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Published: June 26th 2011
For Thanksgiving 1980 we joined several from my previous office in Ramstein on a ski trip to Wengen, Switzeralnd. We took along a turkey and fixings which Linda and another wife cooked as they were not skiers. We took the cog railway to Kleine Scheidegg and from there chairlifts to the entire mountain. The weather and snow conditions were perfect. I remember riding the chairlift with the air sparkling with ice crystals and the snow so deep it covered almost to the top of the smaller pine trees. The sky was cobalt blue and all the mountains were spread out before me. I was in awe of God’s creation. I tacked the beginner and intermediate trains, and then gained enough confidence to take on powder. What a terrific sensation of floating across the deep snow!
In keeping with our rule to go away at Christmas, we decided to spend a few days over Christmas at the Armed Forces Recreation Center in Garmisch. We stayed at the General Abrams Hotel. We skied the glacier on the Zugspitze. The views from there across the Bavarian Alps were awesome. The skiing was great too until I twisted my knee when descending through a
mogul field and the bindings didn’t release on my ski upon falling. My leg hurt for the next six months and is still sensitive.
As mentioned previously, with Steve and Kay Joy living in Oberammergau, we visited them throughout the year; but in February of each year the town sponsored the King Ludwigslauf cross country ski races. On Saturday would be the short distance races of 10 or 20 kilometers, and on Sunday was the 90 kilometer race for the world class skiiers. Steve and I would do the shorter races.
As chairman of the cross country section of the Patch Ski Club I made arrangements for all the cross country ski trips. The tow most significant trips were to the Black Forest, where we skied the 100 kilometer trail from the north to the south over a thre day period. A bus would take our bags from inn to inn, and we would ski between them. As I was in charge, I had to help the beginners and go with the slowest skiers, so I didn’t complete the entire distance in the three day weekend. However, the next weekend I returned with a Marine colonel to finish.
I dropped him off at where we had left off and drove to the end. He skied south and I skied north, and I gave him my car keys at midpoint. The only problem was that the prepared trails were designed for going from north to south. So when I climbed hills the placement of my skies in a herringbone pattern messed up the parallel tracks and when I went downhill I was going down herringbone patterns. Nevertheless, he picked me up at the north end and we drove home.
The other major trip was to St. Moritz, Switzerland to participate in the Engadine Cross Country Ski Marathon. The race started early while the trails were still icy. The world class skiiers were up front. I was near the back, and probably didn't cross the starting line for at least 15 minutes. Being back in the pack with a limited number of tracks, I was slow going. Then things got slower when the sun started to make the tracks mushy. I did finish...5 1/2 hours later!
Although I was in charge of the cross country part of the club, I preferred downhill skiing and took many trips with
the club; mostly to Austria which had the glaciers where good skiing was assured despite the lack of snow at other resorts.
Not all our ski trips were with the club. For Thanksgiving weekend 1981, about eight of us from our office at EUCOM planned a trip to Klosters/Davos, Switzerland. We rented a large chalet for the weekend. While Joe and my other colleagues from the office and me skied, Carol and Linda, who didn’t like downhill skiing, cooked the turkey and all the fixings. Us guys did do all the dishes afterwards. The snow was great! However, on Saturday a blizzard hit. That didn't stop us from skiing. However, when I couldn't find the ski lift after skiing down the mountain, and had to follow others who thought they were going in the right direction, I feared for my life.
Another weekend, we went with another couple from the office, bruce and Valery, who preferred cross country skiing, to Laax-Flims, Switzerland. The weather was glorious the entire weekend!
Tot: 2.332s; Tpl: 0.055s; cc: 15; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0288s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb