You trudge the peaks to the top of Europe only to be handed a broom to sweep the Alpine bar.
This broom though is a curling accessory, you have a stone in hand and a circle on the ice rink to target.
It’s not what you’d expect when you are escorted through the curtain of the Ice Bar.
But you’ve got a Swiss dram (yes, really) at the bar.
To warm and energise you for your initiation in the ancient Scottish game.
Aye, ice bowls, as it is sometimes dismissively referred, was invented (as everything is) in Scotland.
When an ice skating religious minister glided across Duddingston Loch…
Well, that can’t be proved definitively.
Curling has us in our grip every four years when Scots Olympians take over Britain and our curlers swap their Saltires for Union Jacks.
Alas, just like golf which we also gave to the world, the world learned to do it better.
As evidenced in Beijing just now.
A Scottish gift to America
And we’ve struggled recently to replicate the success of Golden Girl Rhona Martin from the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.
Unsurprisingly as the Scottish footprint is all over the States the Americans are among the world’s leading curling nations.
And news comes to us from winter sports centre Lake Tahoe of how much more they put into the game and all winter sports.
Learn to curl
Helpfully the good folk of Lake Tahoe are offering help to curl and saying you’ll be able to show off on the next Zoom meet.
The rest (to get out there) you’ll have to ask your friendly neighbouring travel agents about.
Now, if you’re lucky enough to live in Scotland then you will be able to take your first baby steps in winter sports.
I’ve done it myself and yes with my old friends in Ireland Topflight for Schools, it has led me to the Winter Olympics.
Where pictures of the winners adorn the walls of the showpiece restaurant in the town.
And the centrepiece is the ski jump.
Maybe better sticking on firm ground (or ice).
Hand me a broom to sweep the Alpine bar.