Friday, July 31, 2009

Skiing and the Seafood Feast

Well it's late July and the snow has been falling. Our own Masterchef had layed her hands on a ridiculous amount of seafood so we jumped in a car laden with ski gear, muscles, oysters, crabs, prawns and whatever else you can think of and headed south for the hills.

An early start Saturday scored us third row in the Perisher carpark. After swilling a coffee, scoffing an egg and bacon roll and managing to meet up with a crew of about 8 we headed for Mt Perisher. Along the way two decided peeing was more important than skiing so we thought maybe we should just loose them here. Unfortunately they knew where we were going and ski as fast as any of us so decided against it..... a good choice I think since one had the transport and the other was the seafood head chef!

Out on Mt Perisher the sun was out, the snow was dry and the cover just about complete. Here's a shot of Mt Townsend from near the top of Mt Perisher with Paralyser taunting me in the foreground. If I'd had my skins and a buddy to tour with I'd have headed out and slayed some fresh lines on that sucker :-p

Along the way we randomly stumbled upon Swede and Little Swede who both seemed pretty enthusiastic to join up with us and head for Blue Cow, so the long haul over begun. A few lifts later we arrived.

Rollercoaster was actually in surprisingly good condition and made for a fun fast ski to the bottom of the Ridge, but then the reality check. Skiers, lots of them, all were in the queue for the Ridge. Finally to the front and up we went. On the way I spied what I had come to Blue Cow for. Perisher's best terrain, the Rock Garden and Kamikaze. Here's hoping they're not an icey mogully mess.

Kamikaze was gooooooooodddddddd. The snow was soft and dry to the top. Best lines I've had in Australia this winter. Second time round I headed for the rockier steeper higher entry but ski patrol had ruined the party. The open sign last run had turned to a closed sign. Back to the lower entry.

Grumbling tummies were calling us to lunch soon enough. Blue Cow terminal looked stupidly crowded so we decided to head for Guthega Pub..... until half the group (my half) got foiled by closed terrain leaving us at the bottom of a very crowded Terminal Quad. By the time we reached the top the rest were already settled in at Guthega Pub so we just settled into Blue Cow Terminal after finding a spare table. After a belly full of roast turkey and vegies along with a passionfruit cheesecake for dessert I dragged my sleepy head out for a bit more skiing despite the strong urge to curl up in the sun in a hammock for the afternoon. Turned out getting stuck in Blue Cow for lunch was a blessing in disguise as it gave us the chance to grab a few more runs in the Rock Garden and Kamikaze area while the others lounged around Guthega before traversing themselves to death to get back. Again the skiing was good, the temps cool enough to keep the snow dry in the shade and the queue at the base of the Ridge ggooooooorrnnnneee. Rockgarden was, strangely enough... rocky! Kamikaze again was good.

After totally buggering ourselves we met up with the others and made the long haul back to the parking lot at Perisher........ slowly. I made the dodgey call to ski a little face down to Pleasant Valley instead of the boring old een groomer. Oooppss. Crusty hell hole that challenged my skiing somewhat. Then Swede the cheeky bugger comes down behind, steezey style all the way and pulls up with a big happy smile. "A bit crusty hey". I guess that's what a bunch of winters ski mountaineering in Chamonix does to you. The long haul back done we gave up as the skiing had been good and plenty. Seafood and drink was calling.

Head Chef marshalled the troops and cooked an awesome seafood feast, despite the dodgieness coming from the helpers. Something to do with poo tubes, head sucking and thankfully prawns. Dozens of oysters, prawns, crabs and mussells later we collapsed in a heap and headed off for a little sleep before another big days skiing.

Sunday morning I headed up Thredbo way with my old ski buddies from way back. We got to Thredbo. It looked damp, grey and windy as hell. After coffee and cinnamon donuts an easy touring day out of Dead Horse Gap was decided on. Well, my skins tips did not fit my new skis, one of the party did not have skins so was booting and the snow down low overnight had gone from dry to... uuummm..... sticky unconsolidated pig snot. One climb and one run later we called it a day and met up with some of the others for lunch who had bailed on skiing Sunday who had poor excuses like bad backs and being 7 months pregnant ;-)

Berry pancakes, mother plucker burgers and a few canolis/apple turnovers later we packed up the car, grabbed Kaz and troopered home. Once again Sutton Forest Maccas was festy and this was soon was followed by the stinkiness of the city, then bed, then work. Bugger!

The weekends full gallery is at:
Seafood Gallery

Oh well the forecast is good so I'll just have to do it all again sometime very soon :-)