What a great idea, the nostalgia touch. I really enjoyed Ian Cartwright's article entitled "Skiing on Walls' Field". It evoked many happy memories for me, even though I never had the "pleasure" to ski on Walls' Field, or indeed any of the Derbyshire places, although I did know all about them, I never had my own equipment and I was the only member of my family to ski, I just used to listen to other friends green with envy. I wondered if some of our members would like to share my memories?
I was thirteen the first time that I skied, at Glenshee in Scotland. There were no lifts, (I must have been fitter when I was thirteen!), the nearest hotel was, I think, the Spittal which seemed to be miles away, around that stomach churning zed bend known as the Devils Elbow (ask me sometime about the motorbike and sidecar incident!!), now much straightened out of course. I distinctly remember being "fitted out" with skis - I put my arm up, and that was the length! The boot fitting was "what size do you take? These are the nearest." And, the baskets on the sticks (never poles) were as big as tea plates and real baskets, none of your plastic stuff!!. The ski instructors were Norwegian
The difficult part seemed to me to be actually putting the skis on without falling on ones nose when pressing down at the front on what was called the binding (not safety binding). It was also difficult to lace up the boots tight enough, and the blisters, oh the blisters. Still it must have been good, because it inspired me to continue. I never skied again until I earned enough money to go, and then I went to the beginners paradise (well compared with Glenshee) of Mayrhofen.
Nine years on, there I was, first time abroad, in Austria. Still with lace up boots, but the skis were a little shorter, and coloured (I think the first ones were hickory, I'm sure that somebody will know) and I think the bindings were less difficult. My vivid memory is of how at the end of the week, that half the people had plasters on. Mostly broken legs I think. How much safer skiing is these days. Is it as much fun? Yes.
Regards - Trudy Lymer
PS - Anybody else rue the day that learned to Stem Christi?