La Thuile, Italy

About a month ago, my housemate Al and I traveled to the Alps in Italy for a ski holiday.  The only skiing experience I had before this trip was the bunny hill in upstate New York, which I think we can all say pales in comparison to anything the Alps have to offer.  I elected to rent skis in La Thuile rather than a snowboard, because although I have been wakeboarding before, I thought the motions of skiing would be much more natural for a former hockey player.

The slopes are rated by color according to difficulty: green, blue, red and black going from easiest to most challenging.  Our first run of the day was blue to “make sure our equipment worked”.  Al quickly remembered how to board, and I struggled to stand on skis, which prompted him to be a bit worried about the rest of the week.  We stepped up to a red on our second run and I didn’t look back.  I found skis to be akin to long skates, with inside and outside edges.  The motions for turning and stopping are almost exactly the same between skating and skiing, so as long as my legs could handle it I would be fine.  See for yourself:

This area of the resort was littered with intertwining red runs, and we spent a lot of time traversing this part of the mountain.  Following the groomed trails was the path I preferred, however Al liked the deeper snow found “off piste” which can also be interpreted as “in the woods”.  I tried to follow him a few times off the slope into the deeper snow with no real success.  I was feeling confident on my skis but unfortunately I’m not strong enough or used the them enough to be able to handle it when a ski gets buried in snow.  I fell off piste a lot.  Like this example:

To be fair most of my falls were pretty minor and mostly just me enjoying the fluffy snow.  In fact, my only really bad fall happened on the first day, and save for some tender ribs I came out injury free.  We even managed black runs toward the end of the week once I was comfortable enough to embrace the speed.

CLICK HERE for a photo gallery of the rest of our adventures.

Overall it was an amazing holiday.  We had nothing to worry about seeing or trying to do except skiing and then relaxing in the afternoon.  Hopefully we can afford to go on a ski trip every year, I really enjoyed myself.

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