It's now Sunday morning, temp are slightly colder, but the sky is clear.
It hasn't snowed during the night, but a strong wind has blown the evening before and so
the previous day tracks have now disappeared...
We've had a repeat of the previous day, warm-up, wait for the tram to open, ski the Val di Lei runs and open off-piste slopes (we went in a different area thanthe previous day, so to find something that we can call powder again...
I must now backtrack a few minutes my story to the hour the tram opened.
You wouldn't believe what I witnessed...I dare call it
The 150 mooing bisons' stampede
At 10.30 the tram access gate (a 3x3 meters sliding wooden gate) had not been opened yet.
A crowd of some 150 noisy people had gathered by then (amongst those there were the two of us as well)
Suddenly, at 11.45 the gate slide slightly, just to open a small 50 cm gap...
Out came the head of a lifty whom, raising the hand with his indexfinger pointing upwards
murmured to those near the gate "don't push and shove"
At his appearence, the noise level produced by the crowd increased tenfold, and as soon as the gate was sufficiently opened, everyone in the front rows started to run (and I mean run, what with skis in hand and boots on) climbing the steps to the boarding area of the tram station.
Midway of the steps another lifty (a colleague of the one who said not to push) was stationing. As soon as he realized he would have been overrun by the charging crowd made an abrupt about face and started to run up the steps as well. He was running for his life! With the crowd behind him in hot pursue (and running faster than him)!
The comical expression he made before turning is still in my memory. BTW his colleague "saved" himself by moving beside the stampede direction...You wouldn't believe but people was jumping across the metal railing dividing the entrance path from the exit path
to get to the tram first!
I still regret not having foreseen what would have come and not taken my camcorder out and ready.
Tho those of you thinking "aww the usual Italian mess" I will say this : not everyone in the crowd was Italian, there were some Swiss, some German, possibly some English speaking ppl (but not Prickly, he's a gentleman). And the two of us, who, being caught in the middle of it all couldn't do anything else but run with all the others, those behind us were pushing so hard that, had we fallen...
My friend was shouldered very hard by a guy who was attempting to gain some "positions"...I had my vengeance (for my friend) once we arrived to the boarding platform.
I waited till things quieted down then approached him and shouldered him as hard as I could, and at the same time saying "So sorry, mate, I slipped"...
Anyway, the thought of the stampede made me laugh for the whole day, and even till mid week...That's what people lusting and drooling for powder can become if deprived long enough...
Edited by Nobody - Sun, 01 Feb 09 15:11:29 GMT