Australia’s big mountain skiing legend Andrea Binning, is now back home in Chamonix after an incredible ski trip to Antarctica, one she rates as not only one of her most memorable, but also one of her most challenging of her illustrious career. The following is her last blog entry about what she describes as one her life’s great experiences – she has come a long way from her freestyle days in Mount Hotham.
I just got off the plane after a long journey back to Chamonix from Argentina. I have started to look through some of the images and diary entries from my time down in Antarctica and it was truly a trip of a life time, my best trip ever! We had so much luck with the weather with the majority of our time down there was sunny so we got a lot of skiing in. The team was awesome, it was great to be in the mountains with Chris Davenport and Stian and we all worked really well with the camera crew, which have come back with so many awesome images from our time there.
Antarctica has so much going for it, it is so remote and far away that it remains a hidden gem, the beauty and uniqueness of this place is difficult to compare to anything I have seen before. The mountain range on the Antarctic Peninsula is so extensive and vast it was not easy to choose where to go, and we were able to find runs that allowed us to ski to the ocean floor. We also saw lots of wildlife, whales, dolphins, penguins and seals. And not to mention the icebergs, they were unlimited, even coming in to hassle the boat while we were sleeping.
I feel so lucky to have been able to travel down with such a great boat, the Australis which is skippered by two awesome hosts who made our trip very special. They took on almost all our requests and made them happen and to add to this Skye took great care of us and cooked outstanding meals every night.
I have come away from this trip with a new energy for skiing. From the ski descents I have done down there, I found myself challenged on some very steep and icy terrain and had such a great rush from being able to keep my head together and overcome my fear and get up and down safely on some really exposed terrain. I found that all my years in the mountains were put to a test down in Antarctica, as the place is so remote there was no room for error.
It has put me in a new frame of mind of wanting to ski in the future. I really enjoy the challenges that I faced, both on the approach climbing up and with the rush that you get from the accomplishments of getting down safely. I have to admit that my husband Stian took great care of me looking out for all the small details and his confidence in me helped me enormously. And to be out there with Chris Davenport was awesome, we made a great team.
We have all walked away with so many incredible images, what a great way to begin the winter. The film and magazine stories are going to be awesome and you will be able to read the full feature in the next issue of Chillfactor magazine, out May 2010. – Andrea Binning