Sestriere The Hard Way!


Reporters: Dot & Tony Keates

See or post photographs from the walk on the Yahoo! site.

It had all started so well!

First day of the Souze holiday I set off with my “soon to be ex husband” and the rest of Team Kermit to get to Sestriere. This decision to go with this group was made after much worrying that the Neilson guided tour would be too fast or difficult for me. That was the first mistake of the day!

We followed a sign on the slopes to Sestriere, past the intermediate station of the gondola (second mistake of the day), on a gentle track and came to the end at a road with no road signs, and the gondola in sight but on the other side of the town, but there were a group of people waiting, presumably for a bus so we waited in line, as we Brits do. Third mistake of the day! No bus was forthcoming and after a while other skiers came to the road and turned right, so we followed, thinking they knew the way to the gondola—fourth mistake of the day! There was a sign saying “Pedestrian Walkway” but it did not say where it was going, so off we went, following a road which seemed to be taking us further away from Sestriere. We saw another group of people climb over a wall and when we saw a road below ours, which did lead to the gondola, we followed them, climbing the wall into deep snow above our knees. Some tried to get their skis on, but some of us resorted to the bum turn, dragging our skis and poles with us. Fifth mistake of the day! Eventually we reached the lower road and walked about another ten minutes to the gondola. We found out later in the day that we should have got on to the gondola at the intermediate station and gone down to Sestriere that way. We were not the only members of the club who made the same mistake and we felt that the Resort Rep should have told us about it at the initial briefing.

The next time the guided tour was on I went and had a lovely day with a guide leading and one as back marker. That was a lovely day and it released Team Kermit to speed around the resorts trying to beat Andrew’s record. iPhones were out in the bar afterwards showing the speeds attained.

We really enjoyed the hotel, food, beer and company and the skiing after the first day, despite another slight hiccup when Tony (Captain Kermit - so called for his jacket colour) was doing his usual fast leading and the group followed another person in a green jacket and Tony was left all alone for that day.

I don’t remember another week in January where the sun shone every day.

The good thing about the Ski Club for us is that there are different levels of skiing ability and there is choice, so the first day’s disaster was soon forgotten and divorce papers on hold for now.

Thanks to the organisers for a truly excellent holiday.