SKIING AND THE great outdoors have always been my great passions.
During my 6-year stint in Russia, which ended in August this year, I would seize every opportunity to explore and ski in the surrounding countries that typically see great snowfall during the winter seasons.
Though most of my ski holidays are with my wife, four sons and a daughter, the best holiday that immediately comes to mind was a heliskiing trip I took early this year.
Heliskiing, as the name suggests, is accessed by a helicopter and not a ski lift. The helicopter quickly flew my 10-member party to the top of the otherwise inaccessible Caucasus Mountains in Georgia, which is located between Turkey and Russia.
The snow was deep, the air fresh and the view spectacular. Apart from us, not a soul was in sight. There was no ski resort nor was there any ski lift in the open mountain area. All around was Mother Nature blanketed in white snow. We were surrounded by the silent trees, towering mountains and fresh powder snow.
Each of us took turns to glide our way down the steep extreme slope. When it came to my turn and I pushed off the slope, I felt the exhilaration in my body even as the cold wind stung my cheeks.
During my 45-minute journey down the slope, all was quiet, all was calm and all that was in front of me was a blanket of white snow as the trees silently swished past. As I glided down the long descent, my skis and I marked the virgin snow along the natural terrain contours.
For those too-short minutes, only Mother Nature existed for me as I strove to conquer her vast white slopes of snow. The whole experience was truly extraordinary.
I enjoyed the vast terrain, the absolute silence of the mountains and the thrill of skiing down the pristine mountainsides immensely. Each skier made six drops a day. We were there for a week at a cost of 3,500 euros per person.
Now that I am in sunny Singapore, I need to find tropical pursuits. Water skiing is one option; I am also keen on trying paragliding.
Asia Pacific Breweries (www.apb.com.sg) is listed on the Singapore Exchange.
This article along with several others were part of a package put together by Leong Chan Teik for Pulses magazine a while back and is reproduced with permission.