1. The first run of the day is the scariest so best concentrate the eff out of it instead of writing blog posts in your head. I say this from bitter experience.
  2. It’s not a great idea to ski with a spouse/significant other who’s better at it than you, especially if he’s inclined to offer unsolicited advice for your benefit and improvement. I must share this little nugget with you, Dear Reader: We once joined a queue for a chair lift at Obergurgl, Austria, and there was a couple in perhaps their 30s facing each other with rather confrontational body language (they had on their helmets and goggles so we couldn’t see their faces.) The woman sobbed: “But I am trying.” Nuff said.
  3. Never stop and look down the slope you’re about to ski. It will scare the hell out of you.
  4. Conversely, when you stop on the flat, always look back at the slope you’ve skied and say “I just did that!”
  5. If you lose your nerve in the middle of a steep bit (e.g piste 15 at Obergurgl – it’s steep for me, OK?) try to keep on going. If you stop right there on that scary slope there’s still only one way down and you’re going to have to take it. Skis on or skis off: your choice. If necessary, pizza/snowplough down. No-one else will care, with the possible exception of your irritated spouse.
  6. Snowboarders are liable to sit down in front of you without warning. That’s their nature. Stay well away.
  7. Little kids and boarders appear to have no concept of personal space or, indeed, anyone around them. Give them a wide berth. Likewise: men.
  8. Take no damn notice of the four year old future Chemmy Wossnames as they whizz past. Their centre of gravity is lower than yours, in some cases MUCH lower. You ain’t nevah goin’ be good as them, honey. Just accept it and/or blame your parents. *
  9. With regard to said lower centre of gravity, the upside, so to speak, is the extra cushioning in the event of a fall. Think about it.
  10. Pride comes before a fall. Pay heed.
  11. Relatedly, competitive Wall Street dads teaching their tiny offspring and women who keep repeating “No, no, I keep telling you: don’t do that,” are to be avoided. They are a ticking time bomb. Sure thing dat chile gonna blow* and you don’t want to be around when that happens, no Ma’am.*
  12. It is of no consequence if you ski slowly and only do greens/blues. Better than looking like a knob when you’ve come to grief because you overestimated your abilities and you have to get the paramedic out. Or worse. You can’t afford to do that, remember? You’re a mamma and if you get hurt, the family does NOTHING for weeks. Leave the skiing like loons to the rest of them. Mountain assistance is expensive and a stretcher is among the least glamorous of accessories for a helicopter.
  13. Always use suncream. In the real world a goggle tan is not a great look.
  14. Don’t worry if your skislope look is more barrage balloon than willowy Glamazon. There is no point competing with your beautiful teenage daughter who skis like a ballerina. Give in gracefully: life for teens tough enough without they being upstaged by they mamma.*
  15. This is the time to enjoy the U2 and Steppenwolf pumped out through mega amps. Chances are the only people now able to afford skiing are those who rocked out to these songs the first time around. Enjoy that brief moment of adulation from your fam as you can sing along to Funky Town or Down Under. Remember: skiing is an elitist, bougeois sport. Enjoy it, smile and be glad you’re there.


*I feel I should credit Kathryn Stockett and the entire cast of The Help Audiobook for this. It is a marvellous book. Go read/ listen. **

** This was the only way I was going to get the benefit of this, Nish, while doing ironing or on the plane or some such. Thank you for insisting I read it. It’s fantastic.