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Preseason Activities and Adventures

I had an absolute ball on my 24th birthday. I spent the day with two of my newest best friends, Tom and Holly, in Queenstown. Most of the afternoon was taken up with trampolining at an indoor centre based on the edge of Queenstown. This venue is actually used by many olympic skiers (including Nick Goepper) and snowboarders to assist in their training whilst the ski hills in the northern hemisphere are closed. We were thrilled to practice strapping on a snowboard replica to our feet that still allowed us to practice jumping on the trampolines whilst executing various grabs, 180’s and 360’s. Holly took both Tom and I buy surprise with her unexpected trampolining expertise and execution of various flips and other trampoline tricks, whilst Tom and I were just proud to be able to bounce higher than her and avoid injuring ourselves. Following our action packed afternoon we managed to smash some cheap pizza and make it out in Queenstown for a night filled with cocktails, dancing, new friends and who knows what else.


Some cheeky snaps of my birthday trampolining fun (click photo to enlarge)

Upon returning to Wanaka, we managed to fill the last two weeks before the ski hills opened with a ton of fun activities. Namely collecting firewood along with my housemates, jogging and bike riding, trial week at the gym, and a great hike up Rob Roys Peak with Justin. Rob Roys Peak is one of many huge peaks surrounding Wanaka and is supposed to take a solid 8 hours to hike up and back during the day. Justin and I will take any excuse for a challenge so were determined to smash this time. In the end we managed to hike the whole way up and back at a phenomenal pace, completing the return journey in exactly 4hours, including the half hour stop we took on the snow covered peak for our lunch. Overall it was a great hike and I'm definitely looking forward to giving it another go in spring/summer when the snow has melted and the temp is slightly more bearable up top.


During the slow pre-ski season period I also made the decision to quit my bartending job at Lalaland and switch over to bartend at Waterbar. Lalaland had unfortunately been far too quiet and hence in order to pay my bills throughout the season I really had no choice but to resign and apply for a new job. Luckily securing myself a job at Waterbar was super easy as the manager there, Ian, already knew of me through my work at Lalaland, so hired me on the spot. Waterbar is also a super fun restaurant/bar to work at and always screens the big soccer and rugby matches, with particularly big crowds showing up for all the world cup matches. It’s a great bar throughout the season and was lucky enough to secure the staff discount contract for all Cardrona winter season employees, in addition to having it’s own happy hour from 5.30-6.30pm every night. I get along really well with all of the staff that work there and I thoroughly look forward to working with them for the rest of the winter season.

On Friday June 20th, Cardrona ski area finally opened. I was super thrilled for the opening of this season as I had finally managed to find myself a proper ski crew, all awesome skiers bar one snowboarder. Despite thoroughly enjoying my previous ski seasons in Canada, it was definitely a relief to be surrounded by likeminded skiers, as opposed to being the token skier in a steazy snowboarder crew. As much as I do enjoy switching to snowboarding from time to time, I can never deny that I'm far more competent on skis, and am most certainly a skier at heart.

Whilst there was minimal snow cover, and hence very little terrain for opening weekend at Cardies, it's always an amazing feeling to get back on skis. I have nothing but incredibly positive memories of the entire weekend; the feeling of snow under my skis, exhilarating speed laps down the groomers with my new crew, practicing and nailing my backwards skiing on blue and green runs, the list goes on!

On Monday the 23rd of June things came to an unexpected and completely accidental end. As I expect you've all heard by now, I was involved in a nasty ski accident. Obviously there is a lot to tell in terms of my accident, hospitalisation, treatment and recovery, so I can't fit it all in this same blog entry. To avoid keeping you all waiting I will do my best to post my next blog entry in the next day or two.

Love and miss you all,

Posted by kmklu1 22:43 Archived in New Zealand

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