This year our team decided to consolidate resources and only travel to one camp, since this camp was going to be all the way down in New Zealand... I'll be the first to admit I was initially skeptical of the camp mostly from a travel perspective. I don't particularly like flying (pretty sure most people feel that way) and I generally have little success sleeping on planes. However, despite almost two days of travel (just to get there), sitting out the first week of camp with strep throat, and experiencing some puke-inducing carsickness, I would still rank the New Zealand camp as our best camp to-date. The skiing far exceeded my expectations with almost 30k of groomed trails and endless kilometers of crust cruising. The landscape was like nothing I've ever seen before with what I consider very disparate biomes all occurring within a close proximity. While my phone camera certainly won't do the scenery justice, I think it will do better than a description! Another positive aspect of the camp was its simplicity. We stayed at the Snow Farm, which was right on the trails, so we didn't need a rental car for most of the camp and the food was incredible. It's perhaps best described as an Asian/British/Indian fusion, and in the three weeks we were there we didn't have a single repeat meal! Although there were plenty of meals I would have gladly consumed a second time. Anyway, enough with the words and onto some photos!
|Cardrona Valley viewed from the Snow Farm access road|
|Looking towards Wanaka|
|The Southern Alps|
|The Snow Farm as seen from the Glen|
|First day out skiing in Hanging Valley!|
|Snow cave city|
|Taking a self-directed tour of snow cave city...|
|A misty morning overlooking the Glen|
|One of the clearer foggy days!|
|And one of the less clear foggy days...|
Caitlin, where's the trail?!
|Racing!! We got to jump into some FIS races |
that were part of the New Zealad Winter Games.
(photo: Sophie Caldwell)
|A clear day for intervals!|
(photo: Nick Brown)
|Nick getting artsy with his shots|
|Lake Wanaka on our off-day|
|Fun in the sun|
|Cruising the crust up to Mount Pisa|
|Can you spot mini-Liz?|
|Top of Pisa|
|Pepa and Ben affixing our chains. We had a rather |
hair-raising descent from the Snow Farm upon our departure!
|Grader vs camper van on a slick road|
|Looking over Lake Wakatipu from |
the Queenstown hill
|The obligatory wildflower photo|
|Enjoying a tropical moment|
|Running along Lake Wakatipu|
|A flowering magnolia tree in the |
Queenstown botanical gardens
|Flowers the size of your face|
|And some very large trees! |
(Or is it mini-Caitlin?!)
|A very happy Ben with his very large burger|
|We followed up burgers with ice cream. |
No better way to end a camp!
I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to train in New Zealand. It was a unique experience and a valuable camp that would never have gotten off the ground, let alone gotten us to New Zealand and back, without the support of Pepa, Nick, and the Outdoor Center. We're now headed off to West Yellowstone for our first races of the season! With all the down-under ski training under our belts, it won't feel strange to strap on skis again. Thanks for reading :)