Tag Archives: Dolomites

Close shave in the Dolomites…

Feb half term is the annual family skiing holiday. A week of fun and adventure. Stories that we will talk about forever.

Sun and snow

Sun and snow

It all started at the airport. You know what SqueezyJet check in is like. Well, our group was 12 in total and the others had already been in line for 45 minutes by the time the Peck foursome turns up. Of course, we go to greet our companions, and somehow manage to jump the whole queue. Much dark muttering amongst the early morning seething mass. How to antagonise the Brits – jump a queue…

The kids are getting good!

The kids are getting good!

Conquer the mountain!

Free the mountain!

Charles and skiing have clicked. One private lesson for a couple of hours and he’s accelerated so fast I can’t keep up with him anymore. He announces “I’m a responsible skier” at lunch, and promptly smacks into his Mum, wiping her out in the afternoon.  Blimey he goes fast – the confidence of youth!

I think he's contemplating the perfect line...

I think he’s contemplating the perfect line…

Charles Tree (1 of 1)

Ah, to be young again…

Charles and fans

Charles and fans

The girls are rocking the ski school. 3 girls, and 3 champions, all winning trophies in their respective classes (phew! what would have happened if 2 won, and 1 didn’t…?)

Champions

Champions

Looking cool on the slopes

Looking cool on the slopes

Felix is chief mischief maker for the week, principally by refusing to ski. Mind you, he is only 3. His parents keep on dancing.

Felix, almost skiing.

Felix, almost skiing.

Any chance for a boogie

Swinging to the umpah music

A week’s fun in the Dolomites, and then, out of the blue, near disaster. Our transfer bus back to the airport gets hit by an avalanche at the top of the pass. The bus slews round and halts. We’re at the edge of the avalanche. Had we been 50 yards further on …., it doesn’t bear thinking about. We’re stuck until the snow plough can dig us out. We miss the plane. But no matter. We know we’ve been incredibly lucky.

Snow plough digging us out

Snow plough digging us out

Every cloud has a silver lining – in our case we have a day to kill in Venice whilst we wait for the next plane. Nothing like a close shave to make you appreciate the moment! And a family story, to last forever.

Enjoy every day!

Enjoy every day!


Skiing with the girls, part 2

Skiing in the Italian Dolomites

Last week was the boys (link here). This week the girl gang is on the slopes! a recipe for slow skiing, and lots of hanging around whilst gloves are found, sun screen is applied, bags are packed, skis are carried and helmets are adjusted.

Collective noun for girl gang skiing? Skiettes?

But much fun is had nevertheless! Imogen is quite capable of singing her way from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the slope, with a couple of tumbles on the way to liven things up.  Last time we took her skiing she smacked her front teeth out, this time she’s a natural, almost…

Uncle has to take evasive action

She even manages to win her ski school race with aplomb!

Victory!

Celebrating as a snow angel

This is the life, huge wide empty slopes and great views. No queues on the lifts. Why can’t it always be like this?

Can you spot the skier?

Italy has become my favourite place to ski!

And the girls keep it nice and lively. Hannah manages to drop her ski into the trees from the ski lift, and then skis down on one ski (!?!?!); Freya (her first week) can’t turn, loses control and almost careers headfirst into a logpile (saved by her hero uncle… me!); Melissa is the earth mother extraordinaire, with a bag that contains absolutely everything – drinks, wipes, chocolate etc (Freya asked her if she had a chicken in it? – great question!)

Relaxing on the slopes

Phew, managed to dodge the woodpile...!

Girl racers

The real world seems far away, which, after all, is what this week is all about. Just great views and good times with the family. Long may it continue!

All together

Up in the mountains

Our village - St Martin in Thurn


Adrenaline rush on the slopes

St Martin in Thurn

A week’s skiing at half term. Fantastic – best skiing I’ve ever had – in the Italian Dolomites on the Kronplatz & Alta Badia ski area. We went with Mountainsun and stayed in the Hotel Diamant in the village in the pic. Highly recommend the area, the resort and the agency. Top notch: www.mountainsunltd.com

So this week is the story of the boys. We’ll come to the girls next week….

Birnenschnapps, to warm the cockles

The boys of course, need to go fast. And that’s what we did. Sometimes not very stylishly it is true, but always with enthusiasm:

Me, not leaning down the hill, as usual

I did get some good speed up – 98.3 kph at one stage (just had to mention that…, the iphone apps are amazing!).

Top of the Black

But I also had the biggest tumble. And it was in full view of our whole party. The kids and girls were in the gondola just going over the black run as I got into trouble: “look, Dad’s lost a ski……, he’s sliding…., he’s not stopping!…., OMG, IS HE ALRIGHT?!?!?!”        (I was, just.)

Re-enacting my tumble (no-one watching now, of course)

Carnage in Alta Badia, not me this time

No such problems for the kids. Charles (12, skiing 3 times in his whole life) considers himself an expert. Carving is simply natural ability, he claims. As soon as he hits the slope, he’s off!

Charles, incapable of going slowly.

Tops in ski school

The best soup on the mountain

Dude!

Dude in action...

For most flamboyant, we need to turn to Charles’s uncle, who had a particularly spectacular set of eye-wear this year

You should see his shades!

Powder rush

When not charging the slope, normal Dad duties take over:

The best nursery slope ever - it's about 2 miles long!

Boys need liquid refreshment, regularly

The Dolomites are a particularly lovely area; the peaks are jagged, tooth-like, sharp. Very dramatic.

from village to peak

Incisor!

the view onto the black where I crashed and burnt

I want to do that!

Great views, fantastic snow, high octane fun, the odd beer or two. Adrenaline rush to clear the mind of the day to day work life. Paradise for the boys!

Feeling good!

Free the mountain!

(Thanks to Marc from Mountainsun for risking his SLR on the slopes to get the action shots – appreciate it!)