Getting out of the car in the murky twilight of dawn we were nearly blown off our feet by the wind. As we stood there bracing ourselves against the gale and joking about getting back in the car, a fellow poked his head out the door of one of the lodges and called us over. It was Terry the hospitable manager of the small ski field inviting us in for a cup of coffee. We joined the crew inside: warming up, chatting with the staff and generally being shown just how terrifically friendly and welcoming the club ski field scene is here in NZ.
With the wind starting to ease we headed over to one of the main ice gullies, a mere 15 minute walk across the valley. By the time we were standing at its base we were almost completely sheltered from the wind and the ice was in surprisingly good shape.
|Ryan leading the "Left Gully"|
|Ryan on the disconcertingly titled "Bowel Wobbler"|
|Tukino obscured by the swirling mess of clouds as seen on the drive out on the 4WD track|