The Kangaroo Hoppet was successfully staged for the 26th time at Falls Creek on Saturday August 27. Over 1,000 skiers from 27 countries contested the event which is seen as the celebration of Australian cross-country skiing.
The Kangaroo Hoppet is the Australian leg of the Worldloppet which is a series of the 20 premier XC events from 20 countries across the world.
The event was officially started by Danielle Green MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Major Events and Regional Victoria.
Cold overnight temperature and overcast skies produced fast tracks that were perfect for all competitors as they made their way around two loops of the stunning Bogong High Plains loop.
The premier elite 42km event was fiercely contested this year with several international skiers vying for honours against a strong domestic field. At the finish it was a US sweep of the men’s and women’s which was reminiscent of the first Kangaroo Hoppet in 1991.
Matt Gelso (USA) won in a time of 1hr 53mins 23sec after a closely contested pack race from local skiers Phil Bellingham, 1:54:20, and Nick Montgomery, 1:54:57. The men’s field saw a pack of four skiers, including former champion Ben Sim, for the first 30km before a surge up the Paralyser hill broke Sim and cleared the podium places for the finish. Gelso worked hard into the wind across the Bogong High Plains that broke Montgomery’s contact with the leaders and continued to work hard on the final descent from Heathy Spur and was able to get a small break on Bellingham, who improved on his third place from last year.
The women’s event was even closer, with U.S. Sun Valley teammates, Deedra Irwin and Mary Rose, making it a clean sweep for North America. Irwin and Rose skied the full 42km together with neither skier able to make a decisive break for victory. Rose was able to make some small breaks on some of the hills but it was a strong sprint finish from Irwin that gave her a narrow victory 0.6 second victory over her teammate. Aimee Watson skied a strong and consistent race to claim third place and be the first Australian home. Watson skied most of the race on her own as she was unable to settle in a pack of male skiers to provide support into the windy sections at the top of the course.
Rio Olympic silver medallist in the quad skulls, Karsten Fosterling, finished a high credible 17th, just a few days after returning from his successful Olympic campaign in Brazil.
Traveling is a really exciting adventure for you and your family. There are so many places to visit around the world. Experiencing other cultures is fun, but vacationing can also happen nearby. There are many local places to explore.
Once you’ve picked your destination, familiarize yourself with the area. Buy a map and check out the attractions. This will give you ideas on the different activities that you can do.
If you travel to a foreign city, keep a lookout for people pretending to be police or law enforcement. Never give them your original passport as you may never see it again. If someone insists you must visit their office, then walk there with them. Never get into a car with a strange local.
When deciding on a camera to take on your trip, consider your needs. For instance, if your trip involves backpacking, it may not be wise to have a camera with a rechargeable battery. In nearly all cases, a digital camera with an that focuses quickly is best to avoid missing that perfect shot.
If you come through a little airport when you travel, look at their website to see what services the airline offers. Smaller airports will often feature charter airlines. These airlines may not show on the travel sites, but can often offer great deals versus the big airlines.
A doorstop may be of help if you’re going to be in a hotel in a not-so-great area. They are small, easy to pack and they keep doors from opening.
Travel is an excellent way to educate your family members on the ways of the world. As long as you’re safe, going to developing countries can educate your kids on how other nations work. The best way to foster tolerance for other cultures in your children is to spend time in other countries with them.
Bring along a couple of cookie sheets if you are planning to be on the road for a long time with your kids. These are great for providing the flat surfaces needed for coloring or playing games. For little ones, try bringing magnetic numbers and letters for educational enjoyment.
When using traveler’s checks, be sure to cash them prior to eating out or shopping. Traveler’s checks may be something that you will want to avoid. If you use such checks, it may be that you end up getting shorted, so try to get some local money prior to spending anything.
Investigate currency exchange rates prior to leaving so that you know what to expect. Knowing monetary values before you leave will help you create a trip itinerary that does not deplete your funds. This means you will be able to have a great time without spending too much.
Jet lag is a common problem when traveling across time zones. Begin your journey well rested. Try to get some sleep when you are in the air.
If you’re a forgetful person when traveling and leaving the hotel room, you can leave yourself reminder messages on mirrors using dry erase markers. This helps should you forget things from your room. These markers also come off easily using toilet paper, so this is convenient and easy.
For sheer time savings, making your travel arrangements on the Internet beats the competition hands down. Travel sites aid in planning out your travel itineraries with little effort. You can take care of plane tickets, car rentals, hotel bookings, and more, all without looking up from the screen. You will be able to see reviews and pictures of hotels without having to go anywhere. These websites also include special deals when your flight and hotel are booked together in a single package. They also offer discounts when vacancy is high or when you are traveling at the last minute.
Force yourself to stay awake at least until early evening in order to acclimate better after you change time zones. If you feel tired because of the change in time zone you can make it worse by going to bed too early. You can get rid of your jet lag quicker by adjusting as soon as possible to the current time zone.
When taking a long road trip, it is important to know where the service stations are. It’s not uncommon to drive down long strips of road without any visible service for miles and miles. This can be a problem if something should happen to your vehicle along the way. Make sure you take a good close look when planning your trip and locate places when you realize that you might run into one of those types of stretches. Be sure you have these numbers handy for any problems that may occur.
Planning activities for the road can help alleviate the boredom of road trips. This can break up the boredom that you may experience. Provide your children with a map and schedule of your activities.
Make sure the room you get is on a high level of the place you will be staying. It may sound deceptively simple, but if you are on the ground floor, potential thieves will have an easier time accessing your room. Additionally, request a room that has a window but not sliding glass doors. Rooms with sliding doors are at a greater risk of being breaking into.
