Spring is well and truly with us now, not just with the weather but also Treble Cone ski field is closed and yesterday I went for my first bike ride for over a month which there will be more of each week.
 Even though Treble Cone is closed Cardrona is still open till the 21st.
 I went there last Friday and at the moment it is school holidays so it is very busy and I will probably do another couple of days after the school holidays from the 15th.
 Closing day at Treble Cone was on the 23rd September and as always we dress up in fancy dress and above is a photo of Lynley, Lilly and myself in our fancy dress gear, I was a punk in Hawian wear, Lynley was a butterfly and Lilly was a Fairy.

 The weather was good for us this year, last year it was a cold cloudy day. The ski-in was very good and we had GR8 spring conditions and right is me coming down Bullet in the saddle.
 We only managed to get 3 runs in the saddle before they closed it as the Temp’s were rising and the snow above the track to the saddle was becoming dangerous for avalanche which they did every day for the last 4 days of the season, one day they didn’t even open the saddle.
 The rest of the mountain was fine and it got too soft and sticky pretty quick and we only skied till 1-30, and that was the end of another good season at Treble Cone 🙁 🙂

  Meanwhile back down in the town I started to work 3 days a week for the last two weeks and the deck I had been working on during the winter was starting to take shape.
 Above is a photo I took yesterday after finishing off the decking up to and around the pond in the center of the photo.
 The next stage is to batten out the side walls and then clad it with the same decking.
 Calum and his son Angus have a pond liner and will be lining the pond with Steps along the inside of the long walls to create a platform for soil to grow lilly’s and other pond plant life.

 Right is another photo looking back towards the house and along the front and soon the vine that is over the Pergola is a Wisteria vine and the flowers are just starting to bud out so it will look and smell very nice.
 Another job maybe before the Pond gets clad ed and lined is to seal the decking to protect it from weather and walk wear.
 Also work wise I’m starting to build a house for a friend next week, so there will be some new work photo’s of the house in progress.
 I’m working 3 days a week from now on and no more.
  My friend and his partner are OK with that, they are not in a hurry to get it done as they live in a very nice House bus on the property, photo’s of their bus and work done around the bus appeared on this blog last year before I went to Canada.
 Craig who has been our handy man on all our projects over the last 10 years wants to build it with me so all the non restricted work he can do when I’m not there.
 It is a steel Core house in a kit set form so its going to be an interesting project, the foundations have to be spot on for this type of build, which is one of my pluses in building.

 As I said earlier in the post yesterday I went for my first bike ride for over a month and I did my usual ride along the three rivers, The Cardrona, The Clutha and The Hawea river up to Hawea for a Mocha and a muffin at the sailz cafe.
 I rode against a strong wind on the last half of the ride up to Hawea and it took me 67 min’s, 10 min’s longer than my average ride up to the cafe and on the way back with the wind behind me it was a effortless and enjoyable ride of 53 min’s.
 Above is a photo I took about halfway along the track with Treble Cone in the center of the photo still showing a lot of snow still covering the mountain.

 Since my last post its been the same as same as, a few days work and 3/4 days ski-in a week, with a few rest days in between.
 A few Saturday’s ago Derek and I went for our first ski tour for 4 weeks, its not been a GR8 winter for touring especially when I compare it with Canada when we were touring 4/5 days a week, because of the tree’s the snow is more protected from the wind and the sun and conditions stay good longer 🙂
 Here in NZ we don’t have the tree’s to protect our snow so the conditions for touring aren’t always good.

That Saturday Derek and I went touring from our other ski field Cardrona which is the first time in 3 winters since I last skied there.
 But this day it was one of the best conditions we’ve had on the south and south east aspects which can be icy or wind affected.
 As you can see by the photo’s it was a beaut of a day and there was about 12cm of fresh snow with no wind affect which is unusual.
 Above is me ski-in on our first run and the next photo is lower down the run where we stopped and hiked back up to the ridge in the center of the photo.

  Then we skied from the ridge down for our second run (left).
 Even though we only did two runs it was a very good day’s ski-in in very good conditions and it was also a long hike back to the Cardrona ski area where we skied back to Derek’s truck.
 With only three weeks now till Treble Cone’s closing day the ski-in there has been good with the snow softening in the warm sun as we now enter spring time, the sun is higher in the sky and the day’s are warmer. 

