Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Spring Skiing? Snow worries, mate!

When I was planning my move to New Zealand, I fully intended to hit the slopes every winter at one of the many ski areas in the various mountain ranges. Sadly, I've been here for over three years and haven't hit a single slope! But if the stars and planets align this weekend, we'll be skiing on Mt. Ruapehu!

This year has seen a banner winter for snowfall on the North Island, with a base of over four metres on the Turoa ski field on Mt. Ruapehu. (Don't let the photo above fool you, it's from 2002.) So spring skiing is going to last longer than usual this year, since four metres of snow takes a loooong time to melt.

This will be my first experience skiing on an active volcano - just in case avalanches aren't enough of a threat you can also think about lava! Of course there is usually enough warning before any significant activity, but still, it adds an extra element of uncertainty.

I can't quite remember how long it has been since I skied. As a kid, we went several times every winter (when mom and dad were paying!) and I continued to go now and then when I lived in Canada. I'd venture a guess that it's been around 5 years since I last strapped on the skis. Hopefully it's one of those skills you don't lose!

I'm sure I'll post next week with tales of my alpine adventures. Stay tuned - and if no post appears I may be nursing injuries!


sara said...

Can't wait to read about it! My bf and I want to plan a trip to NZ some day (my grandparents went probably 20 years ago now and loved it). I'm an avid skier so that would be a cool thing to do on my first trip to the Southern hemisphere... but we'll probably visit when it's a bit warmer there. How late do ski areas stay open?

Maple Kiwi said...

Hey Sara,
Ski season is really variable here. This year it will probably last at least until the end of September, but sometimes they struggle to stay open past August.
We may have to cancel our weekend due to a horrible cold, but hopefully not!

Plooka said...

Have a great time - perhaps you might write a review at http://www.plooka.com/Forum


Maple Kiwi said...

Sadly, we ended up not going on the weekend. The cold virus got the better of both of us!

Hopefully we'll get another chance before the snow is gone.