After the highs and the firsts of heliskiing, it was time to sample the other objective of our trip, and another first, the club fields. We had chosen Broken River due to advice that their rope tows were less steep than Craigieburn and more conducive to learning, also we had been told that the snow was a little better there. A short drive from our house at Castle Hill Village, and we arrived at the Inclinator:
We then got to the ticket office, got our belts/harnesses and nutcrackers sorted and embarked on the ‘stroll’ up to the tow as advertised by the website. I hadn’t really informed the team about the length and steepness of this replica of Melbourne’s Thousand Steps, and wasn’t particularly popular at that point!
However no matter, we made it to the tow and it was time to learn how to ride. We had watched a few YouTube clips, and a group leader was giving a demonstration at the bottom so it was time to ride.
We didn’t have too many dramas learning how to ride the tows, and thankfully no disasters, but it was certainly a ‘physical’ experience, and we found them way more fatiguing than skiing down! The main attraction of the tows is their speed. They run really, really fast. Unfortunately for beginners it means the pulleys and the chance for a jammed thumb/finger arrive extremely quickly! We were really good at pulling the rope off the pulleys initially, but as the day wore on we actually managed to put them back on!
Broken River is a great place to ski however the clear days we have been enjoying have also been accompanied by mild temperatures which has made for some crusty snow – the irony with Broken River is that it is completely deserted (although I heard it was quite busy on the weekend with 200+ skiers), but at this point could actually do with some more skiers to compact the snow on the shady aspects to bash the crusty stuff down to packed powder.
It looks like a fantastic place to be on a powder day, and having overcome the shellshock of learning to ride the rope tows we’re looking forward to another day here.