For those interested in skiing, or following my ski adventures through the years, here's all the links to those stories.
For off mountain stories, please head to the travel page.
I learnt to ski back in my late 20's, at which time I got into it quite a bit and would spend weekends commuting between my mum's place in Canberra and the NSW ski fields. In 1998 and 1999 I went to New Zealand for the first time, on an organised coach trip that visited the main South Island ski resorts of Mt Hutt, Treble Cone, Cardrona, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. I returned from those trips with a firm favourite ski field, and then promptly stopped skiing for a few years whilst I went on expensive dive trips to exotic locations instead. Yeah, I know....
Roll on a few years and I decided to get back on the white stuff in 2009 after returning from a big overseas trip. I only went for 2 weeks, but stayed in one place and just skied Treble Cone. I was hooked! I had some great private lessons with Lara, bought new boots because my old ones actually disintegrated, and put a helmet on. I also checked out some alternative accommodation for next time.
2010 saw another 2 week trip back to Wanaka and Treble Cone, this time with my old friend Neen. I bought new skis and promptly ejected out of them and broke my arm! It didn't really slow me down, and I even had a private lesson with the great Bob Campbell.
2011 I came to Wanaka for longer, this time for six weeks. I began to realise that I could save a lot of money not taking the shuttle bus up the mountain, so began my hitchhiking career. This was also the first year I did Sofa Ski School, and got to know a few more locals. I also had some pretty spectacular crashes, one with a snowboarder, and the other when I fell off the cat track at Cardrona! Ouch!!
2012, again back to Wanaka, and for even longer - 8 weeks. More Sofa Ski School lessons, my first trip to the Summit, a few fun days skiing with friends at both Treble Cone and Cardrona, and no serious injuries! What a relief. I also spent some time working on my paralysing fear, which was hampering my progress to becoming a competent skier. It worked! On my way back to join my flight in Christchurch, I skied Ohau and Mt Hutt.
2013 was the year I finally made it. I was no longer a frightened intermediate skier, but a strong competent skier who could ski the entire mountain. In fact, I felt so confident that I headed out on road trips to ski many other fields on the South Island. These included Porters Heights, Mt Cheeseman, Mt Dobson, Round Hill, and Ohau. I took a ski plane up the Tasman Glacier near Mt Cook and skied down it! I also had an awesome club field experience at Mt Olympus.
2014 I didn't ski at all, deciding to save up for my retirement instead.
2015 I did a lot of skiing. First I went to Japan on an 18 day organised tour, where I attempted to ski with a nasty back injury, which slowly improved as we made our way north to Hokkaido. Then on the last day of the tour we got lost whilst tree skiing at Sapporo Tiene. Niseko didn't live up to expectations, but when it doesn't snow for a week the powder gets trashed.
The second trip was to New Zealand again, where I skied Porters with a friend, froze at Dobson, and got glorious jelly legs skiing the big run at Round Hill. Then, after a detour to Ohau, I spent the rest of the season at Treble Cone.
2016 I headed to Japan again at the end of January, this time doing 3 separate tours. I injured my knee on the first one based at Furano, got my mojo back on the second based around Niseko, and then got a nice big shiner on the third based at Yudanaka. In June I returned to New Zealand to train to become a ski instructor.
2017 and no trip to Japan that year, but New Zealand was back on the agenda. I returned to Treble Cone to do more ski instructor training, and also became involved with volunteering for the Adaptive Snowsports Program at Cardrona. Then I had a fall, sustained a head injury and retinal detachment, and my ski season was over early.
2018 and another trip to Japan, where we skied Niseko and Rusutsu in really epic conditions. So much snow! Then back to NZ for another winter at Treble Cone, training again, and Cardrona for the Adaptive Program. And this time I passed my Level 2 Ski Instructor Exam. I also went ski touring for the first time.
2019 saw me back in Wanaka for yet another season, this time working part time as an instructor at Cardrona. I'll continued to volunteer on the Adaptive Program, and went free skiing with friends at TC and Ohau. I also passed my Adaptive Ski qualifications.
2020 I went to Japan again, only this time I had a job! Since I didn't actually work too much I also got to go free skiing a lot. Then I returned to New Zealand where the ski season was able to go ahead due to a timely response to coronavirus eradicating it from the community before it got a chance to spread unchecked. It was a busy time, as I worked many more days than I free skied or volunteered.