Derek Chan – the Evel Knievel of the ski hills… Reporting for Thredbo, 14-15/08/04

HEADS UP: This story had been edited to protect certain “secret” spots… Remember, riding out-of-bounds can be dangerous, so dont do it unless you know what you are doing… The guys in this story have been in this sort of terrain before, & knew what was involved… If you want to ride these areas, go with someone who has been before, bring mobiles or radios, water & food, tell someone else where you are going & when you expect to get back… Safety first!…

I have known about this run for a few years from Paul Appleby, a Thredbo local who showed me his favourite runs, but have not attempted it until this season as he said you could only do it when there is a 2m base, you have fresh snow on top and that the cover at Friday Flat is solid. Thankyou Paul, you are a champ!

Yesterday Tom and I did the hike above the track that goes from ***** to ***** so we could go out wide and then drop into the gully off Stanleys, first time we have done this (after hearing your report that you got through to the carpark OK). I have to say that it must rate as the best run we have done in Oz – Sunday arvo, sun shining, 60cm of fresh, and no-one around (although there were several tracks, it’s big enough for everyone who had made the effort). As good as heliboarding in NZ (although there was a lot of hiking involved plus the walk out….)

To get out at the bottom, I followed some paths that ended up splitting in different tracks and must have chosen the wrong one as I had a lot of fun falling into tree holes up to my armpits etc on the way out, had to cross the creek on foot, then found what must have been the right track (I say must have been right cos I ran into Mouse from Board The World on it, followed him for a bit but he was with a girl who kept getting stuck so I eventually got a bit impatient and made my own way – mistake!

Nearing the end of it, I was too buggered and missed turns/bumps etc which resulted in more walking to pay for these small mistakes – eventually came out near the far end of the carpark (ie. the entrance to the day carpark)

A great weekend, but I managed to hit a wooden fence on a “warm up run” for the top to bottom (warm up means scoring fresh tracks while serious racers actually pace out the track, tom and I were more interested in scoring freshies, he did tree runs, I at least hung around near the race track!), so am nursing some kind of injury, looks like either fractured rib or torn ligaments on ribcage, will find out tomorrow with visit to doc’s. no hucks, jumps or 360s for me! Just freeriding in NZ with a bunch of painkillers…

Derek Chan