After a few days at the Snow, well, more specifically, Perisher, I’ve learned not to listen to anyone’s personal opinion on what conditions are going to be like tomorrow. Not even the Bureau of Meteorology. None of them have the faintest idea.
The best advice I could give you is to wing it.
Head up to the slopes and make the best of it. Especially if you’ve already paid for a weekly lift ticket and hired a shit-load of gear. Like we have.
Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be awesome. Monday isn’t. It is cold, windy and snowing most of the day, which makes it difficult to see. But we’re only here for a week and unlikely to visit again until next year so we’re not exactly going to let that stop us.
Blue Cow is the safest bet – especially for the novice skiers and boarders among us – even though the viz is poor the slopes are gentle and it seems reasonably sheltered over this side.
Tuesday is gloriously sunny. There’s a certain deep-blue-ness to Alpine skies that you just don’t see (or maybe appreciate) on the coast. Or maybe that’s my goggles. So typically our car breaks down halfway to the ski tube.
I say typically, not because this is car was likely to break down – it’s a brand new Ford Territory that has driven us comfortably and without issue all the way from Sydney. But typically because the weather is glorious.
It’s our fault of course – not knowing that Alpine conditions require Alpine fuel. The car is towed away to sit in the sun for a while and we’re left standing on the side of the road.
But not for long. There appears to be an Alpine Angel patrolling the road this week. A South African guy called Brett, who has busted his knee and therefore cannot ski with his family.
So instead of feeling sorry for himself, he’s decided he might as well help other people ski. And drives all six of us (plus gear) to the slopes. My faith in humanity is restored.
It’s also incredibly fuel efficient, considering the size of it – we haven’t even used a full tank getting here and other than the alpine fuel issue would still have had enough fuel to last another couple of days at least.
Wednesday – more glorious conditions (it was supposed to be awful). Again we head towards Blue Cow, finding a few runs between the trees along the way, until my skis have a disagreement with each other and I fall in a clumsy heap at the top of the Pretty Valley chair.
So I sit the afternoon out at Jacks while the others carve up the terrain park in Front Valley.
Dinner on Wednesday night is a treat. While the buffet dinner at The Station is great (and a firm favourite with the kids) tonight we treat ourselves (not the kids) to dinner at Lake Crackenback Resort’s Cuisine.
I opt for a starter of beetroot carpaccio with goats cheese followed by an enormous piece of lean rump steak. Divine. Simon goes for the smoked salmon followed up with pork belly. (According to tradition we swap halfway so I’m able to say confidently that it is all heavenly food.)
Thursday. Apparently the “best snow day of the season”. 40cm of snow dumped on the mountain overnight and in the morning, glorious blue skies. I sit this one out with lunch at Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery. A very delicious goulash it is too.
The kids make the most of fresh powder conditions but it is by all accounts – not exactly the perfect-weather day of the season – bitterly cold and snowing for most of the day.
Luckily it’s not too overloaded just yet with people checking their MyRide dashboards, comparing their total vertical metres and the number of badges they’ve collected as a result. (I’m doing poorly).
It’s lucky I do decide to spend my day on the mountain today because today’s the day my son decides to break his arm. So while he’s being dramatically stretchered via skidoo from Guthega I sit waiting at the Medical Centre not exactly knowing yet what he’s actually done to himself.
Thank-you Ski Patrol – and Perisher Medical Centre – for treating him so efficiently, with just the right amount of pain killers, humour and lollies to retrieve his smile. You guys are awesome.
Saturday. With another child down with a sore throat, that leaves three on the mountain and three with me. I decide to treat them to lunch at The Distillery (again) before heading up to Perisher for a traditional last day Fat Yak at Jacks.
I’ve decided I might add Lunch at the Distillery to our growing list of Alpine traditions. I’m not adding Breaking Limbs however. That’s a tradition I’ll skip next year.