MID WEEK POW AND UNPLANNED WEEKENDS
Read up on Nick's hunt for the pow this past weekend after being stuck at work the whole week dreaming about snowed in clubfields.
Words by Nick Pascoe, Pictures by Nick Pascoe, Ben Hume and Zaimon Sansom
Winter kicked off with some really nice scheduling. Storms rolled through on the Thursday and Friday, leaving us to enjoy the rewards over the weekend. This seemed to be happening like clockwork. It all came crashing down last week though.
We were chased out of Mt Olympus on the Saturday by dark clouds and wind roaring down the basin. It gave me the opportunity for a well overdue sleep in on Sunday, but by Monday evening when reports began to come out of Olympus snowed in and all time conditions up Temple Basin I was left questioning my life choices. In aid of my mental health I took a tactically timed break from all social media on Tuesday and Wednesday, and got into planning out my weekend!
A trip down south was lined up, and I headed straight from work on Friday afternoon with the eventual goal of catching up with my father in Alexandra, and exploring the surrounding mountains. I came to a rapid halt in Tarras, as the temperature needle shot up, a deja vu of two weekends earlier in a different Subaru set in.
Close to midnight and after two more pit-stops to cool the engine down, I finally stuttered into the lounge. My A plan of an early start to try and ski Mt St Bathans, and even my B plan of getting up for some early sun in the southern fields, had come tumbling down. Dad and I instead spent our time pulling apart the radiator, and popped the thermostat in a bowl of hot water as we sat down for a well earned coffee and eggs. The thermostat began to open up, and with that disappeared the potential easy fix of the vehicle, leaving me stuck in Alexandra.
We brainstormed some ideas, and after determining flying didn’t fall within my still pretty much a ski bum’s budget, began to debate how much ski gear I could hitch hike with and still have a chance of being picked up.
Fortunately though we happened onto the lifesaver that is a last minute TransferCar, and I picked up a trusty 2014 Toyota Corolla an hour and a half later, complete with a free full tank of fuel. In search of silver linings I headed up to investigate the competition venue for the North Face Frontier and meet up with some friends.
To top off the sudden upswing in fortunes my Russian friend Zaimon had scored us free tickets to a concert in Queenstown that night. After some great evening drinks with some Australians, who tactically managed to see us head out before the rugby started, we made it out for a great night.
Sleepy and with sore legs after another lonely run home from town I took a few laps in whiteout conditions before beginning the slog back to Christchurch. I had plenty of time though to contemplate the spring missions all this snowfall has been setting us up for, peering out of the window at potential objectives!
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