On the 4th of September our Year 11 Outdoor education class headed off to Lake Mountain for a day of Cross Country Skiing. After a very early start at 5am we arrived at Marysville at 8:15 and caught the shuttle bus up to the ski fields. Five years after the Black Saturday fires it is still a very different place with the vegetation on the top of the mountain still only around a metre high.
Due to some unusually warm weather at the end of Winter the snow was not as plentiful as usual and the group had to trek part of the way up the mountain before we could put our skis on. Once the skis were on there were some interesting moments as gravity took control and the lack of friction saw some people demonstrating free form skiing techniques. Once we managed to all stand up and still, the students quickly soaked up the instructors advice and we set off further up the mountain. The interesting ( or more difficult depending on how you view it) part about Cross Country Skiing is that you have to propel yourself up to the top of the slope before you can ski down it. Everyone managed to get to our first slope okay then the next challenge began: how to ski down the mountain without colliding with the scorched black trees or your fellow skiers. One student did manage to take out a teacher even though I practically climbed up a tree to avoid being hit. As the day progressed everyone became more and more proficient and eventually the group looked like they were experienced skiers ( for a few seconds at least).
After a lunch break at the top of the mountain, overlooking the alps from a rocky outcrop, we headed back down to the ski hire building were some students swapped their skis for a toboggan. By 2:00 we were ready to head back to Marysville and change into some dry clothes and snuggle down on our bus. We arrived back in Lara around 6:15 and the weary travellers headed home for a well earned rest. Thank-you to Shaun Taylor and Will Walker who assisted on the day and kept the group safe and well managed. We look forward to repeating the experience with the outdoor Education students next year.