2009 Formula 1 Champion racing driver Jenson Button talks to Sevenoaks publisher Frank Baldwin, of Skier & Snowboarder magazine, about how he would spend a perfect day on the ski slopes. For more information about the coming season go to skierandsnowboarder.com.
During his Formula 1 racing days, Jenson Button reached eyewatering speeds of more than 200 mph. But you may be surprised to hear this need for speed does not extend to the ski slopes.
“I’m a very relaxed skier and like nice big wide blue runs you can gently glide down”, said Jenson. “During my racing days, I was always worried about getting injured on the slopes which is probably why I took a more leisurely approach to skiing. I have never hurt myself and I always wear a helmet, as having one on was an integral part of my life in my motor racing days.”
Jenson, who is helping to promote the Dare 2b ski fashion range again this season, started skiing in his mid-20s when he went to Italy with a group of friends, but for his perfect day he would head to North America.
He said: “I have a friend in Colorado who is a great skier and has his own chalet in Aspen. But although there are some great ski areas in the state. I still prefer to head for Whistler in Canada for my perfect day.
“The day would begin with an early start on one of the first lifts up to beat the crowds. I would have breakfast on the mountain – nothing too fancy, just a good plateful of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast.
“I can’t wait to ski with my two sons when they are old enough and they would have to be part of my perfect day. Until then, I love skiing with groups of friends. I don’t even mind if we are all of mixed ability as the enjoyment for me is finding a run everyone is comfortable with and then all doing it together.
“The ‘debrief’ on the chairlift back up is also all part of my enjoyment when people describe their wipe outs in more detail.
Lunch on the mountain is another massive part of my ski day and although I like skiing in North America, this is when the Alps come into their own. Some of the restaurants are just incredible, especially on a clear blue-sky day when you can sit outside on a terrace and enjoy the views even if its just with a large plate of frites and a small beer.
“After the last run of the day I love a couple of pints during après ski – and then it’s a nap before dinner. Everybody cooking and chatting in a chalet together in a relaxed atmosphere is my perfect end to a day on the slopes. Some good food, nice wine, and then not too late to bed so I can be up early to do it all again the next day.
“For something a bit different during après ski, I have been skidoing, and also spent my 30th birthday in an Ice Hotel in Sweden. If I feel like a bit of luxury, Fairmont’s Chateau Whistler is one of my favourite places to go. But staying in chalet with a group of friends is still top of my list.
“As I said, Whistler Blackcomb is one of my favourite destinations as the skiing is fantastic and the atmosphere is a lot of fun. But I can be just as happy skiing with a group of friends in Europe. I love the Alps and the après is totally different to North America.
“Skiing is an incredible thing to do. I love the fresh air and the views which is why I like to really take in my surroundings and cover as much ground as possible.”