Saturday, 8 October 2016

The Hunt for White October: episode II

Charlotte and I spent a very special couple of days on Swindler's and Machinery.
We stayed Thursday night at DP to get our packs sorted and wax our skis for spring. After a reasonable start, we had a nice (albeit on the slow side, despite the wax!) run down Mary's and stopped for a snack down the bottom where it was a relief to get out of the wind. Then up the other side where Charlotte began to master the art of skinning and kick turns.
It was obvious that the weather was going to get worse before it got better, and with nobody about we decided to stay Friday night in Derricks Hut to avoid the predicted heavy rain and ferocious winds. 
We had noodles for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, and Charlotte gave me an exotic dance exhibition, as well as practicing her charcoal sketching, soap-making and random arson. I was glad to have packed the mini-beatbox, but forgot a book, some sketch-paper and pencil or cards. A bottle of wine would have been nice too. I mostly passed the afternoon cutting firewood of which there is plenty, and also a few walks up the hill. The warm winds were causing a massive melt, and as we dozed off next the fire, the heavy rain arrived. 
A mild freeze in the early hours of Saturday finally saw the snow consolidate into a slicker acceptable corn. I probably climbed and skied around 3000m on one of the best days of the season. Charlotte was terrific, and we scored some very fine lines.
On the way home we had a significant tyre drama that was all going horribly wrong until we were rescued by the very kind Phil.
Anyway, a great weekend pretty much summed up in the following clip: 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The Hunt for White October

We had the "unusual" weather phenomenon of what can only be called a cyclone arriving from Antarctica this week. I've never seen anything like it. Of course when the entire state of SA ended up with no power, the politicians started blaming renewable energy - go figure!
Whatever, it meant plenty of floods, cold temps, and lots of snow for the alpine regions - right on cue for the closing of resorts. Again, go figure!
Anyway, we had a rather tense drive up the hill on Thursday night. not because it was in any way dangerous but because one of us wanted chains and the other (the driver) didn't. 
After an early morning XC in spectacular conditions, we headed up the hill and had a nice run in soft snow amongst the trees of Blue Ribbon on Friday morning with the kids getting a ride up on daddy rope tow. Daddy rope tow then got the car stuck in snow and really needed chains, which failed and spun a tonne of dirt into the car and required the removing of a wheel to unwrap from the axle. Fun and games. We also had a very nice ski tour en famille to JB and back in intermittent heavy snow and sun. Then a nice meal at home.
Saturday was pretty crummy weather wise so ML did a bit of painting and I did some drawing. JP rang to inform me that the snow up on the hill was awful, so I suggested he drive down and watch the GF, a cracking game with the Doggies ending up triumphant.
Sunday was sunny and we headed off for a lovely tour out towards Loch. The snow was very sticky which meant that we hardly even needed skins. Balti's ski touring rig simply consisted of loosening his boots on his regular skis (he had a small tour with me up Big D after the Granny and is massively in to skinning!). It was Lucie's first proper ski tour with skins and a Dynafit rig and she did really well, and was enthusiastic.
With a good freeze, we could be ski-touring in to November!