It’s day two of our long weekend in Courmayeur and Jov’s spending his Saturday morning telling me things I already know. Much of his speech twirls around the subject of alcohol; about how he’s had too much in recent times and is done with the stuff. After slapping a pinch of salt on the statement, I say it’s not a bad idea. But sure as hell, it’s one we won’t be actioning any time soon. I’ve arrived at this conclusion as our shared hangover is as it was the day before – a consequence of consuming Echo Falls ahead of London rapper A2’s thursday show – and the one before that was pretty recent too. “It’s probably gonna be a pretty chilled one this weekend bro,” I say to Jov en route to the airport. As we begin our journey on the Friday into snow much heavier than that recently seen in London, we couldn’t possibly have guessed how wrong I was.
On landing in Turin, our health bars are back on green. The weather back home brought flight delays, and with that came the napping opportunities that would ready us for the second leg of travel. After a hit of Rock, Paper, Scissors in a nearby car park I hop in the driver seat of our Ford Kuga transfer for an expected hour and a half drive. It takes us much longer than this. Perhaps it’s the fact that we spent much of our motorway time taking in Sneakbo’s new project, Brixton, instead of studying the sat nav. Or that I drive like your grandmah. You decide. Either way, we aren’t stressing as the seats are heated and tank on full.
As we pull up to the Royal e Golf we’re met by a few of the guys from Momentum Ski. They look relieved to see us, and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that we’re holding up dinner. Food is served in the hotel’s michelin star restaurant. The foie gras starter’s a far cry from the wasabi lunch i’d tucked into the day before. And as i swallow my final mouthful, wine appears. Jov and I look at each other in such a way that signifies an understanding of what must happen next. “Red or white,” our waiter says. “White please,” we respond… and so the first hangover is born.
The ski lifts to the slopes are only a handful of right turns away from the hotel, it’s a journey easily made even with a sore head. This season has seen a lot of snow fall too. In fact, for the first day that we ski there the weather doesn’t relent. And when you ski like we do (read: badly), and have extremely poor eyesight – again, like we do – it makes for an interesting time.
We spend much of our morning in recovery positions at various points on different blue slopes. And once we’ve had our fill of failure we make our way down to a restaurant for a selection of lunch courses. My personal highlight is the freshly made cheesecake. And the wine too, of course.
The afternoon ski session that follows is unlike the first half of the day – Jovanne and I are confident now (the wine innit). And the evening of the day that follows is much unlike this too. It involves arriving at a hidden mountain restaurant on snowmobiles, then feasting on hearty Italian food to the tune of Latin music whilst sat in arms reach of a stripper pole surrounded by some good wine and people. It follows that at point of sunrise the next morning Jovanne and I had cumulatively lost a jacket, pair of glasses, and splash of dignity. Fortunately, all of these things have since been recovered.