check out our first 24 hours in Borovets to see how we settled in. Make sure you look out for our guide to ‘skiing with kids in Bulgaria’ soon! (Spoiler alert: do it!)

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Travel journalists, home educating our lovely brood of 3 girls. Planning a year-long RTW trip late Summer 2017.

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