Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekend in the Snowies

All right, this isn't Sydney but it is very relevant to the life of (some) Sydneysiders. This is where, come winter, they go skiing. And winter is NOW! North hemisphere dwellers, adjust your settings: here downunder, ski season is July-August. The season is short because the aptly named Snowy Mountains aren't very high: the tallest peak, Mt Kosciusko, culminates at 2228 metres or 7310 feet. But a five hour drive from Sydney, the twin resorts of Perisher Blue (today's pictures) and Thredbo let snow riding enthusiasts have some fun! If you leave Sydney on Friday after work you can get there by midnight and have two full days of fun in the snow before driving back, getting home around midnight again. Exhausting but exhilarating!

Bon d'accord, ce n'est pas Sydney mais ces images font bien partie de la vie des habitants de Sydney, enfin de certains. Car c'est ici qu'en saison ils viennent skier. Et la saison, c'est maintenant. Eh oui, amis de l'hémisphère nord, ajustez vos horloges internes : ici dans le sud c'est maintenant l'hiver , et la saison de ski c'est juillet-aout. Une saison courte car les montagnes (les bien nommées Snowy mountains) ne sont pas très élevées : le plus haut sommet d'Australie, le mont Kosciusko, culmine à 2228 mètres. C'est lui qui a donné son nom au parc national où sont situées les deux stations jumelles de Perisher Blue (mes photos) et de Thredbo. A cinq heures de route de Sydney, elles offrent aux amateurs l'occasion de goûter aux joies de la glisse. En partant le vendredi soir à 17h, on peut être là-bas à minuit, skier deux jours d'affilée et rentrer le dimanche soir à minuit. Epuisant mais dépaysant !

The big difference with the northern hemisphere is that there are no mountain pines, only eucalypts - magnificent snow gums in particular, whose bark take spectacular colours against the white snow. For more great photos of that, check out the websites of Michael Scott Lees, a local professional photographer I met when I was there, and J.Turner (nice abstract macros).

La grande différence avec nos montagnes du nord, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de sapins ici, juste des eucalyptus, dont certains (les magnifiques Snow Gums) ont des troncs colorés qui se détachent superbement sur le fond de neige. Vous en trouverez de beaux exemples sur les sites de Michael Scott Lees, un photographe professionnel que j'ai rencontré là-bas, et de J.Turner (belles macros abstraites).
in your face! Guess what direction the blizzard has been blowing from?
En pleine figure ! Devinez dans quelle direction a soufflé le blizzard ?
vv Blue Cow, fun name for this ski field located above Perisher ! (see today's snow cam)
La vache bleue, drole de nom pour ce massif situé au-dessus de Perisher ! (camera pour voir l'enneigement aujourd'hui)
bb

34 comments:

Norman said...

If it's not too late, Nathalie, you might consider dropping in at the Yarrangobilly Caves [near Rules Point] on the way back. Although they're never given any publicity, and are less extensive than their more famous counterparts at Jenolan, the colours are far more impressive.

calusarus said...

Eucalyptus and snow : what a nice photo ! I like a lot.

Imparfait présent said...

Ah C'est chouette et ultra dépaysant.
Remarque, ici aussi il a neigé à 1800 m en juillet alors, hemisphère, hemisphère...

Cergie said...

OH ! C'est magnifique ce ciel !
Et ce tronc d'eucalyptus est une merveille
Tu sais je connais un jardin en Normandie, le jardin de la Princessse Sturdza, où les troncs sont lavés pour être plus beaux
C'est fou, mais c'est sublime...

A regarder tes photos je sens l'oxygène qui s'échappe de la neige qui crisse et ça fait un bien fou !

Aigars Bruvelis said...

WOWOWOW skiing in Australia!!!

Susan said...

Ohhh! That looks so refreshing to me as I sit sweltering in front of the fan at 2 am.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Very interesting post. I like your photos too. I just can't think of winter in July and August.

Abraham Lincoln
The four hour flower

Jean-Marc said...

Superbes photos !

Pod said...

can't wait to go take some photos!
bon soir madame
;0)

Jilly said...

Beautiful photos. It all looks so wondrously inviting - especially with the heat we are having at the moment. I loved your lions too, Nathalie.

lv2scpbk said...

Wonderful photos although I could do without the snow. Snow is beautiful but I'd take warmer weather anytime.

Bleeding Orange said...

Tes photos me font rêver moi qui adore la neige et l'hiver! Ici il commence à faire très (trop?!)chaud alors on passe plutôt nos week-end au bord des lacs !

Coltrane_lives said...

