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Another family day at the snow

How could we keep driving when faced with a hillside covered with powdery snow?!

How could we keep driving when faced with a hillside covered with powdery snow?!

Our first trip to the snow this winter made us hungry for more so we decided to take our children out of school for 1 day and have more icy fun. This time the weather conditions were magnificent with stunning blue skies and air so warm that we quickly had to shed layers of clothing. The snow had retreated a little since last time but we simply drove another 500m to Wolgal Hut and encountered the best tobogganing slope I can imagine. We were completely alone, with a wonderfully long hill to climb and slide down for as long as our legs could carry us.

We were enamored with the ice crystals on the grasses and the huge ice crystals hanging down towards the water

We were enamored with the ice crystals on the grasses and the huge ice crystals hanging down towards the water

We parked near Wolgal Hut and crossed the creeks to get to the beckoning hillside

We parked near Wolgal Hut and crossed the creeks to get to the beckoning hillside

The ice crystals delighted us.

The ice crystals delighted us.

It is always thrilling to see wildlife and we were excited to see rabbits hopping around in the snow but also disappointed because rabbits are feral animals in Australia and the abundance of rabbits is an indicator that native marsupials are being out-competed, that the delicate soils are being damaged by the feeding and digging behaviour of the rabbits, and that feral predators (like cats and foxes) are supported by the rabbits.

Lots of rabbits fled as we approached

Lots of rabbits fled as we approached

Note the abundance of rabbit prints in the snow

Note the abundance of rabbit prints in the snow

This time we allowed our children to do whatever they wanted rather than encouraging them to toboggan or trek with us. We all had a more enjoyable time as they delighted in making dozens of perfect snow balls, collecting large ice crystals, making ice sculptures, and eating lots and lots of fresh snow.

View from the top

View from the top

After sliding a few times down the first slope, my husband and I climbed up the second slope which is longer and steeper and allows a trip down that lasts over 1 minute. We struggled to stabilise our toboggans on the steep slope and set off for a race to the bottom. I was faster but couldn’t control my toboggan and on the steepest section the front dug into the thick powdery snow and I was flipped into a forward somersault. As I scrambled to get out of the way my husband came flying over the precipice and crashed into me at full speed. I was worried about facial bruising (with my current 2 week international work trip packed with presentations but fortunately the swelling quickly abated) and with no real injuries we were back to running up and sliding down in next to no time.

What fun!

What fun!

We had a picnic lunch in the snow and then a fun snow ball fight using the dozens of perfect snow balls that our 7 year old daughter had painstakingly made. Towards the end of the day I swapped my old and scratched toboggan for my husbands new and unscratched toboggan and I was amazed at the improvement in speed that I achieved as a result. Next time I will try to hire new toboggans. We slid as many times as we could manage to trudge back up the hill before heading home as the sun began to disappear behind the hill. It was a wonderful day and we are looking forward to going again when I get back from my current work trip.

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This entry was posted on July 29, 2014 by in Australia, Nature and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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