Ski Stories with Graham Bell

What was your first ski trip? 

I was with my family, I was 5 years old my brother Martin was 6, and our parents had not skied before.  We had been hill walking in the Cairngorms the previous summer and my mum thought it would be a great idea to go back in the winter to ski.  We stayed at Struan House, which was the base for the Carbridge ski school, run by an Austrian ex-pat called Karl Fuchs.  We didn’t know it at the time but while we were staying at the hotel, Karl’s son Peter who was a member of the British Ski Team returned home with Konrad Bartelski and others for an end of season team party.

Your most memorable ski race?

The 1976 Innsbruck Olympic games, Franz Klammer’s run in the Men’s Downhill.  I was 10 years old when I watched it, it was a big inspiration for me to become a downhill racer and it was the trigger for the creation of Ski Sunday which started the following season.

Your best moment on skis?

This must have been when I placed 12th in the Hahnenkamm ski race back in 1994, it’s the toughest course on the tour, and I had crashed there previously on numerous occasions, before scoring my first top 15 result.

And your worst moment on skis?

Sadly this was watching a fellow ski racer Gernod Reinstadler crash on the finish line in Wengen, 1990.  He severed his femoral artery and died later that evening of his injuries. 

Favourite ski resort?

In the Alps it’s a toss up between Val d’Isere in France and St Anton in Austria, and I think right now St Anton just edges it.  The accessibility to fantastic off-piste and ski touring is immense, and the après ski is pretty good too, hopefully it will be back to normality soon.  Notable other mentions should go to Engleberg in Switzerland, Gressoney in Italy, Kicking Horse in Canada, and Hakuba in Japan, note they all have great powder.

Your best après ski party?

It would probably be while helping to host the Momentum City Ski Championships, I forget the exact year, but we were in bar Zerodix in Crans Montana. Amin who runs the event had managed to book The Feeling to play, they absolutely nailed it and much toffee vodka was consumed.

What was your most memorable ski outfit?

My favourite ever British Ski Team catsuit was the Olympic suit we were given back in 1984.  It was my first Olympics and I was only 18 years old, the suit was sky blue and white and had a candy stripe design across the whole body.  Unfortunately after that one, every other British Team race suit for the next 16 years was a massive disappointment.

A person you would most like to spend a day skiing with?

Candide Thovex.  I would love to watch some of the filming sequences for his ‘One of Those Days’ films, his skill and creativity is just out of this world.

Your Favourite meal in the mountains?

Tyroler Gröstl, although a Swiss Rösti and French Tartiflette are basically the same dish.

Why do you choose to wear Snow Finel Ski Wear?

I love the classic style, and the natural properties of Merino wool, there is nothing that is as light, as comfortable and as warm.