Love seeing snow amidst our heatwave in the Midwest USA! Enjoy Australia's magnificent diversity...beautiful shots!

M.Benaut said...

Now. Nathalie, really: - "not very high". Pffffh. 7310 feet. What could be higher than that , I ask you.
Mais oui, the snow gums are truly superbe, and it is very nice that you show the Australian diverity.
Your face must be very sunburnt, avec "panda eyes"?

Sonia said...

What a wonderful photos!

Thanks for your visiting, you are very welcome! And also thanks for your nice words about my butterfly!

Dan said...

Reminds me a lot of Colorado. Of course, there is not a lot of skiing going on here this time of year.

Nazzareno said...

Regarde ces photos il me fait venir une grande envie d'hiver!

Maxime said...

Allons bon; on en apprend tous les jours. Voila maintenant qu'on peut skier en Australie. Mais puisque c'est toi qui le dit, je te crois. Surtout que tes arbres sont magnifiques !

Annie said...

Ooh, how refreshing it is to see this snow, these skiers. Here in south central USA it is hot and green and sunshiny bright. I love the blue and white you show today.

Sally said...

Lovely pics. My skiing days are over (busted knee, Switzerland, 1992....). Anyway, when i was young and silly, a few of us used to bolt down to Jindabyne on a Friday afternoon after work and return Sunday evening. Mad we were!

CaBaCuRl said...

Your picture of the snow gums is magnificent. I love the Snowy Mts, but in the summer, for great bush-walking and the alpine flowers. Snow is too cold and wet for me! Also loved your pictures of the Sydney lions. You have got me thinking now, about what animal i could find images of to photograph round here....

Kate said...

There is something magical about skiing and snow.

Olivier said...

"La vache bleue" j'adore comme nom. (toi aussi tu recycles ;o) ). Superbe tes photos, je me vois bien sur les pistes (meme si je prefere le ski de fond), il n'y a rien de mieux pour destresser et tout oublier que la montagne et le ski.

Bergson said...

Je pensais que les australiens faisaient tous du surf ;-)

étonnant le ski en juillet

GMG said...

Ah bon, maintenant je sais pourquoi tu n'a pas fait une visite sur mon post du 14 juillet au Blogtrotter... ;))
Great pics!

bluechic said...

I couldn't figure out what the photo was of, when I saw it on the portal, but when I clicked and saw the snow, I remembered all over again, that the summer here is brief and we'll get winter back before we know it. Nice to see the season alive and well over here!

Curly said...

Nathalie,
I just never, ever, imagined that you could enjoy winter sports in Australia, thanks for bringing us these pictures!

South Shields Daily Photo

Mme Benaut said...

Oh Nathalie, lucky you having a weekend in the snow. I knew that this season was good but these photos are spectacular and just whetting my appetite to go ski-ing. I can't ski until next year unfortunately - due to my spinal fusion last August - but seeing the snow is the next best thing. When I lived in Sydney, I ski-ed all of these resorts - Blue Cow, Perisher, Thredbo. I love the ski tube too - what fun. I taught M.B how to ski a few years ago. He was very brave learning to ski at 60 but I don't think he enjoyed it quite as much as I did. I've been begging him to post a photo of us in the snow. We have been to Mt Buller and Falls Creek in Victoria but he has never been to the NSW ski fields which I think are much easier to reach.
The snow gums are stunning, laden with snow and ice. Most folks don't think that Australia has snow so these photos are very informative. Thank you again Nathalie for such a wonderful post.

richard said...

I'm jealous. With the mercury hitting mid-30's here, I could do with a little snow to bring my scottish blood back to its accustomed temperature. Somehow or other though I cannot get my head around the juxtaposition of Australia and snow. The second photo would be taken as a desert shot if you didn't know better.

Marie said...

Wow, magnifique! Marrant de penser que c'est l'hiver en juillet là-bas!

I don't like the snow when it falls in Montpellier, which is quite rare. Two centimeters of snow, and the authorities call for the military to help us!!!

Faye Pekas said...

Ohh this is nice. Makes it feel not quite so hot :) I like the second one best. I love old gnarly trees.

barkfoot said...

Wow, that looks so cool up there. Our snow is only ever a slushy affair, and never sunny at the same time!

d. chedwick bryant said...

the blue shadows on the snow... so lovely.

Kim said...

Is that a sasquatch/yetti? ;^) In California there are lots of eucalyptus trees, but I haven't seen a one here in Washington, and I've never seen one above the snowline before. Really beautiful capture of the colorful bark!
-Kim