First off, a bit about me: I am a snow snob. I didn't set out to be one, but after visiting Japan in 2012 it just happened. So, a few weeks ago, my friends informed me they were planning an easy, light snow day to Mount Baw Baw in 2 days time; they wanted to know if I would join them. At that time I was up to 670 days since I last snowboarded and they thought a non-intense reintroduction would be appropriate.
As someone who was supposedly desperate for snow-action, I passed on taking-what-I-can-get because I thought I could just jump back on my board and cruise Falls Creek or Mount Hothem without missing a beat. I thought Mount Baw Baw would not satisfy me and the snow-lust that I assumed would ignite in me, so I passed and waited for Day 679. I dismissed Mount Baw Baw as a lesser mountain without ever seeing with my own eyes. I was a total bitch to Mount Baw Baw and it did not deserve my attitude. Having finally made my way there I can say: it might be itty bitty, but it does serve a purpose.
As a general introduction, here is the basic profile for Mount Baw Baw:
Top Elevation: 1,567 metres
Base Elevation: 1,460 metres
Verticle Drop: 107 metres
Skiable Area: 35 hectacres
Distance from Melb: 176.6km
Drive Time: 2.5 to 3 hours.
A Second Attempt at Reconciliation
After my failure-of-a-day at Falls Creek, I was set on getting back to the snow but I wasn't keen or excited. I didn't feel any positivity or drive to put myself back out there. In fact, I was frightened. I was afraid of repeating another day like Day 679. I wanted to salvage my broken relationship with the snow, but I didn't want to push myself to go and end up sabotaging our future. But, I also didn't want to risk complacency and let myself fall completely out of love. So with so much on line my friend once again suggested a light and easy snow day at Mount Baw Baw, and this time I said yes.
The Perfect Second Date for New Beginnings
At 6.40 am on a Sunday, my friends Katie and Shynn showed up at my door. We quickly packed our various snow kits into my car, Hank, and we were off. We drove a slightly longer route that induced less motion sickness and we arrived by 9.30am. As we made our way out of the parking lot to the ticket office faint speckles of snow started falling. We purchased our Day Lift Passes for $80 and jumped on the first of many t-bars. The ride up took noticably longer than the ride down but it didn't matter because the snow, despite being a little slushy, moved well and held your edge. As we got down to the bottom of the run the snow started picking up. Mount Baw Baw didn't ask for a lot from us, because it couldn't give us a lot, but what it gave was a chance to start again on better terms. I didn't struggle to remember how to ride that day with its gentle slopes. As I mentioned in a previous post, that spark I felt at Falls Creek ignited that day, and I knew I had a burning flame. Mount Baw Baw made that possible.
An Affordable Date
Now, if you don't have extreme snow complexes that you're trying to work through, that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider Mount Baw Baw. As I said, Mount Baw Baw serves a purpose. Aside from being a place to gently re-introduce yourself to snow-riding, it is a great place for toboganers, general snow-revellers. It is also the perfect first date for would-be skiers (and snowboarders if they are willing to subject themselves to pomas and t-bars all day).The daily lift ticket on the weekend is $80, but if you sleep in and show up a bit before 2pm, you can ride from 2pm to 4.30pm for just $50 on a weekend. And if you know how to ride, two and half hours is enough time for you at Mount Baw Baw. If you choose to go mid-week the savings are even better (like $35 from 2pm to 4.30pm!!) Despite what their signs and trail map say, Mt Baw Baw does not have any black runs. There are super easy runs and easy runs. If you want a little more fun there is a little terrain park (complete with a rainbow box, box, 1 metre jumps). If you're not looking to ski or board, there are dog sled rides and a good selection of eateries for you hide from the elements and get cozy.
Now that I've had my disasterous first date at Falls Creek, my redemptive second date at Mount Baw Baw, I suppose it's time to start planning the third date. And as you know, things get serious on the third date...
So wish me luck, this one won't be a group date since I'm ditching my friends.
This time it'll just be the mountain and I.