Lake Mountain

August 17th, 2014 | Snow, Victorian alps

I spent a wonderful day skiing at Lake Mountain yesterday. The beauty of Lake Mountain is that it is such an easy drive from Melbourne. The village centre fills with young families on toboggans, but you only have to move a short distance down the track to leave them behind.

I was joined by my son, Thomas, and his (and my) friend Jamie Blaker. It was my first trip to the snow in two years, and the first time in several years any of us had made the trek to Lake Mountain.

Part of the joy of a day such as this is the drive. It takes you through so much stunning forest scenery, including the little town of Marysville, devastated by the fires of 2009. Jamie is a frequent visitor to Marysville, as his parents own a house there. It was burnt down. Fortunately, a new house now stands in its place. Here is the view from their balcony.

View from Blakers 3 copy

The snow cover was adequate without being exceptional. Likewise the weather – foggy and windy, but essentially fine. Thomas and Jamie are both studying Law, so that formed the basis for most of the day’s conversation.

Here they are strutting their stuff.

Thomas skiing 1 copy

Jamie skiing copy

We stopped for lunch at Lookout Rock, where we have eaten on a number of previous occasions. It’s great to be able to sit down on some snow-free ground, though the freeze starts to sink in if you stay too long.

Lunch 1 copy

There is always so much to photograph. I loved this snow gum.

Snow gum copy

As you can see, the trees are still mostly burnt and dead. The snow gums only regenerate from their bases.

Post-fire re-growth copy

The trunks looked fabulous against the mist.

Forest in mist 1 copy

Here is Thomas (in the red) with Jamie…

Thomas and Jamie 4 copy

…and with me.

Thomas and Stephen 4 copy

The day would not be complete without a photo of a snowman!

Snowman 2 copy

Then it was back down the mountain for a well-earned cup of coffee in Marysville!

So many scenic panoramas opened up before us from the car windows…

Here is just one.

Valley view copy

Other highlights? Two lyrebirds, with tails fully erected, skipped across the road a short distance in front of us on the drive up. The cost – or relative lack thereof – was also something of a highlight. $53 for the car park – yes, a bit of a shock, but it also covers trail fees, and ski hire for the day was only $36, which I though was very reasonable.

It is so utterly peaceful and serene on those Lake Mountain ski trails. I always find the snow country lifts my spirits and inspires me enormously. I’m not talking so much about the hustle and bustle of downhill skiing, but the quietude of the back country.

To be able to experience such joy on a relatively undemanding day trip from Melbourne is a rare treasure indeed.

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