The Week That Was in Wanaka – Week Nine

Posted: September 12, 2010 in Course Diaries

Here we are again with news from Wanaka – nigh on for the last time.  Word has certainly reached around the world that there was a nasty earthquake in Christchurch last Saturday morning.  Some 400km away here in Wanaka, we felt it rattle and roll at about 4.30am, waking most up and giving us all a little shake.  Luckily there was no damage here and everyone was perfectly fine…but poor Christchurch didn’t get off so lightly.

It was a bluebird day up on the hill and a few peeps went up to practice on the fresh snow that fell while the mountain was closed on Friday.   Some others took a trip to Queenstown to do the big Nevis bungy jump which is 134m high with an 8.5 sec freefall.  Well done guys!  On the way back, they stopped off at Puzzling World and even managed to pan for gold – what a variety of experiences indeed!  A number of the guys booked on for heli-skiing the next day so everyone had a quiet evening hoping the weather would hold out.

Boooo….Sunday dawned with strong winds meaning the heli-skiing trip was cancelled.  Even Cardrona was closed again due to the weather so it was another chilled out day in Wanaka for the group.  Some headed out shopping while most of the boys went paintballing. They had a great time despite some obvious cheating (mentioning no names, Kirk!) and the painful bruises they brought home with them.  That night we all headed out for a group meal and some of the guys continued on for a few drinks.  James and Billy even stepped up to the stage at the open mic night in Mint Bar – it seems everyone was impressed so well done boys…X Factor next year perhaps?!

With Monday came the start of the last week of training before the Level 2 exams.  All the students stepped up their game in response to the instructors working them hard in preparation.  For the first time since the course began, the skiers had Monday night off from school but the boarders still had a class after dinner before an early night all round.

Tuesday was a weird one – the mountain was closed to the public because of a problem with the sewerage system after all the rain!  Who’da thought? However, with exams just around the corner, they let us SnowSkoolers up to continue training between 10am and 2pm.  Although it was a shorter session, there were no lift lines, the guys had the slopes to themselves and the focus was entirely on exam preparation.  Many of the guys went to Snow Park in the evening for a night riding session on the boxes and rails.  Snow Park is located on the same road as Cardrona but sits on the opposite ridge across the valley.  Last but certainly not least…Greg returned from sitting his Level 2 exam in Coronet Peak, near Qtown, with the the fab news that he successfully passed and is now a qualified Level 2 ski instructor!! Extra special congrats to Greg as he achieved this with 2 weeks less training than his peers. Well done!

The mountain was again closed to the public on Wednesday so the students had more exclusive time on the hill to practice – their very own private resort!  Afterwards, the skiers had a couple of hours in the classroom going over lesson plans before most peeps headed down to HQ for the pool comp (once again, no winners unfortunately) and then – either flushed with confidence or alcohol – took part in the karaoke!!  A few of the guys sang the Beach Boys and received a $25 bar tab for their performance…it can only be assumed this wasn’t based on their singing skills but their uncanny resemblance to Diana Ross and the Supremes!  Ya just gotta see the photo amongst the others HERE.   Good effort from everyone though.

The mountain was STILL closed on Thursday so the students again had it to themselves.  Given it was the last day of training for the skiers, they made the most of having the instructors on hand to help. After school the skiers and boarders met the instructors for drinks at HQ and with it a scheduled rest day on Friday, the majority stayed out to enjoy one of what would be their last nights on the town in Wanaka.

Everyone chilled out on Friday.  Kirk and Fiona bravely did a sky dive over Lake Wanaka while others stuck their noses in their manuals for a couple of hours’ revision.  In the afternoon most headed out for a barbeque by the lake.  Olly and Elliott demonstrated their pyro skills with an impressive bonfire, Chris and Freddie got fishing again (happily, no incidents to report) and Matt and Rhona cooked up some delish burgers.  It was a great afternoon that took the students’ minds off the exams, followed by an early night for most, especially the skiers, whose exams started Saturday.  The boarders have a little more time to chill as their exams start on Tues day.

We know you’ll join with us in crossing everything and sending lots of positive thoughts our way for what will be our last week in Wanaka.  Hopefully, we’re back in touch with good news all round next weekend before we start the LONG journey home.

Until then,



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