A full car, a Friday night commute, and a dodgy dinner stop in Otorohanga - the weekend warriors were on the road once more!
I had not packed my backpack as I had convinced myself any hiking I was going to do would be minimal, and it was too early in the season to get all crazy on the poor old summer legs. Well... the Alpine Meadow Sunkids carpet was running but no lifts. It was sunny and warm and there was nothing to it but to follow all the other ants hiking up the hill. I made it up to the Giant Cafe deciding that I should have worn spring thermals and spring socks and I really really should have brought my backpack for a hands free hike. D'oh. No leaving it behind from now on.
It is a truly beautiful mountain. A great lunch spot up high. Clear views of Taranaki, Girdlestone, the summit, the ghost of tower 9, and looking down to the Meadow, the half full carpark, Ohakune, Raetihi, and beyond. Silent. (Except for the sound of 3 groomers zooming round us building trails.)
We had an ok run down. I was riding my old rocks board in anticipation, and had that first run of the season fear that I had forgotten how to snowboard. The trail down the Upper Freeway and Boneyard was a bit chopped up from groomer tracks and people's feet, but off to the sides some semi smoothness could be found. Actually I was pleased that there was a bit more snow here than I thought there would be. So a one-run-wonder for day 1. But us weekend warriors have gotta make the most of it, especially when you feel like your lungs will explode!
Unfortunately the rain came Sunday, and the freezing level rose, melting fair amount of snow over the past couple of days. So enjoy these pics from Saturday, and cross fingers we get some snow out of this bad weather this week.