We’re just back from a glorious week at stunning NSW Ski Resort Thredbo where over 68cms of snow fell whilst we were there. They’re sitting on a base of 2m of snow – unheard of for this time of year and what many are calling their best season in a decade. Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect and the conditions were incredible.
I started skiing when I was about 5 years old. My Mum managed to convince her bestie, who had no children of her own, that it would be a lovely bonding experience for her to take me and my siblings skiing once a year – BY HERSELF. Mum & Dad funded the trips and Bronnie the Bestie took three of us in her cool 4 seater red Celica every single year untill I was 15 – after that I discovered boys and friends and combined both to have some epic parent free trips to the snow (anyone remember The Station Resort?!?!?!)
I can’t quite imagine taking one child alone let alone three especially when you’re not mentally and physically prepared to parent three whinging kids that aren’t your own but hats off to you Bronnie. A sportscar, three kids and no motorways – I have no idea how she did it. As usual, we took three adults, 2 cars, hopped on the M7, it still took us 6 hours to get there and all I could think of was the wine I was going to open at the end of it. Miss 6 started the “are we there yet” questions when we drove onto the M2.
A few observations from the past week:
1. The Big Guy is a black belt in packing a car. Playing car boot Tetris is his specialty and he excels in ensuring there are absolutely no available air pockets left when packing a car. However, aiming to leave at 3am is futile, he will never leave anywhere on time.
2. Google maps can sometimes think it’s being clever by taking you an alternative route. However don’t always give Google too much credit. A tour of Canberra city is not exactly fun when you have already been in the car for hours. Actually I can’t ever remember a tour of Canberra city ever being fun.
3. Taking 5 kids skiing is madness, Absolute madness and almost every single person you walk past has no problem telling you the same thing. You will be poor and tired by the end of it but strangely it’s worth the poverty, aches and pains.
4. Getting 5 kids ready to go to the snow in the morning is like…..well it’s impossible to explain. Between helmets, goggles, socks, gloves, thermals, jackets, lift passes, boots, it’s inevitable that someone is going to forget something or lose something on the way. Snowy Mountains inflation isn’t cheap either. Mr 8 decided he was too cool for a jumper under his jacket one day and after FREEZING at the top of the mountain, I relented and went into the local ski shop for a cheap jumper. $80 later, he had a new jumper with a Thredbo logo on it. That was the cheapest in the shop.
5. Speaking of Mountain inflation – 3 x small buckets of hot chips and 4 bottles of drink was $47. No, I am not kidding. When your major opportunity to make money is a total of 12 weeks a year, I guess it’s understandable and the alternative is vegemite sandwiches squished into pockets – I tried that on day 1, by day 2 the cherubs had worked out where the hot chips were sold. The good news is a large coffee is $4.50 – cheaper than home.
6. There’s always a new ski accessory or must have item that everyone seems to have on the fields. This year I am delighted to see that over 99% of skiers and boarders are wearing helmets. We wouldn’t ride a bike without helmets and yet for the last 33 years I’ve skied without a helmet. Thankfully there trend has caught on and they’re much warmer than a beanie anyway!
7. A few years ago it was the skiers in the minority and snowboarders took over the mountain. Times are a changin again! I have no idea why but the boarders have either headed to Perisher or the old crew have made the switch back to ski’s. There’s less hog the mountain, run you over and snarl at one another type behaviour from the boarders and skiers these days and they seem to be at peace with one another. Finally!
8. Thredboland – wow, what can I say. Look, it’s not cheap but it’s worth every cent if you want your kids aged between 3 and 7 to learn how to ski. At $191 a day for ski, boot, helmet rental, lift pass, 2 x 3 hr lessons, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, the kids are at Thredboland from 8:45am till 3:45pm and they’re well looked after, they’re taught how to ski and this is the result – this is Mr 4 after two days of ski lessons at Thredboland.
9. That same 4 year old is also capable of massive tantrums. On the second run down the hill, here’s what happened;
It was all my fault apparently. I had to walk up a deceptively steep hill, in skis, so he could start again. He eventually worked out that chairlifts can do the same thing (sorry for massive videos, cannot work out how to make them smaller).
Despite being mad taking 5 kids and two cars worth of crap to the snow, I have to say that Day 4 was the absolute best day of my life – all the family just hanging out at the snow and having a ball with not a worry in the world. The kids could keep up with Mum and Dad and it was the most wonderful family day we’ve ever had. Watching my kids with no fear tear down the mountain in front of us, beside us and behind us made the Big Guy and I very proud indeed. A skill they’ll learn and keep for life. A big, wonderful and HUGE thank you to my completely fabulous Mum who came down and looked after Mr 1 so that the big kids, the Big Guy and I could have a ski. She’s a gem!
Get down there folks, you won’t regret it!