Gayle here, fresh from the Snowy Mountains after an awesome trip with the guys at Mojo Snow (the guys that bring all you surfing legends Mojo Surf) to Perisher! You heard from Jordan last week about how some of our team got on with their weekend in the snow at Thredbo a few weeks ago … well the rest of the Ultimate Travel crew didn’t want to miss out on all the fun and it was our turn the weekend after!
For the week before we went, the office was getting very excited about the huge amounts of snow that had been sent Perisher way (there’s a great website that has lots of snow cams for you to see how much has fallen – download the app if you can)! Most of the group that went to Perisher this year had been before, but there were a couple, myself included, who had never been skiing or snowboarding, so the build up over the week really added to the excitement and anticipation!
Our trip started with a long journey from Sydney to Jindabyne. It takes about 6 hours to get there, if you’re lucky with traffic, so make sure you’ve sorted out all your coach journey essentials (which we covered in a previous blog). Bear in mind that when they say it is 3 hours before we stop, they mean it! This includes toilet breaks! So don’t overdo the liquids – it can be a very tense last 40 minutes to the next stopping point – and yes, I am talking from personal experience!
We got to where we were staying at about 1am and even though we knew it was an early start for breakfast and the coach to the mountains, that didn’t stop us from messing about in the room. Luckily, we were far too excited in the morning to realise how tired we were! After a great buffet style breakfast, we find ourselves on the bus again and making our way to the mountain. It took a while to get there because the snow was so heavy and we had to stop to put the chains on the tyres, but the drive up to the mountains is so lovely!
Finally, we’re on the mountain, and as soon as you pull up, you’re off to get your gear and get started. I was booked on to a lesson with a couple others from our bus so we said goodbye to the rest of the group and shuffled off excitedly (and a little nervously) to the meeting point.
Our lesson was awesome! The instructor we had, Brody (great name dude!), managed to make falling over, cracking your head, tumbling down the mountain and such like, a hell of a lot of fun! He was really patient when people just didn’t ‘get’ a particular part of the lesson. I discovered that I actually can’t get up on my board if I’m facing down the mountain and he spent a lot of time helping me with that. I also struggled with them bloody T-bar lifts … no worries, Brody to the rescue!
Once our lesson was finished, it was lunch time, we went from where we were in Smiggin Holes to meet the rest of the group in Front Valley, where there’s a food court style meeting area. Once refuelled, we headed out with our group for the afternoon …
That’s when it got serious!
We snowboarded until we literally could not snowboard anymore! And I found that things I struggled with in the lesson, suddenly all came together. I still couldn’t get up when facing down the mountain but I impressed myself with how quickly I progressed while going down the mountain backwards!
Be prepared to fall over though – a lot! I took more than my fair share of less than fun tumbles! And make sure you can laugh at yourself because it is inevitable that you will stack it every time you try and get off a chair lift (if you’re new to it anyway!) There was always some young child waiting to have a good giggle at my expense at the top of the mountain as I squealed my way off the chair lift after they had just made it look so effortless. Luckily, although I did come away with a few bruises, my ego took the brunt of them! There were no serious injuries for our group at all! (If you, or anyone you’re with does get hurt while on the mountain, remember these simple tips for first aid.)
At the end of the day, we headed back to our accommodation, which was basic but cosy at the same time. Dinner was included and we got to choose and cook our own steak before heading to the buffet to pile lots of yummy veg and salad options on to our plates. Then off we went to the pub. There was only one bar but it was a really nice one with great music and a couple of pool tables! Add to that all your new friends and you have a great recipe for a really fun evening. The Ultimate Travel crew represented in true Ultimate style… but I can’t tell you about that! (What happens on the mountain and all that jazz …)
The second day was very much an ‘eat, sleep, repeat’ affair except for the amount of time we had on the snow. We understandably had to cut the day a bit shorter so that we could make our way back to Sydney. There were a couple of sore heads and many, many, many sore muscles! (Mainly mine!) Today, a few of us made our way to Blue Cow which is the highest run of them all. The temperature at the top was -4 degrees with a wind chill factor of -7 … a far cry from the weather that you’ll find on your way down the East Coast!! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go down Blue Cow because strong wind meant that all the chairlifts were shut and I didn’t want to get stuck down the mountain with nothing but the dreaded T-bar to get back up with … it would have been a long walk! But the other three who I went across with were all more experienced than me so they gave it a go …
I have to say, by the end of the second day, my whole body was screaming at me, I was tired and so so cold but I was already thinking about how soon I would be able to go back! We had so much fun with the Mojo crew and the rest of the group, from the moment we got on the bus to the moment we arrived back in Sydney. The guys from Mojo were energetic, entertaining and lovely the whole time!
I never thought I would have my first snow adventure in Australia – just goes to show, we really do have it all here!
Check out our snowboarding legends’ efforts in the videos below!