Today I went to say goodbye for the season to my favourite ski resort, Seefeld. Here, in a resort which by Alpine standards, is low altitude, it is really the end of the ski season and the beginning of the best time of year for rollerblading. In Seefeld, until mid-afternoon, we had bright sun, and a warm breeze on the cheeks. And on the slopes...a thin layer of slush! Locals call this 'legbreaker snow'. If you are an advanced skiier you just get on with it, but don't ski tired. If like me you are intermediate you adjust and go easy. Read more about Skiing slush
I have just been out practicing that latest drill Mark gave me (roll on right foot, grab left rear wheel with right hand). Two things reminded I am in the capital of the Tirolean ski region: radiant sunshine (I read it is raining in England); and a random passing cyclist muttering under his breath the injunction, "Soft in the knee". Read more about Soft in the knee
Only the promise of spring-weather skating can make up for the impending end of the ski season. But piste skiing is not quite over, though powder skiing may be. So here is a tip for all ski posers. The ones who like to nip up to the terrace at a busy ski hut, or pull away, looking like a really cool, advanced skier. You know who you are....;-) There is one sure way to spot a good skier in that situation, and I am still working on it: skate on the skis. Of course it only works when there is a nearly-flat area near the hut, but often there is. Read more about How to pose like a pro at the Ski Hut - Skate in on your Skis!!! Plus rollerblade exercises for skiers.
I’m 80 years old, and looking forward to more years of skating. Mark is helping – the first time I’ve had any instruction, and I need it (or so he tells me).
I began skating, dry land and ice, in the 1940s. The skates were something like this:
Every student of Mark, and of other rollberblade teachers who put a big emphasis on safety, can scissor. That is not necessarily because scissoring is safer in the street (for riding over rough surfaces): it applies even to students who are not skating on the streets. It is because a number one priority is being able to stop! And unless you show up at a lesson ready to demo a good emergency stop without a heel brake, you will be expected to learn to heel brake. Since there is no good heel braking without good scissoring, you learn to scissor. Read more about How is your scissoring?
Don't worry about you skating skills and what other people are doing. Skating is very much a personal thing and what's important is that you enjoy what you do for yourself, whilst at the same time always feel that you need to do more.
There's no destination in skating, it's a journey of discovery, it's actually an amazing journey and very much a personal one, one which I am pleased to say and like all of you, continues. Read more about Skating for you
Yesterday I went down the longest Alpine Route (an unpisted ski path) at the Stubai Glacier. Before coming to the skating point, a little anecdote. I thought it would be easier to take my own detour: the marked route was off piste anyway. The soft, waist-deep snow blown up by the wind, in which I found myself, was beyond my skill, especially on narrow skis, and I fell twice. This led to three discoveries: 1. Read more about One-sided skating and skiing: or, the importance of fixing your scissoring
I am feeling rather sheepish because I went up Hafelekar today in a ski lift and took the lift down again. A sign warns visitors: "Alpine routes, 70% incline, conditions may change without notice and be suddenly very hard and icy, falling means danger of death." Luckily I did not have skis with me so did not have face the decision about whether to give it a go, or the humiliation of bottling out, In soft snow which is not too deep I would probably have got down OK, but the consequences of falling can indeed be serious, and it is maybe not wise to go down a slope like this without plenty of practice in safer conditions first. Holiday skiiers rarely get chance to practice enough to have fun safely on the more demanding slopes, and this particular ski area is fairly popular with skiers who are in the know, but is not really advertised for holiday skiiers. Read more about Falling means danger of death: Skiing, Inline Skating, and Transferring the Weight
Having done a post on the first day, I should probably follow it up! Nice weather, lovely beaches (in mid-winter!), and the most fantastic Duck Confit you can imagine at one of the several reasonably priced restaurants which Mark recommended. Hotel Bahia is fine. Fairly basic, clean, right on the sea front. And a few of Mark's friends in the town, after a week, I now feel I know myself. Read more about Alicante Skate Trip -- Summary of my First Time