Chairlift Related Incidents – The Early Off Loader

So people really do fall off chairlifts. Luckily we have had no one injured from falling this year, as the falls have been relatively minor and very close to the load and unload stations.

Though this particular incident doesn’t happen too often it has happened and I have been witness to it twice this season.

Right near the end of each chairlift ride, right at the point where guests start to raise the safety bars on their chairs, skiers do a little wiggle and shift themselves forward in the chair as to make it easier to stand up at the unload point. I hate this. Especially when the kids do it.

Twice now I have seen a skier do their little wiggle near the end of the ride, and wiggle a little too far.At the time an enclosure was set up around the entire unload station and so the falls are very short and in to soft snow.

images

Both times the person stood up dumbfounded, looked at me and said “sorry”. Luckily neither were injured.

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Wind Hold – A Lifties Perpective

From the moment we woke, outside was completely white. The kind of white that will only vaguely let you see objects within a few meters.

As usual I prepared for work. As a Lifty we don’t get to choose whether or not we go out. If the conditions are horrific, and we are on the roster, we strap on our boards and get out there. On leaving the accommodation there was no suggestion of heavy winds, only the usual calm of the mountain. I set off on foot to Eagle Chairlift (the usual meeting point for all of us Lifties in the morning) where we waited for all the appropriate clearances, loaded the chairs, and went off to work. But this was no ordinary chair ride.

At the base of Eagle Chair everything seemed normal. A little colder than usual perhaps, but nothing extraordinary. Our ascent began and very shortly I could hear the whistle of the wind. By half way up the Chairlift the wind was extremely heavy. All three of us on the chair were gripping the safety bar as it swayed uneasily in the wind. I remember looking at the chairs returning to the bottom swaying so hard that they were nearly hitting the Lifts columns. About three quarters of the way up, Milli (who was sitting beside me), had her helmet blow completely off her head and into the ‘never to be found again’ unknown.

Eventually we all got to the Top of the Chair and grouped by work buddies for the day (the lifts stopped immediately and went on a wind hold that lasted for two straight days). Milli and I were working at a Lift Station that was at the bottom of a blue and black run area, with some very steep terrain. We skated our boards across to the top of the run we needed to take and strapped our other feet in. The wind was horrible, as we stood up and pointed our boards down the mountain, the wind was smashing ice and snow so hard against us that we were being pushed back up hill. We eventually had to make the decision to unstrap our boards and start trekking down very steep and slippery terrain, straight in to the wind, dragging our boards with us. It took about 15 minutes worth of slowly struggling downhill for us to reach a point at which we could actually strap our boards on and get to work at the bottom.

Once we reached the bottom we were immediately notified of the wind hold situation. Basically it was too dangerous to operate the lifts in such extreme conditions. Unless you happen to be a Lifty of course.

During a wind hold, depending on circumstances, Lifties can end up doing a variety of things. During a wind hold at a bottom station with excessive snow means an entirely shovelling work shift. Unfortunately this was that shift, so we picked up our shovels and started digging. I remember the ice being so hard to break that we were using a hammer drill with a giant ice bit trying to break it up.

I remember standing at the base of the slope looking up the mountain. The air at the base was still but I could see the chairs swinging wildly in the wind above. Most notably I remember staring at the slopes as the high winds picked up all the fresh snow and carried it in wind currents, meandering it up the side of the mountain through the natural features and moguls.

wind hold

This was one of the most extreme experiences I have ever had, it wasn’t very fun, but I’m so happy I was there to experience it.

Welcome Revelations

20 days ago I abandoned my career as an Engineer in search of something else, something unknown. I would like to say that my world has been turned upside down, but it’s more true to say that it was already upside down, and that it has now turned the right way up. For the first time in my life I feel truly free.

There are two simple statements that have been resonating with me of late. Two simple statements that can be heard loud and clear by anyone, but take great attention and contemplation to fully understand.

