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Published: July 11th 2018
No more monster queues for us. Up "early" to watch the World Cup semi and the rest of the gang are up at halftime, i.e. 7 am. Feels earlier than 7 am with sunrise at 8am. We're getting the hang of getting ready and we're out the door before we know it and at the bustop at 8. There's already a decent line of people but we manage to get seats on the first bus to The Remarkables. Deaks gets a window seat. They may say "third times a charm", but not when it comes to vacation vomits.
Maximum temp of 1 at Remarks today, -2 minimum. But it feels colder with the wind. We all hit the magic carpet to get Milla boarding on her own. Before we know it, Deaks and Taj have somehow found each other among the goggled masses and that's the last we see of him for a few hours. After some initial hiccups (father daughter arguments/stand-offs about the need to continuously remove and replace ones goggles and/or gloves) Millsy is getting the hang of it and we graduate to the bigger magic carpet. She's boarding and balancing on her own and stopping on her
toe edge as required. That smile beneath her goggles is priceless as she proudly glides down the slope - I can barely keep up as I jog beside her.
Jules has had a few runs and generously subs in to allow me to go up the lifts. I take Curvey Basin up to the 1900 metre summit and slowly board down the blue Centurion run. Apparently Deaks, Dave and Taj chairlifted over me as I slowly glide down the run - it's called Floating Leaf BTW - and in my defence, it was very windy and snowing quite heavily! I could barely see the edge of the trail and didn't fancy becoming a human avalanche. It's a looong lonely run down to the base and my face is cold. Hot Chocolate anyone? The girls had also sort solace from the "blizzard" and snagged a seat inside near a heater. Brilliant!
Tables are like gold in this bustling eatery and we opt to have a warm and hearty lunch while we have a warm and hearthy seat. Jules has her back to the wall (almost sitting on the heater) facing the snow and like a mother meerkat, sits up
high as she looks out for the fluorescent green pants of her estranged baby boy. She somehow spots him coming down the slopes - through a busy bistro, a crowd of skiers and a decent snowstorm. Deaks comes in exhausted. Face covered in snow, ice and snot. He couldn't be happier or hungrier.
With only a few hours of snow time remaining, we head back out. We've not really been in falling snow together before and it is delightful stuff. Deaks convinces Jules to go up the slopes with him while Milla and I go to a nearby hill of snow for some sliding down icy hills and a snow fight. Snowball Hill is about 20 metres high and steeper than it first looks. The snow if fluffy soft in place and ice hard in others. Climbing straight up is a challenge as we slide down with glee every couple of metres. We change tact and zig zag up the face. I make footholes with my size 11s and Milla follows close behind. It's slow going but worth the effort when we sit together and take in the view. Blustery snow stings our cheeks as we prepare to slide
down. A snow ambulance scoots down the track below us and the patient in the stretcher looks a bit like Deaks. Milla assures me Deaks has a black helmet not grey!
Having slid on our bums at pace, we roll around giggling as we pile up at the bottom. We spot Jules and Deaks inching down the Alta run. We meet them at the chairlift gates and it seems to have been an arduous run. Visibility is poor and Jules got collected from behind as she rested halfway down. A few decent stacks has left Jules battered and weary. Time to climb Snowball Hill as a family and Milla gets her much anticipated family snowball fight.
Windier and snowier by the minute and time is running out. One more run for the boys. "SugarBowl!" says Deaks. Sounds sweet? Trust me it's not!
Chairlift to the top on Curvey Basin, board down a blue run to another chairlift and up further to Sugarbowl. The second chairlift stalls multiple times - on account of the blizzard, I'm guessing. Deaks is cold and states his intention to make this a fast run to get dry and warm. Good idea, no need to wait for me. We both stack it on the steep chairlift exit. I clumsily almost smash my face on Deak's snowboard akimbo. The following group try to dodge the human obstacles but can't, one bloke clambers into a scrambling Deaks as he tries to clear the ramp.
Deaks glides away as my blue run floating leaf kicks in on queue. I just can't get toeside on the steeper runs. I'm struggling to see the slope of the snow in front of me and my legs are burning as I sit on my safe heelside. I unintentionally pick up speed as my board points straight. The slope dictates I can't go onto my heels and I'm on my toes briefly before slamming down onto me arse backwards with force. My helmet and goggles are askew and I feel a couple of centimetres shorter. I can't see the bottom of the run but it mustn't be far. As the snowcentre becomes visible through the snow, the relief is palpable. I glide with confidence through the thickening crowd towards the sanctity of the bistro. Snowboarding is fun but maybe three days is plenty.
The girls boards are missing from our rack. To my surprise they've been out there in this snow and Milla is improving every run. She loves to go toeside and Jules has worked out that heelside is probably difficult, if not impossible with her bodies proclivity toewalking. I think we've all earned a Cookie Time Cookie!
The snow and clouds obscure the descending view today and we fill our time with thumb wrestling and knuckles. Home for a warm shower and some Fat Badger pizza. Had planned to eat out - too cold and too tired. Someone has to go and get the dinner. You only want to walk up Ballarat St once a day and with all the other drivers in their pyjamas, it looks like it's me. The pizza is going to be 45 minutes. I return some hire gear we forgot to return and stroll around town. 45 minutes is a long time, it's cold and just started to rain. That pub looks warm! I sneak a pint of Montieths and edit some photos from today's activities. 45 minutes turns into an hour at the very busy Fat Badgers and they offer me a complimentary beer as compensation for the delays. Don't mind if I do.
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