Chills, spills and thrills

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The diary of beginner skier, 38-year-old Hari

 

Day 1

HARI: Off to the snow!

1.30: Departure from home. We hit the highway and then slowly took our time getting to the snow, stopping at the little villages along the way. The countryside is green and lush at this time of year and the wattles are in flower. Truly breathtaking.

6.00: Picked up chains before heading up the mountain. This is mandatory. They must be carried. I was given a quick lesson on how to put them on, but would suggest you watch a couple of videos on how to do it, or take a video on your phone as we did. Not much snow on the way up, but heaps by the time we got further up the mountain. It was foggy and we had to drive slowly. The chains didn’t need to be fitted though.

8.00: Arrived at Hotham—Mountain Dreaming Apartments. Kathie was already there with Graham and helped us in with our things. The apartment is spacious and modern—it’s a place we can self cater. Ideal for young families. Magnificent views. Warm and toasty inside, but freezing outside.

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Day 2

7.00: Breakfast, Shower and time to layer up.

1. Thermal top and and pants, t. shirt

2. Woollen socks

8.45: To Hotham Central to pick up snow gear. The pictures pretty much tell the story here.

I opted for the helmet and goggles just to make sure every cm of me was protected!

10 am (3 hr lesson)

Everything seems so awkward in skiing. The boots are heavy, the skis are hard to handle. It’s difficult to walk in the snow boots and wow those skis just seem impossible. However, after a bit of practice it doesn’t seem so hard—today was extremely cold and rather bleak, but I feel like I am making progress.

1 pm: Lunch and a rest. Wow what a feast!

3.00 pm: back to the snow fields. Kathie tried to talk Graham and me into trying the chairlift and the Big D. I don’t feel confident enough yet. I want to practice stopping and controlling my speed before I go to the next stage. Up and down the hill with Graham my other first time ski friend –we make each other look good.

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Day 3

7 am: Packing up and checking out of this magnificent wonderland today. The sky is a majestic blue with hardly a cloud. We go for a last ski before checking our gear back in. Just gentle stuff on a slope where the kids all hang out. Those little rascals make it look so easy! Check them out.

Hotham generously provide lunch for us and off we go to Falls Creek for stage 2 of this adventure.

The rest of our party meet up with us, including 12-year-old Raaul (also first time skier)

5 pm: Arrive Falls Creek and pick up snow gear. Check into Trackers Inn Lodge. A clean and very comfortable lodge, which allows you your own space but you have communal areas in which to socialise if you wish to. Great for the kids as there’s plenty of room for them to roam and they have their own room to play.

Out for a quick dinner with the group—then back to bed as it’s been an exhausting day.

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Day 4

7.30 am: Breakfast. Wow, cooked by the kitchen and the choice is endless. I could get fat here.

10 am: On the mountain for another lesson. This time I am not a raw beginner, after the time with Kathie and Sari yesterday I feel far steadier on my skis, and I even used the chairlift this morning. Unbelievable weather, clear sky and rather warm.

11 am: I did it! It has finally clicked into place for me. I know how to stop and am now working on my turns. I’ve mastered it and I am the king of skiing! I made endless runs up and down the mountain and didn’t stop until 5 pm, when the chairlift closed.

5.30 pm: Dropped off our gear and headed back to the lodge. A seven course meal with the group at the lodge—more foodie pix. It’s been a magic 4 days. Take it from me, if I can ski, so can you!

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Day 5

Breakfast and off we headed home—full of memories that will stay for a lifetime.

 

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