Today, along with three other families from Albury Apex, we left the glorious sunshine which had finally made its way to the Dave from Albury compound and headed to Falls Creek. We’re not regular visitors to the snow, in fact this was the first time that Mrsdave has been since well before she fell pregnant with Buster Boy, and my only recreational visit was last year’s Apex trip when we took a group of African refugees to Mt Buffalo.
Buster Boy and the Troll Princess had been excitedly looking forward to the trip, Buster Boy because of his memories of last year’s trip, the Troll Princess because Dora rescued a snow princess once (actually it’s been dozens of times, DVD repetition is the bane of a parent’s life). We hired some gear in Mount Beauty and headed up the mountain, trying all of the usual distractions that you throw out when trying to avoid the kids feeling queasy on a windy road. As we passed the sign marking ten kilometres from the village I switched to ‘who can see the first snow?’ as I knew we were nearing the area where we’d start to see it on the road side.
Well, I thought I knew. Higher and higher we drove, with no sign of snow on the roadsides or in the nearby scrub. In fact we drove all the way into the village before we saw any real piles of snow anywhere. We made our way to the aptly named Windy Corner, where the toboggan slope is located, and braved the icy squalls and grey skies. To our delight, all of the kids took to the slope with gusto, although they were far less keen on dragging their sleds back up the hill.
After plenty of trips down the hill, including all of the Dads, and then Mums, racing each other (Mrsdave won, I disgraced our family) we retired to the nearby shelter for some lunch. It was great to be out of the wind and snow for a while, and there is something sublime about communal food.
We headed out again to build some snow men, but the entire enterprise soon devolved into a snowball fight. We didn’t have long though, as the wind picked up even further, chasing us back to our cars. After a relaxing drive back down the mountain we reconvened at the Dederang Pub for a few quiet ales before going our separate ways. All in all, a fantastic day, made even better by sharing the experience with good friends.