My thanks to Lynn for graciously typing this post as I dictate. We have just come back from a week long vacation to Tignes, France and unfortunately I returned with the use of only one hand. But we’ll get to that….
Overall it was a fantastic trip, organised by my friend Darien, who booked us a twelve person chalet in the ski town of Tignes Les Brevieres. It took us 17 hours of driving to get there due to back to back traffic in France. Thanks to the Tom Tom we made it the entire way without once consulting a map. Love that Tom Tom. It was quite late in the season but as we entered the town there was snow on the ground and the mountains were white.
We shared the chalet with eleven others – Darien & Magreet, Robert and Yoanda, Will and Leah (all of whom were on last year’s ski trip) along with Tori & Simon, Jeroen & Joanneke, the baby Noa and my brother Mark. The chalet was very luxurious except for the lack of hot water in the evenings. After skiiing we would often soak in the jacuzzi and relax in the sauna before coming back to a home cooked meal made by the occupants who could cook (i.e not me).
The snow and the skiiing were fantastic. It was sunny every day and warm enough on most for me to wear only a sweater. The mountain was huge and you could buy a lift pass for all Tignes peaks and also all Val d’Isere slopes. All in all there was more mountain than we could ever explore. The runs were super long and although it was somewhat crowded, it was a great time.
We played poker most nights but I was unable to repeat my success of the first night when I won 70 Euros. Thanks to Lynn for giving it a go. Thanks to Mark for knocking me out on the last night (nice to keep it in the family). Congratulations to Robert who was the Poker King of the trip.
And now for the downside. On the last run, of the last day, as I was going down the slopes to meet Lynn, I fell whilst going quite fast and instinctively put my hand out to stop myself. Big mistake.
I heard an instant crack and lay on the slopes for a while debating what I should do. I wiggled all my fingers and established that they all at least were responsive. At this point I was hoping that it might not be as bad as I thought, so I decided to continue down the mountain. However, I was on the wrong mountain, I needed to go down, take a chair lift up to another peak and go all the way down to get to the car. It was on the chair lift up when I tried to untie my gloves that I knew it was serious. I couldn’t grip anything with my right hand.
I made it all the way down cradling my hand, hoping not to fall again, and asked the first ski patrol person I saw where the medical centre was. “Oh, I am not from this mountain. I am from the other one. I do not know”. Great. Then I asked the first uniformed mountain employee I saw the same question: “Y’know, I’ve worked here for ten years and I’m not sure where the medical centre is, but there is a pharmacy in town”.
I NEED A DOCTOR NOT A PHARMACY YOU FUCKING MORON.
“Ok, thank you very much”.
Instead I called up Lynn hoping that she would be with Tori, who had been taking her boyfriend Simon to the doctors every day since he sprained his knee taking out a “slow down” sign on the first day. Tori gave me great directions to the medical center and I one-handedly manouvered the rented boat of a mercedes round the windy mountain roads to the medical centre.
They gave me x-rays and the French doctor said it was indeed broken and would need to be operated on by an orthopaedic surgeon. Great. He bandaged me up and sent me on my way with some aspirin. All of this on the last run of the last day. I haven’t had a snowboard injury in nearly ten years (when I had a minor fracture in the same right arm).
Lynn and Mark had to drive back the whole way to the Netherlands, and I would like to thank Mark for his very nice gift of the 80s CD that he had made. Great painkillers those songs.
Overall it was a very nice trip filled with good snowboarding, good food and good company. I do hope that Darien does it again next year although I hope not to repeat my last run.