An Aussie Jumped the Ditch: Day Five

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Well well well, what a day!

We left our beautiful Wanaka accommodation this morning. I was genuinely upset to leave that town – I’m already planning my next trip back!   It was ridiculously cold this morning, too, so I think I’ve finally adopted some late winter sniffles, but not to worry! We shall press on.

We drove out to Treble Cone this morning. I won’t ruin it for you if you’re planning on heading out to the Treble Cone fields anytime soon, but I will say this: wow. The view is spectacular, and really feels like magic; it feels like you’re looking at this giant, marvellous painting.

Avid skiiers and snowboarders refer to the weather we had today as a ‘bluebird day’. We were blessed with not a single cloud in the sky; it was the perfect day to hit the slopes! Treble Cone was packed with snow-goers today, all eager to get that perfect run down the mountain. It was a balmy -6 degrees today, which meant every sip of the hot chocolate I downed at midday did not go to waste.

The way that the beginner slope is accessed at Treble Cone is different to the other slopes we’ve visited thus far; instead of a ‘magic carpet’ conveyor belt taking you up to the mountain, there’s a chairlift-type contraption holding long, curved steel rods called ‘J-bars’. The theory is that you tuck the circular J-bar base either between your legs, or under your arm, and you’re carried up the mountain that way – all the while, steering yourself on either your skiis or your board. According to some of the other members of our group, the J-bar method is not the easiest for beginners, and today I found out why.

After walking up the beginner slope myself a few times for practice, I decided I’d try to get up the mountain using the J-bar. I tucked the circular part under my arm, and held on for dear life… for about eight seconds, after which point I lost control of my board, and went flying, ass first, onto solid ice. I fell straight on my tailbone and immediately was in intense pain. It was totally my fault, but dang. I’d love to have had access to a chairlift instead, but if you’re at a slope that has a J-bar pulley lift installed, I’d definitely recommend being on skiis to use it, and not a board, at least while you’re finding your feet!

Anyway, my busted tailbone and I skulked up to the café, sat down with a hot chocolate, and read some Harry Potter for the rest of the afternoon. We have a packed day in Queenstown tomorrow doing some super fun things, and I basically made the executive decision to look after my bruised and battered body, just a little, so that I can properly enjoy my time out tomorrow. I also spent a solid thirty minutes admiring the gorgeous local kea birds; they’re the only type of alpine parrot in the world! What legends.

My injury aside, I really did have a great time up at Treble Cone today, as cold as it was. I’m looking forward to going back one day, staring that J-bar square in the face, and beating it once and for all.

For more information on Haka Tours, click here.

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