Magic bot­tled snow and much more at Mt Stir­ling

Mt Buller News - - FRONT PAGE - By BARB JONES

OVER the years, Craig and Barb Jones have prided them­selves that Stir­ling Ex­pe­ri­ence has one of the best cross coun­try ski schools in the Aus­tralian Alps.

Wish­ing to con­tinue this tra­di­tion of bring­ing the best in­struc­tors to the moun­tain and con­tin­u­ing the re­sort’s as­so­ci­a­tion with the grad­u­ates from the Univer­sity of Tartu [Es­to­nia] Sports Academy and the Otepaa Ski In­sti­tute, Craig and Bar­bara vis­ited Es­to­nia in Jan­uary to catch up with for­mer staff and find new in­struc­tors for 2014.

Tem­per­a­tures of mi­nus 20 de­grees did not dampen their enthusiasm and they ex­plored many re­gions, in­clud­ing an Ice Is­land, Ki­hnu and ex­plor­ing the Kohlta un­der­ground mine with Kris­ten Tat­tar and Janek Val­li­man [2011 and 2012 sea­sons].

They are now the proud par­ents of a beau­ti­ful baby daugh­ter, Is­abelle.

Craig en­joyed ski­ing on the frozen lakes and beau­ti­fully pre­pared cross coun­try trails.

As with past sea­sons, four Es­to­nian in­struc­tors will again join the Mt Stir­ling Ski School for this sea­son.

Ave and Joosep on their first trip down un­der, Siim Elio re­turn­ing from last sea­son and Varhur Tep­pan from 2012.

Siim has spent the year work­ing and ex­plor­ing the east coast of Aus­tralia.

When we last heard from him he was pick­ing ba­nanas near Cairns and in­tends to drive back via Alice Springs.

Vahur Tep­pan, known lo­cally, as V-Man will be fly­ing back once again.

Vahur has launched his own ski coach­ing busi­ness in Es­to­nia.

His work van, filled with skis and tun­ing equip­ment and sign writ­ten with a large VR (Vahur Rocks) trav­els the coun­try fol­low­ing the race cal­en­dar and run­ning stu­dent cross coun­try ski pro­grams in many schools through­out the win­ter.

Af­ter re­sort ski­ing in Aus­tria and cross coun­try ski­ing in Es­to­nia, the one thing that re­ally im­pressed Barb and Craig was the man­ner in which Euro­pean re­sorts em­braced all forms of on-snow ac­tiv­i­ties.

It was won­der­ful to see people of all ages and abil­i­ties en­joy­ing be­ing in the snow, walk­ing, sled­ding, snow shoe­ing as well as ski­ing.

Euro­pean re­sorts equally cater for ev­ery­one, en­cour­ag­ing vis­i­tors to en­joy the moun­tain en­vi­ron­ment.

Walk­ing, snow shoe­ing and sled­ding/to­bog­gan­ing trails weave seam­lessly through the land­scape ad­ja­cent to the ski trails, vis­i­tors are not cor­ralled into sep­a­rate lit­tle sec­tions as we so of­ten do in Aus­tralia.

Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to en­joy the moun­tain and it is our de­sire that we achieve the same wel­com­ing spirit and that this should be the way for­ward for Mt Stir­ling.

As part of this aim we will again run our Ski School, Sun­day Ex­pe­ri­ence pro­gram.

This is an op­por­tu­nity to en­joy a day of ski tour­ing in a re­laxed and friendly at­mos­phere, led by one of our qual­i­fied in­struc­tors.

The ski school will also of­fer snow shoe tours of dif­fer­ent length and du­ra­tion cater­ing for those of vary­ing fit­ness lev­els each weekend.

Vahur has ex­pe­ri­enced the va­garies of Aus­tralian snow­falls and has pre­sented us with some spe­cial Es­to­nian Magic Snow - just add wa­ter.

Craig and Barb in­vite all to ‘come on up to Mt Stir­ling and see if it has worked’.

BACK ON STIR­LING: Es­to­nian ski in­struc­tor Pi­ibe jumped for joy on ar­riv­ing at Mr Stir­ling.

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