Bob is an outstanding communicator and planner. He has much skiing experience, and he teaches skiing technique well. This was the first time I had actually been told that the majority of the body weight in the half plough should be on the in-track non-ploughing leg, and that the ploughing leg should feel as if it is sliding flat over the snow, and not edging into it.
When we did suffer from new snow over ice, Bob went to considerable trouble to put glide wax on all our skis to stop them sticking.
Bob also devoted time to telling us how to get skis on and off, ensuring that the bindings were ice free, and that the skis did not shoot away when one kicked into the bindings.
I would repeat this holiday, if you could guarantee, the same leader, and the same lovely group of holiday makers.
I should like to thank Bob for doing so well to use his contacts, experience and knowledge to provide us with such a varied and interesting programme in spite of the weather. But at times the conditions made challenging and exhilarating skiing as well. Bob I also should praise you for the way you explained the mysteries of balancing, braking and steering, while attached loosely at the sole to two over long toothpicks. Bob I should also praise your dry sense of humour, because it is not always appreciated. Occasionally it is so dry that it has evaporated by the time one gets there.
May I also thank the rest of skiers and walkers for making me welcome, for your friendliness and sense of fun, all of you bringing something of your own personality to this week long party.
Thanks also to the efficient, warm, friendly staff of the Wienerhof; to the waitress for looking stunning in a Dirndl, to Arno for his tasty, varied, healthy, appetising food, and to our hostess for her ready cheerfulness, through all those long hours on duty.
Thanks to to Marco for his interesting talk on Mountain Rescue, and for making me think that ice climbing might even me more brutally satisfying than boxercise: first you hit something as hard as you can with two axes, then you kick it with spiked boots. Stay well clear, Leon Trotsky.
My only criticism would be of Peter's hire boots. Though the whole in the uppers' they shipped water faster than the Titanic, and although thoroughly soaked inside and out, they would have forced a Pont l’Eveque* off the same bus in disgust. Nevertheless the bindings clicked on and off to order. Never were heard the "Salomon Binding Oaths" which accompanied my last Winterreise on toothpicks. Neither did Peter's boots carve stigmata in my feet like Steiner's crucifixions did. I did think that modern boots came with a flap which zipped over the laces, looking like a very sporty spat, the kind that Bertie Wooster, or George Raft in "Some Like it Hot", might wear.
*Pont l'Eveque is rated as one of the smelliest French cheeses. It is illegal to carry it on Public Transport.