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Perisher Valley 31st of July to the 2nd of August 2009

Due to a busy weekend I've compiled the last three days into a single report, Friday the 31st of July, Saturday the 1st and Sunday the 2nd of August.

Friday looked to be a great day for a skate before I was doomed to an afternoon of university assignments. The day looked to be almost perfect, cold, not too much wind and a mostly clear sky. The Nordic Bowl, 2km and 5km were in great nick. There were no rocks in the trails and almost no holes. The 7 and the 10km had not been groomed and the wind blown snow from the recent snowfalls made for heavy going. I haven’t been back to see how the grooming went on Friday night but there was a lot of snow which needs to be moved around.

2km Loop 10km Loop, almost no depressions
2km Loop 10km Loop, almost no depressions
  Hard slog on the 7km  
Hard slog on the 7km

The weather had started to come in on Saturday, but I managed to hold it off by wearing my flat light goggles (they hurt on clear days). The pipe was finished and ready for the flippy spinny kids and I had a morning of Slalom training. I had too much fun to get the camera out, but bashing gates is great fun and I encourage any telemarker to get involved. I straddled a gate and broke the LCD on my camera, so photos from now on will be even more of a case of pot luck. After training I met up with Owain Williams and his friend Lisa and we went for a ski down Farm Creek. Once again it impressed with its ability to hold good snow, and its ability to finish off your legs for the day.

  The pipe was ready for the first time this season  
The pipe was ready for the first time this season
  The cloud threatened all day  
The cloud threatened all day
  Tate East Ridge  
Tate East Ridge
  The view from Terminal towards Guthega  
The view from Terminal towards Guthega

Sunday was another 7:00am start, but this time we got to train GS on Zali's. Apart from only having to share Zali's with the Scottish Junior National Team the morning was also fantastic with the beautiful sunrise we saw. There was just enough mist to be lit up by the early morning light, the sky was on fire. From there conditions at Blue Cow took a turn for the worse (I wore my sunny weather goggles), most of the day was spent in the mist, either being rimed up, rained on or occasionally lightly snowed on and the strong breeze kept us all cold.

Running the gates was great fun even though I was skiing like rubbish and now I'm determined to get over the psychological hurdle and start to go really fast in the gates. I was left feeling buggered so decided on an early finish after training. I was surprised to find Perisher bathed in sunlight on the way home, it would have been a much more pleasant part of the mountain to have skied today.

  Other Masters getting ready  
Other Masters getting ready
Mark in the morning Zali's and a stunning sunrise  
Mark in the morning Zali's and a stunning sunrise
  More sunrise  
More sunrise
An empty Zali's before the gates were put up The Scottish slalom on the left. Our GS on the right  
An empty Zali's before the gates were put up The Scottish slalom on the left. Our GS on the right
  Front Valley bathed in Sunlight  
Front Valley bathed in Sunlight

Masters training has been great fun, and if I'm lucky I might beat a few in the Perisher Masters next weekend. If you want to have a go click for an entry form and a waiver (get them in by Tuesday to avoid the late fee), and if your a telemarker have a go, you might be suprised how much fun it is.

Richard Hocking

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