It’s been a while since the last post. As usual we were just busy. We managed to go for many hikes that I wanted to post about, just struggled for time. Konrad joined scouts, and Matylda signed for Remarkables Netball Squad. That means we were busy during evenings and weekends throughout the autumn. After netball season finished, winter started. We got ourselves a season ski pass each. Because our children go to local school, we managed to buy season pass for them cheap, around 100 bucks each. It is a bargain, as normal child pass costs over 400$ per child.
Completing the ski equipment was a laborious process, as new stuff cost a lot of money, especially if you have to buy it times four. We managed to find
a second-hand skis on Facebook marketplace on cheap, however obviously skis we on the older side, and had lots of wear and tear on them. Luckily, we found a deal for locals in one of the ski hire shops giving us 40% off on getting skis ready for winter – repairing damages, sharpening the edges etc. We also to complete the equipment in the Queenstown Event Centre winter event, where people and ski/snowboard hire shops sell used stuff in order to upgrade their stock. You can find some real bargains there if you turn up early enough. Nothing fancy, nothing flashy, however there is still a lot of life left in them.
Once we were ready for winter, might as well start using the opportunity, and ski as much as we could. At the beginning of the season, we dedicated whole weekend for skiing. To mix up things, we were spending Saturdays on Remarkables, and Sundays on Coronet Peak. I understand that Coronet is the oldest NZ commercial ski field, we realised very quickly that is also overrated, especially on the main lifts. The quality of snow is not the best to put it nicely, and huge crowds of people make it even less enjoyable. The best thing about Coronet Peak for us was night skiing. We didn’t try that before, and enjoy it for some time, till the snow condition got really bad. On the end of the day Coronet Peak is also know as Concrete Peak, and really stands for its name.
The Remarkables quickly became our favourite ski field. You can find slopes for literally everybody. There are three magic carpets for total beginners, two slopes for more advanced beginners, five blue/intermediate lifts with several slopes, and more challenging red, black and double black runs. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, you will find something that is enjoyable for you. We started gently, to get Hania and children used to, and continuously picked up a pace. Matylda started too cocky, with poor technique, and were quite stubborn to improve her skills. Konrad on the other hand seemed to improve very quickly, and on few occasions decided to record all runs and slopes he was able to do using go-pro camera. Eventually Matylda managed to learn appropriate technique. She improved dramatically during ski camp organised by her school in association with Ski NZ. From that point onwards it was enjoyable to ski with her and managed to go on some red runs with the tween.
Hania and I were also using our days off to ski in our own pace, rather than constantly watch the kids. Obviously, some days were better than others, it depends a lot on how many people were there. Some days were extremely busy for the ski patrol. Almost nonstop. On one occasion we saw two helicopters picking up casualties at the same time. When underconfident skiers meet overconfident ones, it often led to accidents, especially if neither of those two groups couldn’t really ski. You must be always careful and can’t let your guards down at any point. Surprisingly the most enjoyable slopes are the more difficult ones. The main reason for it simple, only people who know how to ski go there.
To be fair, it was really enjoyable ski season. That feeling of freedom, the fact that you don’t have to prove anything to anybody, even to yourself, you don’t have to impress anybody, there are just you, your skis and the mountains. It really makes
a nice change from the snobby culture of Queenstown and surrounding villages. I’m going to miss that feeling of freedom when the season is over. We plan to spend the upcoming weekends camping in various places, after it warms up. I’ll keep posting as writing really helps to clear up my mind.