A week on and off my skis

On my skis

The Mountain – Coronet Peak is still closed. Yup, this is a sad fact, BUT the team up there have been working really hard to get the slopes looking a lot whiter, as well as do odd jobs such as cleaning the snow canon nozzles to earn some pennies. The mountain is also offering sightseeing, tubing and other activities to keep everyone, including employees, entertained.


Snow canons firing away on Coronet Peak – the view from The Remarkables

The Remarkables has consequently been very busy, and all instructors have been working as much as possible to help. It’s been a little crazy and manic with the ski school sending out record numbers of lessons. Over the weekend, the slopes were even busier, and I actually squealed a couple of times as I genuinely thought I was going to be run over or squidged. It makes space for teaching hard to come by, but the snow on the pistes is in pretty good condition, and more to the point, there IS some snow and we CAN ski, and we CAN work.


NZski provided the whole Coronet Peak team with a pretty tasty roast dinner on Friday, and this week for those still unable to work, breakfast and day trips around the area are available – we are being looked after!


The Remarkables from Coronet Peak, above the clouds

Coronet Peak staff have been given the old staff room in the old base building, at the Remarkables, for storing kit. We were allocated baskets in which to put our belongings. It had the air of a, an admittedly luxurious, refugee camp.


The commute is longer to and from The Remarkables and with a steady stream of traffic back to Queenstown, 4-6hrs of teaching can result in 12 hours out of the house.

It will be great to be back at Coronet Peak – please wish us some colder and snowier weather!


For the long days we are rewarded with beautiful sunrises and sunsets

Teaching – I’ve had beginner adult, children and toddlers to teach, which has been sweaty work, but also very satisfying. I haven’t taught groups of children aged 5 since working in Saas-Fee. I’m loving it! Today I had a little French boy to teach, who first put skis on in Avoriaz – small world! I had to remember to translate instructions, so to make life easier we played Grandmother’s footsteps in French “un, deux, trois soleil!” The English speaking kids got a free French lesson. I get to cool off with a few higher level private classes every now and then.

My skiing – A few laps between line-ups and lessons keep me sane, despite negotiating the crowds. The snow is in pretty good condition in most places, just the odd patch of ice on which to do a ‘bambi’. I’m looking forward to having a proper rip around and do some more focused training after the school holidays, maybe even get out on a board…

Off my skis

Home – The new house is great. Queenstown is very short on accommodation, and I know many of my colleagues are still staying in youth hostels, or paying pricey rent on places in town. I am very lucky with where I am living and have two great housemates (Hi Craig & Allan!), and a dog (Tama!), to come home to.

Fitness – A routine is taking place with yoga on Mondays, an RPM (spin) class on a Wednesday, a leg weight session on a Thursday or Friday along with training towards a pull-up every time I am in the gym. I throw some other little workouts in the mix, such as core and plyometrics when I have the energy and time. Running to and from the gym when possible adds a 6km return trip to get my heart and lungs burning, and an added glute burn with the 160m vertical up Fernhill. In a quest to be better at monitoring progress, I am recording all activity on Strava, or in my little notebook – a massive gym geek, but oh is it very satisfying!

Food – On a budget until some more pay comes in, I’ve been baking scones for lunch and cakes for sweet treats. Well, I’ve still managed to squeeze in a couple of New Zealand ‘must-try’s’…


Cheese and herb scones


Frozen, microwaved…I’m not sure they really rock my world, but they had to be tasted


The Cadbury selection extends my shopping trip by at least 10 minutes

Tonight we had a pot luck roast with friends. I provided the brownies, salted caramel sauce and cream – obviously! However, I was too greedy to bother taking any photographs.

Adventures – Some friends from when I worked in Nendaz, and who now live in Wanaka, came over for the afternoon on Thursday. They took me to Madame Woo/Wu’s (?) which was delicious, followed by a lovely stroll around Lake Hayes with their beautiful Samoyed.


Stunning reflections around Lake Hayes. Milo was less than impressed.