A train less day was planned for the forth skiing day, instead we were to meet at the station to pick up a ski bus and head further back into the valley, the opposite way than that offered by the train. The intended ski area being Hintertux, a glacier ski area that the others visited a couple of years ago as part of a weekend visit after visiting Munch.
There remained the question on who would get there when as buses to assorted destinations came and went. I was early, the others did arrive in drips and drabs but generally only a little later than planned and in more than good time to make the connection.
Three separate back to back gondola lifts were required to get to the top over at Hintertux. At the top the weather was genuinely bright and clear, probably for the first time on this holiday. Unlike all the other runs here there were open spaces, not the ant heap of skiers that was generally the norm, the snow was more uniform and compressed allowing for a far freer sense of skiing. On the flip side it was quite simple, even on supposedly more taxing gradients you could really just stand on the skis and go unimpeded by random acts of snow or members of the masses. In short it was all very blue, white and nice but utterly unchallenging.
We did however manage to loose Cirrus within a couple of minutes somehow as we made our way to down the first run, mobile phones coming most handy to remedy this.
After a few runs the thinking was that we would head back down to the top of the first Gondola with a view that we were close to having exhausted this small area, there was a run or two down there that we were yet to ski and it was these that intentions turned.
Around this time due to some work on my boot clips or other fiddling about i was the last to leave a blind junction and by the time i slid forward there was no sign of anyone in any of the available directions with blind spots on all that they could be on.. There was however a black run in front of me, one i had not realised was there and one which regardless of other matters i now opted for. The others hadn’t taken this particular route it was clear and despite the apparent probability that i would see one of their number as i rejoined the other more populous pistes, i didn’t. So instead i kept to skiing down, presuming that i could not by this point be ahead and that in heading down i would cross their path… i did not.. i was all the way down by the first Gondola and no sign of anyone familiar had been glanced. My phone was not having any of it and proclaimed that it was too warm, despite the fact it was if anything undoubtedly a bit cold having been removed from the pocket on a couple of occasions and exposed to the altitude of the outside. When it wasn’t proclaiming heat it was becoming suddenly but inconsistently certain that its battery was quite out of puff.
So to the chairlift and those few runs which remained untried.. After which and with no one about i headed back up eventually coaxing both life from my phone and a response from my colleagues. In the end it was Daud with his blue tooth enabled helmet that i made contact with, he knew he was at a Gondola station but was unclear at to which one it was, though as the conversation proceeded it became clear they were not at the top and had an intention to head to the bottom … so using Holmes like deduction it became apparent they were resting up somewhere around the middle, which happened to be where i was now headed back to.
Having rejoined up with the rest of the group i retreaded the run down (red 2 & 2a) and back up to the chairlift. This time we lost Daud on the way down, as the rest of us paused then got distracted by a helicopter he skied on and disappeared.
Even on getting all the way back to base there was no sign of Daud, leading to head scratching and mere cat neck craning and peering about for the missing link. I stated to shuffle my way toward the Gondola as a call came in, he’d gone all the way down, unable to wait he was now back down in Hintertux and seemingly wondering where we were. We where at the top end of the same lift and having now been able to stop looking for him, set about heading down.