GUESS WHOS back BACK AGAIN BLOGGING FRANKIES BACK TELL A FRIEND NANANNANANANNA NANANANA
Okay short back story to this post, so , around 2 years ago I started keeping a google doc diary of blog posts, that I never posted online and I only shared with a small select crew of people because for some random reason I didn’t think they were interesting enough , or worthy enough or relevant enough to be shared on the internet.
Since then I have learnt that self publishing is easy, no one moderates what you’re saying, no one is going to tell you that you’re not funny enough, interesting enough, or worthy. You can just write very literally whatever sparks joy and Boom you’ve done it you’ve completed the writing.
So here I am , I’m back, with my little pockets of un-moderated joy, same concept , same style , same truths, except this time they are out on the internet for the whole wide world to read.
HELLLLLLLL YEAH TO GROWTH
And this is how I start :
Hello you wonderful people ,
Thank you so much for joining me, and reading about my life, I hope your days are filled with adventures big and small, that the cup of tea you forgot about is still warm, and that all your stormy weather peters out to sunshine.
I have been on potentially the adventure of all adventures. Well maybe not quite, but I’ve broken a new boundary, and I have most certainly leveled up.
I lead my first ski tour.
Did I feel like I knew what I was doing? Occasionally. Did I look like I knew what I was doing? potentially. Did we get out and back safely, including a whole heap of decision making. Why yes we did, Tick.
I had this plan that myself and gorgeous girlfriend should go for her first ski tour, an easy route up to a monastery, stay overnight, read chat and chill, and then have a gentle ski down the next day. Did the weather play ball, no it did not, did the avalanche conditions play ball , no they did not.
It all started like this: We packed our things, packed the van, and I phoned the monastery as we got in the car, and they sounded quite grave, spoke very negatively about the conditions, and asked if I had “a good knowledge of the mountain” … to which I immediately started to question whether I did or I didn’t, and then I started to question whether he was assuming my ability based on my gender, and then I started to question whether I was assuming that he was assuming my ability based on my gender, complicated.
Queue self doubt. We decided to set off and check back. I phoned all the friends I thought might have some advice on the drive, and eventually decided to drive to the carpark at the start of the tour, check the conditions for myself, and potentially give it a punt.
I toyed with different ideas the whole drive, was it a bad idea, did I know what I was doing, did anyone ever know what they are doing, was there something I was missing, how could I make a decision. The weather started off fairly calm, then snowy then turned to a complete whiteout, the closer we got the more intense the wind started to get. We got to the car park , as I got out of the car, the door slammed behind me, and I had to shield my eyes from the snow being whipped in all directions, hmmmm not ideal.
I knew there were other groups booked to stay in the same area, I went to see if it looked like there was anyone else already started on the route. There were some vague tracks and I followed the path with my eyes squinting against the wind. I saw a group around 10 minutes up the hill, but they were walking back in our direction.
When they got down they had said they turned back, that the risk was too high and that it just wasn’t the day. That was it. No more worrying, my decision was made, it was worth a try, but the ski tour was now most definitely off.
We sat in the car, and irrationally I started to feel better, we had done all we could, and made a decision based on all the information. Just as I was starting to consider plan b (pizza in bed) the guide from the other group knocked on the window , and suggested we try a route up to “cabane Brunet” I gave it a quick google, called the Cabane, and it was on, an hours drive to get there and we would still get a great days ski tour.
We found the start of the route fairly easily, rushed some food, unpacked repacked and kitted up. I noticed time ticking away on us as it was 12:30 already, but hoped it would only take us an hour or two, and we set off.
The route started off super flat and cruisey, and poor Frit didn’t know what was about to hit her. We followed a ski tour track that was quite easy to find with intermittent signs, easy to read terrane, previous tracks and dog footprints to follow. It was still snowing , but there was no wind, shallow slopes around and trees making it more of a gentle dusting then the violent storm from the start of the original tour.
