Snowcraft Weekend - Friday 5 July 2013 to Sunday 7 July 2013 (3 days)

This was a wonderful weekend full of fun and adventure and learning ,and even some time spent outside of the comfort zone. Thank you so much Pete and Di, our other instructors the two Mikes, our very own celebrity chef Carol and my fellow students.

The Course kicked off with a pre-course info evening at Pete and Di's, covering Risk Management and gear and equipment which meant that we were very well prepared and full of anticipation. Friday came and we drove down to the recently rechristened ATC Snowsports Lodge which was the perfect venue ,all arriving safely, even the group that went via Mokau!

(Photo #1)

Once at "The Top of The Bruce" we realised that we had left the directions to the lodge behind. thank goodness for cellphones, and the first challenge of the weekend was surmounted. Safely installed and enjoying the great facilities at the lodge, wandering round in the carpark in the dark and cold was just a distant memory.

I've stayed at Huka Lodge but I know where I'd rather be, at ATC's very own special place on the mountain. Horrors,7 am breakfast, even managing not to burn the porridge(2nd time round) and then a frantic scurry to get all the gear ready, after the previous night's briefing and a recap in the morning.

(Photo #2)

We were divided into 3 groups organised on the basis of experience. So with me looking like Michelin Man, accompanied by Susan, Vicky and Karin, and with Pete as our instructor our group headed up the West Ridge.

On the way we were shown how to kick steps with the side of boots and just how handy an ice axe can be. We also practised self arrest and walking in crampons, miraculous things that they are.

Time to move on. Pete gestured vaguely up the mountain and we confidently made our way on up, suddenly he called a halt. Where are you going and where exactly are you? What? Isn't he meant to be the Leader and the Instructor? Why would we need to take responsibility for ourselves?

Doh!! It is a dangerous alpine environment and everyone needs to take responsibility. Eventually we worked out where we were after Pete produced a map and we found our way down.

(Photo #3)

Major lesson of the weekend and life, don't be too ready to let others always take the lead. Lesson learnt, back to the lodge for scones and jam and cream and a warm and relaxing, lazy afternoon until it was time to have a wine and think about dressing for dinner in the theme of the evening "tropical beach holiday". Not quite sure how Di came up with that one!
Anyway you would almost think you were in Hawaii with all the sarong clad lovelies. Carol (in togs) produced a wonderful Roast Turkey Dinner, amazing.

Even more amazing was how the likes of Malcolm and Hideo managed to put away 2 servings effortlessly! After dinner entertainment was watching footage on Avalanches(very interesting) and various holiday pics.

A perfect ending to a perfect day. Next morning, we were up and out early again to practice what we had learnt. Walking in crampons today was effortless.

By mid-day though we were lured back by piklets and turkey soup, before packing up and home by 6.20 pm. What a great weekend.
Thanks Diane and Pete and the 2 Mikes, our chef Carol and fellow students and the star of the show the ATC Snowcrafts Lodge.

Scribe: Kay Willcocks

Photo #1: Sue Woolnough, Kay Willcocks, Vicky King, Karen Manning, Pete Waworis (Instructor)

Photo #2: Caroline Lemos, Terri-Ann Scorer, Michael Loo (Instructor), Aaron Russell, Lee McKay

Photo #3: Mike Thompson (Instructor), Steve Barter, Lynda Pogson, Lynda Langridge, Malcolm Calvert