Gone Skiin’

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More used to 2m slalom skis, it was fun to use shorter parabolic carving skis.

In the last fourteen years, I have only managed a scant week of skiing, and in that week (back in 2004) I managed to break my wrist while trying to snowboard.

In moving to California, I was rather excited about the prospect of living within shooting distance of some serious mountains, so when a team of designers, architects and webby people invited me along, I immediately bit their hand off.

Located to the south of the main Tahoe areas, Kirkwood has some of the best snowfall in the region, and while not quite waist-deep in powder, we at least had some pretty soapy white stuff to mess around on, with minimal ice.

I was pleasantly surprised by the difference in experience between skiing in Europe and America. The super resorts in France are huge in comparison and really set up for a solid week of action; this is in contrast to here, where people get less vacation and want a weekend get-away.

Skiing with a couple of Dutch people, it was interesting to discover just how many of the cultural references we shared from family holidays in the Alps; the Raclette and Fondue, the mixtures of European nations vying to be first onto the ski lift, and the uniform ridicule of mono skiers and their strange sense of fashion. I would also argue that, since people are only going for the weekend a few times a year – instead of saving for six months and going for 9 days – that people don’t invest to the same amount in lessons. You do see plenty of groups of ‘roll-ons’ though (we dubbed the wee kids in the helmets by this name, since they look like cans of roll-on deodorant) and the skills of some of the snowboarders, in particular, was breathtaking.

But I ain’t complaining; skiing and hotdogs is a fine combination, and one I shall be partaking in again at the earliest possible convenience.

Mister Ryan Gosling joined us for the weekend too.

While trying to use my waterproof Pentax camera (the worst piece of product design ever?), I didn't quite manage to set up a proper group shot ... but it's better when looking natural, right?

Marieke, who is on the Dutch national synchronised skiing squad


You can kind of see that the hills here are a bit more rolly than the Alps, but I ain't complaining.

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