My final moment on the ski slopes is what got me through lockdown

Asia's Tech News Daily

Paul Nuki skiing in VerbierJames Forrest

Some of us developed funny little tricks for coping during lockdown and mine was this: I’d picture myself on a platform high in the Alps, amid a crisp blue sky full of brightly coloured paragliding kites. Some hang high, almost static, against the mid-afternoon sun. Others – their pilots more animated – fearlessly pivot, swoop and swirl. Every now and then one dives so low it looks like it might land among us.

The scene is not fantasy but memory. As Sars-Cov-2 started spreading unseen and unchecked across Europe in early 2020, I found myself on the vast outside deck of Le Mouton Noir, a bar and restaurant perched high in the Swiss Alps above the resort of Verbier.

The moment has become a mental keepsake not just because of that juxtaposition of plague and kites, but because it has come to represent a sort of idealised freedom. If I were to be stuck in a time loop, I would think to myself during lockdown, I would choose that afternoon of February 7, 2020 as my Groundhog Day – my last hurrah before the pandemic set in.

That morning, we had woken early in bunks at the Cabane du Mont-Fort, a spectacular high mountain refuge on the Haute Route, a 120km ski touring route between Chamonix and Zermatt. Unlike many other such remote outposts, popular with hikers in summer and adventure-seeking skiers in winter, Cabane du Mont-Fort has the distinct advantage of being easily accessed from the Verbier lift network, making it accessible for all.

The previous evening had been full of mountain food, storytelling and schnapps. Now, at first light, four of us set off climbing in a zig-zag, first to the Col de la Chaux about 500 vertical meters above the refuge, and then up again after a short descent to the Col de Momin at just over 3,000 metres. All told it was about a three-hour hike on miraculously light-yet-stable touring skis and boots, made specifically for such laborious activities by the local Swiss company Movement skis.

Whenever I suggest ski touring to friends, even if it’s just a 10-minute climb, they look at me dumbfounded, as if I’ve proposed an ice bath. “Why walk when we could take a chairlift someplace else?” they ask. I never quite know how to respond, how to explain what they are missing. The problem, I think, is the reward of ski touring is not just the obvious thing of skiing somewhere new. What’s hidden is the thrill of it – the elation it generates.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.

As we reached the Col de la Chaux, the longest leg of the climb, we paused to take pictures at the pass and I could feel that elation building. The vastness of the mountainscape and its strange, enveloping silence was extraordinary. It’s a cliche, I know, but you feel as if you are at the top of the world after completing such a climb. I’d hazard a guess it’s the same buzz you get from climbing Everest.

Despite skiing almost every year since childhood and its reputation as one of Switzerland's top ski resorts, I had never been to Verbier before. Someone once told me the lift systems were owned by different families who didn’t get on and the lift queues were a nightmare. I was also told it was bankruptingly expensive.

But that’s all a bit of a slander – or at least it's out of date. The lift system works seamlessly, spanning four valleys to create the largest ski area in Switzerland, and although nothing is cheap you feel like you are getting much better value for money than in many European resorts. Lunch on the mountain will set you back £20-£30 but it will be genuinely good. Nowhere did I come across the sort of rip-off self-service canteens that have proliferated in France where a plate of chips often comes in at £10.

Up at 3,000 meters on the Col de Momin, the sun was reaching its midday peak as we locked our heels into our skis and started the long descent towards the giant Mauvoisin dam and reservoir. The snow was untracked and there were a couple of big powder fields on which to link tracks before pulling up with burning thighs and looking back to admire them.

Paul Nuki in Verbier – James Forrest

An hour later we arrived at Le Mouton Noir, perched in the blazing sun above Verbier. There was music, there was food and there were friends we had not seen for 24 hours – those that had opted out of the touring.

And then there were the paragliders and their kites – dozens and dozens of them – filling the sky all around us and creating a picture like no other I can remember outside of a Cinzano advert, perhaps.

We knew by then the virus was encroaching and that people were already being taken ill just over the border in Italy. But with the kites flying it was impossible to feel down. Instead, we hugged and we danced. It was a last hurrah before the pandemic set in and I’ve been reliving it in my mind ever since.

This winter I’ll be back for the real thing. Even if you don’t ski, it’s a sight worth visiting Verbier for.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Here are 5 ways to curb festive season overspending

© Provided by Singapore Business Review Around 56% of Singaporeans overspend their money during the season. Digital wealth platform Syfe, licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, released its research ... Read more »

Pope Francis names first Filipino bishop in Japan

POPE Francis has appointed the first Filipino bishop in Japan. The Holy Father on Wednesday named Fr. Edgar Gacutan, a missionary priest, as bishop in the Japanese diocese of Sendai. ... Read more »

Allegri bimbang aksi Juventus

© Provided by Sinar Harian PENGENDALI Juventus, Massimiliano Allegri menyuarakan kebimbangan terhadap aksi dipersembahkan pemain, biarpun mencatatkan kemenangan 1-0 ke atas Malmo pada Khamis untuk muncul selaku juara Kumpulan H ... Read more »

