University Ski Week
22-26 August 2010
And so after a day of driving and lugging boxes we descended to the sanctuary of the TTC club hut, with soothing death metal blasting from the speakers. A rainbow of 26 Vic students filled the bunks: some skiers, others not, some born into the TTC clan, some acquaintances. Leading the trip was James Gilbert and yours truly.
Our first meal at altitude was a fantastic dish of pasta (with Watties tomato sauce). Cooking for 25ish deemed a new experience; on a Thai pumpkin curry night, moans of hunger reminiscent of the Irish potato famine erupted from the dining and lounge area until dinner was finally served at 11pm – for the record it was delicious. Days were filled with skiing for some. Those venturing to the upper arms of the ski field enjoyed a day of fresh snow. The more impoverished students and learners stuck to the free relaxing slopes of hut flat. At times these poor learners had to deal with a small audience who threw snow balls and hooted at crashes.
And who thought the club sleds got most of their use on family trips? Epic Evel Knievel style jumps and walls were made with care, and a two metre high snowman stood outside the hut. Snow caving was also in. With just as much passion as toddlers, but muscles to lift spades, snow forts dotted the TTC horizon. Most of us returned to the warmth of the hut in the early evening, but at 9.30 pm the headlight of dedicated (and very skilled) fort builder Henry could be spotted from the kitchen window, working away.
Knitting is also experiencing a renaissance. At times I would blink, confused, seeing crowded knitting circles with not one greying hair in sight. Young talent Nick Johnstone crocheted a hat in a night to our amazement. Cards of course dominated the night time activities, with some very heated games of 500 and a strange game I don’t know much about involving loud kapa haka movements. Stakes were high on the betting tables, with a poker winner walking away with $12.
Musicians Henry Dengate-Thrush and Anton Thomas give a nice alternative to the death metal; both brought guitars so we were all treated to nightly blues-jazz-funk jam sessions with Anna Harcourt and Imogen Zino improvising rap to accompany.
Great trip! Special hoorah to James Gilbert for rallying the most troops! Can’t wait until next year!
Arran Whiteford (scribe)