There and back again: Perisher from Canberra

The snow is the best day trip from Canberra. We have made it 10 weeks in a row and have got it down to an art.

The day starts at 4:30am when Mark and I wake up to I just can’t wait to be king from the Lion King (trust me, it’s a great way to start the day in a good mood, I couldn’t stand waking up to a buzzing alarm).

We throw on our ski gear, make a coffee (frothed milk and all – I love our Aldi coffee machine) and take our gear down to the car.

I have my car fitted out with far more gear than I had at the start of the season and it makes the drive a lot easier (and safer). Ski racks on the roof give us plenty of room in the Rav4 and driving lights brighten the dark morning drive.

Light starts to break through the horizon about 1.5 hours into the drive at Cooma, and it’s beautiful.

Very heavy, but beautiful fog, on the Monaro Highway
Very heavy, but beautiful fog, on the Monaro Highway

I love the landscape at Cooma – it looks like a Fred Williams painting. The trees could be inky squiggles and the rocks ink blots.

Light breaking at Cooma
Light breaking at Cooma

Once the light is up over the beautiful landscape it doesn’t take long (pending any powder-day traffic) to get to the ski tube. We jump on that, and just before 8:30am, we’re on the snow. Everything going well, we can get from bed in Canberra to skis-on in Perisher in 4 hours.

This Saturday was supposed to have bad weather (rain/snow) come over during the day, so every moment of sunshine felt stolen. We got the absolute most out of every fair-weather run.

We started marking the perfect corduroy in Centre Valley. Since we’ve been skiing every weekend, my legs don’t hurt/get tired anymore, so I gave myself the challenge of making my muscles ache for Sunday. We headed over to Mount Perisher as soon as it opened and had some amazing runs. It’s so much easier to ski aggressively when you can see the snow in front of you (not the terrible visibility of last Sunday which made me feel like an
uncoordinated baby deer trying to stand up). With the confidence of sight, I surprised myself with how fast I was skiing and how good my turns felt.

My tracks on were the first down The Cleft off Leichardt on Saturday morning
My tracks on were the first down The Cleft off Leichardt on Saturday morning
My tracks on sun valley
My tracks are up there on Sun Valley

As soon as Olympic opened at 10am we were on the T-bar. When did they start grooming the side of Olympic? I don’t know who made this decision, but I want to give them a giant hug and buy them some chocolate. You’ve heard my enthusiasm for long, steep runs (i.e. Parachute, which is now unfortunately closed), and now I have another run to pine for all week. I don’t know what this run is called, and I don’t care. It’s seriously beautiful.

Excitement building on the Olympic t-bar
Excitement building on the Olympic T-bar

No time for a break, we headed over to North Perisher and then Blue Cow to make the most of the mountain. I love the runs off the Ridge Chair, but equally I love riding it and watching the mogul skiers. If doing the moguls isn’t impressive enough, they do flips! Check out this video.

At the top of the chair the beautiful views fill in for the entertainment, and then long, scenic, leg-burning runs take me down to the bottom.

Great shadow at the top of Outer Limits at Blue Cow
Great shadow at the top of Outer Limits at Blue Cow
Great view at the top of Outer Limits at Blue Cow
Great view at the top of Outer Limits at Blue Cow

Being human and all, Mark and I took a break for lunch. We met up with some friends and I suggested we eat at Guthega Pub. I had talked up the food and the view, but when ee went there at 1:30pm, the staff said the weren’t taking any more lunch orders. We didn’t want to miss out on the great view, so ordered some German beer and mulled wine instead. The liquid lunch filled the belly, and as usual, good company can make up for almost anything!

2014-08-16 14.24.19
They wouldn’t serve us any food, but the drinks, company and view were good

We skied until we got kicked off the mountain and jumped on the tube home. I met my challenge – my legs were sore. The long, dark drive home was broken up by a delicious dinner at Bredbo Woodfired Pizza. The pizzas were delicious, and being the first solid food we’d eaten since breakfast, they were demolished. We were home by 8:30pm and crashed on the bed. We get a lot out of our 16 hour day trips to the snow.


Long road home
Driving lights come in handy on the long road home to Canberra.

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