night ski

Today I went for my first telemark skiing this season. Although my technique still is far from perfect, I was happy that I hadn’t completely forgotten how to do it. It’s funny, normal skiing just goes automatically, but to telemark I really have to concentrate.

In the afternoon, when I got tired it became even harder. Telemarking is really tiring because you’re always skiing halfway squated, while keeping pressure on the bend leg. You use muscles that you don’t use in any other sport. At least not in one I’m practising.

Around sunset the lights switched on. It was the first time I was skiing in artificial light. I’ve seen the slopes illuminated like white highways when I passed them driving on the real highway, but never actually skied on them. Usually the lights are not on during the week, because they close at 4:30, but since it was still holiday season (and my just bought season pass wasn’t valid yet, but I did get a large discount on the day-rate) so there was night skiing. In Europe, were I skied before, they don’t have illumination on ski slopes (at least not in the places I’ve been) probably because the descents are much longer, and the price of electricity is much higher. It’s also a big waste of electricity, of course, and probably shouldn’t be encouraged.

But nevertheless I stayed, and skied under the stars, on these brightly lit, white, artificial, well groomed slopes.

It felt strange, almost unreal, also because most of the other skiiers had left and I had virtually the whole piste for myself. I did a couple of runs and then I left. It had been a nice day, I was tired and it was getting much colder without the sun.