With the warmer weather and longer days, we have been able to pack more into our snow trips than just endless skiing.
This trip we stayed at a lovely lodge in Jindabyne and enjoyed some après-ski with wine, cheese and dips – all of which taste better after a day of skiing (and being starving from missing lunch).
I haven’t stayed in a lodge other that the SASC lodges before, but was comforted to find that Gundaroo lodge in Jindabyne has the same alpine-community feel.
On the second day of the sunny weekend we were joined by Linda and Zac. We were able to split the two-days free skiing to give them one each – which is a great move by Perisher to get more people on the mountain, and great for us because it means more people to ski with! To avoid the long line that the free-days-skiing-to-friends-for-Freedom-Pass-holders had created, we drove to Guthega to start the day. I hadn’t driven to Guthega before (I wouldn’t have had the guts in my car when the road was snowy), but it’s a very nice drive – if you hang on.
On the way up I was struck by how many dead trees there are – apparently this is due to the eucalyptus weevil. This horrible little sucker has a particularly craving for snow gums and eats the new growth, eventually causing the trees to die. It seems like there is a whole layer of growth coming back in the forests though, so I’m optimistic the trees are going to be OK.
It makes me happy to see animals get more active again in the spring. We had a great lunch at Eyre and were joined by a very curious and healthy-looking snow-crow.
We visited Island Bend, a beautiful camping area on the way to Guthega. A mob of kangaroos popped up their heads and looked at us, just like we looked at them. There were also wallabies, wombats and echidnas.
Australian animals are seriously cute, and a little bit scary. I have a lot of admiration and a healthy respect for the spines and claws. I’d love to stay at Island Bend in the summer and hang out with the critters. I imagine there are some great bushwalks in the area, and plenty of beautiful scenery. This landscape might be the perfect ease-out of snow-life for me: beautiful gums and mountains, but nothing attached to my feet.