On the weekend of the 25th/26th of July three crew members where joined by Rovers from 2nd Gordon and Normanhurst for an awesome beginner cross country ski weekend up in Kosciusko Nation Park.
Friday afternoon was marked with the usual amount of chaos, sleep ins and other issues. But by 8pm two out of three cars had braved the Sydney traffic and made it to “Curry in a Hurry” near the Big Merino in Goulburn. We did a quick briefing on ski binding types before heading on to Rhythm in Cooma to rent our gear.
There skiers were faced with the choice of Telemark or NNN-BC skis. After much discussion the party ended up with a pretty even split between the two. But not before someone tried on at least ten pairs of boots!
We departed Rhythm close to midnight, and reached the campsite around 1am. There we were greeted with the beautiful but not so comfortable surprise of snow on the ground! Everyone quickly setup for few hours sleep, as we had to get up early the next morning.
After everyone had had breakfast and got ready to go we headed on over to Thredbo so we could take the lift up to the start of the trail. The first challenge we faced was getting passes! After queuing in one long socially distanced line we discovered that we couldn’t in fact get passes at the entrance to Thredbo and instead had to take a bus to the village.
Eventually we got passes and then faced the second challenge of the day. How to ride a chairlift! We had several newbies so there was a quick explanation and demonstration of how to get off a chair lift before we headed on up. Everyone managed to get to the top with only one stack, which was apparently spectacular although your author missed it!
After some quick instructions we regrouped a bit back from the lift to go through some cross country skiing basics. Before heading out towards Mt Kosciusko.
A short while later (and many stacks) we stopped for a quick lunch and some skills practice. This involved several spectacular stacks, and a few cut hands on the very crusty snow (we all put gloves on after that). But there was also some pretty awesome skiing.
When everyone was feeling more confident we headed a bit further up the slope. About halfway up some of the group split off to do some more practice, whilst the rest of us continued up to Kosciusko Lookout for a great view of Mt Kosciusko itself.
Unfortunately at that point we needed to turn back to make the last lift back down to Thredbo. Accompanied by a sprinkling of fresh snow we began the ski back down to Eagle’s Nest.
The return journey was quite icy with visibility reduced by the late afternoon light and a small sprinkling of snow. There was several stacks but everyone pushed through and we reached the chairlift just in time.
After seeing everyone onto the chairlift, Ranga and I headed down the very icy blue run to meet the others at the bottom.
After that we headed back to Island Bend to enjoy dinner and a lovely campfire, before heading to an early bed. All in all a great day.
It wasn’t to last however. The next morning we all woke with sleepy horror to the sound of heavy rain. Cached forecasts gave us some hope that there might be snow higher up, so after I ran round to wake everyone up we collapsed our tents and headed up to Perisher.
Unfortunately the forecast had changed overnight and it was still raining heavily when we reached the Perisher Car Park. After some quick group photos, we decided on a plan B that involved delicious pastries for breakfast and warm hot chocolates, before heading back to Sydney.
Despite the bad weather on the Sunday it was overall a great trip, and hopefully we can get back out there at some point to finish what we started! Thanks everyone for a great trip.
Harry J.E Day (Turramurra, Organiser, your author)
Grace Johnson (Turramurra)
Max Tobin (Turramurra)
Sophie Carter (2nd Gordon)
Luke Prangell (2nd Gordon)
Hugh Percival (Normanhurst)
Vanessa Mawby (Normanhurst)
Sarah-Jane Petts (Ex-Normanhurst, but a VL)
Jeremy “Ranga” Cox (Ex-Kissing Point, but an ARC member)