Well, as it turns out, the weekend before we travelled to Mt Buller it dumped the last big snow of the season onto the mountain in prep for our asult on the summit slopes!
Yes, when we arrived we saw a mountain covered in a nice think snow blanket with about 12 or 13 ski runs open.
We played in the snow with the kids all day on day one. The toboggans are great fun and the kids were not the only ones fighting for a turn. Sophie turned out to be the speed demon! She is only 4 but just wanted to go faster and faster. She discovered that by laying down on the board leuge (spelling?) style she got the best speeds. Not too many injuries, mainly just a lot of wet feet and cold hands. It is such a buzz up there in the snow fields, people everywhere, perfect blue skies, no clouds, no cold wind…I think we jagged the weather on day one!
Oh I almost forgot, to get to Buller you have to go through…wait for it…Bonnie Doon! Yes The Bonnie Doon from “The Castle”, and it is exactly as it was in the movie, a big half full dam with little shacks around it with giant power poles running around it! “how’s the serenity?”
The next day saw Neale M and I take on the ski slopes. He taught me to ski in 10 minutes…hey I am a natural! (I did a couple of hours 15 years ago, I’m told it’s like riding a bike!) We did 3 runs on Burke St which is a small downhill run for beginers, then we went straight up to what I thought was a black diamond run! It wasn’t, but as it turns out it was one of the hardest steepest intermediate run open on the mountain! It was called Wombat, and Little Buller Spur (joined up) It was massive and oh crap!! SOOOO steep. I think I spend most of the run on may back sliding, or walking back up the mountain to get a lost ski or stock. After that I left Neale to do it again while I recovered from the shock! I went and found a slightly easier intermediate run
near the snow board jumps. But in time we tackled the summit run! It was fun and I was spending less and less time on my butt. The summit was stunning on this beautiful blue sky day, with only whisps of cloud rolling over the mountain. We skied until they were going to shut down the lifts…or actually until my body was going to shut down my legs! I was stuffed, no really, I could almost not stand up!
The following day we awoke to yet another blue ski and only a small wind. We drove the hill to the the car park with the kids primed to hire skiis and do lessons.
The house we were in was such a blessing. Just near the front gate of the mountain in a small settlement on the main road to the mountain.
Amy (7) bailed on her lesson, she couldn’t handle ‘Helga’ the ski instructor from hell! She was tough, but not so bad I thought. Amy stood and lost the plot, the other two perservered…but, surprise surprise, after lunch Amy suggested I take her out for our own lessons and in a flash she was ready for the chairlift and a down hill run. Mikaela and Sophie had had enough by then, so Amy and I did 3 or 4 runs up and down Burke St. She so got it! I was proud of her, in fact all 3 of them really gave it a go, they loved it! On one solo run I did while Amy was learning on the kids slope, I followed Aidan Meredith down the mountain. He and his sister Hayley are gun skiers, they have done it before, Aidan was jumping and ‘zooming’ all over the place!
We bid farewell to the mountain, the snow men we had built and what remained of the winter snow on Buller. We took our final photos and drove down the hill. Kind of sad, I guess this was one of those once in a life time experiences…or was it?
Friday saw us returning to Melbourne, passing through Bonnie Doon again…’we’re going to Bonnie Doon’ was sung until I got hit!
Saturday we went to Werribie Victoria open plains zoo – What a great place, you get right in there with the animals kinda, it was like a park in Africa.
Sunday we went to Soverign Hill in Ballarat, that was a great day, got me wondering all about pedestrian community again with all those little houses together and everyone living and working together in close proximity…”we didn’t ‘ave much …but eye we were ‘appy“.
It was odd driving to Ballarat. I saw the area in which we wrote our car off and almost our lives 20 years ago whilst on family holiday. I kind of got strange feelings…I rang Mum up!
Today is a lay day. The team is watching a video and I am reading that book about a guy who got his arm stuck while rock climbing and he hacked it off. I plan to try to get chad and tiff out for coffee today, if I can’t find them I might find some bush and have a walk in the rain…yes, this is Melbourne – rain!