Trip of Giants - Porters Skifield

Published: July 11th 2010
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Off to ski today!

An early wakeup and drive through the quieter streets of Christchurch. Porters is an easy 1.5 hour run (max) from Yaldhurst Road to the west. A few small towns dot the way, providing fuel and toilet relief but we passed all those, keen to get to the skifield.

It's easy to find, just follow the highway to Arthurs Pass and look for the big sign on the left after Lake Coleridge.

Joseph and I kitted up with the usual boots poles and skis $202 for the both of us. I'd picked up a really good deal through the KidsFest with Joseph's lesson, beginners lift and equipment only $52. Gloves and goggles are not part of the clothing hire of jacket and pants, $20 and $40 extra to buy respectively. With it being a mostly overcast day I braved the slopes without goggles for most of the day.

After a bit of hanging around on the beginners slope, Joseph's 2 hour lesson began at 10am and I headed off to the "Platter" lift to remember how to ski. I quickly realised I didn't belong on that slope after avoiding a number of fallen skiers. There were so many that it looked like a strong wind had come and blown everyone over!

So I was up the T-bar, at first a little trepidation at the steepness of the slope, but like riding a bike it all comes back. A little bit of aging gave me greater courage to shoot down the slopes in a way I hadn't before. I went to the top of the third T-bar and found my way along the top trail in almost whiteout conditions. A bit freaky when you can't see the edges of the groomed trail! It was a good run with lots of choices on which way to go.

A quick hot coffee in the cafe', which was cosy and warm (the cafe' that is, the coffee was very nice too). Later on the kids had a go on the toboggan ($10) and then we all met for lunch back in the cafe'. as you'd expect the food is expensive but we had brought our own sandwiches and muffins.

After lunch I took Joseph up the T-bar with me, and then took a leisurely ski down waiting on each turn as he fell one way, then the other, turned backwards a number of times and collapsed with poles scattered up the hill behind him. A couple of times he even did a 360. I say its the only way to learn, but then its been a long time since I suffered from snow squashed in every gap so I may be being a little callous. It wasn't 'til the end of the day when I did fall over, losing my balance coming off the T-bar.

But by the end he was in really good form, zipping backwards and forwards, and asking if he could go skiing again the next day!

Aaron in the mean time had been having a crack at snowboarding. The lessons involved a lot of sitting down (at least that's what it looked like from all the sitting-down photos that Penny took). The girls and younger boys left early, leaving Aaron, Joseph and I to give the slopes a few last swooshes before we too headed off.

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