The first is “Just Do It“. Here and now. This really is it. Right now. Next year we will all be older. Soon we will be dead. There are many things I want to do in my life. My biggest hurdle has not been an inability to achieve my goals, but rather an ignorance of my options and a fear of change. What will I do without my high Income? Will I be able to get another Job? Where will I live? These questions only served to keep me still. To keep me stuck in fear of change and perpetually failing to really live the life I have. The future is uncertain. But regardless, it is always possible that I might fail at what I don’t want to do anyway, so why not at least try and do something I really want to do? Why not pick that thing I want to do, and Just Do It?

The second is “Live and Let Live. I spent too many years in hate. There are many people in this world, and many different ways of life. Yes, there is one and only one truth about life, the Universe and all that is and will ever be, but who am I to think that I am right in what I ‘know’. I may see many beliefs as silly or unwarranted, but who am I to tell anyone what they should or should not believe. We should express ourselves and our thoughts, and we should listen to others, it is the best way to grow in self. But we must learn to just love each other regardless of what we each choose to believe, be it out of introspective conviction, faith, science, ignorance, whatever. I have found great peace in the past weeks by learning to just accept anyone for who they are, regardless of whether they are willing to accept me or not.

These last few weeks have seen me completely lose who I thought I was. I now know, with absolute certainty, that money and happiness have absolutely nothing to do with each other. All of the best memories I have made over the past year have been in the last few weeks.

My First Game of Jenga

My First Game of Jenga

A Road Trip Break

A Road Trip Break

Playing Jenga for the first time. Having a secret party under a bridge. Watching the clouds from a mountain top. Road trips. My friends bucks night at the pub. But most of all, what has brought me the most peace and happiness is people. I have met many new and amazing people.

Craigs Bucks Night

Craigs Bucks Night

Secret Event @ Undisclosed Location

Secret Party @ Undisclosed Location

I don’t know where I will be in 4 months. But wherever it is, it will be somewhere I want to be. Otherwise I wont stay.

Habitually Conversing

Supposedly, the easiest time to eliminate old habits and form new ones is whilst undergoing a major change in living circumstances. For example moving house. So I figured that given I am going to be moving to Falls Creek for the Snow Season I should start thinking about what habits I currently have that I should cut out and what things might be worth trying to adopt regularly in my life.

In the last 2 months I have already had huge success in changing my lifestyle for the better. Primarily with regards to smoking and excessive spending. Though there is always a way to continue to improve. So what is next? Ironically (though I guess it couldn’t have happened any other way) whilst obsessively scanning facebook yesterday I began stumbling across a whole bunch of content (such as the videos below) regarding how obsessed with technology we have become and how dissociative it can cause us to be.


I definitely spend too much of my time on social media. I have begun to loose the art of conversation and am numb. My phone is always on me and I easily check it 100 times a day. There is only so much I get out of digital conversation. They lack emotion and tone. They are checked and optimized and lack genuine error. I do not truly know the people that I converse with online and they do not know me. What defines us is so much more than anything anyone can write on a screen.


So when I get to Falls Creek, in about a months time, I am going to leave my phone at home during the days. I’m only going to check it in the morning and at night. During the day I am going to commit my complete and full attention to everyone and anyone that wishes to share some of their time engaging with me. I am also going to make an active effort to engage others, simply to share a short moment in friendly conversation. I wish to learn to converse once more and make some new genuine friends. Some friends that get to know who I really am and not how I appear online.

Well. I was going to try and come up with a few new habits to try and adopt, but my work break is nearly over. Running. I’m going to try and run at least 3 times a week. But lets not commit to too much hey. The phone is already a big one :/ 

A Thought on Time

As of this moment, I have been alive for 833,561,826 seconds. Or, for the more reasonable among us, about 26 and a half years.

Image credit to litstack.com

Image credit to litstack.com

Now, after the decision to leave my profession, the sense of ‘running out of time‘ can at times seem overwhelming. Currently, the average life expectancy for males in my approximate age group within Australia is just less than 80 years. This means that, on average, I have the amount of time I have already been alive more than 2 times over again before I die. But I don’t ever get to relive my childhood, I don’t have to learn to walk or talk again. I don’t ever get to go back to high school, I already know how to read and write.

