[SUBW-A] Trip Report - XC Skiing 13-14 July 02

David Noble dnoble at ozemail.com.au
Mon Jul 15 12:38:03 AEST 2002


Trip Report - XC Skiing 13-14 July 02

This is a report of the first part of Richard Wood's trip. Richard will 
be down at the snow for the next 2 weeks - with Alex Debono.

Party: Richard "Dickie" Wood (leader), Alex Debono, Siobhan Toohill, 
Dave Noble (writer)

We set off from Sydney on Friday night in Siobhan's Honda Civic. It was 
loaded to the gunwhales with skis, boots, packs and  the bodies of 
Siobhan, Richard and myself. The car was brim full - and I was wondering 
how it would be possible to fit in Alex who was waiting for us at 
Liverpool. When we met Alex, he not only had a huge pack (he was going 
down with Richard for two weeks of skiing) - but a large box of food for 
their food dump. There was no way that we could fit all the stuff in the 
car - or was there? Richard was very determined however - and managed to 
find all sorts of nooks and crannies to put tins of fruit and packets of 
biscuits. Also - I think Siobhan's car is a bit like Dr Who's Tardis - 
its bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Many hours later we arrived at the Beridale Hilton and managed to get 
some sleep. It was a very cold night - but on Saturday morning we 
managed to get up fairly early and repack the car (which was quite a 
task) and head into Jindabine for breakfast. Then to Paddy Pallins to 
hire extra skis etc. Prior to the trip (on the Thursday in fact), 
Richard had bought a second hand pair of skis - and he was confident 
that he could get a second hand pair of boots at Paddy Pallins to go 
with them. He was lucky - he did find a pair of boots that fitted his 
feet - but they didn't fit his bindings - so it was out with the credit 
card again to get a new pair of bindings and a pair of skins to top it 
all off.

The we drove to Guthega on an icy road (chains were needed for the last 
part). While Richard and Alex went off to bury their food for the second 
week and Siobhan went to park the car (which takes a while at Guthega 
since the car park is a km or two away from the resort), I guarded the 
packs and skis.

At last we were off - on an excellent cover of snow up the Snowy River 
towards Illawong Lodge. We crossed the river on the suspension bridge 
and set up camp in a shelteredhollow perched in the hills. After a late 
lunch we skied up and down the slopes near the campsite whilst we 
watched some ice climbers scaling the north wall of Pounds Creek.

On a cross country ski trip - and at higher altitudes it is vital to 
keep up the fluid levels - and this we did. At lunchtime we had had 
helped Richard lower his packweight by having a few cups of cask port. 
That evening we all crowded into my Minaret for the start of a tent 
party - which began with bree and mussels and some fine vintage port. 
When the first bottle of port was finished, Siobhan supplied the second 
bottle which was also consumed quickly and enthusiastically. Somehow 
during all of this, Alex managed to cook dinner for all of us - which 
was gratefully received. With all the port - Richard took on a new 
persona - "Dickie Wood" . He started complaining about how we should 
have stopped on the drive down and used some road kill to supplement the 
rations - and how much cheaper the kangaroo skin would have been to use 
on his skis for grip rather than the skins he had bought at heavy 
financial cost. We then noticed that we had not only finished off two 
bottles of port but also most of the 3 litre cask that Richard and Alex 
had been carrying to keep them supplied for the next week!  (At a future 
slide night - I will show a heavily edited video of the proceedings)

We awoke on Sunday morning with little worse for wear than slight 
headaches (due no doubt to the altitude) -and continued with our skiing 
up and down the nearby slopes. The weather was dull and overcast with 
occasional snow showers. After lunch Siobhan and myself set off back to 
the car and we left Richard and Alex to continue with the rest of their 
adventure.

Thanks to Siobhan's careful driving we had a good trip back to Sydney. 
The only surprise was in Queenbeyan - when we stopped for dinner and I 
found the usual cafe was no longer there.

Dave (on behalf of Richard "Dickie" Wood)

--------------------------------------------------------
David Noble
dnoble at ozemail.com.au
http://www.ozemail.com.au/~dnoble




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