The group is mixed : a couple in their forties (Pierre-Alain and Isabelle), a retired couple (Christian and Rose-Marie) and one in her thirties (Aurélie). They share a point in common : it's quite a few years, between 15 and 27 to be precise, since they last set off on snowy slopes, skis under foot.
So a little apprehension is quite normal. "We adore outdoor activities and mountains. We've been thinking for ages about getting back onto skis, without an opportunity presenting itself until now" explains Pierre-Alain. As for Aurélie, she received this package as a Christmas present from her companion who would like to share the joys of snow sports with her.
In the sports shop, everything looks new to them : carving skis which have replaced those which were higher than their heads by several centimetres, the helmet which is now normally worn, the ski-boots which have become more comfortable to wear. A rendezvous is then made with a ski teacher. With great care, throughout the afternoon, he gives numerous useful tips from how to carry the skis, tighten the boots, or put the skis on again on a slope. The lesson begins on flat ground. One walks on the skis, one side-steps upwards, one slides on a little slope. The learning-process goes gently. Some old reflexes return.
Now the group can attack the beginners' slope on the lake then at the little Jean-Pierre. The ski teacher takes away their ski-poles for a few descents : "With carving skis, methods have changed. One no longer lifts a ski and turns around the pole" he explains. Little by little, the turns become more fluid and the faces relax.
When taking stock, comfortably installed on a terrace, they all declare themselves to be very satisfied. The improvement in equipment during these last decades has not been for nothing." It's simpler and more comfortable than before", notes Christian. From her earlier snow classes, Isabelle had remem-bered the cold and the painful feet : "I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. Today I've created a better memory and I'm motivated to try the experience again rapidly."
Further information relative to this offer "Dare to ski" on www.nendaz.ch/daretoski