If in the first 26 years of my life, from a foundation of nothing I can come this far, how much can I achieve in the next 26 years. Though it is correct to say that I am starting financially again at $0, I am not starting from scratch. I now have experience, education, knowledge and will. We have a lot more time than we know, it only matters to recognize its potential and how we use it.

I am now 833,562,612 seconds old. Did I use these 786 seconds effectively?

Chasing a Lie – Relative Maturity

Every day that passes I think I am mature, that I have finally become an adult. Yet every year that passes I look back at how many silly and immature things I have done.

I remember being a child, looking up at the older people (even people as young as 16 at the time) I admired, at how cool and wise they were, as if they were all knowing and lived with a clear purpose. Now I wonder if anyone ever really become wise, or if it is all just relative. Do we ever really find a purpose, or do some of us just materialize one to suit their life choices?

I don’t believe anyone really knows where they are going, what they are doing, or why they are doing it. Some people think they know, though I doubt they really do. It seems that no matter what we believe we will always remain a minority, and as such are likely wrong. Every belief I hold is more likely to be wrong than right. So what’s the point believing in anything? I don’t know. I only really believe in myself. It is the only perspective I will ever have.

So if I have no purpose, if I am immature and do not have a clear path to follow, what is it that I should do tomorrow? Why should I continue to exist?

Happiness. Joy. Love. These are the things I wish to live for. I wish to live for laughter, for moments that capture the heart, for the places that take your breath away, for the times that freeze time still. I should continue to exist, not because I have a purpose, but because regardless of how I came to be, I Am lucky enough to be alive. I think therefore I am. I have the privilege of life, and I know what it is like to be loved, to be wanted and to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

So I have no direction, nor do I want one. I am not wise, though some people may be deluded in to thinking I am. I am not mature, I do not know even know what maturity is. According to wikipedia, “maturity is the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner”. So based on wikipedias interpretation, maturity is an experience based trait. Those that have the widest range of experience are more likely to understand possible outcomes and act appropriately. No doubt intelligence, physicality and many other attributes also effect maturity, but on the whole it seems that the older a person is, the more mature they ought to be.

Well, I have been hearing two messages very, very clearly from people older (more mature) than myself for a very long time. Only recently have I decided to really stop, listen and think about the message I am receiving:

  1. Life is short; and
  2. Go out and get what it is that you want.

So i’ll say it again, like in many other posts. I’m scared, I don’t know what my future holds. Will I survive this world now that I have chosen to leave the professional world? Now that I have chosen to take the hard road. The path less traveled. I am not prepared. The great unknown looms over me. I stand firm and march forward. I must. Life is too short. While my mind doubts, my heart is strong. Life is way too short.

Is This @#$% Really Important?

My professional life is over in 51 days now (34 more days behind a desk). The closer the date gets, the more i’m thinking about what is going to happen. Truth is that I have no solid idea. Perhaps my need to know, my need to have some degree of certainty as to what the future holds, is something I need to let go of.

Today I have been trying to shift my thinking. Rather than thinking about what is going to happen. I’m asking myself what is important? Life is uncertain, and I do not have a solid plan. I only have ideas that may or may not work (though i’m largely optimistic) and a desire to actually live my life. So perhaps I should just let life happen, enjoy the moment and focus on the important things. But what are the important things?

These are the things that I think are important. This list has not been planned and perhaps I will use it as a ‘live’ record and update it as I make my journey. But for now, this is what comes to mind:

  • People
  • Passion
  • Family
  • Adventure
  • Individuality
  • Travel
  • Love
  • Compassion
  • Contribution
  • Sleep
  • Diversity
  • Experience
  • Friendship
  • Health
  • Creativity
  • I have recently been put in contact and inspired by a few people who have already taken the leap I intend to take. Individuals who have thrown away the ideals that we have been taught, and have become truly their own people. I hope to learn a lot from these incredible people.

