Thursday, July 14, 2011

Skiing

I had forgotten how much I love skiing.

Until today.  Today, the girls and I drove to Mt. Hutt.  On the way, we had a quintessential New Zealand experience.

Drive through sheep.

I'd heard of Drive-through restaurants, drive-through carwash, drive-through espresso stands, and even drive-through liquor stores in some parts of the South.  But drive-through sheep?

As we were heading towards the mountain, the country road I was driving on was blocked by a herd of sheep.  Yes, sheep.  I thought if I stopped and waited, they might eventually cross the road and I could move on. You know, like cows.  Or horses.

Then, the farmer in front of us got out of his car and said, "You're visitors aren't you?"  He then explained that all the locals know that you just drive through the sheep and they get out of your way.  So, we did.

Drive-through sheep
And on to Mount Hutt.

Getting to Mount Hutt is not simple.  This isn't one of your fancy-schmancy Tahoe resorts where you take nicely cleared, four-lane roads up to paved parking lots at the bottom of the hills.  No sir.  Mount Hutt  gives you a single-lane dirt road covered in snow with dropoffs on both sides.  No guardrails for us, thank you very much.  You will be nervous, and you will like it.  If you complain, Mt. Hutt might just make you do 50 pushups.

Mount Hutt Road, Partial View
Mt. Hutt Road, another partial view
At least the nice people who force you to put chains on your car (and you will bless them for doing it) will very smilingly put them on for you for $15 - and then take them off without additional charge.  And they will show you HOW to put the chains on so that you don't have to pay them the next time.

So, after a nerve-wracking drive soundracked by two girls asking, "When are we going to get there?  This is the most snow I've EVER SEEN!  THIS IS AWESOME!  When can I go skiing?  When are we going to get there?"  We finally got there.

And I took the girls to the kid watch/ski school area and left them there very quickly.  Then I got my skis on and started my half day of skiing.

It was fabulous.  On my very first run, I remembered how much I love skiing.  Sunny day.  New powdery snow.  Lovely.

And the girls loved it too.  Their instructor said that Sarah reluctantly learned how to stop, but Anna refused.  They were both having way too much fun going fast, and then stopping to make snow angels.



Snow Bunnies


And then, a two-hour drive back to Christchurch, hot baths and bed.  Tomorrow, we head to Lake Tecapo and Queenstown for the weekend and more snow!

3 comments:

  1. Do the gangs of kea still hang around the parking lot waiting to eat your french fries?

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  2. There were a few isolated (or seemingly isolated -but that might have been part of their ploy) kias in the parking lot, but not the hordes I was expecting.

    I saw none of them eating cars.

    But it's early. I think it was one of the first seven days that Mt. Hutt has been open this season, so they probably haven't all started swarming to the parking lot yet.

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