Sunday, June 26, 2011

Riding and Sliding

A dream of mine is to get barrelled in the surf and cop a face shot skiing pow on the same day. The pursuit of these two natural highs has dominated much of my life.

Living in the mountains, and only 2hrs from the coast, I have a unique opportunity to realise this dream. The main hindrance is the Australian snow conditions. We rarely score dry powder and rarer still is the snow deep enough to produce face shots. Getting barrelled isn’t as big a problem as there is some amazing surf in this part of Australia.

My mate Dane was in town last week, and having similar passions to me, we planned a day sliding in the Thredbo backcountry and a day surfing on the far south coast.

Tuesday 14/06/2011
Our day in the snow was interesting. Gale force winds, raining and pretty much zero visibility. We somehow made it to the Ramshead, Australia’s 4th highest peak. Getting back was a little more difficult. I had to pull the compass out numerous times.

We finally made it back to Thredbo and skied straight down (unopened) super trail. The untracked wet snow somewhat made up for the battle out in the backcountry.



10:25 - Australia highest lift, Karels, not yet open for the season

10:26 - Dane

10:35 - Not much to see

11:00 - Hiding from the wind and rain


11:26 - Dane taking on the peak

11:35 - Dane on the Ramshead

12:42 - After being lost in the whiteness for an hour we enjoy a nice run down unopened super trail



13:20 - Very wet back in the car park

We spent the afternoon drying off and planning our surf trip for the following day.

Wednesday 15/06/2011
We were up pre-dawn, stiff from the previous day touring. I swung past Serges CafĂ© and picked up my French buddy Damien who kindly hooked us up with coffee and croque masseur’s.

The weather got progressively better as was we dropped down from the rainy high country. Arriving at the coast we were greeted with sunny weather and nice waves. We jumped into the cold water for a long 2hr surf.

The surf and cold water brought up quite a hunger which was satisfied by the Tathra bakehouse. The wind had come up by this stage and we spent a frustrating few hours looking for waves. We finally settled on onshore Merimbula Bar. Not one of my better surfs, but as always, its nice to be in the water.

Getting out of our wetsuits and packing the car we watched a beautiful sunset over the mountains. Perhaps a reward for the massive effort we had put in over the previous two days.

8:07 - Wet dirt tracks

10:50 - Arriving at the coast, clean cold waves. 24hrs earlier we were approaching the Ramshead.


13:25 - Post surf chill

14:42 - Surf check with the locals


15:22 - Typical of the afternoon surf, messy and wild

15:39 - Coastal veg

17:29 - The sun sets on two days of adventure


The drive back to the mountains seemed to drag on. We made it back just in time to watch the biggest football match of the year drinking beers and eating delicious hot wings at the Jindabyne bowling club.

We didn’t quite ride and slide in the same day but we did both sports within a 24hr period. Not to bad for a first crack at combining my two biggest passions.

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