Monday, July 03, 2006

Day 387 – 389 - July Skiing

Day 387 - 389 – 30th June – 2nd July 2006 +11:00 GMT

I had not skied for a while so I thought I would arrange a ski weekend to Whakapapa at Mount Ruapehu. 16 people ended up going, so we took 4 cars up on Friday night the drive was 350km and took around four and a half hours, so it was gone midnight by the time we arrived at National Park. We were all booked into Howards Lodge but unfortunately they had messed the bookings up and missed out two beds. So after a bit of confusion two people spent the night in another Backpackers place. Eveyone was up by 7am and on the road by 8am. It is only a 20 minute drive to the mountain, and several people had never skied or snowboarded so started with a beginners package ($76/£25 for 2 hour lesson, lift passes and ski or snowboard hire for the whole day).
Since I had skied before I bought a full mountain lift pass and hired skies, boots and poles. I started off on the beginner slopes as I had not skied for a few years and after 30 minutes, Sabine, Simon 3 and I were ready to hit the mountain.

Happy Valley Ski Slope

Mount Tongario

We started on the lower mountain and it was great skiing, The place was packed with a round 6000 skiers that day. After an hour or so I made my way to the upper mountain and stopped for breakfast then proceeded to ski all the way to the bottom, It took and hour to get down from the very top first time as the three of us were taking it easy and slowly.

Mount Taranaki

The Upper Mountain Slope

After a few hours I felt completely at ease and was whizzing down the mountain at great speed. The day was lovely with clear ski’s and nice and hot.

View From Top Of Mountain

View From Top Of Mountain

Mount Tongario

I only had two falls in the whole day and by the time the lifts closed at 3:45pm I was not wanting to leave. Everyone had had a great day and could not wait to return. In the evening we chilled out in the sauna’s and hot spa’s before ascending on the local pub/restaurant for beer and food.

Us In the Pub

It had been a really busy day so heading to bed fairly early and got up 4 hours later at 3am to watch the England vs Portugal World Cup game. After 120 minutes of play and several penalties, England were knocked out the world cup, by now it was 6am and I needed more sleep, so back to bed for 3 hours before servicing and then breakfast and a long drive back to Wellington.

Mount Taranaki from 100 Miles Away

Zoom In on Mount Taranaki from 100 Miles Away

A Large Carrot

We got back home just after 4pm and sat around chatting and playing games until it was time to crash out. The whole weekend had cost only $120/£40 It had been a fantastic weekend and we are already planning the next ski trip.
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