I did think we would need to take a lot of breaks, but very quickly the path got steeper, and as the time ticked on I wanted to get up and be sure to have plenty of time for the ski back down. In my memory all I can picture is gorgeous trees and snow and a gentle twisty path through the forest. In reality I was panicking that I didn’t know the way, panicking that even the smallest slide could have us in so much trouble, panicking about the ski down, panicking about the time, panicking about whether or not Frit was enjoying it, or going to make it, or ever going to speak to me again. We got an hour in, to a flatter area, and I suggested we stop for a “6 minute break”, I know right , I’m so generous.
There was some more suffering on Frit’s part, some more angst on my part, a whole heap of cheerleading, and we got out of the forest, off the skin track and back on the road (which meant I had a mildly better idea of where we were, and we would definitely be able to turn around and ski back down). Celebrations!!!!!! Another rest, a more chilled pace, and time to pop the secret stash of gummies, because if you are going to beast someone to their limit, and a bit more, you have to keep them alive with gummies along the way.
Were we as close to the top as I thought, nope. Was it now 14:30, yes. We carried on, and I kept checking the map. The path split again and we set off up the ski tour track, more beasting, more struggle, more pain and suffering on Frit’s part. The Snow started to get heavier, and I got just slightly more concerned that maybe taking someone on their first ski tour, when they have never skied off piste, somewhere where you’ve never been in the middle of the afternoon, in a snow storm on the recommendation of someone who you spoke to for less then a minute was maybe not guidebook level of safety?
We passed someone skiing down, they told us it was about 40 more minutes. We got out of the trees, the snow got heavier, the path got less obvious, I couldn’t see the slopes above us because of the weather, and suggested that maybe when we got to the cabane, we should immediately turn around and ski back. No warm Cabane, no rest, no soup, Poor Frit.
She struggled more, I stressed more, and also thought about what an awesome area it was for future tree skiing, powder everywhere. I kept checking the map, and we kept inching closer, but just not quite as fast as we should have, I had 15:00 as a turn around time in my head, and when 15:00 came I said we should go 10 more minutes, 15 more minutes later, 10 minutes away from the Cabane, snow falling heavier and heavier, we decided to stop, transition and turn around.
“We’re just going to snow plough slowly, take your time and follow me”…. In my head I was fully prepared for an hour of struggle, and crashes, I had a bucket load of cheerleading ready to go, and a few leftover gummies just in case.
I took off my skins, took off Frits skins, and helped her clip into her skis. I didn’t take the time to put on any layers, and genuinely froze the whole way down. I set off Very slowly, and it was fine, and then went a weeeeeee bit quicker , and it was fine, and then very quickly we were back in the trees, the pressure was off, and we were still fine. Frit was loving it, I was loving it and there was a lovely coating of fresh snow on the tracks to get at. I started having fun and finding pockets of snow to go through. I let Frit go ahead, and followed behind, we skied side by side. We were both absolutely covered in snow, and it was completely magic!
We followed the road back to the car and we were there so much quicker than I thought, without any of the struggle , and none of the crashes. It turned out the skier we saw was from the cabane, he couldn’t get why we turned around 10 minutes from the top, but as we sat in the van with cold gnocchi, pasta, and flasks of tea, I honestly don’t think we could have made a better decision.
In the past when I wrote my google doc non blog posts I always wrote a little lesson I learned, and I think this one is really the one from the day.
I don’t believe in fate, as much as I believe in coincidences.
It was definitely a coincidence that we happened to meet the guide, just as he was coming down from the ski tour in that first car park. That our journey took us exactly that amount of time, and that he then decided to give us some advice. But coincidences only come when you’re open to them, when you set your intentions, open your attention and grab them as hard as you can. We could have decided not to leave the house, we could have gone straight for plan Pizza, but we took a punt and drove out there anyway, even though it seemed pretty set to fail.
Go chase your dreams, you might not make them come true, but you might just find something better than pizza if you do.
Till Next Time!
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