Friday, February 5, 2010
Snowboarding in the Swiss Alps
After getting ourselves prepped for winter athletics (see my Snow Clothes Shopping post!), Mark and I headed to the Swiss Alps last Friday night. We took the train up to Villars, about one and a half hours from Lausanne. It was snowing pretty hard that evening and the next morning , which made for some great snow conditions! Friday night we checked in our hotel, Hotel du Golf and went down to the restaurant to enjoy a nice dinner.
Saturday morning we woke up early to get ready. We put on all of our snowboarding gear and then went to the ski store, McBoard, to pick up my board, boots and helmet that we had reserved. At 9:30 we caught the mountain train up to Bretaye, the top of the mountain where the ski runs are located. It was cold and snowy when we first arrived, but we lucked out and had pretty nice conditions during our time spent on the mountain.
We reserved a lesson for the two of us with an instructor from Ecole Suisse Ski and Snowboard. Our instructor's name was Guillaume, an extremely friendly and patient man! He helped me out a lot, as it was my very first time. Mark had been before, although not for a number of years. After our start though, the moves came back to him! He did really well! We started off just learning how to push ahead with one fit locked in and one foot loose. Then we practiced standing up...that is really hard! Another lesson we learned was the "floating leaf" which is the general practice for learning how to snowboard! It's how you move the board back and forth going down the mountain by shifting your weight.
I have to admit that after a couple of hours, I could barely stand my legs were so sore. You use a lot of muscles that you don't use on a normal day! After our lunch break, I did a couple of more runs before my legs completely gave out. Yes, for all you hard-core snowboarders out there, I'm sure you will laugh at that statement. I hate to admit that, but it has given me motivation to get back in the gym and do a lot of weight-training to strengthen my legs and my back!
We took the train back down to Villars and had a relaxing rest of the day. I enjoyed a massage at the hotel spa as well as a dip in the jacuzzi. Sunday morning, we had breakfast and returned my gear before heading home. It was a fantastic snow weekend! I can't wait to continue my lessons and hopefully improve my skills! It doesn't get much better than snowboarding in the Swiss Alps!