What Do They Have in Common?

What do Ski Racing City Ski Champs-style and Heli Skiing Have in Common?

City Ski Championships.


Not a lot really, but I thought this was a neat title to use for this blog entry about my recent experience at the 2010 (London) City Ski Championships.

Whilst Total Heliski members were flying through the pow-pow in Canada, Alaska, and Europe this season, Total Heliski set our sights on our mission to convert a whole bunch of neat, disciplined ski racers into free- willed, hedonistic heliskiers.

So, I packed up my powder skis, got out the skinny planks, and took to the hard-packed groomed slopes of Courmayeur to attend The City Ski Championships. This event is an excuse for a myriad of excellent skiers from around the UK to roll up and socially compete for various titles like ‘Fastest  Male Skier’ or ‘Fastest Banker’.

Over the three days of the event, I met a great crowd from London’s (mainly) financial community who taught me how to party hard, (not that I needed teaching), then get up at the crack of dawn, put on a tight, uncomfortable, cold  racing suit and get amongst it. I must add, I didn’t actually race this year, since I have a little knee upset right now. But, I did hear about amazing stamina by some of those at the event, racing after sometimes less than 60 minutes sleep.

Total Heliski Legend Graham Bell, 5 x Olympian getting a power nap in between runs.

Not surprisingly Canada, was well represented in the title ranks, (given the oil and gas industry representation in London), with Total Heliski member, Derek Smith, a clear standout for his 2nd place result.

Equally, the Italian aristocracy, with Felippe leading the Lloyds winning male team.

What occurred at the presentation dinner, when the ‘winners’ celebrated, by creating a sea of champagne, (mostly being poured on each other) was nothing short of eye-boggling.

Additionally, the raffle for Damon Hill’s charity ‘Halow’, was not only a great earner, but also a highly entertaining event as it was compered by none other than comedian Marcus Brigstocke (from the BBC).

So, what do the two disciplines of ski racing and heli skiing have in common? Well, actually, like I said before, not much. However, one thing is for sure, that no matter where you are in the mountains, what you are there for, and what you set out to achieve, they are completely an adult’s play ground- on and off the slopes, and for that I am so glad to be able to have discovered skiing. I must thank my parents next time I see them.

Oh, and one other thing- F1 drivers can indeed exert speed on the race course- that I also learnt. Well done Damon!