FOR Daniel Lehrer, the annual Frosty Fruits Ski Trip is all about one thing: having an enjoyable time.
“It’s a fun, relaxed vibe,” the Melbourne resident said.
“It’s a nice way to have a relaxing trip and meet like-minded people while skiing.”
Daniel has skied extensively elsewhere in Australia and overseas, including gay ski events such as the one in Aspen, Colorado — but there there was one thing about Frosty Fruits that made it different.
“Aspen gets about 5000 people attending but we don’t have that number in Australia,” he said.
“I think Frosty Fruits is different because it’s a boutique event, it’s intimate. It’s not just a huge gaggle of gay guys judging each other, it’s a friendly event with everyone just having a good time.”
Now in its sixth year, Frosty Fruits has fast become Australia’s premium gay and lesbian ski week held at Hotham Alpine Resort in the Victorian Alps over six days.
Organised by Points of Difference Events, events producer Adam Bold said Mt Hotham had some of Australia’s best natural snowfalls and stunning on-mountain accommodation — and some of the most hospitable, LGBTI-friendly staff around.
With group chalets right on top of the mountain, Frosty Fruits punters can literally roll out of bed and onto the slopes to cut up some pretty white powder in the sun.
Daniel particularly liked this aspect of the trip: “With most trips you have to book everything and do a lot of organising. But with this one, all you do is make one booking and show up and all the organising is done for you. It’s worth it.”
Adam explained why Frosty Fruits was established: “We recognised that there was no national gay ski event like there was overseas.
“We thought Australia should have one as a matter of national pride. There have been a number of community events running, but nothing commercial and nothing that targeted the national market.”
He added that Frosty Fruits was the only truly-national LGBTI event, and the only one that occurred in winter.
“Mardi Gras is very Sydney and Midsumma is very Melbourne, whereas the Frosty Fruits Ski Trip welcomes everyone to come to the snow,” Adam said.
“The event also promotes a healthy lifestyle and while we do have our party nights, there is plenty of time to get out and connect with Mother Nature in all her winter wonder.”
Adam echoed Daniel’s sentiment of Frosty Fruits being intimate: “One special thing we find each year is the gay camaraderie that develops. With a diverse mix of gay men and women and transgendered from a variety of backgrounds, sharing on-mountain group chalets, it is the after hours fireside chats where people get to know each other and friendships develop. Of course, having a sauna or two also helps.”
On a personal level, Adam also looked forward to the trip away to the snow each year.
“The drive from Albury to Mt Hotham, through the Victorian high country is spectacular and seeing the snow-capped peaks as we drive towards them get me excited every time,” he said.
“Being able to welcome back returning guests whilst also having the chance to welcome snow virgins to the alpine heights is a complete joy. With guests coming from all over the country to stay on-mountain, it also allows a great chance for people to mix.”
In 2013, in addition to having DJ Kate Monroe play at the Chill OUT party, trippers were also treated to the talented Joyce Maynge, who performed the highest drag performance in Australia. At 1750m above sea-level, no drag has ever been higher.
“We are hoping for a repeat this year and intend to track down the local Guinness Book of Records representative to officially record the feat.” Adam said.
This year’s events are also shaping up to be fabulous and in addition to a heap of snow time, organisers have some great evening events planned, such as the Nordic Feast, the official Scavenger Hunt, plus some non-skier activities such as Dog Sledding, Day Spa Afternoon and the Brown Brothers Sparking Sunset Tour. Not to mention the daily apres-ski events and group breakfasts to help start the day.
When: Thursday, August 21 to Tuesday, August 26
Where: Hotham Alpine Resort, Victoria
Cost: Prices start from $1383 per person for a Long Weekend Package (4days/3nights), which includes accommodation, events, meals and lift ticket. Six-day Premium Packages and other combinations also available.
Bookings and details at www.pointsofdifference.com/FFST or call 02 8011 3298
Special offer: Mention this article and receive free equipment rental if you book before May 15. Guests will then also go into the draw to win a free Day Spa Treatment or Dog Sled Ride (with the cutest dogs you’ll see on the snow).