It’s my final day at the snow and, if I am honest, I am fatigued from the past three days of skiing and staying up late working and writing a university paper. That whole burning the candle from both ends holds true even if you are lighting one end with fun. But fatigue doesn’t stop me from waking early to see the sun peek over the mountain, grabbing the skis and heading out for one last foray into the white stuff.
No sooner am I out on the trails than I start to relax into the stunning scenery.
And not just the big things like forests of snow gums or views from lookouts. It’s also the small things that make me feel so happy. There’s more birds out today than there were earlier in the week including a large flock of black cockatoos.
The only downside is that I have to carry the skis more than on previous days but that’s just part of being out in nature; seasons change.
I find myself able to ski some of the sections of trail that were too challenging for me on my first day and I spend time in the Pudding Bowl skiing down increasingly larger and steeper slopes. The cross country skis don’t snow plough, turn or bite into the snow as well as the downhill skis that I hired the first day but I am starting to get used to them. I decide to “go to the snow again” but next time to book a cross country tour or series of lessons so that I can more confidently tackle the trails.
A thick fog rolls up the mountain as I make my way towards the resort village. By the time I return to the carpark to change and wait for my bus home there is a white out. In the safety of the carpark the white out is pretty and reminds me that this is an alpine environment where anything can happen.
I am glad I decided to come to the snow. It’s been a fantastic and memorable experience. Not only has the skiing been fun and the scenery amazing, but I have also come to realise that I don’t need to stick rigidly to a cycle touring itinerary. I can deviate from my trails, lock up the bike and try different things. It has given my future travels a new dimension that I didn’t anticipate when Ileft home. A dimension I ponder excitedly on the long three hour bus and train journey back to Melbourne.