Okay, I’ve been back a while now, still can’t get the powder out of my heed.
I spent a day on the beginner’s slopes with my board, learning to balance on my heels first and do a floating leaf down the slopes. No doubt I fell a lot, but I was encouraged by the fact that there were other beginners alongside and I didn’t do all that bad. Plus I had decided to approach it with an almost fatalistic resignedness; if I were to fall, so be it. Once again? Never mind. And the more I got used to falling, the less I did.
On the second day I started practising going downhill backwards, balancing on my toes. This was harder than it seems, and I took out an old lady in the process of learning. Then an experienced friend came along and dragged us beginners to the top of the slopes. Jumped on and then off this never ending ski lift to the top with board attached. At the top of the mountain there was nothing left to stand on except a small patch of snow with slopes on all sides. So we took off.
I managed three runs to the top and down in the end, despite having two major wipeouts, but the gluhwein finally got the better of me, and over-confidence crept in, accompanied by tiredness. Caught the last ski lift back to town.
Thanks to all involved.