by Bruce Blackman
The early fires in December 2019 disrupted our normal time over Xmas and New Year of 2020 at Hotham, a lovely place to be at this time of the year.
We had already booked to ski in Canada in mid February 2020 and realized we needed to go back to Hotham prior to flying out to pick up our ski gear left from our previous Winter. We delayed going to Hotham hoping the fire situation would improve, well it didn’t really over this period.
We eventually went to Hotham the first week of February 2020, a very hot and windy day in Melbourne prior to leaving. We travelled the 5 hours to Hotham, through the smoky valley and up the mountain.
It was like a holocaust at the top of Hotham, the smoke and wind was eerie with very little visibility.
We spend a maximum of 10 minutes, in and out to pick up the skis and gear and then drive 5 hours back to Melbourne; that was a long day in the car.
The trip across to Canada was as normal, and there was a hint of Corona virus that had broken out in China and just moving into Italy and Spain.
During the 3 weeks in Canada things got much worse and we were quite happy to leave for Hotham as planned, just leaving a week prior to the lifts shutting down at most of the resorts.
Planning to be back In Canada next year, we left all of our ski equipment in Canada!
Back in Melbourne Corona appeared to be under control, and all expected this would likely pass within a couple of months. It was time to buy some new skis for the Hotham Winter season, these were purchased and waiting to be taken up the mountain.
Things got bleaker as we moved into our normal Winter season, with a short period of the lifts opening, and then shutting down as Level 4 restrictions came into play.
Here we are in late October and the restrictions are now just lifting, where did all of those months ago.
So, ski equipment in Canada and very little hope of skiing in Canada this upcoming season, and the newly purchased skis purchased for Hotham sitting in their plastic wrapping at home awaiting the next Hotham season of 2021.
That’s my story of 2020 and how Corona has changed all of our plans.
The upside is we are all well, have worked enough to pay the bills and we look forward to year 2021.