It’s like bloody summer now, so.. pretty obvious this is an backdated post. (Very backdated at that.)
So I actually went on a ski trip in July ’08, and drove up there for the first time. Very interesting, very exciting, and so very fcuking tiring.
*Refer to ZM’s recount of the trip (day 1, day 2 and day 3) for a different perspective.
Three days, two nights. Random snaps of the trip, too many pictures to share in a single post.
So we (where we = NZ MS Nick ZM LS V and me) rented a Toyota Tarago (comfy 7 seater), and started off on the trip at about 0230hrs in the morning.
And so began the most tiring drive in 2008.
This is just a rough driving route from Google Maps, to give you an idea of the distance involved.
And Mr Google Maps said: estimated distance = 388 km, which is about 5 hours 10 mins.
Well, he wasn’t too far off the mark.
.. we reached Falls Creek at about 0830hrs.
So ZM had the wheel in the first leg, and I was the navigator. Everyone else slept.
It was a really dark (read: nearly pitch black, punctuated by the blazing lights of passing trucks) drive, and we continued that way until it was almost 0600hrs. At that point, ZM and I both began to black out. Despite having music playing, bottles of energy drinks and endless bitching, we were still falling asleep. So it was time to get out of the car, walk around and wake ourselves up before continuing.
ZM failed abysmally at staying awake though, so I took over (while the bugger went into a dead faint at the back). Fortunately, daybreak had come so it was a little easier to drive.
First picture at this part; the pictures taken earlier at night were horrible.
This was taken at the base of the mountain. Yes, Falls Creek is on top of a mountain. We hired snow chains for the car at this point, and proceeded upwards.
The drive was a welcome change from the straight and seemingly endless road, with turns and turns and turns and oh, just for variety.
And a nice speed limits ranging from 20kmph to 40kmph. Not that I would’ve dared to drive any faster; I had the lives of six other people in my hands. Everytime I felt like falling asleep, all I had to do was to visualise the car flying over one of the bends and crashing down into the woods below. And I’d stay wide awake.
I took the opportunity to stop at this spot for phototaking – actually, to rest. At this point of time, Nick, NZ and V were already awake.
So we carried on upwards, with other angry drivers trailing behind me because I was driving too slowly. They would tailgate for a bit, then give up and simply overtake. Rinse and repeat for seemingly eternity.
And finally, SNOW! Everyone woke up at that point.
FALLS CREEK AT LAST!
After paying the toll, it was time to put the snowchains on.
Car parking came after that. I dropped the rest off, and Nick kept me company on Operation Park-Bigass-Car. Needless to say, I took quite a while because my parking fcuking sucks.
We regrouped, and made our way up to Halleys after that. Yep, the same Halleys I stayed at in the ’07 ski trip. Dumped our bags and all ready to roll! Unfortunately.. there was some mixup on the issue of equipment hire, so we were stuck at the shop.
The sibei tired duo posing with style.
And it took quite a while, but we finally emerged ready. NZ was the only other person who took a snowboard; everyone else stuck to skis.
On board the ski lift. We had a minor episode at the lifts every day.
Day 1: Nick crashed into some fellow’s skis because he couldn’t brake in time.
Day 2: LS crashed into some lady because she too, couldn’t brake in time.
Moral of the story – if you can’t brake, you’d better bloody fall on your ass before you hit someone/something!
Fast forward to the usual exhorbitant lunch. They had fun learning, I had fun relearning (and falling down).
Hiding from the snow, it was a literal blizzard at work. This was where the snowboards came in handy.
Crowding around the fireplace at night. Warmth is goots! Not to mention the wonderful meals that always came at dinnertime; Halleys is always good at that.
Lunch with NZ at some pub, crowded place. Reason? We always got separated from the rest.
The snowboarder at work. He and I were opposites. I would plonk my ass on the snow because my thighs were burning up from the strain, and fall very very frequently. He would be falling very infrequently, but when he did he crashed and burned big time.
There were other things that happened, like the time when the skiers took the wrong track and went down an intermediate route. Happy ending of course; they fell, and fell, and fell. I reckon I would’ve died similarly had I been there.
Or the feeling of satisfaction, when I snowboarded. Feeling alone and on top of the world, the wind howling past my ears, and the thrill of knowing that I could fall on my face anytime at all. Keeping upright and moving was exhilaration in itself.
Or the time when NZ and I got stranded on a cross country route, and had to bunnyhop/dig our way out because the snow was too level and soft to allow any forward movement.
Our snowboards stuck in the snow; look at how deeply the boards were stuck.
.. or that momentous incident involving a giant snowball.
The trip came to an end all too soon, and this time ZM took the drive down the winding mountain road. He was puzzled at my recount of the experience, and enjoyed himself swerving around the bends at high speeds. That lasted all the way until he realised everyone on the car was close to throwing up from motion sickness. Resignation to a crawling drive came right after.
The trip back home was largely uneventful, and that concluded the experience. Falls Creek for 2009, anyone?