I have a secret love for snowboarding. Well, not so secret anymore, but definitely a strong love. My boyfriend took me snowboarding on one of our first dates and ever since I have been in love with him and with this sport. He has been a very patient teacher (although I am a rather complicated person to teach) and this year was my first ever ski trip. Oh, how I waited it! We decided to go to Bardonecchia, which is close to Torino, the 2006 Olympic city. Although I was very excited, the thought of snowboarding on real mountains was a bit scary. But it all went so much better than expected.
On our first day on the mountain we had a perfect sunny weather. It was sunny enough to make my face tomato red for the next two days, but it felt just perfect. The snow was also good and a bonus was that there wasn´t so many people as my boyfriend had always warned me about. I practiced and learned and soon enough felt rather good about myself. There are many different slopes in Bardonecchia, some are very steep, some better for beginners. I was happy that I could also try the Olympic one, although it did scare me a bit.
On our second day we got a different kind of perfect weather. It has been snowing the entire previous night and kept snowing a bit during the day. I think I will always remember that feeling of perfect fresh snow under my board. There was so much fresh snow that we managed to get stuck in it, of course that happened when we went off piste (nothing dangerous, it was still in the ski resort). When going off piste the layer of snow is very thick and when you fall it is very easy to get stuck. For a moment I thought I will stay there in the snow for real, but we managed to push our limits and I can say now that it was another awesome experience. We also spent some time in snowpark, where I tried my first tiny jumps and rails. I felt really proud.
The whole experience was definitely one of the greatest I´ve ever had. If I had to change anything in Bardonecchia, then it would be opening hours. It felt totally unfair that we had to leave around 4:30 in the afternoon, leaving us with only 6 hours of intense training when I was ready for 6 more. Needless to say that my legs didn´t agree with me the next day.
Here are some tips that I find useful for first-time visitors in Bardonecchia:
1. If you are a student then you get 50% of discount, but you should fill a form before and not forget to take your student card with you.
2. If you think that it will be too much hassle or just too expensive to take the equipment with, consider renting it. I took everything else with me except the board. If you choose to rent, do your homework, it might be cheaper to register for it before.
3. Start your day early, there are less people in the morning and the day passes so quickly.
4. Wear your protections. Really, I don´t know what I would do without the big-butt pants, let alone the knee protections and of course most important, the helmet.
5. Have fun!
I really miss Bardonecchia already, can´t believe that soon is the time to put the snowboard aside for so many months.