First Tracks At The Chill Factore (Or, ‘While The Cat’s Away...!’)


Reporter: Caroline Brown

I am on the drag lift and only the second person through the turnstile so far today. It is 7am on a Sunday morning and the place doesn’t open to the general public for another 2 hours.

Beside me the slope is perfectly pisted and as yet untracked.

Centre staff trudge sleepily across the tubing runs and along the bottom of the main slope re-erecting the netting and replacing the barriers removed last night to let the piste bashers in to do their stuff.

Why am I here at such an antisocial hour and on a Sunday morning?!

Turn the clock back to last September and the day the bumps weren’t. The bumps courses that had been arranged by SCoM had to be cancelled but the Chill Factore made amends by laying on an instructor for the afternoon, issuing free lift passes and sticking in some slalom poles for us to have a go at something different.

I was hooked from the first run and, relishing a new challenge, started going to Race Club on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm. It also runs on Sunday mornings from 7-9am but thus far I’ve had no inclination to leave Alan dozing in a nice warm bed while I head off to get my fix. He is away Repping in Grindelwald this week, however, so here’s my chance! By Tuesday evening the slope is lumpy and worn and other slope users provide moving targets to avoid while attempting the different drills. Sunday is different, I’m told, so I’ve come to check it out.

I reach the top and gaze down at the empty, pristine expanse before me. A few more Race Clubbers are beginning to ride up on the lift.

Helmet chin strap and boot clips checked, I take a deep breath and propel myself over the edge...