Things that can only happen at the snow

I am sitting in Thredbo writing this week’s blog with more snow outside than there would be mid-ski season in August, and yet it is only June. I'm jealous of myself - I am that excited.

Let me start by saying I haven’t skied in two years. At first, I just wanted a season off from ten years of back-to-back winters. Then family illness prevented me from heading overseas, so before I knew it, 731 one days had passed.

Win a ski trip to New Zealand, details at the bottom of the blog

Now snowmaggedon has arrived in Australia with the biggest storm in the history of snow storms, in the history of the world, or so it appears to someone like me, who hasn’t seen powder in that long. So this week I became a storm chaser, and just like that, I threw my neglected ski gear into my car and headed south to talk of one metre snow dumps with more to come. For the record, that talk was right, with more on the way.

I am not good with spontaneity, it’s the control freak in me. I like to plan ahead and have everything in place, tick off a list of what to pack and avoid the experience of opening my ski bag for the first time in 24 moons at my hotel, rather than at home, to find that both Christmas had arrived (in the shape of three pairs of snow gloves I have no recollection of buying) and a flock of rats had regurgitated their young, or so it smelt. Yep, that happened.

Aaah ‘the snow’ as we call it in Australia where so many things exist that would cause non-snow folk to shake their heads in disbelief. I mean really, who would keep a piece of luggage unpacked for two years unwashed and all, and expect everyone else to relate? Not those summer folk, no sirreee.

Not to mention what you find in your ski pant pockets a year after you last saw them. Half eaten Clif bars, lip balm, phone numbers and dollars you’d forgotten you had.

But then who in the city would happily wear a sunglass tan with panda eyes, and still go out in public? In some ski towns goggle tans are a mark of respect, like a facial tattoo saying: ‘look how many days I’ve spent on snow this season’.

Though personally, I think as much of those hard-line goggle tans as I do of those silly jester hat people. You know the ones, who think it fun to wear something floppy made of felt and worthy of a Punch and Judy show just because they're at the snow. You won’t see that walking down Pitt Street on a weekday afternoon.

Then,  only at the snow will you stand in a line of strangers and happily yell ‘single’ at the top of your voice. It’s quicker to get on the chairlift that way when there’s room for just one.

Only at the snow will you choose to wear clothes designed to make you look fat. Piling layers on to look like a Michelin Man with just your little nose and cheeks poking out. Warmth wins over image every time.

Only at the snow will you ditch your friends and expect them to forgive you for it. When there’s powder to be had, all friendship bets are off until last lifts, then it’s best buddies again at the bar.

Only at the snow will you find yourself in a fancy restaurant dining on fine cuisine, with fellow diners on neighbouring tables dressed in ski clothes and ski boots, and neither of you will skip a beat. Respect to those who push through from après to dinner.

Only at the snow will you hand over your next mortgage payment for overcooked meat and a handful of fries, and not bat an eyelid. No point in complaining - it’s been this way for years and is part of the charm, right?

Only at the snow will you drink shots as though you were eighteen, and do it out of someone else’s belly button who just happens to be reclining across a bar, and not ask a question. Then you’ll do them out of glasses stuck to a ski with four other people at the same time.

Only at the snow do you return from a holiday more physically wrecked than when you arrived. You don’t see colleagues return from their summer holidays begging for some more time off to recuperate from the time they just had.

Only at the snow do folks openly lie (it was waist deep, no it was neck deep, oh my god it was over my head) and you accept it though you know it to be a non-truth and you pass it on, and add your own porkies to embellish their tale.

Truth is we all know on a ski trip that we'll never stick to budget no matter how many Excel spreadsheets we write up before hand, that we'll swear to eat healthy all week until the first sight of hot chocolate and donuts, because surely we'll burn that (and the lunchtime nachos, dinner pizza and bodyweight in wine) off just by skiing a few turns, and that we will live in perpetual fear of trying on last year's ski pants in the hope they still fit.

Why do we do it? Because excitement gets the better of us every time and life really is a bubble of fantasy above the snow line where we are invincible, as loaded as a Rockerfeller and better dancers than Justin Timberlake at three am on the Keller nightclub dance floor (those shot skis are to blame).

Plenty of time to deal with reality when we get back home.

What do you do or see at the snow that you would never dream of doing, or have the chance of seeing back home? Post a comment below.


Thanks to Emirates Airline who is offering a special return fare from Sydney to Christchurch from only $499 and NZ Ski Tourism Marketing Network you and a friend have the chance to win a five night winter ski holiday trip to New Zealand.

You'll fly on Emirates award winning airline (with a 30kg baggage allowance for all those ski jackets), have a hire car to get around, stay two nights at the swanky The George Hotel in Christchurch with some city activities and three nights at Ski Time Lodge and Apartments in Methven, the ski capital an hour from Christchurch, for a day's skiing at Mt Hutt and a days skiing at Porters ski field. Click here for full terms and conditions.

Just post a comment on today's blog topic below for your chance to win. Most entertaining gets the prize.


We are so excited about our #misssnowitall Instagram competition this year and with a trip to Japan up for grabs who wouldn't be?

Thanks to the Japan experts at Liquid Snow Tours and Hakuba Hotel Group we have a trip for two to Hakuba in Japan flying direct with Jetstar from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne with seven nights at the conveniently located Hakuba Springs Hotel, daily breakfast, five of nine day multi-resort lift passes for the Hakuba Valley, welcome drinks, transfers, in resort assistance and concierge service. Now that's how you do Hakuba in style.

To enter just tag your winter inspired Instagrams with #misssnowitall.

We will choose five finalists each week for our gallery above, and come September, our guest judge will choose our finalists from the gallery and you get to judge the ultimate winner of this fantastic week in Japan. Click here for full terms and conditions.

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