By NATALIA HAWK
Every year, from about June until October, I’m a bit of a write-off.
I love my job. I love the degree I’m doing at uni. I love my family, my friends and my partner.
But when the weather turns colder, all I can think about is snow. The fresh air and bitter chill that whips across your face when you step onto the ski field. The sound of the liftie’s shovels as they scrape snow off the chairlift landing. The first click into your skis, the first whoosh of a snowboard as it passes you on the hill. The powder runs, the mountain views, the taste of a cider when you sit down at the end of the day…
I am dangerously addicted to it all. Every last spare cent is spent on ski holidays, and warmer destinations are overlooked for the chillier parts of the southern hemisphere. I spend far too much time researching the benefits of different types of skis and keeping an eye on how many centimetres of snow have fallen on different mountains, regardless of whether I’m actually heading there or not.
I know the trail maps of Whistler. Both peaks. I’ve never even been to Whistler.
But the ski bug is a specially contagious kind, and when it bites you, it hangs on hard.
I’ve been skiing for the great majority of my life, and yet I’m still quite crap at it. I blame an extremely traumatic event for my setbacks; at the tender age of seven, I got lost while night-skiing in Canada with my parents. When we got home, they thought that hanging up a map of the ski field beside my bed would be a good idea. You know, to help get rid of the nightmares.