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Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors

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How Do We Describe The Buzz Of Skiing To Non-Skiers?

Posted on
September 18, 2016
How Do We Describe The Buzz Of Skiing To Non-Skiers?

Hi everybody, I hope you are all well. This might appear be a strange title for a blog post, accompanied with a photo taken in Méribel in the summer, but bear with me and all will be revealed. As mentioned in the previous post, I was very fortunate to be back in Méribel last month on a summer holiday. During this time I completely immersed myself in my passions of mountain biking, hiking and photography. The weather was fantastic especially for twilight photography, it was such a buzz. In a way it reminded me of a similar buzz I get with skiing. Now for some reason a subject came into my head one evening next to the tripod, namely trying to describe the buzz of skiing to non-skiers. Even as a ski instructor, in the past I've struggled to deal with this challenge. So I got thinking again, and have perhaps come up with an answer.

There were so many times last month during my holiday when I was on a high. Whilst riding down the many dedicated bike tracks on the mountain, I experienced a rush. The tracks were running dry and fast, the berms were in great nick and my bike was running in top condition. If you aren't a mountain biker, you probably haven't got a clue what I'm talking about, and I totally appreciate this. But it reminded me of skiing. Let me explain.

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Most of us skiers have got our favourite pistes right? Let's use the 'altiport' piste in Méribel as an example, or perhaps we should use the official name of 'Blanchot'. It is a belter of a piste for any standard of skier. It is gentle, wide and has 'to die for' mountain views. Everything a skier wants in fact. But let's take it further. Imagine as though you are one of the first skiers down the alitport in the morning after a fesh snowfall. The piste is empty, it has been perfectly groomed and you are feeling fab on skis. Sounds like a skiers dream doesn't it? And what a buzz it would be. The same feeling that I had on my mountain bike in fact. 

So although you may not be a mountain biker, you may now be able to relate the feeling I had compared to this example of skiing down the altiport piste. Let's take it further. All photographers of merit get very excited, also depressingly moody sometimes, about the quality of light. Light can make or break a photo, especially landscape photography.

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So with the gorgeous weather last month, I was able to use the golden hour that us photographers crave for - the hour either side of sunrise and sunset. So there I was for several evenings stood next to my mate called Canon, who was sat on a tripod wearing soft grad filters (which I forgot to pack for the previous summer's holiday). The light was exquisite, the scene was otherworldly, I even managed to nail my hyperfocal distance focus point, and I was one very happy photographer performing Triple Salchow backflips whilst high fiving my invisible friends !?! It was such a buzz.

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Hang on a minute, is there a theme here? You betcha. It's the same buzz that us skiers get when everything is going right for us. Let's think of another example shall we. Right, got it - it's a beautiful sunny morning again, your skis are freshly serviced with sharp edges, the piste is empty and you are aiming for your favourite mountain restaurant that serves the scrummiest hot chocolate (with squirty cream on top of course). The view is terrific and you've just heard the weather forecast that tells you it will snow again every night for the rest of your holiday, but it will be sunny during each day. What an incredible buzz that would be.

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It's that same buzz that I got whilst doing back flips next to my tripod. Again I wouldn't expect you understand this whole photographic process, especially the hyperfocal part. However compare the buzz to the skiing example just now, it's the same emotion that I experienced for several evenings. Oh, I forgot to mention the part about having a picnic with a cheeky glass of bubbles whilst watching the sun dip behind the mountain. Bliss.

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So there you have it, perhaps the next time a non-skier asks about the appeal of skiing, try and find out what hobbies they enjoy and take it from there. If they say they don't like the cold, then fair enough, don't try and persuade them to go skiing. After all, we don't want too many people on the ski slopes do we?

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It looks as though next weekend I will have my skis back on again, the first time since April. I'll be visiting Manchester's Chill Factore to attend a BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors) refresher session along with other instructors. A 'Continuing Professional Development' course if you like, should be great fun.

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If you enjoyed this post but fancy reading more about skiing, click on this link for a article about skiing in powder snow. Feel free to share away on social media by using the icons, or leave a comment below. Do come back in a couple of weeks time for another article. And don't forget, Live With Passion. Martin.

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