Well no sooner was I back from being at sea was I dragged up to Ruapehu by the girls to go skiing. It had been snowing all week so the snow conditions were looking good. Unfortunately the forecast for the weekend wasn't. I was hoping that the forecast would be wrong, as it often is, but it wasn't - so Saturday was windy, raining and with very poor visibility. We were briefly tempted to sit in the lodge, but we were here to ski, so off we went. There was only one lift open and only one run possible, so we went round and round. The run seemed vaguely different each time - only because the visibility varied! By about lunchtime, however, the snow was slushy and we were soaking wet and getting cold - so we retreated back to the lodge to have a hot shower and dry out.
Kathryn and Anne Laure
Late Saturday afternoon the clouds lifted and we could finally see the mountain. We had a busy evening in the lodge as Kathryn and I were cooking for 13 people. The lodges are run by different clubs so everyone has to help out with chores. I also spent a bit of time playing with the large box of lego that was at the lodge and helping the 3 children build houses, boats, cars etc.. We also had a couple of games of quick scrabble!
Clouds lifted on Whakapapa resort Saturday evening
Sunday morning the clouds were down at the resort - but they soon lifted to a beautiful sunny day. The rugby world cup game between the All Blacks and France was on - so the ski slopes were pretty empty in the morning. We went in to the cafe to check to score, which was 13-3 at the time, and then we headed up the hill. Unfortunately Anne Laure had a small crash on her first run down and landed awkwardly twisting her knee in the process. She managed to ski down to the bottom and walk to the medical centre - but she was in a lot of pain, so that was the end of her skiing for the day. She was only cheered up when she found out the rugby scores "Oh la la!! C'est incrueable!"
I helped Anne Laure to the cafe and headed back up the slopes to find Kathryn to tell her what had happened. The snow was pretty good - obviously where it had been raining down low it had been snowing a bit up higher, and it had also softened from a few weeks ago as it was much warmer. So there was some great skiing on spring snow. I skiied a couple of the double black diamond runs, which are basically popular off piste runs that are not patrolled or groomed. I also spent a bit of time coaxing Kathryn down some of the harder runs. I'm such a bully!
Probably the last ski trip of the season as the snow was disappearing fast over the weekend.....