|We had a great day Skiing today up at Mount Hutt. We got picked up at 7am by the Snowork minibus and, after picking up a few more punters, we headed up into the hills, due west of Christchurch - about an hour and 15mins. Apparently conditions were excellent after a 10cm fresh snowfall last night - ideal for beginners. After about half an hour of diving we saw our destination, Mt Hutt, disappear into the clouds and we wondered how conditions could be so good. We soon discovered that things were very different above the clouds and the snowline where the sky was bright blue and the snow a dazzling white. The drive up was along a winding unsealed gravel track that gave great views of the area, including back over Canterbury plain.
Arriving at the ski lodge, we met some of the local Kea birds for the first time - odd looking parrot-like birds that were largely green but with a lovely deep red beneath their wings which you could ony see when they were in flight. Lovely though they were, they were essentially high altitude pigeons, scavenging for scraps from the passing tourists, although it is apparently illegal to feed them.
Soon we were fuly kitted up and began our lessons on the learner slopes in a small group. We got used to moveing and eventualy turning and stopping. The morning went pretty quickly and by lunchtime I thnk we were doing well. After lunch we continued to practice and by 2 O'clock we were let loose on the intermediate slopes. Only a few wipeouts to report - Kate failed to stop in time before hitting the ski lift and I came a cropper because I went straight for the top once loose on the slopes and lost control on the way down. All part of the fun.
By the end of the day I think we'd done pretty well, and it would be nice to try and make a return before the season is over, budget allowing.