••• tiff firth photography •••

Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Zealand Day 7 8.8.2013

On our way up to The Remarkables we watched the grace of a hot air balloon in the crisp morning sky. In the beginning we were under it, and by the time we were half way up we were above it. It was descending as we were ascending.  It was lovely to watch it touchdown near the lake.

The kids had time for a quick run on the beginner slope before joining their Level 3b class. And that was about the last I saw of them in the morning as they were up the chairlifts and on the mountain.
I took advantage of no kids and walked some way up the slope to shoot a different perspective from what I had seen over the last few days. More often than not I was lying on my tummy to shoot the lines or plants in the foreground. I also took the time to scope my shot to video the kids coming through the tunnel. It’s different from shooting stills to shooting vision. Kym found me on the lower slope as I was coming down so we just sat and took in the atmosphere. And a couple of iPhone pics. He took off for another run and I crunched my way down the slope. Thank goodness for my ice cleats.

I spotted Kym about to take the kids up the chairlift after their lesson and popped the GoPro on his head to record the kids skiing down the Sugar Bowl Slope before coming down the Alta Slope. Kym managed to get Sean taking a jump and sticking the landing. And while Kym was shooting them from behind going through the tunnel, I was shooting from the front of them coming through it. I indicated to Annie to ski my way and we all ended up in a laughing pile up as she landed on me with Kym and Sean pulling up just behind. And I have it all on film from two different angles. Sweet. I can’t wait to splice all that together in my video montage.

While we had lunch I schooled up the kids on turning off/on/record/stop on the GoPro and popped it on Sean’s head. He is really starting to fly on the slope with no fear, which scares me a little. He didn't tell us he had a fall near the end of the run on Alta and the GoPro popped off his head and stayed in the snow. He found me waiting for him in front of the lodge and he was quite upset about losing it. And amazingly a guy turned around and said he just handed a GoPro in to Guest Services. It had the orange sticky back on it so it was easy to spot on the ground. He said it was still recording till he turned it off in the lodge. How awesome is that?!!!! I've been very impressed with the lack of angst on the slopes and in the line up to the chairlift and the honesty here.

We watched the vision tonight to see what happened from Sean turning it on till it was turned off by the fella who handed it in. He did wave and say bye. Funnily enough the guy walked straight past me with it still recording as I saw myself briefly while the GoPro was swinging by the head harness on his arm. Only 4 skiers went past it before it was picked up. It was lying on its side and snow slide down over the lens. It was rather funny to watch from the stack to the point it was turned off.

Kym and I had a bit of a talk at lunch about dropping one of our two days sightseeing and doing things around Queenstown to have another day up on the snow. The kids have taken to skis so really well. So we had a yarn to the kids and put it to them if they wanted the extra day to ski. They were super keen as their next lesson takes them on the intermediate slopes. It’s the same level of difficulty that Kym has been skiing when he’s had his time without them in the mornings. I think he’s more excited for them than they are. The extra day all depended on phone calls to confirm the skis, boots and poles. The ski jackets and pants. The bus transfer up and back. The morning ski lessons. And booking the chairlift access. 2 phones calls and it was all done.

While I was sorting the details Annie headed to the ‘Valley of Doom’ while Kym and Sean went to the ‘Sugar Bowl’. Its Annie’s turn for the GoPro tomorrow so she can show me what excites her about the Valley.

4 o’clock was on us before we knew it and time to get to the bus. Sean was so revved up from being on the big slope that he was such a chatterbox all the way back. Just gotta love that raw enthusiasm.

I made one more call to sort out the hire car details for tomorrow. Kym and the kids will head up on the bus while I'll pick up the hire car and make few stops on the way up to take a few pictures. I’m not thinking about it yet, but the traffic and the switchbacks are worrying me a bit. Cars zoom past the buses on the way up, often on blind corners and on the occasion there is a bus or car coming down. I’m hoping that by the time I finish up taking my shots most of the bus traffic that holds up the car traffic will be over by then. If not, I'll just chug along quietly. I do hope Kym will bring it back down tomorrow night though.

We headed out for tea tonight to the Brazz Steakhouse. Easy walking distance as it is just literally down the road. And we are all too puffed to go too far. I've been feeling a bit light headed late this arvo and a bit headachy. It might have been from Sean’s enthused chatter on the way back from the Ski Field.

So back to the snow we go tomorrow.

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