Heading into a disused mining tunnel wearing just a pair of swimming shorts and a robe was not what I had in mind when I visited Austria's pretty Gastein Valley. I was expecting to take advantage of some beautiful fresh powder on the mountain slopes above me - until I learned that this area is more famous for its natural spas.
Stuck waist-deep in powder snow, skis long since pinged off, the only thing to do was take a deep breath and lie back.
Past the town's cross-country skiing track, a little further on from an icy-looking pond peppered with hardy ducks, steam was rising from the valley floor.
I am teetering on the edge of a cliff at the top station of Les Deux Alpes. I normally feel confident on my carving skis but this feels like no ordinary black run.Around me are some of the most spectacular views of the French Alps known to man, but all I can do is focus wide-eyed on the sheer drop below.
So you've carved up Chamonix, schussed in Saas Fee and skied powder at Park City. Courchevel's Grand Couloir just isn't quite grand enough and you're thinking, what next?
Dates are locked in and the brochure has landed... Ski Club Freshtracks holidays go on sale 27 August
With the new Freshtracks brochure about to land on doorsteps, Ski Club staff weigh in with their favourite destinations for 2013-14
Learn the skills you need to stay safe with our mountaincraft and touring skills courses
Perhaps the world's most famous off-piste destination, Freshtracks holidays make the most of the diverse ski areas in the Chamonix valley