I went to an alpine region of Victoria, you’ll note I didn’t use either of the phrases ‘I went skiing’ or ‘I went to the snow’ because none of those things happened. Whilst atop a mountain dotted with toddlers with more sporting ability in their big toe than me in my entire body, I learned a lot about science and expectation, just because you’re staying in a ski lodge, in Winter, during ski season doesn’t mean that you will see snow. Well that’s not entirely true, there was ‘snow,’ but it was made by a machine then blasted out over the centre of a field, the snow was boarded on all sides by rocks and grass, it looked like a badly iced cake.
I spent the weekend in a survival situation, anytime I’m not within Queensland borders I think of it as a survival situation, to state the obvious it was cold, sub zero temperatures. I was completely unprepared; I’d packed some jumpers, a long sleeve shirt and a t-shirt to pop underneath all that. That selection of clothing wouldn’t keep a recently made quiche warm in Falls Creek let alone me.
As soon as I stepped into the crisp mountain air, I felt very let down by my layers of fat; they did absolutely nothing to protect me from the biting cold. I instantly regretted turning down the offers of bed socks, thermals and jackets. ‘I’ll be right’ I said to the waves of wise people, offering me their very important items. Each and every one of their knowledgeable faces flashed before my eyes as I rubbed my thighs with my icy stumps of hands to try and get warm.
On the positive side I drank my body weight in hot chocolate, when it’s cold, salad and anything that’s not brown or fried fails to grab my interest. Over two days in Falls Creek, every meal I ate was accompanied with chips, that’s when you know you’ve given upon yourself, and not just a little but, but given up on yourself at an Olympic level.
I’ve only ever skied once before, in Austria, I was on a student exchange program and we had two days in a ski village. I don’t remember much other than, that I was not a natural, falling off was both painful and humiliating and yes, they have Bounty bars in Austria.
I can’t cope with vast fluctuations in temperature, or varying amounts of rainfall, I’m like an orchid, put me outside at your peril. I never went outside unless it was to bring more fried goods back to my hotel room.
My accommodation was lovely, Glen and Leonie welcomed me to breakfast every morning in their polo shirts, and watched politely as I took off my two jackets, mittens that I’d borrowed from a local, and at least one of the three jumpers I’d stretched over all of that, which goes well beyond anything that poor jumper would’ve experienced in factory testing.
I love it when breakfast is included at hotels, and Glen and Leonie put on a CWA level spread each and every morning. At the buffet I always hit them where it hurts most, cranberry juice, bacon, I pick the strawberries out of the melon heavy fruit salad and I swipe a few Earl Grey teabags for later.
Don’t get me wrong I was highly impressed by the ski lifestyle, eating canapés and drinking cider whilst wearing leggings is truly a wonderful feeling. To button this up like a borrowed parker, I went to the snow, well my body did, mentally I was on a beach in Tahiti imagining every item of clothing I have wasn’t wet.
As originally published in The Courier Mail
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