Sam and Stu's Kiwi Travels
We decided to have another day up at the Remarkables today....but not just a normal day of skiing....today we were going to try tubeing! We got up to catch the early bus at 8:15. It wasn't the best day, all dreary and overcast, not nearly as sunny as yesterday but at least it wasn't raining. We both slept pretty much the whole way up the mountain and woke up just as we reached the top. We popped into the base station to put our boots on and headed straight out onto the slopes. As usual we made our way up to the Sugarbowl chair. The weather wasn't any better up the mountain and the visibility was pretty bad. We skiied our usual blue runs up and around Sugarbowl - both Stu and I felt that after a bit of practise yesterday we were skiing and boarding really well again and we wanted to get as many runs in as possible. Unfortunately by 11 the weather was closing in. The wind was getting up, it was absolutely freezing, and visibility had gone from bad to worse - we'd skiied the last couple of runs completely blind! We decided to head down to the base station for a hot chocolate to warm us up. The cafe was crowded (I think everyone had the same idea) and we had to wait nearly 20 mins for our hot chocolate, but it did do the trick! We headed back onto the slopes and back up to Sugarbowl. We had thought about trying the Shadow chair again but as you couldn't see a hand in front of your face we thought we'd best stick to the runs we knew best! We did 5 or 6 more runs and then headed back down for lunch...cheese and ham sandwiches and barbeque crisps as usual! Mmmm!! After lunch we popped into guest services to buy our tubeing tickets. Up at the Reamrkables they have an area set aside where they have carved out four parallel slopes (kind of like water slides) and you grab an inflatable ring, go up the top, and throw yourself down one of the slopes, either laying on, or sitting in, the ring! It was only 15 dollars for an hour so we booked an hour between 2 and 3 (the last session of the day). We had just about enough time for a quick run before we headed up to the tubing area. We got there about 15 minutes early so we sat and watched as people came down - it looked wicked! They've made all 4 slopes different, there's a fairly tame slope that goes straight down and not too quickly, a slightly faster straight slope, a slope that has a bit of a jump in the middle where you get a some air as you go over the jump, and then a slope that has two jumps and some people were really flying off the second jump! We waited for the 1-2 session to finsh, grabbed some helmets and a tube, and off we went! First I waited at the bottom and filmed Stu coming down a couple of times. Typical boy....some of the tubes have a plastic shell at the bottom that makes them go quicker so Stu grabbed one of the tubes with a shell and came straight down the run with the two jumps (lying on the tube head first)! He absolutely flew down and had the biggest grin on his face. After I'd filmed Stu coming down a couple of times it was my turn. I'd grabbed one of the tubes without a shell as they went more than fast enough for me! The little pommel-type chair lift thing pulled me up the hill in my tube, I jumped off at the top and chose my run. I decided to go for the third run (the one with one jump). Not being quite so brave (or stoopid!) I decided to sit IN the ring for my first go as I wasn't too keen on going head first. I jumped in and down I went. As I slid over the lip at the top my ring swung round and I ended up going down backwards! Not necessarily a bad thing but the jump took me a bit by surprise!! Really good fun though! On the second run I decided to give the fourth track a go (the one with two jumps) and this time I went on my stomch, head first! I flew down and got some air over both the jumps, especially the second. There was a photographer sitting beside the second jump and he took a picture just as I landed with a thump! Probably not very attractive! Stu put the video camera away after my first two runs and we headed up together to race. Stu beat me every time but he did have a faster tube! The photographer caught him mid air as he flew off the second jump on the fastest run! It was really good fun and the hour went way too quickly. After our last run we got the photographer to take a couple of pictures of us together with our tubes and then we took a few with our digital camera (we haven't had a chance to put them on yet but they came out really well - we were just messing around jumping on the tubes and stuff but we got some really good photos!). When we'd finished our little photo shoot we decided to hijack our helmets and have a quick go on the rails on our way down. Nobody noticed that we forgot to drop our helmets in the bins and off we went. We only did a couple of rails each but I was really happy because I managed to do the middle rail perfectly twice and I'd been really stuggling on it the other day - think I've worked out what the problem was! Just need a bit more practise! After our rails we headed back down to the base station to look at the pictures the photographer had taken. We picked out a couple of pictures of the two of us and also decided to get the one of Stu mid-air. By now it was 3:30 and I was quite keen to get the bus home as the weather was getting even worse - we still couldn't see anything and it had been snowing lightly for the past couple of hours. Stu wanted to do one last run so off we went again, out into the wind and snow! Unfortunately the conditions really were bad and as we skiied from the main chair over to the Sugarbowl chair Stu hit a pile of powder that he couldn't see and fell backwards on his head. He's completely fine, he was just a bit dazed for a minute and a bit annoyed! We decided to call it a day and headed back to the base station to catch the bus home. I think everyone had the same idea because the queue for the bus was humongous! We got home and headed straight into town to rent a box set as there was absolutely nothing on tv. Series 3 of 24 was out so we opted for Will and Grace instead and headed home to curl up infront of the tv.