VS Volunteer, Board Member and skiing sensation, Jennifer Peebles, is talking all things skiing for our blog post this week! Jennifer tells us why getting out onto the slopes is so special to her and shares some great photos of her most recent trip!
“To ski or not to ski…” the answer to that question is, always, a resounding “to ski!”.
Almost 40 years ago, one of my work colleagues, who had recently moved to Fort William, asked that very question. Keen to try something new, I went at the crack of dawn to meet him at the Glencoe ski carpark. Armed with a selection of ski gear borrowed from friends, and boots and skis rented from a sports shop.
I was buzzing with excitement – Glencoe here I come.
The long queue, stretching almost back to the main road and the ancient rickety wooden ‘one seat’ chairlift up the mountain did nothing to dampen my spirits – I was so excited to get going. Despite being like Bambi on ice, spending more time on my backside than upright, getting soaked through and almost blown of my feet, or off the mountain, I absolutely loved it and became hooked!
Over the past 20 odd years, I have swapped the slopes of Glencoe for those in France, Italy, or Austria. Although I only get away once a year, it’s enough to ‘keep me going’.
Any worries or stresses I may have disappear. When I stand amid the snow-covered mountains shining brightly against bright a blue sky, (I’ll not mention the times when it’s whiteout conditions!), I feel so alive. The stunning scenery of the ski slopes is such a special sight.
When I’m about to set off, my stomach does somersaults with excitement, nerves, and anticipation as I clip my boots into my skis and point them downhill.
3,2,1… I’m off!
The feeling of exhilaration ski, gracefully (well I like to think so), down the slopes, the cold air on my face, the swooshing sound of the snow beneath my skis clears my mind. All I’m thinking about is skiing – choosing which line to take, when to turn – it’s magical.
It’s such a buzz to clock a maximum speed of 40+ mph (42.5mph to be exact – photographic evidence available 😊) – not bad for a mature (not old), lady. It’s always crazy when you think of doing that speed on what is basically, 2 planks of fibreglass, and plastic strapped to strapped to your feet!
I also love the daily routine on the slopes… a mid-morning stop for hot chocolate, a bowl of spaghetti bolognaise or cheese toasty for lunch, more often than not with plate of chips to share, then a cold drink stop in the afternoon – what a perfect day.
At the end of the day, I feel great – it doesn’t seem to matter that my legs are tired after a long day on the slopes. I feel calm and content.
For me, there’s just something special about skiing.