Seven days have already passed. Wow! I’ve had a great time in New Zealand this week, and today was no exception.
Firstly, we were blessed with impeccable weather – another ‘bluebird day’ – and we certainly made the most of it. We left our Haka Lodge nice and early, in order to head up to The Remarkables. I know it’s been said a thousand times before, but heck. They are bloody remarkable. Our tour guide told us this morning that the bloke that mapped out this particular mountain range, he noticed that it had ranges that faced both north and south, and on his cartographer’s map, he jotted down: ‘that is remarkable.’ He was one hundred percent correct.
Aside from the pristine conditions, the ski fields themselves are beautiful. There’s a variety of slopes, ranging from a beginners’ decline, up to professional-standard courses, meaning that there was truly something for everyone on-site.
I, again, started at the beginners’ track – no more than a mere decline – and I was surrounded by not only freakishly talented 4-year-olds today, but also a fair few fellow nervous adults, which comforted me. I wasn’t the only inept snowboarder out there today. Thank heck! I strapped up my boots and stood up, and after a day off the snow, I was pleased to see that my ability remained basically the same. I actually, to my surprise, managed to rocket down the slopes faster than I thought I could. I didn’t even fall down! I was so stoked that I began jumping up and down at the bottom of the slope… and presently fell on my ass as a result. Yep, not quite professional yet. But still, I was happy with my progress!
I’m not sure if it was the weather, or my new-found confidence, or perhaps a nifty concoction of the two, but something clicked in me, and I thought: let’s try a ski course! Maniacal. Still! We headed up to the green slope chairlift (green being the lowest difficulty, followed by blue, black, diamond and double-diamond) and I tried my luck on seating myself into the chairlift, while strapped to my board. I managed! Shock horror! It’s pretty unnerving, sitting on a glorified swing, held in only by a metal bar, drifting above the heads of other skiiers and boarders. I tried to focus my energy on looking straight ahead, and I prepared for the – what I assumed to be effortless – dismount at the top.
The top came, and I promptly fell backwards onto my poor fiancé. Sorry! So much for effortless. I quickly recovered and whisked myself over to the starting point, and boy, that view. If only I had my camera with me! I prepped myself for the takeoff, pushed off, and it began. I felt like I was flying! I weaved through the other snowboarders with surprising accuracy, and made my way down the slope. I kept yelling out to my fiancé in shock that I was still upright. I must’ve looked and sounded ridiculous, but I didn’t care! I was so proud of myself, and so glad I’d taken a chance and done something that five days ago, I was absolutely petrified of. I made it down a course! I’m still surprised, but already looking forward to my next trip to Queenstown to tackle it again.
For more information on Haka Tours, click here.