Today we took a further step in our cultural integration – vi gikk på ski (went skiing). The last time we skied was nearly 25 years ago in Austria – and that was ‘downhill’, so quite different to cross country. Cross country skis are much thinner and more ‘whippy’ than downhill, and the shoes are only attached at the toe, so you use a kind of weird knee-first walking / hip-rotating action. By using the right kind of wax on the skis (temperature dependent), it’s also possible to ski uphill without needing to do the herringbone walk (at least on gentle slopes).
It’s taken a long time to get everything together: we bought clothes last October, skis a couple of weeks ago, ski shoes last week, today there was reasonable snow, this afternoon the wind dropped and we had glorious sunshine, and our friend Gunnar was available for a lesson.
Having said that cross country skiing is quite different, there are a few commonalities – snow is still slippery, gravity / gradients make you go faster, it hurts when you fall: but as Gunnar kept telling us, you don’t learn anything unless you fall. In order to protect the identity of the skier below shown ‘learning’, you need to know we both wore the same clothes (but obviously you can’t see what I was wearing whilst take the photos). Ooops . . . .
Whilst we’ve made a start, it might be sometime before we’re invited to join the Norway ski team (if ever, as we’re not Norwegian).