Saturday, August 14, 2010

Long lost from down under (NZ style)

Hello from New Zealand!

I have now been down here for 15 days...and wow have they been busy! We had 7 days in Lake Tekapo skiing at a resort called Round Hill. It was a great place to work on drills and gain confidence back in speed (yes...I DID SG!!! was really fun). The lovely thing about winter in New Zealand it that there is only snow on the ski slopes...which makes it a very easy transition from 38 degrees in Kamloops to winter! We have had great conditions on hill and are able to go outside and play soccer in the afternoons! Lake Tekapo was a very small consisted on a strip mall selling lots of wool products and a couple of gas stations. To get out to the ski resort it was a 30 minute drive down a gravel round that winded (beautifully) around Lake Tekapo. Round Hill is a great little hill!!! It has a t-bar and the official worlds steepest poma. The poma accesses a steep open face which has epic skiing in the afternoons when the snow softens up! But man do you have to work to access it! To go up the poma you must wear a harness and attach it to a moving wire and hold on with one hand the whole way up! So yes your legs burnt on the way up but it was the hand holding yourself onto the wire that got the rough treatment!! It was VERY difficult to maintain a tight grip on the moving cable for the 5 minutes it took to get up! Letting go just wasn't a viable option if you wanted to get a great ski in!! I must add that the day we trekked up the poma it was after 7 runs of SG followed by 12 runs of slalom (we hit the millennium club for slalom alone...which means we did over a thousand gates). So in our defense...we were a little tired!

After skiing at Lake Tekapo for 6 days we drove down to Coronet Peak...which is about 20 minutes out of Queenstown. Once again the New Zealand landscape is picturesque to the extreme. We are staying on a beautiful golf course near Arrowtown. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, green fields and sheep it is hard not to fall in love with this location! Our first day here we had a day off so myself and my team mates Kelly McBroom, Maddy Irwin, Maddy McLeish, Vic Stevens and our physio Jenny went skydiving!!!

Skydiving is possible to coolest thing I have ever done. It was much less scary than expected. I wanted to challenge myself so I went from the highest you can go (15000 ft) and got my skydive "guy" to do backflips with me as soon as we jumped out of the plane! It felt amazing! I want to do it again as soon as possible!

We have skied 5 days here in Coronet with excellent hard snow and challenging terrain! Our chef took us out to dinner at his winery on the night of our day off were we tested different wines and cooked our own pizza. Once again it was great!

I will send more photos soon!

Ciao for now!
One of our backflips out of the plane!!
The top of the poma at Round Hill
The view up the poma
Lake Tekapo
The view of Mt Cook from Round Hill
Lake tekapo
Kelly jumping as usual in the Round Hill parking lot.