Sam and Stu's Kiwi Travels
Today we hit the slopes again. We decided to go to the Remarkables today since we've spent the last few days at Coronet Peak. We had a bit of a lay in and got up at 9 to catch the later bus at 10:15. It was a gorgeous sunny morning and we were both really looking forward to heading back up the mountain. We were up at the ski field by 11:15 and we headed straight up the Sugarbowl chair to the very top of the mountain. We started off on a couple of the easier runs to get our ski legs back and then had a go at a couple of the steeper blues. We were pleasantly surprised by the snow conditions - we were expecting it to be pretty icey as we haven't had any more snow since last weeks downpour, and we've had some beautiful sunny days since, so we thought the snow would be a bit thin on the ground again. There wasn't much powder on the runs but there was still a fair covering of snow and there was very little ice so we were more than happy. The wind that had hounded us for the past few days had now disappeared and there wasn't a cloud in the sky...it really was the perfect day. At the Remarks they've taken some of the powder off of the off piste sections and created a couple of huge jumps on two of the runs so we thought we'd have a go at those. Stu's feeling much more at home on his skis now and he did a couple of pretty impressive jumps (although I did catch him on video on one of his less graceful attempts where he collapsed in a heap!!). I know my limits so I just went up and over at a snails pace...I struggle to land the smaller jumps and these were between 6 and 10 feet tall so it was a long way down!!! We stopped for lunch about 2 and I had decided to try and rent a helmet and give one of the smaller rails a go - I'd seen a couple of people have a go earlier and it really didn't look that hard! Before we went up to the cafe for lunch I wandered in to the rental shop to find out how much it would cost to rent a helmet. The nice man at the desk said since it was already 2 and the slopes close at 4:30 he would let me have one for free!! Yey!! Now i'd definately have to have a go!! I don't think Stu was too happy with me trying a rail after his attempt yesterday. He spent most of our half hour lunch telling me that the rails were very, very slippery and that I needed to make sure that I went as slowly as possible and that my helmet was secure...I listened, nodded and smiled! I think he was both genuinely worried for my safety and also dreading having to explain to mum and dad why he'd let me have a go if I did fall off and hurt myself!! Anyway, after lunch we headed straight up to the top of the skate park to find the easiest rail. Stu got the video camera out (expecting me to fall flat on my face I think) while I strapped on my helmet... the park was clear and I was ready to go so I started to ski towards the rail, as I got closer I went into a snowplough to make sure I was going as slow as possible when I hit the rail. Just before my tips touched the rail I straightened out my skis, slid up onto the rail, glided along to the end and landed in the pit at the bottom!!! Yey....I had done my first rail without falling over!!!!! I was really chuffed with myself and headed straight up to do it again!! Once again I landed without any problems - I was quite liking this rail lark! I got a bit cocky on the next try and tried to jump on sideways...my skis slipped off the rail, one on either side. I still managed to keep my balance though and got down without falling over. Next it was Stu's turn. I gave him my helmet and he headed up the slope. I think he was a bit nervous after yesterday but he was going to try it straight on today, rather than sideways like yesterday, and I knew if I could do it, Stu definately could!! He waited for a group of snowboarders who had assembled at the top to have a go, and then it was his turn....down he skied towards the rail, a little bit of snowplough and up onto the rail he went. Skis nice and straight, he glided along to the end of the rail and landed perfectly in the landing pit....easy peasy!! :0) We had both successfully tackled our first rails!!! Stu headed back up and tried to hit the rail sideways this time...unfortunately this attempt ended the same way as yesterdays and he ended up in heap on the floor...he came back a bit grumpy after that one!!! My turn again - I headed back up and did the same rail three more times... the first one went fine, my skis slipped on the second one and I ended up in a heap on the floor for the first time and found that yes...it does hurt when you fall!!! I went one last time cos I didn't want to finish with a fall and the last one went perfectly. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself and decided to give the next rail down a try. This rail was slightly higher off the ground and the drop into the landing pitt was quite a lot bigger. Out came the video camera, on went the helmet and I was off again...I did it!!! The rail wasn't much different from the first, it was more the landing I was worried about but my run up was fine, I snowploughed into it again, straightened my skis before I hit the rail, slid slowly along the rail and then dropped into the landing pit at the end!! The landing was definately harder but I'd held it together so I headed straight back up while I was feeling confident. Once again it went without any problems...yey!!! I can do rails!!! Next it was Stu's turn...and he tackled it like a pro!! He had a bit more speed this time but he hit the rail perfectly, slid to the end and landed perfectly in the pit. He was still determined to have a go sideways so he went back up to the top skiied to the rail, stopped, stepped onto the rail sideways, slid down and landed in the pit.....not quite how it should be done but better than nothing!!! Right.....there was one more rail on the slope. This one was even further off the ground and there was a fair drop on landing but I had my helmet and I was feeling confident so I thought why not....I'd give it one go...if I did it then I'd finish on a high and if I fell off then at least I could say I gave it a go!! Stu was still a bit grumpy because he couldn't work out the whole sideways thing so we didn't film this one and he said he couldn't be bothered to have a go at this last one (personally I reckon he was too scared!!!! :0) ). Off I went again...I went really, really slowly this time because I didn't want to be going too fast as I landed since I really wasn't at all sure about the drop! Once again I slid along the rail and landed perfectly in the pit below....genius!!! Watch out skate park here I come!! Right, that was enough rails for one day - we might have another go tomorrow. It was 3:30 by this time so we decided to head back up the Sugarbowl chair to get a few more runs in before catching the last bus back to town. The nasty bus driver forgot our stop on the way into town so we had to lug our skis all the way from the Copthorne hotel back to our flat (usually we get dropped at the Kingsgate and it takes us about 10 mins to get home from there because its all up hill....it takes nearly 20 mins from the Copthorne and when you've got to carry skis, boots, poles etc it seems like a long way!). We eventually got home and had a quick cuppa before wandering into town to update our site and get some groceries. Once again we have an evening of 24 planned (although it is already 8:30 and we haven't even had dinner yet so I don't think we'll have time to watch more than one episode!!!) :0).