CHILL FEATURE: YO PRO WEEKENDS
By Nick Pascoe.
As I age a bit the disorganised and impromptu ski trips of the uni days have transitioned to applying for leave weeks out from the date and locking in plans, but the skiing doesn’t change too much!
I woke up to an always enthusiastic Harry Chapman banging on doors and very kindly requesting that we all “get our arses out of bed”. It was Friday morning post a great bush shindig at Ski The Clubbies annual party, Ride the Vibe, and seven of us had tactically taken time off from our engineering jobs in town and had allocated the day to skiing.
Once we cleaned up the house to meet Ollie’s high standards, we moved off for a stunning morning drive through the Lyndon Road and arrived at Mt Olympus at a leisurely 11.30am. This was no issue, as we had the whole day to explore and look for the best wind buffed snow. To intersperse the skiing we helped out hauling up the food from the bottom of the access tow. It was the ‘Dog-tuckers’ weekend coming up, with a full house every night and so it was a case of many hands still make quite a lot of work. Snow flurries begun, and we finished the day off with the pick of the crop, a couple of Main Face laps. The hot tub then called, with snow continuing to pile down onto our heads and shoulders to polish off a fine day.
All of us were exhausted, however I’d hyped up the group as to the quality of Markos cooking and so we had that left to excite us. He outdid himself as usual, with a pork belly that my Auckland flatmate said he’d be happy to have served him at a posh restaurant. It’s mountain living at it’s finest up there!
The next day kicked off with bright sun, bacon, and eggs. Our North Island friend Jeff picked a great time to master the rope tows on his snowboard and so naturally we dragged him out for a walk up the Back Ridge. It held a stash of cold powder, and all agreed it had been a worthwhile effort, although some more than others with Cameron Brewster being on the record as saying “Yeah I enjoyed it, but it’s probably a once a year kind of thing.”
A couple laps of Little Alaska and the powder there was next on the list, quickly followed by lunch, and then we said bye to Mt Olympus and headed off to enjoy a few beers beside Lake Pearson. We were staying at Flock Hill shearers quarters that Saturday for a night of accommodation organised by Young Engineers Canterbury. The chat begun as professional and a bit work related and steadily progressed away from that as the beer supply dwindled and we relaxed in front of the fire.
Jordan Kelly took on the role of energising everyone on Sunday morning. We quickly tidied up and then drove to Broken River, where the walk up through the bush really tested some of the groups bodies. Lunch quickly followed, although unusually the Broken River Lager didn’t seem appealing. The day alternated between laps in the cold dry snow off Ridge Tow and naps in the sun on the deck. By this point we were all fully exhausted from a great weekend exploring all around the Craigieburn Range, and as drove back to do airport drop-offs chat turned to organising the next weekend!
Photos: Cameron Brewster.
Nick is a regular contributor for Chill and makes the most of a Chill Season Pass in winter: