Back in September 1997 I went on my first skiing trip. Well that's not quite true, I did one day at Mt Buller on August 6th 1997 but my first real trip was in September of that year. 7 days non stop as a beginner. Along the way I discovered that parts of my body have unsuspected muscles. At the end of day 1 I was so sore I didn't know what hurt most - my legs or my shoulders or my feet or my... well you get the idea.
By the end of day 1 I'd learned the single most important thing a skier needs to know; how to stop! Falling over, by accident or design, doesn't count! Nope, I'd learned how to snow plough to a stop. And, by the end of day 2, I'd negotiated my first blue slope, Bloody Mary at Blue Cow, New South Wales.
I was there with my girlfriend of the time. She was a seasoned skier; she could do black slopes that scared me when viewed from below. Seen from above they terrified me! So at the start of each day I'd ski over to my class; she'd go and do her thing until lunchtime. After lunch I was a free agent until the next days lesson. So she'd put up with me wanting to do an easy green slope straight away and then entice me into something more challenging.
Between my discovery of muscles hitherto unknown and the chivvying into something more challenging tempers sometimes frayed. Thus it was that on Thursday September 11th 1997 flash point was reached. The trigger was my sitting down rather more heavily than was perhaps necessary and my spilling her coffee as a result. One thing led to another and tension was high as we walked back to the car. I changed from ski boots to my normal shoes and it all became too much. So I said I'd walk back to the hotel. She took off.
I hadn't paid all that much attention to the drive each morning from the hotel to the car park; it seemed rather a short drive. So off I set, confident that I had maybe an hours walk ahead of me, a trivial walk.
Four hours and 25 kilometres later I stumbled into our room. I'm glad to relate that what followed wasn't an angry scene. It wasn't all that sexy either; I was too tired for that...