Photos by Luke Flynn
Charlottes Pass Saturday 10 October 2009
This may sound bizarre coming from someone whose entire existence revolves around skiing, but I love the end of the ski season. The Australian winter for me is the period during which my life is both truly lived, and truly falls to pieces. Over July, August and September I get to travel to cool places, follow the falling of snowflakes, compete in great events, hang out with a diverse range of devastatingly hip people and get paid for it. Meanwhile, back in Sydney, I am falling tragically ever more behind in my university course – with projects either incomplete or un-attempted; I am failing relationships, missing key family events and accumulating an obnoxious credit card bill. I completely lose myself in the winter, its hysteria and its impetuousness, and the hangover is not pretty. But only when it is truly over can I pack away my things and start putting my life back together.
The weather events passing over the Australian alpine region over the past few weeks have been bitter sweet for many people. Watching the most perfect low-pressure systems of the year repeatedly hammer the main range has created a sense of excitement, that feeling where you can’t help but fantasize about how deep the snow must be in your favourite spots. But with this comes another sensation – resentment that it didn’t arrive earlier. This tension reached its peak as snow blanketed Jindabyne, giving it the appearance of a Nordic town at Christmas time. Cross-country skiers were out skating by the lake and snowboarders were scouring the town for urban features, even the people who couldn’t drive up their streets were happy to be stuck. They all shared one common sentiment – the wish that they could be up in the mountains getting fresh tracks in the 70cms that had apparently fallen.
For me, this incredible weather event was just cause for more anxiety. Having settled back into Sydney for a few weeks I had all but forgotten about skiing; I was meeting my university deadlines, had reined in the spending and was wearing matching socks. So to entertain the thought of going back to winter was like reversing all my hard work. But you see I have a problem. It was October, there was a foot of fresh on the ground, I couldn’t not go.
So I went. And now, as I contemplate my overdue property law assignment and stare at my odd socks, I can’t help but think that they are the most beautiful odd socks in the whole world.