The first day skiing with kids for the season usually instills dread.
Invariably it will be bluebird with a foot of fresh powder, and I'll wake, convinced we can still get first tracks - even by ten o'clock when we haven't even managed to co-ordinate 3 pairs of gloves, or find 3 pairs of goggles that aren't broken. Sometimes the day starts to regress into an event horizon such that the harder you try to get everyone's shit together, the further away in time slips the possibility of ever actually skiing. And the more flustered I get, the more indifferent the kids.
Then we discover that since January both Charlotte and Balti have outgrown their boots, which is massively inconsiderate of them. I try to force them into these same boots until they are screaming in pain, to no avail. Lucie fits into Charlotte's boots, which means I have to re-drill her bindings into skis that are already completely riddled with holes. When the boots still won't engage, I have to go to the garage and actually saw out a baseplate matted with ancient petrified Araldite. Having to saw through bindings is definitely a new low point in my ski-tuning career. And having to buy two new pairs of boots at resort prices doesn't elevate my mood any either.
Of course it will only be once we have driven up the road to Hotham and the weather has closed in again with the feral-ometer off the dial that one, or all three of the kids will declare that they've left this or that essential item of weatherproof clothing back at the chalet. At this point it is very challenging to not strangle one of them.
Once we're skiing en-famille though, all is forgiven. We find some pockets of untracked powder above Blue Ribbon, and the kids are skiing well. There is no complaining, and lunch at Yama is excellent with the saki helping me to relax even further.
Earlier in the week I'd cooked parsnip soup and osso bucco which go down a treat on Saturday night. The champagne and relaxing in front of our fire isn't too bad either.
The following (last) weekend I had a brief ski at Hotham on Friday in the rain, which was so awful that I ended up driving down to DP to dig out our driveway instead. After moving more than 2 tonnes of snow, I decided it might be time to invest in a Kassbohrer. Then on to Falls where I'd booked a bed at Nelse for my tele instructor's course.
I figured it would be cheaper me qualifying as a ski instructor than paying somebody else to teach my kids how to ski properly, and Charlotte is already hinting that she wants to tele.
The course was run by APSI and was fantastic, and whilst the conditions at Falls weren't brilliant, it was a terrific weekend of learning, with a great group.
After my very first tele turns last May at Baw Baw, I am now qualified to teach a craft for which there are no clients. Tele must be really easy.
If anyone wants a lesson, I'm cheap.
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