 As for work, I’m still working two days a week on the fish pond and proposed deck.
 I have got most of the joist’s down and fixed to the old concrete patio and the concrete footings we built in place for the joists.
 There is still about a days works before I’ll start laying the hardwood Quila decking.
 The two photo’s above and below show the area to be decked out around the existing house.

 Other than the work and ski-in the rest time is very enjoyable .
 It would be nice to not work at all but I do enjoy it especially when its only 2/3 days week.
  I did go swimming in our new pool this last week and try to go there once a week and have a soak in the hot pool after my lane swimming.
 I also went for my first bike ride on Wednesday for two months which was nice and look forward to doing it more regular when the ski-in is done.

 Our ski season finally got under way on the 23rd June and after the first day where Derek and I went for a hike which I posted last, the following Monday was our first powder day and there was hardly anyone on the hill which is unusual for a Bluebird powder day.
 There is now a free bus service from town and it also stops in the valley at the bottom of Treble cone.
 So I parked up and got the bus at 8-30 and was at the base lodge at 8-45 and I was on the first chair with no line up, which never happens.

 My first run was in the Powder bowl (above) and I was ski-in fresh line all day long which again is very rare for Treble Cone.
  The next day Derek and I decided to go for another ski tour and we headed to the same area , right is me walking with the beautiful view of Lake Wanaka in the back ground with the town under the white cloud inversion layer on the other side of the lake.
 Just realised I put this photo in the last post, oops.

 This time we skied the south face of the Wedding cake which we can’t see from the ski area.
 Left Derek took the photo of me just heading down on our second run with the first run to the right of me going down onto the sunny ledge before it drops away into the valley below and then we hiked back up onto the ridge where Derek is taking the photo left.

 Since I arrived back from my 6 month trip away they opened the new swimming pool ( right)which we’ve been waiting for for many years and I brought a 10 day swim pass and have been 5 times now since it opened, its a GR8 exercise for suppleness and breathing strength and I swim 40 lengths (25 meter lengths) now compared to 30 in the past.
 I also went for a bike ride today the first since the first of July.
 Talking of pool’s in my next post I will show some photo’s of the Pond we are building here at Calum’s house which will be surrounded by a deck.

June 2018

 Landing in NZ at 5-30 am and then walking to the Domestic airport with the sun rising on my first day back for 6 months 🙂
 It was nice spending 3 days with Gary and family adjusting to the climate change from spring to winter.
 Then I spent a day with Kirsten in Sumner by the beach walking her new Pug dog.
 After a 6 hour drive I finally arrived back at Calum and Andrea’s just outside Wanaka just in time for dinner with the family, one of our friends Karl was also there.

Waking up the first morning to the sound of Bell birds and Tui’s was a joy to the ears.
 There was an inversion so the temp’s were about 10 degree’s cooler than Christchurch and 15 degree’s cooler than England about 4 days before that.
 The sound of Tui’s is a new sound for the area and we were lucky if we saw one.
 But now there are about 9 that are coming around for the sugar water that Andrea puts for the birds in the winter, photo of the Tui, above,ready to have a drink.

 I’ve been back in Wanaka three weeks now and have been settling in nicely.
 I’m not in the Barn yet as the couple in there have to find a place first, that suits them.
 I’m living in a self contained flat at the end of the main house.
 A week after I arrived back the opened they new swimming pool which we have been waiting for for 25 years in the town and between biking to Hawea and back three times a week I have been swimming, keeping my fitness up ready for the ski season to start which was yesterday. 🙂

 Even though Cardrona opened last weekend Treble Cone where I have a season pass opened yesterday.
 It was good to be back on my ski’s again, I went ski-in with my touring buddy Derek ( above ), by the time we got to the upper mountain at 10-30 the only good area’s that were good were the gullies where the wind and sun (crust) had not affected the snow since our last storm 3 weeks ago which dumped over a meter of snow on the mountain’s.
 So we went ski touring straight away, above is me hiking on my ski’s with the ski area in the distance with Lake Wanaka also in the far distance.

  It took about 15 minuet’s to get up onto the ridge to do our first run (left ), we were the first two out there and after we did our first run (above) we saw another 4 hiking out.
 The South and South East aspects were the best which didn’t have a sun crust on them and from the photo above we hiked back up towards the ridge on the left where the rocks are and did our second run down above with Derek in the photo.
 It was a nice calm sunny day and its the first time I’ve skied with Derek since the season before last.

