So I had just left the T-Bar at the top of Saas Fee with 8 kids in tow. At 3700meters there aren't any trees around, which if fine, and the skiing is trails only, again which is fine, as to leave the trail is to risk the glacier and crevasses. I had eaten a swiss attempt at mexican the night before, and as I'm taking the group on our first run, my stomach begins to grumble.
I'd been skiing with these kids for four days now, they'd come to our ski camp and had 3 more days skiing with us.
I thought nothing about the grumbly stomach as after five minutes of skiing it seemed to settle down, but suddenly I felt the urge to use a toilet, a very strong urge. All I could think of is 'Where is the nearest toilet?'
Near the top of Saas Fee I had to make a tactical decision. Do I go straight or to the left. I know for sure if I went straight, there are toilets at the mid station area, we called mast4, but if I took the left route, there is a restaurant area which is closer, and I'm pretty sure they have toilets there.
I took the left route, but alas could not find a toilet. I'm now in big trouble.
I start skiing faster, and the kids seem to be enjoying it, with comments like 'you've never let us go this fast before' and 'wait for us'. I realize there is no way I'm going to make it to the next toilet stop which is at the very bottom. I explain to the kids that I'm going to go ahead to the tree line and they can wait for me at one of our regular stopping points.
I take off and cut into the nearest trees. I'm squatting in the bushes when I hear 'where are you?' and I look back out towards the trail and see my group skiing down towards me. "Hey, there he is" I hear.
"Stop right there, wait for me, I'll come to you" I call back while hastily trying to pull up my ski pants, put gloves on my frozen hands, while deciding that this is one pair of underwear that will have to be thrown out.
The kids cut into the trees along the trail I'd blazed on my way to this private pit stop. I turn around and meet my group. 'What ya doing in here?" one of the kids asks.
"Ah, just checking out a tree run, but it's no good' I say.
The kids believed me. It was a frighteningly close call.