Undang-undang mesti patuhi moral dalam aspek perkahwinan kanak-kanak

© Provided by MalaysiaNow Perkahwinan kanak-kanak telah menjadi amalan biasa dalam masyarakat Malaysia terutama ketika zaman nenek moyang kita. Setelah peredaran zaman, berkahwin pada usia yang muda menjadi buah mulut ... Read more »

GDP growth to moderate to 3.8% in 2022

© Provided by Singapore Business Review In 2021, GDP growth hit 7.1%. Singapore’s growth domestic product (GDP) growth will moderate in 2022 to 3.8%, slower than 2021’s strong record of ... Read more »

Ben Stokes suffers injury concern as England star struggles to bowl in Ashes opener

England ‘s star all-rounder Ben Stokes struggled with an injury concern on day two of the first Ashes Test against Australia. After bowling a probing first five overs in the ... Read more »

Airdrie boss Ian Murray 'unsure' on severity of Salim Kouider-Aissa's knee injury

Airdrie manager Ian Murray says his fingers are crossed for striker Salim Kouider-Aissa after he picked up a knee injury. The 25-year-old has featured 12 times in all competitions for ... Read more »

Dramatic moment driver slams into Christmas parade just weeks after Waukesha horror that killed six

A PERSON has been arrested after a minivan drove into a Christmas parade weeks after the deadly Waukesha crash. No one was injured and the driver of the vehicle was ... Read more »

Emma Raducanu rounds off her amazing year by signing a deal with Evian

TENNIS champ Emma Raducanu rounds off a rally amazing year — by signing a deal with bottled water company Evian. The US Open winner, 19, posed at Wimbledon to celebrate ... Read more »

‘i-Sinar' carian tertinggi dalam Google Malaysia tahun ini

© Provided by MalaysiaNow Bantuan kewangan oleh Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP), “i-Sinar” menjadi terma carian paling tinggi rakyat Malaysia tahun ini, diikuti kejohanan bola sepak “Euro 2021” dan permainan ... Read more »

[VIDEO]Tak mahu beratur, bersesak bayar saman PDRM, gunakan 4 cara mudah ini

BAGI korang yang masih memiliki ‘surat cinta’ daripada Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) yang belum dijelaskan, ini peluang terbaik. Kini polis menawarkan diskaun kompaun saman trafik sebanyak 80 peratus bermula hari ... Read more »

Kapitol-Attacke: Trumps Ex-Stabschef will nicht aussagen

Der einstige Stabschef von Ex-US-Präsident Donald Trump, Mark Meadows, wehrt sich juristisch gegen die Vorladung in den Kongress-Untersuchungsausschuss zur Attacke auf das Kapitol im Januar. © Bereitgestellt von Blick Trumps ... Read more »

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 atasi Bionic A15 dalam jabatan GPU, tapi gagal di CPU

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 bakal menemui pengguna dalam sejumlah peranti flagship tahun 2022. Cip ini adalah saingan secara langsung terhadap Apple Bionic A15 yang memperkasakan siri iPhone 13 sekarang. Maklumat ... Read more »

Feuer in Vernier GE: Zweiter Brand innert 24 Stunden im gleichen Hochhaus

In einem Hochhaus in der Genfer Vorortsgemeinde Vernier ist in der Nacht auf Donnerstag zum zweiten Mal innert 24 Stunden ein Brand ausgebrochen. Mehrere Bewohnerinnen und Bewohner wurden vorübergehend evakuiert. ... Read more »

Ashes: Cricket Australia CEO confirms fifth Test would be Day-night contest

Ashes: Cricket Australia confirms 5th Test would be Pink-ball match This Ashes series is all set to feature two day-night Tests after Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley confirmed that the ... Read more »

Poor batting costs Chandigarh Vijay Hazare opener

© Provided by The Times of India CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh skipper Manan Vohra’s cracking 56 off 69 balls went in vain after the UT side went down to Kerala by 6 ... Read more »

Drilon presses social media platforms to identify trolls

SENATE President Franklin Drilon pressed social media platforms to identify internet trolls in order to establish a balance between freedom of speech and the responsibility of using that freedom on ... Read more »

'He Handled the Pressure With Ease': Laxman, Chopra Name India's 'No.1 Performer' in New Zealand Tests

© Provided by News18 ‘He Handled the Pressure With Ease’: Laxman, Chopra Name India’s ‘No.1 Performer’ in New Zealand Tests Shreyas Iyer couldn’t have hoped for a better start to his ... Read more »

Exclusive-Lithuania braces for China-led corporate boycott

1 / 2Exclusive-Lithuania braces for China-led corporate boycottFILE PHOTO: European Union and Lithuanian flags flutter at border crossing point in Medininkai By John O'Donnell and Andrius Sytas FRANKFURT/VILNIUS (Reuters) – ... Read more »

