Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wild generalisations about skiing in Australia

On the basis of one trip. (To here.)

  • There isn't very much snow. And apparently, the amount they had today was "quite good". No snow on the trees, none on the side of the road driving up there, very little off the actual piste, and even bits of the ski fields were frozen mud rather than anything white and powdery.
  • It is super warm (until the sun goes down). Almost "I could be wearing a short skirt and t-shirt and be reasonably comfortable" warm. And oh wait, some of those girls over there are doing just that.
  • There are a LOT of total beginners. And practically no one on the more advanced slopes.
  • The more advanced slopes, when melted and refrozen, are more than a little bit scary. Even after one has given up on staying upright and is only sliding down on one's arse.
  • More people snowboard than ski. And snowboarders totally deserve their reputation.

Despite these slight tragedies, and despite having to get up at 4:30 am, and despite getting lost on a closed track and stuck somewhere where the only way down was a super-advanced scary trail, and totally freaking out and lying down in the snow to cry, I had an awesome time.

Really. Because after that little "adventure", I spent the rest of the day on the easy slopes, didn't fall over, didn't maim or even run into anyone, learned to do those fancy tight woosh-woosh turns and jumps and to have total control over my speed, and I totally rocked.

Woosh! Woosh! Woosh!


shrinkykitten said...

How many ski areas are there in australia? In california, people ski in jeans or shorts - but never skirts (at least that I saw)! Did you take a lesson? Good job on learning to do turns and jumps (!)! Try skiing backwards next time :)

I'm glad you had fun. Sorry about the crying, though. I've had my share of meltdowns on the ski slopes - or rather, I've *seen* my share of meltdowns. It's kind of funny how skiing can evoke such strong emotions.

StyleyGeek said...

I didn't end up officially taking a lesson, because (a) they were more expensive than I had budgeted for (someone had told me $40, but it was $55), and (b) the next one wasn't for a while after we arrived, and during that time I spent a couple of hours following a lesson group around and watching what they were being told to do :)

And I did ski backwards too! But only briefly on a very slight slope, because I was too chicken to try it while going fast.

As for the crying, I think it was mostly terror. I was stuck on this impossible (for me) slope, half way down, with no way to get to the bottom (couldn't walk because it was too icy, and even sliding on my bum sent me faster and faster out of control). And there was NO ONE around. I was terrified that if I crashed and broke something no one would find me for hours and I would die. Plus I was already half an hour late for meeting my friends for lunch, and I knew they would worry. (They did: they called the ski rescue patrol!)

StyleyGeek said...

Oh, and as for number of ski areas, there are around 15, I think. Four fields near us, a couple in Tasmania, and a whole heap in Victoria.

Geeka said...

i have been skiing once.

My best friend let me play around on the beginner slope for about 30 minutes, taught me how to fall, and then decided I needed to go down a 'real' slope.

I didn't fall off of the ski lift, however about 25% of the way down the hill, I got so pissed at my friend, that I pulled the skis off of my boots and walked the rest of the way down. (He was skiing backwards taunting me so that I would go faster down the hill).

Miss M. said...

I went skiing once... my mother's best friend is an instructor on one of the fields near Queenstown, and right at the start of the season one year when we were in NZ she decided she needed a guinea pig to practice on, you know, to get back in the swing of things. So I got a free day skiing, and a free lesson. But now whenever I see her she asks how my skiing is coming and I'm forced to admit that I've never been since.