Old movies with Tyrolean alpine scenes , the crackle of log fires on a frosty winters night, snow capped mountains sprinkled with. pine trees embracing a deep blue sky. Its very difficult not to be drawn to the beauty of one of nature’s wonderlands and luckily for me I grew up in a country where we had one.
Introduced to Australia’s Snowy Mountains at age twelve and placed in the old leather ski-boots and plastic over-pants on the slopes of ‘Smiggin’s Hole’(New South Wales) was one of the best ideas that my parents ever had. After a few runs down the old platter tow, I was hooked for life.
My Grandmother who lived in Europe as a girl, new the secret passageways of the Palace de Versailles in France and to my astonishment, upon arriving there, also spoke perfect French, well it sounded like it to me. My sister and I were treated to the trip of a lifetime during our school years. We went to Austria and Switzerland, through the Dolomites in Italy and even went up a cable-car in Chamonix France where we watched as the skiers commenced their endless decent down to the valley floor where they appeared as ant-like specks in the miniature toy-like village.
A school excursion to New Zealand’s South Island with our geography teacher, where we skied Mt Hutt, sealed my love for the sport which would be the eventual reason for my move to Europe, first stop Chamonix.
Earlier on in Australia I spent a few seasons at Thredbo New South Wales where I loved to ski the bumps and powder, race gates and compete in the alternative events such as aerials and ballet. After two seasons thought I’d try my luck at getting my Instructors Certificate. Out of eighty participants fifteen passed. I fortunately was one of the lucky ones and for me it was one of the first times I’d ever had what you’d call an outer mind experience. It happened several times during a ski off which is a situation where you have a big audience watching as you have your turn in showing your moves as you descend the slope. The adrenaline is pumping and for some reason your conscious mind takes a back seat in your body. Its as if your body has become robotic and that you are watching it from a foot behind and above your head. The only way to control my body for me was to pre-program it or go over the body motions in my head while trying to slow my heart and breathing rate before the decent. It worked, so off I skied while watching my body go through the motions perfectly as if there were no actual conscious thought to control it. I was pre-programmed. I proved to myself the need for this preparation when they surprised me by reversing the ski-off order and thus the robot went out of control. Needless to say the old autopilot kept me on my feet, luckily for me considering that we were on a bump run. I’m sure this happens to most of us in moments of extreme pressure. I just fluked a bit of control, great sportspeople master it..
After a short stint as an Instructor in Australia I found myself involved in the launch of the ‘Mcski’ wake-board. Also during this time while mixing summer work at ‘Bombora Sailboards’ I worked for many winter seasons in Australian snow-ski shops as a salesman, boot-fitter, ski-technician and repair man. It would not be till nine years later that I was led to the French alps where I worked as a video cameraman who made tourist and ski-correctional videos, apart from being the tour bus driver and ski-guide. I still go to the ski-slopes when I can and mix the snow-boarding(hard and soft boot) with the skiing. Winters a beach.