Friday 30 January 2015, and PHAT HQ had relocated to Courmayeur. In an attempt to Top Trump PHAT, LSH had rearranged their Ski Race to coincide with our adventure, but nevertheless 26 off piste ski bunnies made it to PHAT.
The late night snow dances on Thursday worked and at 8.30am on PHAT day we were greeted with a phenomenal snowfall and a wait for the lifts to open. Grouped into 13 Magnificents and 13 Not Quite So Magnificents, we headed up on the cable car, equipped with peeps, shovels, probes and plenty of enthusiasm.
Edski’s 6 Not Quite So’s were treated to a barrage of verbal abuse and instruction. The 7 Almost Quite So’s went off to play in the trees and master the art of deep powder. The 13 Magnificents demonstrated that no one has phriends on a powder day, merrily losing each other and their skis and testing the instructor’s ability to herd cats.
After all this fun, we lunched like gods on suckling pig with the odd tiramisu thrown in for those who felt they’d earned it (all generously sponsored by the great General himself, Alex Watts of Kingsford Estates).
Suitably fortified, our afternoon led us all back into the deep fluffy stuff to scatter through the trees, play in the powder and pronounce off piste skiing well and truly ‘done’.
Following a sojourn back to our respective rooms, the PHATs returned uniformly dressed to give a true insight into the thought paths of “wear a uniform.”
Whisked by the cable car to the PHAT chariots, and with just enough time to down a glass of fizz, we were then snowmobiled to Maison Vieille, where we enjoyed wonderful food and wine, funded by Burness Paull and Chris Stewart Group, with musical entertainment provided by Stuart Knox (a loose guitar available for hire).
Then someone lit the PHAT touchpaper and the dancing started …
Thanks to all involved for making another PHAT Challenge so memorable, and also for your generous donations to Scottish Mountain Rescue – we raised nearly £4000!
And phinally, we won’t name, shame or publish photos of those involved in the Jägermeister shots, pole dancing or caning – but you know who you are and we have the evidence …
PHAT prizes went to:
- The Kingsford Cup for Best All Round Improver – Guy ‘Headmaster’ Morgan
- The Best Trier – Robin ‘Get Me Out Of Here’ Holder
- The Most Energy Burnt Digging Out A Ski – Andrew ‘Lost My Onions’ Chalmers
- The Best Wipeout – Gary ‘It’s A Bad Habit’ Gibson
- Best PHAT Uniform – Joint First Prize to Scott ‘GI Joe’ Peterkin and Stephen ‘Dubious Dictator’ Goldie