MEET OUR NEW SCOTLAND REPORTER
12th February 2019
Rod has been writing for us for a while from the Alps but he’s now back in his home in the Highlands.
Rod Frazer is a BASI ISTD ski instructor and owner of Where Stags Roar.
He worked out of Les2Alpes for many years and at the end of his time in resort for the British Alpine Ski School (BASS).
“It was a wrench to leave the Alps after so many years but how refreshing to get back to Scottish skiing and some proper British queuing,” said Rod.
“No-one stamped all over my skis, no-one got fractious and glared at their neighbour in a ‘I dare you’ kind of way, no-one did themselves a mischief when their super-wide herringbone stance used for slight incline approaches deteriorated into full on splits.”
“It was all just so much more chilled.
“You could actually chat to your mates as keeping your position didn’t require laser-focus.”
For those of you who don’t know the Scottish system; when a queue gets to a certain length, someone will drop down next to it and start a new parallel queue.
And then a third queue and so on, so they are all stacked up side by side.
When the first queue has all got on the lift, the ‘second’ queue slides forward as one and becomes the ‘first queue’.
Anyone who attempts to join the wrong queue is just politely directed by the tail end person to where they should be.
It works like a dream.
“It would be awesome if they had that in France on the nursery slopes, particularly at half term – frustrating to queue for ages only to get three turns in before you find yourself at the top of the queue again which starts three-quarters of the way up the piste that you’d love to get to ski!” said Rod.
“My first skiing as a kid was on Cairngorm, so I took it for granted growing up that queuing for a ski lift on the hill was done in a polite and orderly fashion.
“How wrong I was!
“I quickly learnt that wasn’t the case everywhere when my ski teaching took me to Europe, and particularly France, where I spent the best part of the last twenty five years.
“There, queuing is an elbows-out, ski poles dug in kind of affair, where if you don’t join in you’ll still be there queuing when the same French or Italian family comes around for their second run!
“Ankle-biters rely on the fact that no-one will bodily throw a small child over a barrier, so tend to be the worst culprits, they’d literally go between your legs if they thought they’d get away with it.
“A friend I knew used to let them do that, then remove their bobble hats and chuck it down the snowbank – now of course I’m not condoning that…
“If for no other reason, unclipping a helmet these days is a bit trickier.”
And just in case you are wondering what it looked like at the top of the lift after all that orderly queuing in Scotland this month Rod took some photos:
He’s rather good at photos:
Check out more here:
And see here for an earlier PlanetSKI story as Rod and partner, Dianne, moved back to Scotland after all their time in the Alps.
Where Stags Roar is already a winner of the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards ‘Best Self Catered Accommodation’ award 2018.
So, what is Rod going to write about next?
We have no idea.
“Just find what interests you and send over some words and pictures. We’re keen to hear more about skiing in Scotland, so the canvas is bare,” was the extensive brief we gave him.
Watch this space…
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