Skiing Down Under

Skiing is not the first thing most people think of when they plan a visit down under, but then again no one has ever accused my brother of being like most people.  He and a friend recently went skiing in New Zealand for a week and then came over to Oz for some more fun.

We drove up to the Snowy Mountains in New South Whales, about an eight hour drive from Melbourne.  There are some ski fields a bit closer, but Aaron wanted to climb Mt Kosciuszko in the Snowy Mountains.  We stayed in Jindabyne, a cute little ski town a short drive to the snow.  Trying on my ski bibs I found an old lift ticket and realised that the last time I went skiing was 11 years ago. Apparently it had been awhile!

View of Lake Jindabyne from our hotel
The first day we went to a resort called Perisher.  Aaron and Andy headed up to the black diamond runs and Phil I decided to tackle the bunny slopes.  After a few runs I felt more comfortable on the mountain, but the problem I have with skiing is I'm a control freak and barrelling down an icy mountain   leaves me very much out of control.  After a day of skiing as slow as possible down the green runs I was ready for a glass of wine and a good night's sleep.

Crazy sky in Perisher
Skiing through the gum trees
The following day we went to another resort called Thredbo.  Once again the A team headed up to the top and Phil went to scout out an "easy" run for us to try.  It was a blue run, and his theory was that I was doing pretty well the previous afternoon and therefore could handle the run.  His theory neglected the exhaustion factor though, and while skiing way too fast down that blue run my hips stopped working and I was no longer able to make left turns.  Soon I found myself sliding down the hill on my butt, one ski still up the mountain and one ski farther below me.  I had a hard time getting traction and ended up running into someone to stop myself.  Some people grabbed my skis and brought them to me, and then came the challenge of trying to put the skis back on without sliding down the slope again.  I ended up scooting over to the side of the run where the snow was stickier, and somehow Phil helped me get back up and headed down the hill.

The hill I fell down
After that fun I was pretty tired, but we had agreed to meet Aaron and Andy for lunch at the top of the mountain and so we rode the chair up.  We had a nice warm lunch inside and then it was time to head back down.  The good news: there was a nice easy green run down from the top.  The bad news: it was a 3 km long run.  And my hips still weren't working and I still couldn't make left turns.  We started down and I knew very quickly this was going to be bad news.  Then I fell on a turn and got stuck with my knees bent in a very awkward position.  And then I was done.  I knew at that point there was no way I was getting the rest of the 2.9 k down the hill without hurting myself.  Fortunately a ski instructor passed by and directed us to a lift that would take us down the mountain.  We took the ride of shame down hill and then I happily traded my skis for hot chocolate and a book.  The boys were content skiing away the rest of the afternoon.

Lunch up at the top - Aaron
The next morning Andy headed up North to explore the Great Barrier Reef and Aaron, Phil, and I started the climb up Mt. Kosciuszko.

A story afternoon at Perisher


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