Saturday, 11 July 2020

Opening Weekend July 1 - 10

The first wave of Covid meant the official June opening weekend had been cancelled, and there hadn't really been any snow since the April-May dump anyway. With Covid numbers starting to mount again, it was impossible to know whether we'd have a season or not, and lift tickets had proven elusive despite our Epic passes. With this in mind, I'd headed up to Narbethong a few weeks back to buy a bunch of ex-rental XC ski gear for the whole family off a friend who was willing to part with 5 sets of boots, poles, bindings and skis for $250!
With snow predicted, Balti and I headed up before the girls who were still in school. 
We woke Friday morning to a dusting of fresh snow; not quite enough to ski, but not too much for an awesome MTB tour all the way down Victoria River, Balti on the eMTB and myself on the Yeti. It was a stunning day, and the fresh snow on the recent bush fire affected terrain was surreal. The whole loop was around 50km, with hundreds of kangaroos jumping over, between and all around us as we descended down to Cobungra. On the way up, it started snowing again and the last 10km was pretty hard going.
By the following morning, there was enough snow for a beautiful morning's XC with the dog, and then we all set off from the Loch carpark all the way out to Mt Loch. It was Balti's first go on XC skis, and he was far from impressed. He got so grumpy that we had to push on without him, and when he eventually joint us on the Loch summit for a picnic, he told us that he'd thrown his stupid skis off the mountain. 
Some beautiful views of Bogong and Feathertop though, and then another XC in the evening out to Dead Timber Hill. The following day, we had a lovely XC all around the trails of Christmas Hills, very pretty.
And that evening we became aware that they were releasing extra lift tickets after managing to open up some extra terrain on Hotham. I jumped on the internet and bagged some for the whole team, and we got 3 days of downhill in average conditions. Meanwhile back in Melbourne, the Covid numbers had suddenly exploded again, and we were facing certain lockdowns. On the Thursday they announced they were shutting down the mountain. It wouldn't open again for the rest of the year. So really lucky I guess in the end, and we also had a lovely time socially at DP, with some nice fires, meals, and friends.

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