Road trips make great excuses for taking along some of your favorite CD, MP3 and cassette mixes to listen to and enjoy during the ride. You will often have difficulty receiving radio signals while traveling or getting a station that plays what you like to listen to, so bringing your own music guarantees quality listening.
If you want to travel to a new country, don’t exchange currencies at the airport. Because it is often the easiest currency exchange to get to, the exchange rates are typically very high. Before traveling, look up any banks nearby to find a currency exchange, as they often provide better rates.
This huge world has many great places to discover. Whether you are into the wild or love the simple pleasures, destinations await to pique your interest. Regardless of if you are just driving to another state or sailing to a faraway land, new horizons await you.
Ski resorts in Virginia don’t normally jump into your mind when first considering a family ski vacation. Normally, one might think of the towering peaks found in Colorado, Utah, or New Mexico and begin to set their sights on some of the popular ski resorts found there. However, for families on the East Coast or Eastern area of the Country, the time and price involved to go to those places might be a bit too much, particularly if you allow a little more time for you to acclimate yourself to the higher elevation.
Although the mountains are not quite as tall, the good news is that you have many fine ski resorts within the Eastern United States, offering fun for your family, and Virginia has a lot of them. The reality is, the Mid-Atlantic area has plenty of ski resorts, many of which are four season resorts that include fun activities all year-long. To better acquaint you as to what all is available, here is some information on a few of the top ski resorts located in Virginia.
Wintergreen Ski Resort – Wintergreen, Virginia
Probably Virginia’s most varied ski resort; its situated within 11,000 acres of pristine forest within the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is located within Central Virginia only 1 hour 30 minutes from Richmond, Va. and approximately three hours from Washington, D.C. and North Carolina. Rising to an elevation of 3,515 feet, Wintergreen offers 26 slopes and trails, of which 14 are lighted for night skiing. The longest run is 1.4 miles, which has a vertical drop of 1,003 feet. The ski terrain mix includes approximately 23% beginner slopes, 35% intermediate, and 42% advanced/expert runs. On top of the ski runs, the resort includes 2 terrain parks and 2 tubing parks, so whether its skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing which you enjoy most, there is a little something for all.
Massanutten Ski Resort – Massanutten, Virginia
This ski resort can be found about 10 miles east of Harrisonburg, VA, within the northwestern region of Virginia, on the tip of Massanutten Mountain with an elevation of 2,880 feet. Serving guests from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and the Washington D.C. area, Massanutten offers 8 ski lifts and 14 trails, and all of these are lighted for night skiing. The ski terrain mix is approximately 30% beginner runs, 35% intermediate, and 35% advanced runs, having a vertical drop of 1,110 feet. The resort includes 2 terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders and they also host Virginia’s first snow tubing park, which opened in 1998 and contains a 900 foot long tubing hill. In addition, there’s an ice skating facility at Massanutten, which accommodates close to 132 skaters at one time.
The Homestead Ski Area – Hot Springs, Virginia
Virginia’s first skiing resort, The Homestead has operated since 1959 and is particularly famous for its wide slopes along with a great learning area. Its located off of Interstate 81 and Route 64, and merely several miles from the West Virginia border in the Allegheny Mountains. For skiers and snowboarders, the summit is 3200 feet having a vertical drop of 700 feet. The resort offers 9 trails or runs and the terrain mix is 33% beginner runs, 33% intermediate, and 34% advanced runs, with night skiing on Saturday nights. The resort has a terrain park to offer additional challenge and excitement to both skiers and snowboarders. Off the slopes there’s still ample winter fun with ice skating, snow tubing and snowmobile tours. After the fun day of activities, relax by the fire in the Mountain Lodge to warm-up and share some of the highlights of your day with loved ones.
Bryce Ski Resort – Basye, Virginia
This ski resort is very nice for first time skiers or snowboarders and wins high marks for being a family friendly ski resort. It is located in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, tucked on a low-lying ridge between the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains towards the West Virginia border. Bryce will be the closest Virginia ski resort to Washington D.C. and it is just A couple of hours away. The summit is 1750 feet having a vertical drop of 500 feet. You’ll find 8 ski runs or trails and the longest run is 3500 feet. If you are a parent or loved one who wants to watch your kids ski, then the mountain layout is great. All slopes funnel down to one central area at the base, so it’s simple to spot your children while enjoying a mug of coffee. The terrain mix is roughly 34% beginner runs, 33% intermediate and 33% advanced runs. The bottom slopes do a good job of accommodating beginners, nonetheless the upper slopes still offer challenging terrain for intermediate or advanced skiers and snowboarders. Tubing is extremely popular at this resort and their Ridge Runner’s Tubing Park offers 800 foot long snow tubing lanes to deliver fun for the whole family.
Whether it’s a quick weekend trip to the mountains to ski or snowboard, or an extended ski vacation, your family is certain to enjoy yourself. There is nothing like enjoying good quality family time amongst beautiful mountain scenery, where you can either discover how to ski or snowboard the first time or continue to challenge yourself and hone your skill. After having a day on the slopes there is nothing like enjoying a good meal and relaxing with family around a roaring fire to share stories about the day and mention both the good runs and the wipe-outs.
Hopefully this information about several of the ski resorts in Virginia is useful and gives you a better appreciation for the area. Especially for those of you who are in the Eastern United States, definitely consider Virginia when planning your upcoming ski vacation. Most important, make sure to plan family getaways like these each year. Our children grow up so quickly, and before we know it they are gone and out on their own, so make sure and create these special times and memories that last a lifetime. Have a good time and stay safe!
Rich Herman loves traveling with his family, and regularly shares vacation ideas with others. For more information on family ski vacations visit his website: Family Vacation Ideas