So let me just say … Brrrrrrrr!! It’s cold! Its winter here in the town of Hobart, and maybe its just me, but it feels like the coldest winter we’ve had in a long time. I wake up, look at the weather forecast and see a top of 13 degrees, and thats on a good day!
After dragging myself out of bed, having a hot shower and rugging up for the day, Pip and I head outside for her morning wee and we look out to see that Mt Wellington has a beautiful dusting of snow. All this snow makes me want to head to the ski fields, and for the last two weekends, thats exactly what I have done!
The weekend of July 9th, I packed up and headed to a friends place. Leaving Hobart in the dark at 6:30 am I sqooshed myself in between the car seats of Lily (1) and Elsie (4) as the Batchelor family and I went on a grand adventure to Ben Lomond.
After driving for around 4 hours we got to Ben Lomond Ski Village and were faced with a very strong icy wind, and a beautiful snow covered mountain. Unfortuntely the high winds meant that the ski tows would not open as it was too unsafe. Not letting this dampen our spirits we all got kitted out in our ski gear and headed to a sheltered area for a few test runs on the skis and some hard core tobogganing.
Elsie was lucky enough to borrow a pair of gumboot skis from another ski club member (gumboot skis are little plastic skis with straps that you tighten over your own shoes – typically gumboots as they are waterproof). So Elsie started to learn the way I learned. She stood between my legs and wrapped her arms around my knees, while I help her under the arms. Together we whizzed down village road.
She’s certainly a keen little one, I actually had a decent amount of speed and she loved it!!! Her mum Esther was a little more apprehensive, as you might expect. I have got to say that kid shave no fear, they are incredible. Once I got tired of lugging skis up and down the hill, Elsie had a crack at tobogganing with her new friend Magnus. Together they zoofed down the slopes, with the occasional crash landing.
At some point flat slopes weren’t challenging enough, so they found a drop off to do. So we built it up a little so rather than dropping straight down, there was a bit of a down ramp (it was still very steep). Together these two keen monkeys attacked the ramp.
For a 4 year old passenger and 7 year old driver, I would have to call this extreme tobogganing!! I also have to admit that I, as an adult, would have found this terrifying!!! Good thing they didn’t ask me to demonstrate!
The cupcakes were a big hit! They did a fantastic job putting in the ingredients, stirring the mix and then licking out the bowl.
When it came time to ice them we ran out of icing pretty quickly, and they took the first available opportunity to lick their spoons. We topped them off with chocolate freckles. Yum Yum Yum!
So the following weekend, July 15th, I packed up all my gear and together with my friend Mark, headed back up the mountain. The snow report was good, weather forecast also good…couldn’t wait to see it for myself!
We arrived in the evening so we would have to wait till morning to see what the mountain had in store for us.
Lucky for us, by the time we got to the lodge my brother, Pat and his wife, Anna were cooking dinner. So we were invited to join them. We had a lovely evening sitting around chatting.
At 7am I was bright as a button and ready to get up and see what the day would have to offer. So I got up, got ready, had brekky and we headed straight out to buy a lift ticket and organise some ski gear and a lesson for Mark.
While Mark was in the enormous queue at ski rentals, I headed straight for the summit. The conditions were just fantastic, slightly crispy but otherwise a good cover of perfect snow, and a sunny blue sky day. I spent the first half of the day skiing Summit on the front of the mountain and Bills on the back.
Pat, Anna and I did a few runs together, Anna got some cool pics and video of Pat and I doing some little jumps on the rollover. It was so nice to carve up the slopes, with some big sweeping curves and then to tear down the slopes with the wind rushing past my face.
By lunchtime Marks lesson was finished, so after a quick snack, it was time for the beginner to hit the big slopes!! We started with one or two runs down the baby slopes, before heading up the summit and across to the back of the mountain. I’m pretty sure Mark was terrified at this point in time. But the best way to learn is with a challenge!!!
Pat, Anna, Mark and I spent the afternoon on Bills. I did some runs with Mark, then some runs with Anna and some more challenging runs with Pat.
Pat and I walked over to the back of Giblin and had a crack at skiing the chute. It wasn’t fantastic, but it was fun (until Pat crash landed). It was a fantastic day, we skiied our butts off until the tows closed.
Back at the lodge we had some wine and nibbles, and as we were all completely wrecked from the big day of skiing, we all piked pretty early.
Having had an early night, my eyes popped open at 6am. While I wasn’t quite bright as a button, I did get up. I saw an amazing sunrise across the valley, and then headed to the kitchen to make cupcakes.
In case you were wondering, no I don’t make cupcakes every tiem I go up the mountain. Its just that at the time I figured it would be a good way to keep the kids occuspied if the weather was bad, and then there was a special price for buying two packets. So thats just the way it worked out.
So anyway, I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing, and decorated with pieces of mini mars bar. One of the annoying things is that, at altitude thigns don’t quite cook the same as they would at home. So when I thought the cupcakes were done, I stupidly turned the oven off. Then realising they were sagging, and still gooey, I turned the oven back on and cooked them a bit longer. In the end they cooked ok, but were a bit saggy in the middle.
In the afternoon when packing up to go home, I grabbed the egg carton..and realised I forgot to put eggs in the recipe!!! Funnily enough that might have helped the cooking process..ooops!! at least everyone still enjoyed them and didn’t even notice the absence of eggs.
So by the time the cupcakes were all done, people started to get up for the day. This was when I got the chance to wish Pat and Anna a “Happy First Wedding Anniversary”. To celebrate they had a cupcake breakfast!
By this time I was all set to hit the slopes once again. It was another fantastic day. Although we all noticed we were a bit more sluggish than the day before. The weather wasn’t quite as spectacular, it certainly wasn’t miserable, but it was a little windy and cloudy from time to time.
By about 2pm, we celebrated the fact that we had had a FABULOUS skiing weekend, but we were now tired and ready to go home. So we packed up and headed back to Hobart.
Since I bought a season ski ticket…I have many more snowy times ahead. (Don’t expect to read about all of them though)