AK Julian rose from his sleep as his alarm broke the silence with Tom Jones, It’s Not Unusual, filling the crisp morning air. To AKs joy he noted the sag of snow on the fly of his WE Second Arrow tent. A quick peek out of the tent confirmed his suspicions, and it was still snowing. His legs felt good even with all the skiing from the day before. He was thankful for his Snow Skins, which he had slept in to maximise his recovery from the previous hard days skiing So he threw on his Icebreaker Active Baselayer, he had to control that odour, even though he was camping by himself. Socks went on next, and to get the most accurate fit he only ever used his X-Socks, giving him both performance and comfort. Finally, the brand new SOS Tech Stretch Jacket and Pants were adorned, in charcoal grey, so as not to show off too much to the other people (but in truth, AK Julian was the man).
One quick gymnastic move later and the XTM Double Lined Snow Boots were on, with dry socks no less, a skill he had mastered over the years of camping in the snow. He then laid out all of his gear for the days backcountry expedition, he could not afford to leave anything behind. First his goggle hard case went in, with spare lenses, followed by a spare Icebreaker and finally some rub on wax, he could not afford to be slow when charging the backcountry. A quick trip down to the stream and the Camelbak was filled to the brim. His Burton AK 23L Pack was now filled but his preparation was not complete. A Black Diamond probe and shovel were then strapped to the outside of the pack, for easy access.
It was time for the inevitable chains for the car, sadly a 4WD was not in the budget. The König chains were secured, then it was time to get on the road. The engine turned over and the Heated Boot Bag would now get his Garmont Endorphin nice and toasty for the day ahead. A quick cruise down the road from his camp site at Thredbo Diggings and he was now parked in the Thredbo, windows were down and the last few bars of I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith drifted across the car park as he arrived.
It was now time to release his skis from their coffin of the Dakine High Roller bag and with powder the topic of the day his weapon of choice was the Volkl Mantra, 100 under foot, that is how he rolled.
The boots were next, he was the first one in the car park today, as usual. It was only a short walk to the hill, regardless of this, he quickly slipped on his Cat Tracks as he would hate to damage the bases of his beautiful Garmonts, all these babies ever walked on was snow. Now it was time for a bit of advance technique and in a blur and flurry of activity the suit case carry was enacted and now he strutted across the crisp snow to the slopes.
It was early and the lifts were not running yet so there was time for a quick warm up. As AK bent over to clip his G3 Climbing skins on he caught the faint sweet smell of Jagermeister wafting from the cute lifty. He gave the clearly hungover lifty a wink clipped into his Diamir Freeride bindings set them to climb and with a wave was off . Seemingly a few strides later and a couple of pulls from his Camelbak he had reached the summit that was Friday Flat and was ready to slide back down. The skins were now off and after a couple of quick edge rolls he was at the bottom. While looking for his newly acquainted female friend he realised the vents on his Giro G10 MX were open, he closed them and thought the only snow getting near his head would be from the face shots he will soon be experiencing.
After a quick nibble on a few Power Bars from his Burton AK pack he was on the first chair and headed to the top, with the epic tunes of Europe (The Final Countdown) filling his ears from his upgraded Skullcandy headphones, he tried to forget the days he was bullied by the Milo kids on this very same chair! Riding up the Cruiser Chairlift it was time to spot the lines he would be charging off in Stanley's Chutes, “turn there, speed check before hucking that insane cliff” he thought to himself, the options were endless with fresh snow still falling around him. It was now time to switch on his Hotronics. He was now in boot heaven, the combination of Hotronics, Inuition liners and his Conform’able footbeds proved that AK was a hard man of the (Australian) Alps.
The skins were still wet from the morning warm up but an application of the Black Diamond Glob Stopper and he would be underway. AK’s Black Diamond carbon fibre poles were now extended; he had attached the powder baskets to provide ample stability in the pow. He checked his Ortovox Avalanche Beacon and with one quick look back and a cheeky finger to the ski patroller watching he ducked under the boundary rope and was underway.
Standing at the top of his line he called “DROPPING!” even though there was no one within ear shot. The chute opened up as he slashed his way down, in the distance he could see the chumps having to deal with the inbounds snow of Boundary Riders. Near the bottom the chute narrowed up, it was time to put the skins back on and make his way back up to the chair for his next lap of Stanley's.
Back to the top of the chutes again But this time he would be switching to some darker lenses as the storm front was clearing and the sun was now popping through, a smile split across his face, overjoyed with his purchase of Smith I/O Goggles, the lens were so easy to change! Visibility was never going to be an issue for this run. Another run down and the trudge out began again. To the lunch time crowds surprise he popped up behind the Merrits Restaurant, emerging through the trees in full stride (this was some sight for those privileged enough to see it), it was now probably time for a sneaky beer and pie.
Later that afternoon and now back at the campsite AK Julian was standing around the campfire, waxing his skis with his Toko T8 iron that was hooked up to his car via his Waeco 12 volt inverter. It was a time consuming process starting with his Swix CH followed by the Low Fluro and then finally finishing off with the High Fluro. Even though he was camping the skis need some love after every day on the slopes. Even though this was a time consuming process time flew by as he watched the latest film from Poor Boyz Productions, Every Day is a Saturday oh how he wished he could hit lines like Dane Tudour. All that was now left to do was a quick edge tune with his Toko Pocket Diamond and he would be off to bed.
All of this gear and more is available at Alpsport!