March 05, 2017

Snow and Spring

9 AM and in the lift

I must have written this post a number of times, but somehow it disappears time and time again. This could be because my computer broke down, and then my phone (both for the second time within a year, I might add), and I have been switching between devices at home and at work, so it might be that it just got zapped off my hard disk, or that it is floating somewhere in cyberspace.

It might be a sign. A post so boring does not deserve to be written, let alone be posted. Who knows? I will try one last time. It becomes a bit of a cliché after writing it more than once, but then again, this post is a cliché.

The ski-season, although short in general, and even shorter this year, was a good one. Early snow, sunny  weekends, and an economy in a continuous downward spiral created some excellent skiing conditions. 
The fact that the last-remaining teenager in my household, who has always hated skiing with a vengeance, has taken a sudden liking towards snowboarding, has greatly helped.  I no longer have to threaten her with “You can stop skiing when you are 16,” or “You may stop skiing once you have a boyfriend that skis.” Suddenly, she takes the initiative, and suggests we go up to the snow.

Seriously empty slopes. The Mediterranean Sea in the distance

Relatively speaking, skiing is not that expensive; A weekend lift ticket here ($50 in Faraya) costs as much as a weekday ticket in most European ski resorts. Absolutely speaking however, for a single-income family in Lebanon, it is incredibly expensive. With ski-rental, instructor, lift tickets, food and gas, you’re looking at $400 for a day for four people. Not many people find it worth the money, or can do afford this. Hence the empty slopes.
She hated skiing, but has suddenly taken a liking to boarding

I had already packed up my skis - with 23 degrees Celcius in town all last week - I assumed the winter was over, but then Friday night it snowed again in the mountains, and my Accuweather indicated it would be sunny and cold up in Feraya,so I figured that it might as well be the last time this winter, so why not.

There’s this myth about Lebanon that you can ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon, all in the same day. This refers to the proximity of beach and mountains. Of course, this is a myth dating back to the late sixties, early seventies, when not everyone had a car. These days, it is a sheer impossibility, due to the horrendous traffic situation. You’d have to get up at the crack of dawn to make that work.

This is what brothers do; teasing little sisters

So Saturday morning (not at the crack of dawn ), I went up to ski. 
 assumed all of Beirut would do the same, and that I would be standing bumper to bumper for an hour in front of the parking lot of the ski slopes, while utter assholes block both lanes in and out, but surprisingly, that was not the case. Maybe everyone was thinking what I was thinking, that it would be very busy on the roads to the slopes, so maybe better not bother. But the slopes were calm, the snow was good. I expected it to get busy after 12 (when half-day ticket tariff starts), but still no people.

It was a perfect day for skiing.
And most likely the last one of the season.

Because when we drove down, we notice the storks soaring in the sky, on their way back to Europe; A sure sign that spring is in the air.


Kristi Lonheim said...

That first shot, of the fresh tracks - ah!

Anonymous said...

Photos are good again. Snow is white, that may seem normal but it is not, very often snow in photos is grey or blueish or brown, but your snow is good. And I see no processing, good you finally gave up on this processing stuff.