French police release Saudi man arrested over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, saying they got the wrong person: report

People hold posters picturing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.Yasin Akgul/Getty Images Paris police on Tuesday arrested a Saudi man whom they said was suspected in ... Read more »

Kazakhstan ready for joint approval of COVID-19 vaccination certificates with Russia

The date when the vaccination passports likely to be recognized was not specified Read more »

Fox Christmas tree arson suspect released without bail

The suspect was charged with multiple misdemeanor charges, as he allegedly was responsible for setting the artificial tree on fire with a piece of cardboard that was on fire initially. ... Read more »

PM Narendra Modi congratulates Olaf Scholz on being elected Germany's Chancellor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated Olaf Scholz on being elected Germany‘s Chancellor and said he looks forward to working closely with him to further strengthen the India-Germany strategic ... Read more »

DepEd optimistic on expanding face-to-face classes by January 2022, official says

© Danny Pata Pupils from Aurora A. Quezon Elementary School in San Andres, Manila, line up before entering the school during the first day of the pilot run of face-to-face ... Read more »

Lok Sabha pays tributes to Gen Bipin Rawat, 12 others who died in helicopter crash

The Lok Sabha on Thursday paid tributes to Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and 12 others who died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu. The members also ... Read more »

5 Things To Avoid A Month Before Your Wedding

Shaadi season is here and if you are getting married soon, then we totally understand what hustle-bustle is going on in your mind. You must be under a lot of ... Read more »

SBI CBO Recruitment 2021: Notification released for 1226 posts on sbi.co.in, check details here

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The State Bank of India, Circle Based Officers notification has been released. The bank has commenced the registration process for 1226 vacancies from ... Read more »

RateGain Travel IPO subscribed 90% on final day, retail portion booked 4.66 times

© Sunil Matkar RateGain Travel IPO subscribed 90% on final day, retail portion booked 4.66 times The public offer of software-as-a-service company RateGain Travel Technologies has been subscribed 90 percent, ... Read more »

Danish fintech firm Pleo raises another $200 million at $4.7 billion valuation

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Danish financial technology firm Pleo, which offers expense management tools and “smart” payment cards for companies, said on Thursday it has raised another $200 million as part ... Read more »

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut Says Party May Join Hands with Congress to Take on BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Goa

© Provided by News18 Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut Says Party May Join Hands with Congress to Take on BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Goa Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15: Umar Riaz's cousin Nomaan Ellahi dismisses designer Faizan Ansari's claims of fraud and bullying after FIR on Asim Riaz's brother

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com After Paras Chhabra in Bigg Boss 13, it is Bigg Boss 15’s Umar Riaz who is making news for allegedly playing foul with his designers. As ... Read more »

Genelia returns to acting with husband Riteish's directorial debut 'Ved'

© IANS Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia Deshmukh.(photo:instagram) Mumbai, Dec 9 (IANS) Actor Riteish Deshmukh is all set to step behind the camera as he is all set to make his ... Read more »

Floral tributes paid to General Bipin Rawat, others

Floral tributes were on Thursday paid to Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 12 others killed in an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crash here earlier. Senior Army ... Read more »

Paytm slips 2%; RBI's proposal to release discussion paper on digital payment charges hits sentiment

© Provided by CNBCTV18 Shares of One 97 Communications, Paytm’s parent, fell as much as two percent on Thursday after the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) announcement to release a ... Read more »

Air Marshal Manvendra Singh to head tri-service inquiry into IAF chopper crash: Rajnath Singh

A tri-service inquiry has been ordered by the Indian Air Force into the Tamil Nadu chopper crash tragedy that killed India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 12 ... Read more »

Not Anupamaa or Imlie, but Ghum Hai Kisi Key Pyaar Meiin, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and more become Most Tweeted about TV shows on Twitter in 2021

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com In a year where there was a dearth of big Bollywood movies, TV shows grew in popularity. TV stars received much loved and TV show producers ... Read more »

Know all about Black Box and how it can help solve mystery behind CDS General Bipin Rawat's IAF helicopter crash

© Provided by DNA The sudden and untimely death of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, along with his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons has shocked ... Read more »

Saudi Crown Prince arrives in Qatar after completing UAE trip

© Motivate Publishing Saudi Qatar Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the Qatari capital, Doha on Wednesday as part of his visit to all the GCC countries. Prince ... Read more »

PM congratulates new German Chancellor

© Provided by The Statesman PM congratulates new German Chancellor Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Olaf Scholz on being elected as the Federal Chancellor of Germany. “My heartiest congratulations ... Read more »

Banks deployed Rs 11.20 lakh cr to micro, small units in Oct, marginally down from year-ago: RBI data

© Provided by The Financial Express Rs 13.44 lakh crore credit to MSMEs had 12.17 per cent share in the overall gross bank credit of Rs 110.46 lakh crore during ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic