This was my very first time in the snow. I know, I understand that most of people have been at snow parks, snow resorts, snowy cities all their life, that a lot of people are PRO in skiing since they were 5 years old. But I hadn’t seen snow in my life until this weekend. Ever.
I grew up in a tropical country where the coldest days I ever felt were something around 17 degrees. (Oh, I miss that!) My childhood was a galaxy away from those Hollywood movies where kids build up snowmen and throw snowballs at each other during Christmas time, or go ice skating on a frozen lake. No, I didn’t have that at all. Otherwise, in my school vacations we always used to go to the beach, build castles in the sand, with a lot of sunscreen, play in the warm ocean waters that bathe our shores. It was always summer time.
So what did I do on winter? Yeah, beach again! We go up to the north east of the coast of Brazil and have the same fun we had in summer. Same delicious experience. And by living in a city in the middle of the country (Brasilia), where we don’t have access to the beach, to go to beach cities is the most desired holidays!! We love it!
So we went to Mount Buller a couple of weeks ago, a town in Victoria, Australia, 208 kilometres east of Melbourne. Damn, it was cold. We had everything prepared to snowboard all day long. And I was already in ecstasy the minute we arrived just to step on the snow and to see it falling from the sky. Imagine a child in a playground enchanted with all those lights and noisy toys… That was me in the snow. I hadn’t
seen such a beautiful phenomenon happening… Until this time.
The snow wasn’t completely powdered on the bottom of the resort. It was more like scraped ice. But once you go up to the mountains we could feel it more like powder. It was the coolest experience (pun unintended).
We were all excited about snowboarding. There’s actually a whole preparation before you go up to the mountain: tie your snowboarding boots, get the board, get the beginners lesson’s ticket (priority!), wrap you up in your whole snow gear and let’s get it started.
And that’s how we began… we needed to line up in the bottom of the mountain to catch the chair lift that take us up to the mountain. In the queue, there were thousands of kids in ski gears looking very confident of what they were just about to do. Totally different of what I was feeling with my board under my arms. I panicked when I heard the chair lift doesn’t stop to you to get off. I freaked out about how I was going to get off the lift in motion on the top of a mountain. I thought I was going to die that very moment. But I hadn’t had time to think or to give up, I was already in the thick of a crowd, skiers and snowboarders all around me.
And our time came. Chair lifts going up in front of me. There were a couple of people to assist you with the “getting on” the chair lift, but all they do was pull you forward, and tell you to stand by the green line and suddenly the chair comes behind you, and you are already sat on it going up and up. There’s no time to think.
We went up! It was so foggy you couldn’t see four chair lifts in front of you. I was frozen! Not only because the cold weather but also because the experience. I didn’t want to move my eyes afraid of the height. Everything was white. You could see some people skiing down, some other people trying to get up of a fall. I was imagining myself going down that mountain. It passed a whole movie in my mind of myself snowboarding all the way down. I was excited and afraid. You know the feeling…
The lift stop was in sight. I panicked again remembering people saying that the chair doesn’t stop. You need to get off and start snowboarding. “Oh yes, that’s easy. I’m a pro”, passed through my mind. But of course I was not. I panicked again. But for my own luck, I hadn’t had the snowboard attached to my boots, so as soon the chair lift was close enough to the ground, I stood up and ran away from it holding the board with both hands. Pathetic. But safe! Hahahaha I was relieved.
First lesson of the day: how to push the board on one foot only. As soon as you put your weight on the foot that was attached to the board, it slipped (it’s suppose to) and I was afraid to fall down. So I kept putting all my strength on the free foot, so I could be safe of not slipping around. Because of that, all my muscles of that foot were tired, shaking and hurting and I couldn’t do anything else. So I took the board off, went all the way down, safely, through the sidewalk, away from the slippery snow, very frustrated.
I took a rest, ate something, and was thinking of all those people snowboarding up there. I needed to get up there again and do it. By this time, Dan was snowboarding like a pro already. He had been going up and down some times.
Did you know smaller boards slips slower than others? Knowing about that, I changed my board to a smaller one.
And when I was finally ready to give it a go once more, Dan went up with me. By listening to his tips, I could finally snowboard a little bit. I slipped for five metres or so, in a not completely down hill field, so I could control it a bit more. I kept slipping around on my board. I was finally snowboarding! Yay!!
My very first experience in the snow was amazing. We had a ball! And we’re already looking forward to the next snow trip. Anyone?