 We then hiked back up onto the ridge and went and did our third run further to the left further along the ridge to the what they call the wedding cake which has the two big rocks on the top.
 Derek went down first to the skiers left of my run (out of the photo right) and took the photo of me coming down what is my favorite line off the wedding cake.
 So we did 4 hike’s including the hike back to the ski area and we did 3 nice runs on the silent and uncrowded slopes out the back of Treble Cone.
 It snowed all night and most of today up there, I didn’t go because the vis would have been bad, not like Canada here, there’s no tree’s to ski in 🙁
 Its supposed to snow tonight too and should be better vis tomorrow so will be going up for another ski tomorrow. 🙂

April 17th 2019  
 Having difficulties in editing my journey this last 12 months and google not allowing me to actually get to my editing page saying my password etc was wrong when it is written down in my files and after 3 attempts it made it harder for me to contact them and get it going again.
 I found another site that pop’s up every now and then with a different format which I used up until December 2018 then decided to stop.
 Going through my history on my computer I found the above editing page which I did when I came back from Canada in June last year.
 There have been 3 different formats over the last year which is confusing for those that want to read them and for me to edit stuff, so I’ve decided to call it a day with the site.
 Its been fun over the last 24 years editing and putting stuff on the site about my journey and experiences and sharing it with family and friends, if there is anyone still viewing the site for updates, thanks for your visits.
 The original aim of the site has lost its direction and that was to “Stayintouch”


Tuesday, March 27, 2018….

 The last 4 days has been back to winter conditions with snow coming from the North, North West,  West and today the south west and tomorrow its getting back to spring conditions for the next 3 days and closing day is on Monday the 2nd April.
 4 days ago I skied one of my favorite lines on Mt Roberts, the Gun Barrel (above) and was the first skier down the run and we had 16cm in 24 hours and as you can see in the photo it was still snowing,  I also skied another run on Roberts as well as 5 runs in Paradise before hiking up Roberts.

 The following day Brian my touring buddy (in photo above) wanted to go to the Kootney pass which is a hours drive from Rossland.
 Like last week when we skied for the first time together in 5 years on Old Glory  it was also 5 years ago when both of us had last skied the Kootney pass when we also skied it together.
 It was good to ski the pass again especially after getting 30cm + over the previous 24 hours.
 When the pass is good it can be the best runs of the season and there can be many best days of the season, that is the nature of ski-in, some days feel like the best ever but its just there are a lot of very good days and they always feel the best.
 Where Brian is standing took us a hour and 20 mins to get there and we skied down into the valley and walked up onto the ridge to the left of the taller tree on Brian’s right and skied down through the tree’s from the left to the right of the tall tree back to the valley below.

 Then we hiked back onto that ridge again and went right to the small peak on the end of the ridge and skied down the other side and the photo above is the lower section of that slope which goes down to a creek and we hike back up onto the highway you can see on the right of the photo with Brian in it and he hitched up the road and picked the truck up in the car park and came and picked the 3 of us left waiting on the side of the road with all the ski gear.
 We did three runs in all and they were all very good and we only heard (yahoo-ing) two groups of others out there but never saw them, its that kind of place.
 Its a very big national park with so many mountains to ski tour through, but we always ski the same circuit which starts higher up the highway and we ski three aspects West, East and then North west which takes us back to the highway.

 Then yesterday four of us went to the Field of Dream’s with all that fresh snow to be skied only to get there after another hour and 20 minute hike to find it had a Sun crust on it and Don’s wife was going to pick us up along a local highway and bring us back to the hill.
 We could ski the crust OK and there was one area where we found some soft snow, The boys said it was the worst best run of the season if you can understand that, its the best run in the area but it was the worst conditions we’d experienced throughout the season,
 We got back to the hill and to make up for that bad run I went for another hike onto Record Peak and had a awesome SOFT powder run through the tree’s (above) 🙂

 Then today after another 9 cm in 24 hours I hooked up with another touring buddy Chilla and we had 3 good back country powder runs after ski-in 5 runs in Paradise first.
 First up we did another run to the left of where I skied yesterday on Record Peak (above) then we did another two runs down a East face off White Wolf ridge and then hiked up onto Mt Roberts and we skied the tree’s back to a lift in Paradise 🙂

