Not that an empire biscuit would have been unwelcome on that sun lit morning during his recent visit to the Austrian Alps.
As the sun rose into the azure above the mountains, FB's ski group ascended in the cable car. A gentle ski down to a button lift was a nice warm up, but as his group came off that lift they were unprepared for where the instructor was leading them. A couple of turns later they stopped with a collective gulp.
What they were looking down is reputedly the steepest secured slope in Europe. The Langer Zug run at Lech. There are several ways of measuring steepness - it is 142%, it is 55 degrees on one method, 78 degrees on another. Whatever. This was steep - looking over it was like standing on a diving board.
For cricketers who find it hard to envisage such topography, any of these measures mean is considerably steeper than the world famous outfield hill at the Grange Loan home of FB's beloved Carlton CC, a treacherous black run on which FB has come to grief on many occasions.
But before FB could draw this telling comparison to the attention of his colleagues, they were off. FB told himself to rely on his technique. Now, those who have seen FB rely on what he imagines is technique when facing leg spin bowling - or indeed any other kind of bowling - might fear that this was an unwise tactic.
|Skier (definitely not FB) on the Langer Zug|
This was the thrill of the hat trick ball clattering into middle; or the joy of the six into the upper tier at long off. Better even. Better even than an empire biscuit.
Most ski slopes look much less steep from the bottom. Not the Langer Zug. Not to FB. Looking back as the adrenalin rush faded, FB was sure that even from the bottom it was still considerably steeper than the hill at Grange Loan.
Here is a video of a slightly better skier than FB going down.