Monday, October 27, 2014

More Kosi

 A couple of Canadian/Australian Snowboarding instructors. Lovely people I met at Brumby's Pub. 

 Sunset at Charlotte's pass

 Lunch At Blue Lake . Using groundsheet as sun/ rain cover. 

This ad for Volcom sums up my feelings about Ski Touring... A spiritual adventure.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Charlotte's Pass excursions

 Blue Lake .

 Peak 2136 near Watsons Crags

 Charlotte Pass Sunset.
 Left vehicle: An 80 Year old Hungarian Australian. His wife normally travels with him.

Showed Rosemary around Thredbo valley and Perisher Valley. Then did about 4 days of day trips from Charlottes pass. Still good snow on some slopes. Blue lake looking very good.
Heritage photos at Jindabyne. From hardy pioneers to current  signs with "watch out for trip hazards" or the wussification of Western society. 

Camping In the snow at Kosi

View from Seamans Hut towards Mt Townsend (back middle)

 The Black Diamond Megalight weighs 1kg, can uses trekking poles as center pole, works better in snow than on land - as snow can be use to cut drafts, flapping. And a pit can dug underneath. still standing after 100km / hr gusts. 

Around the 5 october, having finished the season working at River Inn, I decided to take the big step and do more than day trips to the high country. After much packing and humming and haa-ing, and having re-stitched my silk liner for my sleeping bag (was ripping), I finally took the chair lift up to Eagles nest with my huge pack, day trip pack on top. I then walked a bit , put on my skis after the top photo and skiied to a position 1km south of Seamans hut. I used the Gps to mark positions to go to in case of fog/gales. Including seamans hut itself. 

Was lucky with the weather, with some strong wind gusts towards the end. Also it warmed up (4degrees in the morning - balmy) which turned out to be a problem for staking the tent, melting snow walls etc. I ended up using buried bags of snow on almost all my points. 1st night was coldish at -1 . Found I needed 2 mats as you loose a lot of heat thru the floor. Slept with down jacket on. 

To avoid flapping and bowing of the fly, I found the best solution was to make internal snow pyramids as shown above. reduced flapping to zero.  Got quite comfortable, listening to Vivaldi via my mp3 palyer and a small speaker while I made dinner. Probably bring a backrest seat of some kind next time, as one spends quite a bit of time cooking from the sleeping bag. 
Friday did a big day trip, over etheridge ridge, past Kosi, down to Mueller pass and up Mt Townsend via steep south side . down North side.... 20 min of continuous skiing downhill with no wind and the glowing snow dome of Mt Townsend behind me... le reve.   Then back to camp via snowy river and Seamans hut

Found I was improving on my parallel skiing - the best way is ski down in a controlled fall... pointing body down the hill at all times and not overturning. The skis are freeheel, but you just ignore that and ski as normal.  Much cheaper than resort skiing, more adventurous, gets you fitter, better views. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thredbo work and snow

Nordic Skiing At 2000m , Mt Kosciusko is the dome on the left at the back .

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas

Exploring the backcountry on skis, one touches the eternal on moments. No coincidence that the Nepalese and the Aboriginals both call the high country the "dwelling places of the Gods". 

We are living in a period where Men (mostly) have been duped into working for things, luxuries, mortgages, status... for far too much of their time. But men are waking up to the fact that their true calling is to hunt the spiritual, to live their mission, to discover new realms and even other planets (as Esther Villar says) . Everything else should be secondary to the mission - including family (as David Deida says in his book). Women need to wake up to this and realize it's in their benefit in the long term to have an adventurer and not a housebound man who has given up on his dreams. 

Deida Quotes:

“Every man knows that his highest purpose in life cannot be reduced to any particular relationship. If a man prioritizes his relationship over his highest purpose, he weakens himself, disserves the universe, and cheats his woman of an authentic man who can offer his full, undivided presence.” 

Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains unpenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control.

Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering.

“Every moment of your life is either a test or a celebration. The same is true about every moment with your woman, only doubly so. Not only is her simple existence a test for you, but one of her deepest pleasures in intimacy is testing you, and then feeling you are not moved off course by her challenge. 

The most erotic moment for a woman is feeling that you are Shiva, the divine masculine: unperturbable, totally loving, fully present, and all-pervading. She cannot move you, because you already are what you are, with or without her. She cannot scare you away, because you already penetrate her in fearless love, pervading her heart and body. She cannot distract you, because your one-pointed commitment to truth will not bend to her wiles. Feeling this hugeness of love and freedom in you, she can trust you, utterly, and surrender her testing in celebration of love. "

“Men who have lived significant lives are men who never waited: not for money, security, ease, or women. Feel what you want to give most as a gift, to your woman and to the world, and do what you can to give it today. Every moment waited is a moment wasted, and each wasted moment degrades your clarity of purpose.” 

Zen and the Tao of the kitchenhand in Thredbo...

I left sunny Queensland called by the snow and wild mountains. Doing some outdoor education on the way down on the border. Interesting some of the comments : "do you have a job lined up ?"
As it turned out, I was correct in my assumption that such a blue collar job as kitchenhand is a walk in off the street.  Handed out cvs and after 1.5 days, got a call and a job... "la fortune sourit aux audacieux" .

National park NSW year pass gives me free camping in the area. So I live out of my van in various locations near thredbo. And work in Thredbo itself. Cleaning pots, clearing tables, cutting vegetables. Some crazy busy days sometimes. But a good multinational staff - Japanese chef, a french kitchenhand, etc. free food, fairly low wage. Can snowboard on my breaks in the afternoon .

Lots of backcountry Nordic skiing . walk up dead horse gap track, ski on the gentle slopes. Also take the quad chair up to Eagles Nest 1900m and Nordic ski towards Kosziusko (photos with no trees).
The Terrain up top is surprisingly rugged, with granite-like rocks and small ridge lines... good place to practice mountaineering techniques. indeed companies "snow climb" in the evening up top (like ice climbing but in hard snow).

Met a 67 year old American who teaches alpine and telemark (free heel) skiing . Does 6 months in Mammoth mountain resort , California, then comes to Perisher (nearby).  A real expert in balance and psychology of teaching skiing.

Last few photos:  Van at dead horse gap;
Myself top of Kosziusko (2 hours there from Eagle's nest, 1 hour back great downhills on nordic skis) ;
Rocks at Rams Head
Thredbo ski guide Dino from NZ.