 The photo above I took today while hiking of the Hoarfrost on the pine needles, it shows the cold winter conditions we have been getting lately even though it is spring now.
 With only 6 days left before the season at Red mountain ends we have had powder regularly all winter long which has made it one of the best winters I’ve experienced here which is why I love coming here and its not only the snow conditions but also all the locals and skiers who ski and come back here every winter from all over the world.
 As always I’m going to miss this place and the friendly people that are here, it has a GR8 energy about the place and as always I look forward to coming back again which will be the winter of 2019/2020.
 Next winter I’ll be in NZ for Xmas where my son Steven, daughter Michelle with grandson Liam and his girl friend are coming from the UK for a Xmas in NZ 🙂

Tuesday, March 20, 2018….

 On Sunday two of my touring buddies Dan from Spokane and Brian from Oakridge in Oregon skied together for the first time together since April 2nd 2013.
 Dan has been here all winter and I’ve skied with him a few times but Brian who I haven’t seen since that day in 2013 arrived on Thursday last week and is here for two weeks.
 Also on that day 5 years ago we did the same run that we did on Sunday, photo above.
 Old Glory is the highest mountain in our region at 2378 meters, at the top is a old weather station which is now just a shelter for those that are hiking in the area.
 The Local summer bike and hike track called the 7 summits goes through the top of Old Glory.

 Above is Brian standing outside the hut and in past visits during that 2013 winter we hiked up there 5 times.
 It is a big hike taking 4 hours to get to the top from the highway, there is a short ski down to the skin track after 2 hours of hiking up and then another 2 to the top.
 The weather was blue skies and sun when we started and the cloud came and went on our way up but as we got to the top the cloud came in again luckily for us it was above the mountain top.

 Above is Dan with the ridge we walked up behind him and in the distance in the middle of the photo below the cloud line is Record peak where we have skied a lot during the season and photo’s of the runs in the tree’s have appeared on this blogg.
  The mountains to the left of Record peak is the Red mountain ski area.

 Above is the line’s we skied from the top and down the center of the photo, it was a shame the cloud had come over just as we got to the top after 4 hours of a mixture of sun and cloud.
 With two weeks to go now till Red mountain’s closing day on Easter Monday and then I’ll be here for another week hopefully doing a bit of touring which will probably include another hike up onto Old Glory 🙂

 I’ve lost my editing page for my blogg but I do have another blogg which came about by accident some years ago so I’ll try and get this out to some of those I know look at my blogg. 
 Last week Danimal and I went for a hike up Roberts and skied the Dog leg (third photo down the long left chute) its the first time I’ve skied it this winter because every where else being good.
 Above I’m at the top standing to the left of the pole in photo below.
 Behind me is Red to the left and Rossland where we live to the right of Red.

 The photo right I took from a street near where I’m living later that day as the late afternoon sun was hitting the slope, we skied down to the tree’s at the bottom of the photo  where you can see the figure of 8 then dropped into the dog leg third of the way down the ridge from the top in the photo below.
 Some of the cornice’s are sticking out a bit as you can see (above) we keep well back from the edges as they can break especially with the warmer weather we have been getting.

 We’ve only had three powder days in the last two weeks.
 Its been mostly sunny and we’ve had some nice spring ski-in.
 The last 3 days the freezing level has been above the mountain at mid day, making afternoon ski-in low down very sticky.
 Roberts (above) has been a GR8 mountain to hike up this winter and I have hiked up there 73 times during the winter and had awesome runs down the North face mostly in the thick tree’s to the right of the picture.

 Some of the runs have been down the Gun Barrel where I went 4 days after we skied the Dog Leg.
 This is my favorite run on the mountain.
 Photo above is the top section of the Gun Barrel which is to the left of the thick tree’s on the right of the photo above, it comes down into the center chute at the bottom where the photo below was taken before the short hike back up to the lift.

  Tomorrow is closing day, its come round so quick the last few weeks and after a lot of good days ski-in its hard to believe there’s only one day left.
 Because of the warmer weather the back country hasn’t been on the last 4 days and still won’t be until they get the Freeze and warm weather to harden up the slopes and create some good corn ski-in.
 I’m off to Downtown Vancouver on Tuesday for a few days it is one of my favorite cities and then onto Vancouver Island on Thursday for 10 days before I fly out back to NZ.