Bright start to skiing at Mt Hotham, Victoria

Bright start to skiing at Mt Hotham, Victoria
The evening meal was taken at Graze restaurant in the nearby town of Dinner Plain, where dishes include Milawa duck terrine with celeriac remoulade, caramelised apples and Brown Brothers tawny port; and Kiewa Valley eye fillet with polenta, roast pumpkin, caramelised onion tart and a red wine jus. Breakfast the next morning was at Swindlers at the hub of Hotham Central. And then I could avoid it no longer.  My group lesson for beginners would, I presumed, be two hours of frustration, pain and falling over. Mike, the instructor, met us outside Hotham Central and took us over to the bottom of The Summit run, where he explained how to put on our skis. I achieved this but then began moving uncontrollably towards what looked like the edge of a cliff. I had no idea how to stop so I did what any self-respecting novice would do  –  I fell over. It worked. Two hours later, I was able to go down the training hill without falling over. I could snowplough and steer myself in both directions. I was surprised with what I’d achieved in such a short time. And yet I wasn’t confident enough to ride the chairlift on my own; and I wasn’t about to waste the day on the bunny runs. I traded my skis in for a snowboard and took a few runs from the top to the bottom of the mountain to see what Hotham offered non-beginners. There was plenty of fresh powder and few people on the runs.  The Learn to Ski week activities included a foot fitness class at Hotham Central. It was based on the Yamuna technique and involved using "wakers"  – small soft half-spheres with knobs  – on different pressure points on your feet. For dinner we went to Tsubo, a mod-Oz/Japanese restaurant, and enjoyed the "feed me" option, where head chef Hamish Nugent and his team chose what we ate, including some dishes not on the menu. If you feel like giving skiing or snowboarding a miss one day, Tsubo has a one-day cooking class. On day two I did a few runs before taking a private lesson with instructor Jarrah, who was very patient. We went down the bunny run once and he decided to challenge me by taking me to the top of a green run. I shadowed him down the mountain, trying my hardest not to stand like a snowboarder. Jarrah explained that I had to stand like I’d been "punched in the stomach". When I remembered to do this, I found it much easier to direct myself down the mountain. We were rewarded with a visit to the Onsen Retreat and Spa, where I tried out the sauna, pool and the two different spas. Dinner on our final night was at The White Room, at the base of The Summit run. Make sure you share a few desserts  – including the hot Belgian chocolate fondant with caramel fudge and black cherry jam. Thursday was our last day, and we woke to a snowstorm, so we decided to go snow-shoeing. Rose from Adventures with Altitude took us on an hour-long tour of Dinner Plain and the lovely snow gum forest.  — The writer was a guest of Hotham Alpine Resort.Go2MT HOTHAM- LessonsThe next Learn to Ski week is from September 8-14.- Staying thereSee resort/accommodation/apartments/sambuca apartments.asp- Eating thereSee restaurant.php and Doing thereSpa, see Adventures with Altitude, see adventureswith  

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