Beer & Snowmen Are Enough For Me

Snow.

This one word excites me yet somehow terrifies me all at the same time.

I’d only seen snow once before in my life when I was at Jungfraujoch in Switzerland. It was during my Euro trip back in 2008 and oddly enough, it was smack bang in the middle of summer. Reading back on my blog post now, I seemed pretty excited:

I did everything you would expect a six year old to do when taken to the snow; I jumped in it; I threw myself into a heap of it; I made snow balls and threw them at my mates when they least expected it; I made a snow angel and got terribly soaked while in the process and last, but not least, I built a snowman. 

Everything except skiing…

MT. HOTHAM:

I was heading to Mt. Hotham with my work crew; it was a rewarding weekend away after the crazy last few weeks we’d had in the office after our Blogopolis conference. It was also a time to get some team bonding under our belts and by team bonding, I clearly mean boozing. The cars had been packed with food, warm clothing and most importantly, bottle upon bottle of wine, vodka, rum and beer.

Mt. Hotham is roughly a five hour drive out of Melbourne and located in the north-eastern part of Victoria. Highlights of our road trip included an early morning stop at Maccas for breakfast, our first view of snow which left me EEEEEE’ing when we stopped at the bottom of the mountain to pick up our gear (photo below) and Kruppy’s gas light flashing in his car when we were only half way up the mountain and in need of some major acceleration with no gas stations anywhere in sight!

Mt Hotham - Nuffnang Ski Trip

THE CHALET:

We were lucky enough to be staying right up on the slopes in a 13-person chalet that goes by the name of CaravaggioOur Mt. Hotham accommodation was beautiful and with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a spa, who can complain? The views from our balcony were to die for and I called dibs on one of the bottom bunks – pure bliss. The day we got in, visibility was excellent which meant our view of the mountains was spectacular!

Caravaggio - Mt Hotham Ski Resort

After a few beers Holly, Steph and myself head outside to make a snowman. Sadly he never got finished and we just left him with an ass. I hope this didn’t mortify innocent little children as they passed by. The rest of the evening was spent with good company, a home cooked dinner and of course, more beer, because, let’s be honest, there can never be enough beer.

Snowman building at Mt Hotham

THE SKI LESSON:

Everyones first time can be a little painful, even a little messy. There’s that small possibility that you’ll end up soaking wet, ass up and covered in white stuff. There’s also a strong chance that you’ll end up extremely sore the next day – aches from muscles you never knew you even had. It’s important you use protection – something I probably should have considered before I went out and got myself knocked up. A helmet and knee pads probably would have been wise.

A few of us were booked in to take ski lessons the next morning. It just so happened to start snowing over night so although we had fresh snow, visibility wasn’t the greatest. I’d never skied a day in my life but thought it would be fun – oh how wrong I was. I don’t remember our ski instructors name so for the purpose of this blog entry, let’s name him Hans.

Super pumped for our ski lesson with Hans

Hans seemed like a nice bloke, about 6ft in height with gentle eyes and a trusting smile. He taught us the basics in skiing but most importantly, he taught us how to snow plough. I trusted Hans when he said a snow plough would bring me to a stop when skiing down a slope. I also trusted Hans when he told me I had been doing a great job during the lesson and that he thought I was ready to hit the beginners slope. Little did I know, Hans was lying – his innocent, trusting smile and those gentle eyes had given me a false feeling of comfort and reassurance – all utter bullshit.

On the verge of death1. Kruppy and I, both eager and enthused, jump onto the chair lift and gear up for our first slope. While on the chair lift we marvel at how easy it would be to fall out of our seat and plunge to our deaths down the mountain. It is here where we realise that the chair lift is not like a ride at an amusement park and that the workers at the start do not push the safety harness over your head for you. I slightly panic realising how horrible this could have been if Kruppy didn’t realise we had to swing the safety barrier over ourselves. Sigh of relief.

2. I knew I had to jump off the chair lift when we were nearing the end, only I had no idea how perfectly timed it all had to be. I left it a few seconds too late and before I knew it, I was circling back around to the start and the lady was screaming at me because they had to stop the chair lift. I fail at life.

3. The beginners slope looked awfully steep but Hans told me I was ready, he had faith in me and I trusted his bullshit gentle eyes and trusting smile. Off I went. The speeds I was hitting were way too fast for my liking. I commenced snow plough position. Snow plough failed me. While I went ass over head in a rage of fury, I pictured Hans’ trusting smile. Asshole.

4. I don’t like failure or defeat so I get back up and give it another shot, maybe I just got the snow plough wrong. Again, insanely fast speeds that I can not control. Snow plough fails me. I pray there is no one in my path, especially a child because I’m pretty sure I’d total them completely if we crossed paths. Again, ass up in the air, pretty sure I flipped and boom; I smash my head hard on the snow, my poles fly out of my hands and slide metres down ahead of me and although Hans told me my boots would unattach themselves from my skis if this happened, they didn’t. As I sat up helplessly in the snow, my skis and boots weight my legs down and twisted them inwards until my toes were horizontally facing inward, flat against the snow. Ouch. I really would have liked to shove my pole up Hans’ ass right about now.

In case  you’re wondering what it looks like when a bunch of people are skiing directly towards you while you lay helplessly on the ground, here’s a picture…

Mt Hotham Failure

My first slope was my last and I never want to ski again.

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Got any shocking ski experiences to share?

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