|Snowy Perisher car park|
|All shut up at the Parks office|
My buddy James was fortuitously in town for work and we planned our first turns for the season for Saturday morning.
After spending a long time trying to find my gear, we were off up the hill to Perisher. The roads are very poorly managed outside of the official ski season, sections of bullet proof ice and snow drifts were common. We also came across a number of cars off the road and some that had been abandoned. At one stage we passed the Fire Brigade 4WD coming down a hill towards us, sideways. The fellas in the car reminded me of laughing clowns from a town fair.
|Icy roads and abandoned car at Smiggin Holes|
Although the road hadn’t been cleared we continued past Perisher village up to Mt Perisher. We went for a quick ski up Towers from the Mt Perisher base station. When the resort is opened, I like to ski Towers as fast as possible. Sadly, despite the 30cm of fresh snow, the lack of base meant that any turn could leave you tangled in up in errant shrubbery preventing speeds greater than granny pace. Indeed, it was a good test for my Dynafit bindings as one such bush stopped my skis dead leading to a double ejection over the handle bars into my first face plant for the season.
|Not the best skiing|
|James on Towers run Mt Perisher|
After our run down Towers it was back to the car. The road still hadn’t been cleared and we soon got stuck trying to drive back down to Perisher Village. James had some chains which we fitted and got out of there.
|A few dramas after our crappy ski|
A bacon and egg roll and a coffee cleared the lingering cobwebs from the beers consumed the previous night. Driving up the hill, the weather was much improved, clear skies and heaps of snow.
|Looking good on the Main Range|
Unfortunately, the road still had not been cleared and chains were again needed.
|Roads still not cleared|
|James was getting good at putting the chains on|
Eventually we reached a point where we couldn’t get through even with the chains. We parked the car got our gear together and began the long trek out to the Main Range. We first negotiated the only just covered walking track down to the Snowy River.
|Survival skiing over the pavers to the Snowy River|
|Snowy River crossing|
|Heading out to Mt Northcote|
|Me admiring the Carruthers chutes|
We climbed up Mt Clark from the Club Lake Creek and we greeted with our first view over the range to the west. We could see the snow on Mt Bogong, around 100km away
|Mt Bogong shows itself over the clouds from Mt Clarke|
I watched James score some nice turns for the first 50m or so and then heard an all too familiar sound out in the Australian BC, ice. Somehow, despite the stable cold temperatures over the weather event, many aspects had become horribly icy.
|James, first real turns for the season|
|My first turns, good to be back into it|
Another quick break and it we were back on the climb heading up to Mt Lee.
|The slog up Mt Lee|
|Heading towards Carruthers Peak|
|Best view in Australia?|
We spent some time taking photos and enjoying the view. It was so nice up on the peak, I felt like having a nap. Usually it would be a great ski with 300m of vertical and then around 3km gentle rolling country back to the Snowy River but it was not to be, the ice awaited. We battled our way back taking the odd turn in the wind blown snow whenever we could.
The climb back up to the car, around 100m or so of vertical, was painful for my shell shocked feet. It wasn’t too long before they were released from their plastic prisons and we were off back down the finally cleared road.