Monday, July 24, 2006

Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out

Hoo boy. I have skiied at Thredbo in late July almost every year since 1999 and this is the least snow I've seen. The natural snow line is up very high, and it's only because of extensive snowmaking (a whole lot added just this year, luckily) that you can actually ski to the bottom.

Okay, the photos above are not representative; we found the worst part. But this was part of an actual, open run. J and I were falling over ourselves with the hilarity of it all. The sound of a board or boards scraping into that mud and just coming to a stop is ... special. No one else seemed to find it funny! Hey, if life gives you lemons, laugh at a snowboarder.

Oh, come on, those of you who know me know I wouldn't do that in a mean way, and we were also very kindly trying to warn people to stay high where there was a little bit of 'barely-there' snow to slide on through.

See? Pretty snow right at the top.
So some of the weekend was a bit of a trial: slushy snow, out-of-condition legs, areas of rocks and mud to ski through. And some was completely entertaining, including J racing after a toboggan thief with the rightful owners! Gradually starting to get my ski legs back, but it still feels a bit like hard work. I do have a sweet pair of demo skis, 2007 model, never touched the snow before. (It's so nice to have a friend who knows a guy.) Oops, they have some scratches now.

Today it all got so much better, with just one magical ingredient: frozen flakes of water. It started snowing in the late morning and just came down heavier and fluffier for hours. It didn't take much at all to improve some of the runs, and get that feel of what snow is supposed to feel like. Beautiful.

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