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Mount Hotham Australian

Snowy Mountains Skiing

Friday, August 03 2007

Lawrence looking very happy about going skiing.

I got up early and was picked up by my brother Lawrence in his Land Rover for our ride up to the Snowy Mountains. Lawrence's Land Rover is now just 9,000 kilometers short of completing one million kilometers (621,371 miles); Lawrie does like to get his monies worth out of his investment in vehicles.

It was a lovely drive up to the snowy mountains.

We were joined by Steve and Cynthia, and their two children Riana and Brendon. They were in their own vehicle as the Land Rover was packed full of our gear for the week ahead.

Mount Hotham is located in the north west region of the state of Victoria in Australia. Yes, I know snow covered mountains are not in most people's view of Australia but they are there.

Click here to see the general route we took.

We were headed for a small village just before the ski resort of Mt. Hotham called Dinner Plain. Dinner Plain is a very beautiful little village.

This photo is sun rise over Dinner Plain as seen from the apartment we stayed in.

Saturday, August 04 2007

Andy the snowboarder.

My good friend and skiing (or I should say snowboarding) buddy Andy joined us later that Friday night. We all headed to Mt. Hotham for a day of skiing. The weather was a bit nasty on the Saturday, very fogy, cold, and it snowed most of the day. But this was no deterrent for the hardened skiers.

Well actually Lawrence was not able to start his Land Rover in the morning due to some diesel fuel he bought in Omeo that was not compatible with the very cold temperatures we experienced. He got it going later that day and joined us skiing after spending many hours with a hairdryer on his fuel lines. When we left the ski fields that afternoon Andy had to tow the Land Rover back to Dinner Plain as it stopped on its way back and would not start once again. I wish I had a picture of Andy's little Subaru towing the two ton Land Rover through the snow!

Lawrie the Land Rover mechanic.

Mt. Hotham is a very demanding ski resort. The runs are not long in relation to many North American resorts but, far more difficult to ski. Many of the runs are very steep and it is the place to ski natural gullies. The snow conditions can change fast at Hotham. From powder to ice sheets in one day. At Mt. Hotham they like to say: "if you can ski Mt. Hotham you can ski anywhere". I believe this to be true.

The last time I skied Mt. Hotham was 16 years ago. The resort has change much in that time. Many of the areas we had to walk out to then have been opened up by the installation of chair lifts now. This is good as much has changed with me also in the last 16 years.

Sunday, August 05 2007

We did not ski on the Sunday but drove the Land Rover back down to Omeo to sort out the issues with diesel fuel. Andy followed us down the mountain in his trusty Subaru and then continued on home as he was up for just the weekend.

Monday, August 06 to Friday August 10 2007

The sun did shine once or twice.

During our week at Mount Hotham we had some excellent days of skiing. Although we did get more bad weather during the week the days that the sun shone and the snow was soft made up for it.

This is a shot of Lawrence heading out bush.

At Dinner Plain I tried my hand at some cross country skiing. This is the type of skiing were you do all the walking; no lifts. It is more physically demanding than downhill skiing but you get to see some really beautiful places especially around Dinner Plain.

Lawrence also braved the bad weather we had and showed us all that you can have fun in the snow even when it is blowing a blizzard outside. We all sat in the warm pub drinking beer while Lawrence braved the harsh elements outside.

See a video of the team
See a really cool video Steve made

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