I purchased my own sit ski in 2020 but had been unable to test it due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. I was finally able to get to Falls Creek two years later to test it out.
My Dad was able to make it all fit in the family Toyota Kluger. We had the bucket, skis, outriggers and tethers as well as everything else we needed.
My good friend Pete Hull and the team at Kiewa Valley Snowsports helped to set it up and make sure the skis were waxed and ready to hit the slopes. I felt snug with no need for extra padding. I was taught how it worked including how to do up the straps and how to chairlift load. I was feeling excited and nervous.
I didn’t ski on my first day due to poor visibility and I didn’t ski on my last day due to similar conditions. I also experienced my first wind hold afternoon. This time we instead spent inside drinking hot chocolates, and playing games of Dobble, Monopoly Deal & Strip Jack Naked.
I was nervous, lacked confidence and felt like I was starting again. It was encouraging to be back skiing with Nemo who I’d last skied with in Japan and I had Charlie for an afternoon as well on my Birthday. We mixed it up with bucketing, feathering (the instructor hovering behind), tethering (ropes behind) and even skiing on my own. I felt petrified whenever outriggers was mentioned or I was told I could do it on my own. I’m much better to just do it without being told. I can see his shadow and I can feel the difference.
I listened and learnt a lot. Nemo asked what I was thinking about. I was trying to remain calm by thinking about unicorns, rainbows and ice-cream. He encouraged me to think about turn shape. We came up with a mantra to think about leaning, elbow touching the snow, uphill to wash off speed, centre to go into the next turn. I even did the occasional 360 or slowed to a rest stop. I improved and my confidence grew. It was reassuring to receive comments that I was doing well. I was my harshest critic. I even had encouraging comments from APSI trainer Tom Hodges. Chairlift loading and unloading was an ease too which previously scared me.
Wombats Ramble was fun and to do the whole run by myself was an achievement. I practiced on Drovers but it was often crowded. Highway and Main Street were preferred as they were less crowded and steeper. We even had a few laps almost to ourselves! Ruined Castle area was good for some fun bucketing!
I really enjoyed my 10 days skiing. The most I’d ever skied in a season!
Skiing in the afternoon of my Birthday with Charlie. Charlie was happy right away that I could do it on my own on day 7.