lundi, février 22, 2010

Monte Cimone - Le Polle, Italy

The main slope at Le Polle (view from the restaurant)

I suspect that the best cure for (even acute) constipation is altitude. At around 900m, I told the Hub to stop the car so that I could add my bit to nature. And after that, I kept visiting every toilet I could find at Le Polle (Monte Cimone, Modena). And the ski station's only at 1280m.

The weather report said snow everyday last week and sun on Sunday. We thought that it would be perfect for skiing. A colleague recommended that we ski at Le Polle, a quieter station at Monte Cimone - situated at less than 1.5 hours from our house.

View from my ski chair - they are modern and even have covers

There was almost no parking left at the station when we arrived. And Hub's ski suit's zip tore. Since it is a quiet station, none of the 4 ski shops were selling ski suits. Should we turn back? Then we saw the First Aid station. And he went in to borrow a needle and thread (for sewing up human flesh) and I sewed up his zip for him with it. Luckily, he didn't need to go to the toilet too often during this trip.

I've never skied at a station like this before yesterday. Those slopes were covered in ice. At least 90% of the whole Monte Cimone ski area. Your skis couldn't carve in the snow, they just floated over the icy slopes. Meaning that it was difficult controlling your speed and the only way to ski was just to cross your fingers and keep moving. The minute you reach the edge of the slope, don't pause, just turn. I've rarely skied so fast. It was scary.

And the whole ski domain with its 50km of slopes has almost only red and black slopes. Beginners must have a difficult time trying to ski there. But once we were on it, we noticed that actually most of the red slopes would only pass for blue in the French Alps. Though under yesterday's icy conditions, you do need to be pretty good at skiing or at least have some sang froid to survive. Hub said he was surprised that I didn't fall on such icy slopes. Actually I was very nervous, but decided that after the trouble getting there (the roads were narrow and windy) and the money we've spent renting the skis and paying for the ski passes - I couldn't possibly give up like that.

Trees on the side (view from another ski chair)

We skied at Le Polle and also at Paso del Lupo (1550m). We would have gone on to Cimoncino (1430m) if not for lack of time. The highest point we were at was 1880m and all slopes there were at least red, but wide and rather easy if not for the iciness. The Teenager said Monte Cimone was like one big ice skating rink.

View of Cimone

Baby Boy had one big fall, he was skiing on a few bumps at high speed and literally flew off one. Thank god he was fine. A snowboarder saw him fall and had the fright of his life. 2 policemen also came by to see if everything was OK. But the boy just squeaked and then got up and flew off again. We had to keep telling him to slow down.

Baby Girl fell in the middle of one slope classed black and red (one short part was steep - when you ski downhill, your bum almost touches the ground) and on slopes like that, once you fall, you usually have some difficulty gathering enough courage to pick your self up quickly and move on. It took Hub at least 15 minutes to coax her down that slope. The boys had gone down the same slope very quickly and spent the time napping on the slope below. I could understand her fear, for at one point, I gave up trying to ski normally (it was steep and icy) and just dashed down.

You may see Hub and Baby girl in the middle of that slope. A skier above looked down and decided to ski on another slope hidden by the forest on the right.

Once I was down and waiting, I noticed that nobody skied on our slope. Everybody was smarter and took the easier and slightly less icy slope on the right. Hub said it was my fault. Apparently I had mentioned at some point (during lunch!) that the slope looked interesting and that we should try it. But how was I to know that it would be this icy?

The boys taking a rest while waiting for Hub and Baby Girl

We were the last people in the mountains at Le Polle at closing time. Why wasn't I surprised? Hub made us grab one of the last ski chairs up to the top at 4:35. But it was nice having the mountains to ourselves and the descent was long (600m if you could ski straight down - which you can't), but not as long as some of the ones he had made us do at closing time elsewhere (shudder). Baby Girl cried all the way down the slopes, by the way. She had not gotten over her fall on the last run. But since we know that she has a long memory, we just let her be.

I'm not hot about Cimone, at least not when it's icy. Pity as it's nearest to us. Maybe before the ski season is over, we'll try another of the few ski stations recommended by another colleague - Corvara or Brentonico.

3 commentaires:

Pris a dit…

Wow! You must be such an expert skiier to have gone skiing so many times! Must have been so funny to sew your hubby´s ski jacket with the "human" needle. I hate icy slopes too...have had that experience, not nice at all!

Beau Lotus a dit…

Me expert - no way! I just tried to survive the best way I could. On surfaces like that, you can't really ski, just have to keep going. I was really lucky to have escaped without a scratch (just very painful feet from the stress).

The needle was weird - it was curvy. Hub kept reminding me to watch out for his penis when I was sewing :-)

Pris a dit…

Oh Serene, you´re too funny!!!!!!