Tuesday, July 7, 2009

3 out of 3

On the drive down we heard on the radio that the severe storm alert/warning (or whatever it was) had lifted just as quickly as it was put in place - gotta love NZ weather!

If ever there was a day to say "if you weren't here you missed it" - it was Sunday at Whakapapa. I thought winter08 had some pretty epic powder days for our wee rock, but Sunday had to be the driest, softest, freshest I have ever been in. It was dumping while we were there too, and there's nothing quite like a big fresh layer of snow loading up your lap as you ride the chair.

Sunday on the Waterfall Express Chair

As hoped the upper mountain was all go for the first weekend of the holidays. On Sunday the Rock Garden was going off, Staircase was full, bypass round the Waterfall was all go, as was down the Waterfalls. Vis during the snowstorm was not the greatest, with soft landings all over that didn't matter. From the chair the only way we could tell the difference between skiers and boarders was the way their body was facing, as you couldn't see anything from their knees down.

RAL Snow School Instructor gets amongst it

The Waterfall T was open and this was where we stayed. There was no on or off trail, just snow! Even the trail markers were near buried. My friend did a flying squirrel at one point and her skis shot through the soft snow out of sight. Digging them out, we were up to our thighs in what can best be described as 'air' - and this was right by the T Bar line.

Monday we returned to Whakapapa, but unfortunately it had crusted over like vogels toast off trail. The sun was out and all the families had arrived for the school holidays. Te Heu Heu Valley was open so there more more groomed trails to spread around on. Add in our first day at Turoa and we got 3 out of 3 days, yay.

Monday - view up the Staircase

Monday - Valley T, ready to go

Saturday morning at Turoa