But kids, word of caution: What happens when you're a follower, not a leader, is that you end up committing to things that you would never in a month of Sundays have decided to do yourself. Like the time I was led by the former seasonnaires over the edge of a pisted run en route to another one far below via a sheer section of ice, on wide powder skis that probably hadn't been edged this century - otherwise known as my 'meltdown moment with Mark'.
You see, Garth and I had been so busy chatting on approach to what came to be known as the 'non-judgmental chairlift' that we didn't notice noone else was getting on it. The chairlift was totally empty - this should have been our first clue. But the penny didn't start to drop until about half way up, looking down, we tried to ascertain which runs we'd do. That's when we spotted the narrow section of mammoth moguls between areas of bare rock and the odd red 'ski route: extreme' sign.
After reluctantly disembarking the lift, we dawdled up to the top of the slope and peered over the edge. "Well, what do you think? Shall we do it?" - "I don't know, yeah maybe, we could probably do it, I just don't think I want to do it." - "Mmm, I mean, I'm sure it'd be fine - like, we'll get down obviously but..." - "Oooh, yeah, hmm it is quite narrow..." We stared at it for about half an hour. Then finally, someone else got off the chairlift and skied over to us. I asked if he'd done it before and he said cheerily that he had, a couple of days ago, and it had been pretty tough then. "Even worse conditions today," he said. Great.
After debating the state of the snow for another short while, our new friend set off downhill. I think I'd always known we were going to ski down. Because, while faffing is a huge part of every ski trip, actually asking for a lift to be stopped is a step too faff-ing far frankly, as well as being a total cop out. And yeah so we had to look out in case we caught a ski on an exposed boulder and left our legs behind to be nibbled by mountain lions, but that's why God gave us eyes.
Funnily enough, bombing around in the dark half cut after Apres didn't seem so taxing after that.