Along the Away

travel, dream, create, inspire, appreciate

Skiing was a big deal for me as I have only done it once in my lifetime, and it was on the disaster scale. I was seventeen, on a student trip to the USA west coast on the G’day USA program. We went to the snow somewhere in the extreme north west of the country, I can’t even remember the name, it was south of the Canadian border. Our group instructor seemed bored and not that bothered. He gave us a half-hearted lesson before putting us all on the chairlift up to the top (it seemed like a ginormous mountain, but I concede that time may have increased the dramatic scale in my memory). The chairlift was fun, but when we got to the top I didn’t know what to do! I put my feet down, slid off the chair and then kept sliding. Down. The. Mountain. The good news is that I didn’t crash. The bad news is that I didn’t know how to turn or control my speed at all, so I picked up speed until I was literally airborne for half of the descent. When I neared the bottom I saw that it leveled out to end in an excavation pit where there were trucks and bulldozers (again, memory scale maybe be slightly distorted). So to avoid skiing off the cliff, I had to throw myself sideways, where I cut my cheek on the ice. Epic ski fail.

Beginners Lesson at The Remarkables

Cut to 15 years later and I thought I’d give it another go.

Beginners Lesson at The Remarkables

Because I was on my own I visited Snow Biz the afternoon before to book in a gear hire beginner package which included ski and clothing hire, lessons and bus transport up the mountain. I rocked up very early the next morning to get fitted for skis, pants and jacket then was one of the first to get in line for the buses, which depart right outside the shop. There are two options – The Remarkables and Coronet. I did some googling which would be best for a beginner and decided to go to The Remarkables.

Beginners Lesson at The Remarkables

The bus ride was easy, though pretty intense considering the steep, winding climb on a narrow, snowy road! We arrived and I felt a bit out of the loop on what/how. Everyone was there in friend or family groups and seemed to know what they were doing. The intrepid solo traveller is not immune to occasional pangs for the comfort and ease of being with friends. But the only option is to brush it aside and make it work. I watched for awhile and then changed into my ski boots there in the car park and then trudged up to the people-conveyor-belts (what are they called?) and to the building with everyone else.

Beginners Lesson at The Remarkables

I figured it out from there – I put my bag in the storage room, leaned my skis on one of the numbered stands, went to the cafeteria for a coffee, snapped some photos and then it was time for my first lesson!

Beginners Lesson at The Remarkables

Luckily there were some other solo peeps in my group so we quickly forged a bond of support to keep each other’s morale up and clapped and cheered our gradual improvement. Our instructor, a twenty-something Welsh guy, was absolutely wonderful. Funny, kind and understanding – he played a huge part in building my confidence. We had a two hour morning lesson, stopped for a lunch break and then had an afternoon two hour lesson.

Beginners Lesson at The Remarkables

I couldn’t believe that by the end of the day I was capable of skiing down the beginner slope, controlling my direction and speed and most importantly STAYING UPRIGHT!

Beginners Lesson at The Remarkables

I had a blast the whole day, the lessons were fun, the environment was stunning and I felt pretty proud for having tried something new that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I would love to come back another time for a week or so, and I have to say, I think it would be a lot of fun with a group of friends. Add it to the travel list :-)

Beginners Lesson at The Remarkables

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Sydney based, coastal dwelling. When I'm not at work I'm somewhere outdoors, or in the yoga studio, or at my local cafe, or pottering at home.

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