Pete Caswell’s Alpine Paintings

A Rare Englishman: The Alpine Paintings of Pete Caswell

I love to ski.

I started skiing when I was 3 years old and been addicted to it ever since. At 5, I started collecting postcards of all the ski resorts I visited. Back then, I was a rare Englishman on the slopes of Europe and the Germans used to call me the “Englander,” finding my country tweeds and Yorkshire flat cap style quite peculiar, especially with my trousers tucked into wooly socks. It was so unusual that when I reported to my grade school teacher that I had been skiing in the Alps over the Easter break, I was firmly reprimanded, “Don’t be so stupid, Caswell. Sit down!”

After many years flaunting my tweeds around a plethora of ski resorts, at age 16, I was finally allowed a European-style ski suit: skintight stretchy race trousers and trendy shades to match my psychopathic ski technique. I had no style, just danger. I was banished to an all-day ski school during annual ski trips as I was deemed too dangerous to ski with for the rest of the family. Little did they know I was being schooled by insane French ski instructors, who introduced me to the rarefied terrain off piste: cliff drops, jumps, gullies, trees and avalanche paths. The most memorable trip was in St. Anton, Austria, trekking across unknown routes to remote mountain huts, visiting all the instructor’s mates, which always involved downing copious amounts of local schnapps, listening to local ski folklore, then picking our way back through the most obscure, usually heavily wooded routes…

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