Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Winter Bluebirds

On Monday I called "a bluebird day" and didn't return to work, making it a long cold weekend and 3 sunny days at Turoa.

Saturday was unbelievably cold!! We had 3 freeeeezing rides on the Movenpick and runs to the base, before stopping for hot chocolate and a foot rub to warm the numbness taking over the body. The report said it was -10'C and with wind-chill it must have been a tad over -20'. There'd been some fresh snow Friday afternoon. There was a chain restriction on the Ohakune Mountain Road and with the winds plus only Lower Mountain open, the top carpark didn't even fill til lunchtime.

As predicted, the winds eased a bit. The Giant and High Flyer Chair opened round the middle of the day, and the High Noon Express opened by one. Time to explore the wind blown stashes up high. Somehow we ended up in the right place at the right time and were on the first chair of the Express. I took a lonely ride down Big Bowl 1st up and had time to stop and enjoy it and take a few pics before the next person stumbled across my path. Then we headed over west. The traverse over from the end of the cat track above Big Bowl had those icy vertical icicles laid out like feathers across the slope, but they were easy enough to crack through before enjoying the creamy smooth dry windblown stash of Fresh snow down Slider.


Back again on Sunday, this time the masses followed. When you get up here early in the front few rows, it's hard to perceive how many people are really there, except for looking down at the car parks from up high. It sure felt busy, but considering the limited trails and the amount of people sticking to the lower slopes (learners/families) it wasn't really that bad and could have been worse crowd wise. Driving down we saw people parked at Massey Flat! (Found out afterwards they have 5800 on the slopes.) On trail things were getting moguly; off trail there were still stashes to be found even if some exposed parts were now scraped back due to wind and skiers/riders. Slider was the playground of the afternoon again, but by now my poor quads hated me traversing back to the Giant or staying high traversing to the Express. When the boys went east to the Glacier I took a big fat "pass" and called it a day. Poor legs.

Monday, almost a ditto day. The pipes at home froze for a second time, and at 830 when we loaded the car it was still -5'C in the backyard. Still a large amount of people at Turoa and lots of snow being pushed around, by people and the groomers. Vertigo was being pushed into shape, and would be ready on Tuesday. It was good not to have Monday-itis at work, ah this is the life. Lots of happy faces enjoying the sun and the school holidays.

Next weekend it's time to get the Retro on. Here's hoping it's not a soggy "Hot Sister" route like the past couple of years. Sunny weather has to come to an end sometime, but looking forward to more SNOW.