Soooo I not only just returned from an incredible backpacking trip in the rockies followed by four wonderful days of climbing at Smith, but also from New Zealand! Once again, I was in awe of not only the culture, landscape and scenery, but the skiing as well. Coronet Peak is pretty cool, but Cardrona was a beautiful mountain with incredible sunrises! Yeah, we were skiing before the sun rose. In fact, we started training every day just about when the sun was peaking out from behind distant mountains. It sounds so cliché, but it was wonderful.
One thing I especially love about New Zealand is the fact that it is winter on the mountain and turns into spring as we drive down to our base. I wore a t-shirt and shorts outside every day for dryland. The weather was pretty incredible during our stay this year. It only rained twice: once on one of our days off, and once on the day we flew out. It was perfect. We had wonderful training conditions (even with the new snow!): flat and mellow when we needed it, steep and icy toward the end, just how we like it. I trained mostly GS, a few days of Super G and a few days of slalom. Once again, I am focusing on my GS because I believe it can pull everything else together; as long as I can figure out the technique and tactics in GS, I know the other events will come with it. Well, maybe not slalom…but let’s just say that’s a totally different story (and sport).
As good as the skiing is, the culture in New Zealand is even more interesting. Queenstown is such a fun little city, with phenomenal food (vudu café!) everywhere you look, awesome night-life, great people, and so many fun, extreme activities! The plan was to go skydiving this year, but I decided to hold off on that (due to money, etc) until next year. Hopefully we can find a sponsor to pay for us next time! There is bungie jumping, sky diving, canyon swings, and jet boating, all within a 30-mile radius. Also, Queenstown is right one the shore of Lake Wakatipu (which is freezing at that time of year), and the resort where we were staying was just about a mile from Lake Hayes, which is incredibly beautiful and quite enjoying to run or bike around. Having a golf course in our backyard (that was fairly unplayed) proved for some good aprés-skiing frisbee and slack lining. One day we even set the slack line up over a pond! Talk about scary and exciting. We even played into the NZ culture a bit and roughed some rugbee games (er, more like lessons) for dryland. Needless to say, there were endless amounts of entertainment.
Well, as much as I love and appreciate NZ, I cannot say much other than it takes physical presence to understand the charm and splendor. Posted below are a few pictures…I will try to write next about my recent backpacking and climbing trips. Peace and love 😀