I've never been to a ski resort before and it's a pretty impressive place. But Alex and Harry have never seen real life snow before. I had been quizzed for a lot of the journey about what it's like and we'd already set out the 2 teams we would fall into for a snowman bulding contest (we end up not building any, but Alex and I so would've won hands down).
The tickets we have are for day trips which grant us one ride up and down the 4-person chairlift, and the clothing and equipment to get some serious toboganning action in. After wandering around being generally bemused by, well, snow, we eventually learn that the chairlift is the one with all the boarders and skiiers - it has provision for foot traffic only. We queue, go through the gates, and jump on the 4 person chair in a hurry.
This is pretty fucking cool. Up above a whole load of boarders and skiiers on the easier slopes to the resort's ... left, the kids are loving it and I'm clinging onto the handrail only a tiny bit too tight for dear life. At the middle station we have to get off and Harry nearly causes disaster by not letting go of the rail, while Alex drops a nonchalant "Hi, Rikki" at Rikki the station assistant. We think she's being precocious but actually they know each other - Rikki worked until a few days ago at her after school club care thing. That's pretty crazy, that a 6yo would run into someone she knows at her first time in the snow, a 5 hour drive from home.
It's pretty nippy up here. We go into the big restaurant and I grab chairs while everyone else grabs pastry. Kevin's pie is shit and not what he ordered anyway, having been gazumped by Harry - who in the end does not finish anywhere near all of her own sausage roll. My frankfurter roll is clearly the winner. Back outside we stand on the balcony posing and admiring the action below.
Then back to middle station for a scoot up to the top station - which is kinda shut but kinda not, because there's virtually fuck all snow - without stopping. Back down and things start to get a bit hairy. I am pretty terrfied of this, because heading down hill just feels so much worse than going up. The view is of a vast hill that would kill me to fall down and on the way up I couldn't see that so it wasn't there even though it was obviously there.
Alex shows no fear. Harry briefly says she doesn't like it but then says she loves it, in keeping with her normal attitude ("Mum, I'm cold. Can I have an ice cream? I meant I'm not cold."). I grip the handrail and my hands almost freeze to it while Kevin flails around with his camera. Don't get me wrong - I wasn't totally terrified, and I'd do it again, but still, not my favourite thing in the world.
Back down the bottom, we augment the clothes and boots we'd hired for the girls earlier with a couple of toboggans beause fuck yeah toboggans. Away from the skis and boards there's a dedicated area. Some carrying teamwork results in us making very slow progress so eventually Harry lets me carry her toboggan alone.
With some trepidation, Alex sits on her tray and grabs the steering rope and is set off down the smallest slope and WHEEEEEEEEE THIS IS AWESOME. Harry has more trepidation and on her run swipes straight into two careless lads, yet loves the experience even more, finishing with a monstrously cute dance and cries of AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN! This repeats for ages and does not get boring for any of us.