Wednesday, July 29, 2009
We finally got out skiing. On our very own skis to boot. Stephen's mom was kind enough to lug our skis across the Pacific Ocean with her and I promised upon their receipt that I would tell her about the absolute joy we got from their being here (we HAD to use them).
We decided one Monday that neither of us had really important things to do and so it was decided skiing was to be done. We took one of the many ski buses leaving from Christchurch at 7am to one of the many ski hills within 2 hours driving time of town. 2 hours of course is accomplished in summer, with no traffic, and a driver who knows how to work the vehicle in question, not to mention a vehicle with more than a 1.6 Litre engine. 3 hours after we left, we were climbing into the ski bus that would take us up to the field.
There is a distinct different between ski 'hills' like there are in North America and the ski 'fields' here in New Zealand. Ski hills have trees and very distinguishable tracks to follow. Ski fields are bare with random 'tracks' drawn on a little map for you to use as you're making your way down the hill to ensure you don't accidentally end up on a black diamond. However, despite my initial sceptisism I thouroughly enjoyed skiing in a giant bowl, following naught but the good snow.
The other exciting discovery for me were the tow lifts. Unfortunately, the novelty wore off after about half way up the first lift (there are three to reach the top) as there is no chance to rest the legs or relax and survey the scenery (in case you cross your skis, fall down and get run over by the following 12 skiers and boarders). Once at the top though, the view was phenomenal and we could ski along the ridge top to reach some unskied portion of the mountain (and thus more powder).
It was a glorious sunny day and on the last run down from the very top, powder flying up behind at every turn, my ski decided not to stop when I did. Regrettably, my binding simultaneously decided it did want to stop. So on the last run, I was left with one ski on my foot and one ski slithering down the last 200m of hill to Stephen's feet and no chance of putting it back on. I have a new level of admiration (and awe) for people who ski with one ski, a skill I was unable to pick up in the last 200m to the bottom (much to the pleasure of many an onlooker I'm sure). As it was the end of the day there were no tears shed and all in all we ended the day on a high note smiling as we waited beside the highway for our bus (which drove home in an amazing 1 hour 45mins - however it works I know not).
So now all I have to do is fix my ski and we'll be back on the slopes once more.