Sunday, August 11, 2013

Helen's Birthday Ski Trip

Aaron organised to take me skiing for my birthday (and weekend) at Turoa on Mt Ruapehu. It was great to go on the Friday as it was much less busy and there were very small queues for the lifts. But also the weather was perfect. Cool and sunny with no wind. There was pretty good snow on the pistes, but off piste it was pretty icy and crusty - a little more challenging. It was great to get back into it and remind ourselves how to ski again as Aaron hadn't been for a couple of years and I had only one day last year.
Mt Ruapehu

Snack stop
On Saturday the weather was still okay in the morning so we got up early - in the hope that we would beat the weather that was forecast for the afternoon. To avoid the crowds we put our skins on and started skinning up the edge of the ski area. It got a little steep and icy and we ended up carrying skis and kicking steps for a 100 m or so. After about 2 and a half hours of going up hill we intersected one of the runs and skied back down - trying to avoid the moving slalom poles (other skiers). 
Starting up the mountain

A little too matching
After our little ski tour, we grabbed our crampons and ice axes and went to play on a steepish slope next to the carpark. Around midday the clouds started building up and the weather front came over Mt Ruapehu. So we retreated from the snow and headed back down the mountain to do a short bush walk to Waitonga Falls. We haven't done much tramping on this side of the mountain before. So it was good to explore a little beyond the ski slopes. 

The end of the nice weather

Waitonga Falls
On the Sunday we woke to pouring rain - supposedly snowing up on the mountain.... But with the flat light and after two full on days, we decided to head back to Wellington. It was nice to get a way for the weekend and play with some of our outdoor toys. We are hoping to do a 5 day ski tour in the south island in October. So we needed to remind ourselves how to do it all. 

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