Greetings again from the other side of the world.

It was back to the training slopes this week after last week’s L1s.  The boarders remained in their same groups while the skiers were re-assessed and split into three new groups.  This marked the end of the easy stuff – hereafter it is into learning to ski the steeps and to teach the heavy-duty techniques of progressing to Christies and parallels.  Everyone clearly recognises it’s a big step up from the L1s.

Free style Fridays continued so Jamie took the camera up on the mountain and got some great photos.  A few are up on this week’s link but there are loads more we’ve given to those involved – riveting though all the photos are.…

After you see the guys take on the freestyle, it’s amazing the injuries sustained so far have occurred during regular activities, and have been fairly minor in nature.  This week Adam M fell over (while entering the queue at Whitestar lift, it should be noted) and bruised his hand but avoided the dreaded classic skier’s thumb injury.  Ant had a stack on his warm-up run on Thursday and strained his calf muscle while away from the slopes, Val aggravated an old ankle injury.  We don’t like to talk about the scrapes and scratches Jamie received when he fell off his luge in Qtown!

This weekend most of the group headed to over to Queenstown on the 7.30am bus on Saturday for a night at Base.  As luck would have it, it was the most beautiful sunny day and they saw Queenstown at its finest.  First it was up the gondola for the spectacular views of the township and the surrounding mountains that ring Lake Wakatipu.  At the top there’s a fun luge run that drops 800 metres.  New Zealand – and Queenstown in particular – is home to “adrenalin activities” and after warming up on the luge, many tried something more adventurous, from the Shotover Jetboat to a 15000ft tandem sky dive, the latter bringing with it a 60 second free fall.  They all headed out on Saturday night and spent Sunday morning wandering around town (a few more All Blacks jerseys were spotted) before catching the lunchtime bus back to Wanaka.  Saturday night brought some new snowfalls but these had cleared as the group drove back over the range. 

More snowfalls are due early this week – or before the end of the century, as one sceptic remarked.  Weather forecasts beyond the next 12 hours are hard to come by here, perhaps because when they are given, they’re invariably wrong!  The best weatherman we have is John, our bus driver, and he believes the rumour there’s a big storm coming early this week.  Some serious snow would be welcome. There’s still lots of snow but it’s already spring-like – it’s as it should be in about a month’s time.

We all finished the week on Sunday night at the Thai Siam, to celebrate Orry’s birthday and Samantha’s coming up this Tuesday 25th. It was cupcakes all round to finish off what has been a big weekend.  Pictures of what we've been up to are available to the link below:

Photos from Week 6

That’s it from Wanaka for the week.  Hope you all have a good week until we’re back in touch next Sunday.

Marion and Jamie


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