You may remember this picture:
This was taken nine years ago, on my last trip to the snow - a year 11 ski trip. It was also capturing the longest amount of time I was 'in' my skis once the lesson was over - I spent more happy time sliding down snow hills on my ass than I did cranky struggling around in my skis.
Eldest bro was organising a day trip to the snow - he's been with his gf and the other bro's before, but was inviting The Hun and I along as well. The Hun was keen to go, however he knew it would proddly be a waste of money for me to go after my last trip and was worried that the boys would go on ahead without him - apparently on the same school ski trip he was left behind and had to catch the tube alone. So, I told him I'd do my best and we joined in.
We were up at 5:30 on sat for the bus trip to Thredbo and arrived without much spectacle - the boys, eldest bro's gf, her brother and middle bro's friend all rushed off for their boards and The Hun and I straggled behind and got ourselves some skis. We went up the ski lift on the beginners hill (which was a big deal for me in itself) and then all of a sudden I was atop a hill, then on my ass, then struggling to get up, then out of my skis, then back up, then back in my skis, then stuck and terrified, then out of my skis and then walking down the hill with my gear in hand - The Hun had been twice before so he humoured me in skiing down at roughly my walking speed but not without constantly letting me know I shouldn't be a wuss and that it's easy and that I had to just give it a go and be confident. He didn't want to hang out alone while I had my super beginner 2 hour lessn, so I conned him into coming along - it is proddly the only time in his life he has decided in retrospect that he would have had a better time hanging around alone instead. Note to Thredbo: you shouldn't be charging people $55 per head to only be moving for 1/14th of the two hour lesson. I did however get a bit more confidence and got better at stopping and learnt a little bit about turning (the method that worked best for me is the babies version where you touch the opposite knee to the way you want to turn).
Everyone but middle bro, his friend and I (and The Huns gloves) went off to tackle an intermediate slope while we paid a stupid ridiculous amount for lunch. Note to Thredbo: You shouldn't guarantee that veggie sushi is vegan if it is full of mayo, especially if you've clarified with the people who make it. Then I minded the table while middle bro and his friend went back to the learner hill and everyone else eventually joined me. This is when I got to see the effects of youngest bro ramming into the back of The Hun while he is not wearing gloves - mangled skinned knuckles and fingers. I also got to hear about the snowboarding lesson everyone else took which was very beneficial to middle bro and his friend (who were snowboard super beginners as last time middle bro snowboarded his bindings where ruined and it just didn't work) and only partially beneficial to the others. Note to Thredbo: If someone slips and bangs the back of their head so hard that fluid rushes out of their nose, you shouldn't automatically dismiss it as snot - it's actually a symotom of a skull fracture and they need to go to the hospital within 48 hours. Luckily for youngest bro he wasn't experiencing blinding headaches, fainting spells, bags under his eyes and pooled blood behind his ears, but it was a very tense few hours after eldest bro spoke to the nursing line and then informed youngest bro he had to see a doctor within 4 hours. What's scarier is that youngest bro went out and got hammered after skiing, so if he woke up feeling not crash hot on Sunday, it would have been put down to being a hangover.
After lunch, everyone went off to tackle another run, while I hung around to look for middle bro and his friend, and decided to come up the baby hill and give it one last go. I got off the chairlift and managed to stay upright, then skied a little, stacked, walked a little, put my skis on again, skied a bit more, took my skis off and walked down the hill to where The Hun was waiting, indicating he knew where to look to find me (walking down the hill). He was however very proud to hear that I had skiied 1/3 of the baby hill, and all by myself in fact! That's how low the standards were set for me and sadly it did feel like I'd accomplished a whole lot.
We then rushed to return all our stuff and made it back to the bus just in time - only to realise youngest bro, middle bro and his friend had not yet made it to the bus. Cue youngest bro running to the bus to ask eldest bro's gf for her paper receipt from when she checked out her ski gear as Thredbo had misplaced their copy of the receipt. Note to Thredbo: It's 2007 - upgrade to an electronic system. Youngest bro and middle bro's friend made it back to the bus, with middle bro hopping behind. He gets onto the bus, sits across the aisle from me and states "I think I broke my ankle - I heard a snap and my foot is numb" - removal of his sock revealed a big, bruised lump, causing me to immediately exclaim "YOU HAVE TO GO TO HOSPITAL!!" tempered by The Hun's "They won't do anything but ice it, compress it and tell him to keep it up - it's probably a sprain". Once we made it off the bus, middle bro hopped and hobbled to the car and I didn't see him until I was back at my parent's house, ready to pick him up to take him to a farewell party.
Instead I was greeted with an angry dadsy, telling me to drop him off at casualty on the way to the farewell - seems that when middle bro told him he thought he'd broken his ankle, middle bro got his stubborn on about not wanting to go hospital and hypochondriac dadsy was telling him if it was broken and undiagnosed then something would leech and he would have a stroke. We took the poor fellow (who was actually quite upbeat, considering) to the McDonalds drive-thru (which was more of a park-then-reverse) and then to Ali Baba for a kebab before dropping him off at casualty. Alone.
I called him at 10:30 as I left the farewell and his phone was off, so I sent him a message telling him to message me if he wanted company or anything.
Long story short - middle bro got home at 3am with a half cast and a diagnosed fractured tibia. Note to Thredbo: If a fully grown male gets twisted in a stack coming off a chairlift and ends up with his leg twisted back and up - don't pretend nothing happened. Check he's okay rather than letting him snowboard down a hill with a fractured leg.
He's back to the hospital tomorrow to get proper xrays, see a specialist and get a proper cast. I will admit I've already bought texta's and am trying to think of what I can scribble on it.
All in all, not actually that bad a day. However dadsy has indicated that next time the boys want to go to the snow, he will just hire a cement mixer and chuck them in there instead.