A ski holiday is always a lottery. You book the holiday weeks if not months ahead and hope.
Hope that there will be a good depth of snow, up high and at resort level. Hope that the sun will shine and that you will see blue sky. Hope that the weather will be about right: not too damn cold, and not above zero. It’s a lottery. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
Snow coverage was very poor this winter early on, but by the time we went to Zermatt ten days ago, the snow was good – if you want a snow-sure resort go high. Zermatt is high.
People go to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn, without that mountain dominating the scene in a way that always takes my breath away even though I have seen it hundreds of times, the resort is diminished. The Matterhorn was only visible on two days out of six. Disappointing.
It was cold, very cold up high: -16C on most days. Colder still at the top-most station. Plus wind chill from an annoying wind. You dress accordingly and the body stays warm, but the fingers, nose and cheeks go numb. You want to get down to slightly warmer temperatures, but the faster you ski the more you create additional wind chill. And those conditions certainly discourage taking images.
Most of the time it was overcast, with brief breaks in the cloud cover. Visibility varied considerably. Sometimes it was a question of feeling one’s way down. But there was one day, when, despite overcast conditions, everything combined to produce superb on-piste conditions and I skied the best I’ve ever skied. And there is nothing quite like skiing fast, confidently, and in full control. It really is an adrenaline rush.
To sum up: a holiday of mixed fortunes, but still a joy.
And so to today’s image.