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Sauze d’Oulx 2023 — A newbie's view

Reporter: Dave Jensen

So how was it for you? As a newbie, this is the question I was asked, followed up rapidly with “well, you need to write a review for the newsletter!”. Gotcha. So here goes, suitably Corrected / amended / redacted by the editor, I hope.

Lots of little niggles to dispose of first: travel delays — why so many skis? — well it’s a skiing holiday, doh, so why don’t the airports, airline and coach company plan for this?; the curious dining room arrangements; “undrinkable” tap water; a malodorous bedroom that persisted all week; some antiquated ski lifts; and big lift queues on the last two days. And some misfortune too: one lost lift pass (easily sorted, “it’s only money”); but much worse, a broken wrist and 3 knee injuries (not so easily sorted).

You’ve probably got more on your list of comments, but overall for me it was WONDERFUL. The snow was excellent, especially after it snowed, pleasing powder- hounds, piste-freaks and touring - trekkers alike. However, not all the lifts were open and the links between the various valleys were patchy to say the least. Our group’s return from Sestriere was about to be cut short when the Carabinieri stopped us getting on the final drag lift up to Mt Fraiteve. We felt we were about to be thrown in jail, but eventually they relented, satisfied with their vigorous bollocking. (Well, we were 15 minutes late after all).

There was loads of food, especially the buffets at breakfast and dinner, and the afternoon tea (I think it was tea) with sandwiches, croissants and nibbles too. I put on a couple of kg, but maybe that was the beer…

Finally, the company was great, everyone was very friendly and welcoming with us 8 newbies, and I was lucky enough to ski with 4 different groups — thank you Andrew Walker, David Miller, David Beer and David Taylor. Also David Shepherd did a fine job matching up room partners — I had an excellent buddy in Will James.

Thank you, all committee members, for putting so much effort into this, and for everyone on the trip who made it all so enjoyable.

Roll on the next one.

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