SKI TRIP 2015
We embarked on our ski trip late at night in eager anticipation after months of preparation and a hurried goodbye to our family. An archetypal school-trip Disney movie blinkered overhead on the small T.V, drowning out the snores of students who, despite the excitement and discomfort, had somehow managed to doze into a steady slumber.
As we groggily awoke the next morning, the surrealism of our surroundings struck us; the arrival at Falls Creek has brought the snow, the slopes, the mountains which carved a path in the sky- the gruelling 16 hour bus ride has driven us just north of Melbourne, but we could have just as easily been in the Alps of Canada or Switzerland.
The chairlift, appropriately named Heavenly Chair, led us to the Sun Valley slopes and Cloud 9 café. Yet, after boarding the lift, my initial excitement gradually dissolved as I discovered that the chair literally moved at the pace of a snail. However, as slightly disappointed as I was, I came to appreciate the slow ascent through the sky. To my right was a breathtaking view; mountains which stood tall and proud, overlooking every passer-by, every group of newcomers, every trip, crash and fall.
After our daily morning lesson, we found ourselves challenging our courage and skill by skiing down new slopes. Although at first skiing successfully for more than five metres was an impossible feat to me, after a few hours I became accustomed to the extensions of skis on my feet and managed to ski down a whole slope without stumbling.
The warmth of the hearty meal enjoyed at dinner that night added to our state of drowsiness, as soon after we found ourselves lethargically lazed upon wooden chairs in the living room of Halley’s Lodge. The unveiling of a pack of cards, most likely which had been tossed into a child’s suitcase by a parent who believed in “old-fashioned entertainment”, was the highlight of the evening. We were pleasantly shocked to discover the vast quantity of entertainment a simple deck could provide. As the night grew, additional chairs slowly accumulated to over-crowd the small table; teams were formed; numerous rounds of card-games were played; and an easy aura of chatter spread throughout the small crowd. I will never be able to thank that very pack of cards for bringing us not only entertainment, but together that night.
The second day of skiing brought not only weary eyes and sluggish muscles, but the unwelcome surprise of ski goggle-shaped tan lines which marked our faces. In a careless excitement, many of us had forgotten to slip, slop, slap; a painful reminder that despite the sub-zero climate, the sun still shone.
On the third night, a group of skiers and snowboarders, myself included, excitedly began to descend down ‘Wombat’s Ramble’ for night-skiing. During our first rapid ski down the slope we discovered that the dim lights above provided us with little guidance. Everything was covered in darkness, and we were not quite able to make out the terrain two steps ahead of us. This forced us to heighten our senses and trust our instincts as we were vulnerable, able to crash into another skier, stumble into a tree, at any moment.
All too quickly, the week at Falls Creek was over. The nostalgia which strikes you when you arrive home from ski trip is immense; the lodge, the snow, the slopes which we skied and snowboarded down for five days; even the exhausting feat of trudging up the snow to the lodge; everything is missed, and we all found ourselves reliving the incredible trip through photos.