    I have also had many conversations recently with older professionals, including people in my current workplace. Many times I have heard that one of the biggest regrets they have is not taking a similar risk when they were younger, and choosing to just continue in the corporate world, year after year.

    So i’m going to try my best to focus on what is important, and just let life happen, whilst trying to experience and travel as much as possible. If I end up in the gutter. I will end up in the gutter happy. I have no idea where I am going. But for the first time in my life I feel that I am beginning to discover myself, and not the person the world expects me to be.

    Entering the great unknown in T – 51 days.

    Progressing Towards A Life Of Travel

    7 years of primary school, 6 years of high school, 4 years of University and 3 years professional experience as an engineer, and in 57 days I throw it all away. 57 days from now (38 days of actual work) I have my last day working as an engineer. Only now, after all of my schooling and workplace experience do I truly feel that I am prepared for life.

    It’s a lie to say I am not anxious or scared. Uncertainty looms over me. However the closer I get to my final day, the more optimistic I become. My attitude and anxiety fluctuate wildly day to day, but the overall trend is in the right direction. Currently I am reducing my debt so rapidly that it is looking like I will actually have a bit of cash behind me when I leave. I’m smiling more frequently now. I have always been optimistic. Though now I am optimistic with a much grander view of potential.

    I do not believe life has any purpose. I don’t believe that we are meant to do something with our time and I don’t believe there is any higher power. Besides maybe one that has evolved independently from us and left us in some form of colossal petri dish as an evolutionary experiment. I do believe that we all have the ability to experience joy, that we all can (and do) experience suffering and loss and that we only have a finite amount of time on this earth live. So why do so many of us not ever really live.

    There was a quote (likely fake) going around facebook for a while supposedly having come from the Dalai Lama which regardless of its validity really hits home to me. It is said that, when asked what surprised him the most about humanity he replied as follows;

    “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money in order to recuperate his health. He is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he doesn’t live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama

    My life to this point I do not regret a day of. Because my experience, my successes and my (more numerous) failures have made me who I am now. I no longer fear life. I no longer live in anxiety with a fear of the future. I no longer advance myself and my skills for the benefit of an employer. I now live for me. I now live to experience. To travel. To smile, be happy and enjoy the company of the people I meet.

    This weekend is potentially a pivot point for me. I have an interview with a company called Merlin Entertainment. The specific role I am applying for is to be a lift attendant at Falls Creek (Snow in Australian) for a whole season. But the potential within this organization are incredibly far reaching and exciting. Wish me luck. Though I don’t think I need it 😉

    A Depressing Undertaking

    In ideal circumstances, it is now 2 months from the day I go to Falls Creek (the snow). There is a good chance this will not happen, but in any case whatever my next step is, it will likely either be somewhere distant or on the way to somewhere distant. So I must be prepared. For those of you that are reading my posts, you will know that being prepared involves getting rid of all of my stuff. Besides perhaps a small selection of things that I will leave with loved ones.

    For the remainder of today and all of tomorrow I will be photographing and listing every single book, CD and DVD I own, love and have left, for sale. Those that don’t sell I will be giving away for free. Be it to anyone that wants them or a charity store. Most likely the remaining books will go to the Melbourne Central book exchange shelf.

    I wish to see more of this world, how that happens I don’t yet know and I will likely always remain uncertain about what comes next. The biggest step will be to get to the next place. The first place. And to start learning how to live with less.

    The life I have been leading has now left me empty, depressed and wanting for more. But more it seems, is less. More is to enjoy the moment, to find myself in good company and in laughter. To leave behind the office and the seemingly endless professional repetition. I no longer have any desire to strive for a promotion, or a pay rise. These things are now meaningless to me. As of this June, I will no longer work jobs I do not enjoy. I will make sure that I am either somewhere I want to be, or working towards somewhere I want to be. I am the only person in control of my future. I want no handouts. I will make myself.

    So for now. It is time to start taking photographs, weighing books and listing things for sale. Once I have started getting a decent amount of things listed I will place some links here.

    Sigh*