It was the first and the last time I’d ever ski.
The day started out like this. It was a clear day, and I was really excited about my first time skiing and in Hintertux no less. I woke up early, and got ready within 20 minutes. Then I kept bugging my friend, Therese when she took forever to do her makeup as I don’t want to waste anymore time. When she was done, our AirBnB host sent us to the Bus station to take the free shuttle bus that would send us to the skiing area.
We had to wait an hour for the shuttle bus that goes all the way up to the cable car. Trust me, it was not an easy wait. We were at a higher altitude and the weather was freezing cold. I had to run around to keep warm.
When the “free” bus arrived, it turns out that we have to pay €3.7 per person for the bus. It is only free if you stay in a hotel. However, the driver was kind enough to waive the fare and let us in. Everyone in the bus was in full skiing equipment and clothes. In comparison, the two of us,in our normal winter coat, looks like lost little lambs.
Anyway, from Finkenberg to the cable car, the journey probably took us around 15 minutes. If you are skiing at Hintertux, always look out the window – the view is really beautiful as you get higher and higher.
The thing is, Austria wasn’t a cheap country to go for when it comes to skiing, or everything else. Since Malaysia is a tropical country, obviously, as a normal Malaysians, we don’t actually own any ski clothes or equipment. Thus, renting is our way to go.
I brought my own snow gloves but everything else is rented. The ski jacket and pants cost €28. The boots and ski equipment cost me around €40, bringing the total rental cost to be €68. In addition to the rentals, to use the ski lifts, we have to pay €44 and an extra €3 for the key card. With regard to the keycard, once you are done skiing, you can return it and get a refund of €2.
It was my first time taking a ski lift and let it be known that I was absolutely terrified that I would fall down. It was the first time I realized the importance of seatbelts.
Furthermore, since I was too cheap to splurge for an instructor, I thought that I could learn it all by myself. How hard could it be?
How wrong was I, and I had to learn it the hard way. You see, I took the wrong lift and ended up on the side where the advanced skiers ski at. I was just about to ski down the first slop when I saw Therese tumbled and slide down for about a good 50 meters. That scene made me nervous and it took me a good 15 minutes before I push myself off. 5 seconds later, I fell down and it happens for a few more times before I got tired and just sat there on the ground. A nice man and his friend helped me up and tried to teach me how to ski, but I was too afraid. The slopes are waaaaaaaay too steep. After I got to flatter ground, I told them to go ahead. I tried to ski by myself again but I kept tumbling and I bruised my knees when I fell hard on the packed snow. There were at least 3 times where I landed wrongly and felt as if my leg is about to be dislocated. After falling once too many times, I took off my ski and slowly walked down the hills.
It took me more than 1 1/2 hour to get to the restaurant in the middle of the mountain. Do you know how easy it is to look for a Chinese in Hintertux? I think we were the only Chinese people there. A few skiers who whizzed past me told me, “Your girlfriend is waiting for you down there.” So when I got to the restaurant, I asked someone if they saw a Chinese girl. They told me she went down. I was shocked. Therese? She went down that scary mountain all by herself? By skiing?I thought that if she can do it, so can I. So I tried again. I was scared out of my wits and I kept tumbling down. In fact, I fell more often than I ski. My legs were so tired that I fell down a couple of times from a standing position. After 30 minutes of getting up and tumbling down, I almost cried out in frustration. I was cold and it was freezing, and my nose won’t stop running. A few other skiers stopped by to help me up when I was too tired to get up on my own. But after getting stuck at that 100 meters for two hours, I decided to just slide down instead. So I lay on my side, straighten up my feet and slowly slide down the steep slopes while using my skis to stop or slow down. Eventually, I got too tired to keep my body on its side. So I picked up my skis and slowly walked down. It turns out that Therese took the ski patrol down and she has been waiting for me the whole time.
In the end, it took me a total of 4 hours to get down from the top of the mountain. An experienced skier took less than 20 minutes. An older lady who looks like a grandma told me not to give up but I can’t. Skiing requires much concentration and hand-eye-feet coordination which I just don’t have. I guess I’d just have to stick with snowboarding. Skiing has a much higher chance to land me in the hospital with a broken leg.
If you were skiing at Hintertux on 16th December, then you might have seen me around. I’m that weird kid who slides instead of skiing.
To that cute guy on the bus back home, I wish I could take you home with me.
Quote of the day :
I spent close to €120 to know that I hate skiing