With the snow receding, we can glance down from the chair lifts at the assorted detritus dropped by butter-fingered skiers and boarders. The are numerous poles and gloves predominantly but also a degree of litter in the form of water and other drinks bottles as well as a significant amount of orange peel for some reason, possibly just that it is so noticeable but at least it will decompose. I wonder if someone is tasked with walking the routes underneath each lift in late spring or summer to collect the items as there doesn’t seem to be any remnants of previous winter seasons. Whilst some routes would be straight forward, as evidenced by the off piste ski runs frequently evolving around the stanchions, others are distinctly precarious if on foot. I was quite horrified, on approaching a chairlift exit, to see someone scramble under the netting and down a snow covered rocky slope just to retrieve an accidentally discarded ski pole, and in ski boots! I know that replacement poles aren’t cheap but one’s welfare is surely more valuable? Having said that, Roger did launch himself off a chair, on skis, as we took off when he dropped both his poles, justifying it by the replacement cost or inconvenience of skiing all the way back round (minus poles) to reclaim them. How he didn’t break either or both his legs still surprises me. It was on this same chair lift where we observed an intrepid skier trying to camber up a snow covered gully, in ski boots, to obtain his dropped glove. Due to his slow progress we didn’t see him reach his goal but have been observing what we assume to be his black glove suspended in a bush at a life like angle apparently pointing up the valley in a Da Vinci hand pose ever since. It will be very strange to find it missing one day but maybe that won’t be until after we have stopped using the lift. This picture looks a little out of place in resort at this time but we did ski to the bottom of the lift and skied off at the top. This is the effect of a south a facing hillside.
The less interesting debris is that which has been left by the Snowboxx rabble. There has been a minimal impact on us from this event apart from the increased number of boarders on the slopes (I’m not a fan!) and the amount of rubbish we have to wade through on our way to work in the mornings. Our route takes us via the ‘Downtown’ area which is a bit of a misnomer as it is still technically uptown for us but does mean that everything below the chalet is festival free. There is a huge amount of rubbish in the form of discarded fast food and their containers, bottles, glasses, plastic pint pots and various bodily fluids, delightful!! Fortunately the resort has a great little machine, very appropriately called a Glutton which, as you can see from the photo is really just a giant hoover. I haven’t seen them in the UK but then perhaps that’s because I don’t visit the worst affected areas. Our local street cleaner in Shelley has a black bin bag and helping hand/pick up stick. This Glutton really does clean effectively and when we come out at lunchtime there is no evidence of the previous night’s revelries, until it all starts again.