*Rams Head ski trip: 10-11 September 2011*

Watch video of ski trip here: http://www.vimeo.com/29709332

*Snow shovels, injured knees, pancakes, alcohol, moonlight skiing, snowflakes, party tent, cart wheeling, snow angles, trees, ninja’s, bad-asses, face plants, feet gloves, fluffy snow, yellow snow cones, double skiing and Pizza*

*Skiers:* Cat Svec, Chantal Bronkhorst, David (Fritz) Lee, Helen Smith, Jiri Svec, Nicole St Vincent Welch, Tim Sindle and Ulla Heikkilä

It was a dark and gloomy night; the clouds were covering the fast approaching full moon, creating a rather mysterious atmosphere. On this particular night, eight snow ninja’s decided to go to the snow for a weekend of skiing, since the end of the ski season was nearing.

Chantal, Helen, Ulla and Tim are all ninja’s who like their sleep. As a result they set off to the snow on Friday night. Jiri, Cat, Fritz and Nicole wanted to be bad-ass and chose to leave at 2am on Saturday morning. Pretty gangsta if you ask me….

We were rather anxious for the weekend’s weather conditions. Why you ask? Well, the maximum wind forecast was 1850Km/h. SAY WHAT? Anyway, the trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. I was contemplating packing a kite, but decided not to trust the weatherman on this one.

The four sleep loving ninja’s met at Redfern station to start their journey. (According to Tim’s directions his car was parked at platform 10 and a ¼… Been watching too much Harry Potter lately, Tim?). Our long drive up to the snowy mountains officially started. Ironically, Helen (our club president) cracked a few jokes about injured knees in the first ten minutes of our drive… Little did she know?

Helen: “We already have two people with injured knees on this trip -Fritz and Cat- I wonder how many injured knees we are going to have when we come back.”

(Helen, please remember never to challenge the universe again. The universe usually accepts a challenge.)

We reached Cooma. This was where we hired our skis and Tim purchased a pair of fancy ski boots. There is no point attempting to rob Tim anymore, he spend all his money on this new “toy” called. (Unless you are after some ski boots.) I have to admit they are pretty fine looking. –If they mysteriously go missing, I swear I did not take them.

With Tim’s driving- and Chantal’s direction skills we found our accommodation for the night, also known as “the bottom of a bridge”. Alarms were set, mats inflated and sleeping bags rolled out– the four musketeers (?) were officially ready for dreamland around midnight. Without further a due, they were asleep….

Meanwhile, back in Sydney, the four bad-ass gansta’s were getting their last hour and a half of sleep in before heading off to the snow at 2am.

6am arrived and it was a race to see who could reach the Nuggets Crossing first. Naturally, the sleep lovers won with the bad-asses coming in second place. Traditional breakfast was purchased from the bakery and shortly after we were off to our starting point -Dead Horse Gap- to start our epic skiing journey.

We started the walk up to Rams Head. The universe was nice enough to grace us with snowfall on the way up. When we arrived tents were set up (including our amazing party tent) and then we proceeded to have some morning tea… I know what you are thinking: “They were there in time for morning tea!?”… Impressive right? (Okay, fine it was just a really short walk in, but don’t burst my bubble—I like to think of it as us being pro.)

With a full stomach, Fritz decided to have the first downhill ski of the day. The snow itself was perfectly fluffy, none of this crappy iced over snow. (The snow even lived up to our snow snob’s expectations). With some fancy footwork Fritz successfully manoeuvred his way to the bottom. The rest of us practiced some turns, accumulating some mental millage from Jiri (who taught us some tricks)

Our warm up was complete and it was time for some serious skiing business. We climbed up the hill – – up and up and up. We reached the top and as a reward we got to ski down again, dodging some trees. (Well, at least some of us…)

The ski down revealed that Ulla was born with a pair of skis in hand. With her ninja skiing skills we can only assume that all she does back home (in snow-ville) is play in the snow.

On the way down we also established that the universe loves a challenge! As stated earlier, Helen questioned how many injured knees we would have on our return. Wel, wel, wel… With Helen’s confidence at peak level she prepared to go down the next slope… And, she was off. In true presidential style she made it half way down the slope, but then…. Fell… She heard one snap, and another one. Eeeek!

Whilst Helen was in pain, Fritz skied into a tree, temporarily stealing the spotlight. He was hanging upside down. The remaining six, accessed the situation and concluded that Helen was in more need for attention… Fritz was left to escape the tree on his own…

After some polite swearing Helen states, “I’m fine”. She was doing this laughing and crying combination thing. WHY IS THIS NOT ON VIDEO? Despite the smile on her face she clearly was not fine. (Full marks for man-ing up though.) With the help of Cat (also with an injured knee), Helen butt slid her way back to camp.

The rest of us pressed on regardless. The ski down included some face plants and falls from non-other than Chantal. You see, there was method behind this madness of falling. When Chantal saw a tree rapidly approaching, alarms went off in her head. As a result she took the “man down” approach, instead of skiing into the trees… like some people…

The remaining six reached our campsite, but there was no sign of Cat or Helen. After waiting for about ten minutes we heroically went in search for the lost soldiers. It was not long before they were found…. In pain might I add? So, Jiri did his job as trip leader and took the lead. He got Helen to wear one ski (on the non injured knees foot) and skied her down to camp between his skis. It was rather awesome looking.

We fed Helen with chocolate, lollies, alcohol and other goodness and provided her with the luxury of the party tent. Then we were off skiing again.

Cat, Nicole and Fritz practiced some telemark turns. Jiri was so impressed with Cat’s turns that he proudly stated: “That’s my wife!” with a big grin on his face.

After lots of skiing, photo’s, video’s, badass-ness, and sleeping (from Helen) it was time for dinner in our party tent. Gas stoves were bought out and we made some delicious food. Nicole, being the caring one, made sure we were all comfortable in their giant party tent and then we had a feast. Just before alcohol was served- by non other than out beer officer- Jiri decided to go for some moonlight skiing.

So, as Jiri is attempting to do what no man has done before: Ski in the moonlight, without being attacked by zombies… (Aaaarrr), the rest of us are enjoying fritz’s and Nicole’s alcoholic concoction. This was also when South Africa, the great (aka Tim’s) toes nearly froze to death. It’s okay though, because Tim had a plan… He used his gloves as socks and then covered his feet with his down beanie. You do South Africans proud Tim!

(After lots of worrying of course.) Jiri returns to camp, having successfully avoided the zombies. This meant bedtime! Zzzzzzzz…

Morning arrived faster than expected, but this was good news: SKI TIME!

Our second day involved adventures such as snow-shovel- skiing races, skiing with two people on pair of ski’s and ski cartwheeling (see video). Nicole noted that Jiri and Cat’s ski cartwheeling was more beautiful than their wedding dance. Hehe.

The day also comprised of several interesting events:

– Tim drank water from the stream with his hands, but forgot to take his gloves off…. (Some things are just beautiful to watch…….. Witnessing a fail is not.)

– Fritz offered everyone some “yellow” snow cones.

– Helen caught up on sleep.

– And Chantal made snow angels.

Our eventful weekend came to an end; it was time to head back to the cars.

With growling stomach’s we drove to Cooma and invaded the pizza place with our smelly presence.

It was a great weekend of skiing, admiring snowflakes and catching up on sleep (for some)…. Remember to always stay cool.

So long, and as always, thanks for all the fish.

Cioa for now,