Skiing Alone: Underacknowledged

(The smiling face? It's behind the camera)

(The smiling face? It's behind the camera)

Give it a try if… You are eager to have another great story to tell – yourself, of course.

Steer clear if… You can’t even take a baby step without someone showing you the right direction.

“How vuz yer ski day?,” asked the wizened lady who had hosted me at her table with her husband over breakfast. “Simply amazing! I reached the other side of the resort and had a lot of fun,” I said. “Yesss, but… Only? [as in alone],” she inquired with a puzzled look. “Skiing only, no goot.” For once, I did not even knock up a reply. I would rather keep the secret of how I had treated myself to one of the most extraordinary days of my life.

"I only need one of those, thanks."

"I only need one of those, thanks."

Take One

Despite the fact that I have designated 2012 as “The Year of the Difference” – a theme I will elaborate on in future posts – my bourgeois roots keep me from calling myself a genuine nonconformist. After all, I did wear Armani for my confirmation and thought “Nine 1/2 Weeks” was a great movie. So the first time I resolved to ski alone, all I aimed for was a brief, half-determined attempt at enjoying the freedom my job grants me despite the lack of equally self-ruling playmates. There I was, gliding on eggshells towards emancipation: little did I know that I would turn into the King of Solo.

You can eat one of these every day without anyone warning you about your liver

You can eat one of these every day without anyone warning you about your liver

Aim for More

Society is simply not prepared for someone who chooses to spend a whole week riding white waves in the company of loneliness; if you decide to follow this tip, be prepared for high costs and a few weird looks. Yet I will endure the associated hassles anytime – and so should you – considering the rewards of this experience. I am not referring to the obvious, selfish benefits of picking the routes and the menus, or not having to hold your companion’s backpack while they take a #1. I am inviting you to skip right past these trivial details and engage in a tête-à-tête with the meaning of existence. Here is how.

Tipsology’s Certified Solo Skier Training Program

LEVEL 1: DIG UP YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE – Start by taking a deep breath and chanting your new mantra: I can do this. You can decipher that daunting piste map and end up turning it into your best friend. You can survive a whole week having the mountains as your only conversation partner. If you fall, you can lend yourself a helping hand. If you get lost in the fog, you can find your way out of it. You can do this, alone.

LEVEL 2: AWAKEN YOUR INNER CHILD – Train your levity muscles by playing suitable games – like turning into a world-class movie star that no one recognizes thanks to your helmet and goggles. Or celebrating in full regalia this year’s Tree Hugging Day. Or competing against yourself to see who is able to eat more apple pie. Or while you are skiing, falling on purpose every thirty-eight seconds. Believe me, it is fun.

To whoever invented this,              my eternal gratitude

To whoever invented this, my eternal gratitude

LEVEL 3: EMBRACE THE PARADOX – As you sit quietly on a chairlift, appreciate the genius of mankind. Look at the complex, imposing machinery we set up to explore another way of relating to this planet of ours, which happens to have snowy declivities we can slide down on. Isn’t it crazy? Now switch your focus to the distant scenery. As you gaze at the jagged peaks, contemplate the flawless beauty Earth reveals when we just f***ing leave it alone. Will we ever learn? And should we?

LEVEL 4: GET IN TUNE –  Now that you have switched off your mind, turn on your enhanced senses by skiing with music (provided, of course, you are a confident skier). Your goal is to acknowledge, through active and involved listening, the ever-flowing unity between the music on your MP3 player and each sensation and movement of your body. Once you get this, include the people, the landscapes and the weather that make up your environment. Finally, make room for the energetic fields that manifest themselves through silence and the absence of any form. Panta rei, my friend: unbrace yourself and just go with it.

LEVEL 5: You are now officially ready to have fun.

UPS Score (Utmost Perfection Scale): 10/10 + Standing Ovation

Read the PostTip: Music for Skiing Alone

Read an interesting discussion which originated from this post on the wonderful Snowheads.

"Welcome. I have been waiting for you."

"Welcome. I have been waiting for you."

P.S. When I set out to write this, I logged onto WordPress and look what post I found on top of the “Freshly Pressed” section. Isn’t life funny?

Related posts:

Skiing in France: Unnerving

Paradiski: Cozy

Espace Killy: Captivating


5 responses to “Skiing Alone: Underacknowledged

  1. Love it! Sounds magical 🙂

    I’m only a beginner skier so would be a bit afraid to try, but if I got some more experience it sounds great. And I do like the look of that schnitzel!

    • I’d love to propose you to join me, but how could two people ski alone together? Uhm…

      That just might be a tricky paradox of this new “solo trend”:
      it’s a passion you can share with others only in theory, never in practice 😉

  2. This is wonderful! Skiing is on my bucket list. Wish I could scratch it off anytime soon. 😉

  3. Eric Murphy

    Sounds fantastic. Spending time alone is highly underrated.