••• tiff firth photography •••

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Zealand Day 6 7.8.2013

The weather forecast wasn't the greatest for today, but once again the weather man got it totally wrong. Instead of wind and rain, the breeze died away and it snowed at The Remarkables in the afternoon.
The kids had their ski lesson this morning and they both were deemed good enough to go up the chair lift for their end of the lesson.

I’m so gosh darn proud of them. They came down in each of their groups with the biggest smile on their faces. Even though it was breezy and that definitely had a wind chill factor involved, they both just beamed. Rosy pink cheeks chin and tip of their noses. I ducked into the ski shop and found a neck gaiter each to cover their neck, ears, chin, cheeks and nose. It looks like a thick fleecy headband that slips over the head and sits on the neck. It can be pulled up to cover whatever you want. Even Kym thought they were a good idea.

While the kids were doing their thing I strapped the GoPro to Kym’s head to record his skiing of the slopes from the Sugar Bowl down to the Alta Chair lift. And as it so happened he had a stack. It’s been his only one and it’s all there film for the kids to see. Teeheeee.

So while we were having lunch it started to snow. The kids just had to go out and catch snowflakes, stick their tongues out to taste them and just generally get in amongst it. As well as click on their skis and run amok in it. Oh and it was 0 degrees.

Now the kids were up to using the chair lift there is a tunnel on the slope they zoom through for a bit of fun. I asked one of the Ski Patrol boys if they were able to kindly run me up the slope in their snowmobile so I could photograph the kids coming through it. It was a bit of a hike otherwise and my hiking boots aren't that waterproof. They were only too happy to zoom me up there. On the way we passed one coming down with a passenger with his arm in a sling. It didn't look that good.

It was still snowing in earnest and I was able to get myself with my back to the incoming flurries and keep the camera under my unzipped jacket to keep it reasonably dry. Fortunately the Slingshot bag comes with a weather cover so I was able to protect the bag and its contents with that. I guess I waited about 10 mins before the kids let me know they were about to come through.

And I stayed on the spot for their second run to film them ripping through it. 30 minutes later my beanie was crunchy with frozen snow and my back was pretty well covered. And my shoes were wet and I had cold feet. But it was worth it. While I was waiting I took a shot of the chairlift disappearing into the snow to get an idea of the snow.

I walked back down to the bottom which was a bit of a trick in itself. I've had my ice cleats on every day as soon as I get to The Remarkables and they help immensely. But nothing can stop the glasses from fogging up and there was no way I was taking them off while walking into the snow. Snow and eyes don’t mix. Near the bottom I just couldn't see the ground and I mistimed a step and down on my bum I went. I reckon I slid a couple of meters before coming to a stop. I laughed so hard. It would have been funny to watch from the ski chair perspective as they were moving over head.

The next few shots show some of the skiers as they came in and how crusted with snow they were. The four blokes in their Cookie Monster onsies tuffed it out. 

Annie came in on her own. She took that field solo without Kym and Sean. I'm glad she told me that after and not before.  Her plait was frozen with crusted snow and a smile so wide.

Even Bob got in the action amongst the snow.

Annie wanted to come in and warm up a bit so I took her upstairs to the café for her first ever hot chocolate. The boys found us up there and Sean had his first one too. I reckon the melted marshmallows at the last swallow are the best bit of all.

It was nearly time to pick up our backpacks from storage so the three skiers clicked on their ski and had one last run and then headed to the bus to meet me there. It was still snowing up there, but not far down the road from the ski field it had turned to rain.

We checked the skis and boots into the drying room and I brought the kids into the apartment for hot baths. Kym went down the street for a few supplies. It was so good to get the two pairs of thermal socks off that were fairly wet by the end of the day and have a hot shower.

We've had a sloth evening in readiness for our last day of skiing tomorrow. I think the kids want to do more but we do have other plans for them.

Over the last couple of days Annie had developed the same snotty cold as Sean but I think she has managed to kick it. Sean is now on the back end of his. Thank goodness. It hasn't stopped them one bit though. Little tuff nuts.

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