Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Opening Week

No, not opening week of my blog (although it is that), but something far more important - opening week at Fernie Alpine Resort. I've already written an email about waiting for opening day - basically it's a lot like Christmas eve.

So, how was the start of the season?

Well, the getting up at 7 AM part wasn't that great. It wasn't terrible - there's not a lot to do chez Richard in the evenings once the novelty of cable TV has worn off so I was in bed at a reasonable hour. Actually, I should clarify that. Getting up was great, just like Christmas (when a long awaited event is now imminent). It's just that 7am is dark, and quite a while before the lifts open. Still, my father thinks getting up at 7am is rather a decadent time to sleep in to, so I guess that there's a genetic reason why I don't mind getting up early when I have to (it's definately not a rational one, since it was still totally dark).

My snowboard breaking free of the rack and landing beside the road definately sucked. We were driving along the road and suddenly heard a horrible thump. Tim pulled over and confirmed that he'd seen my board fall (it it jump or was it pushed?)

Thankfully there was no serious damage. I think the trunk (that's a boot for my English-speaking readers) took the worst of it when my board bounced off it. The board landed beside the road, and upside down, so it took less damage than it would in a typical crowded lift line.

Talking of crowded lift lines, by the time the lifts opened, there were several hundred people waiting. Still, we were near the front of the queue - unlike the cheeky so and so who waltzed up at 8:45 am and tried to join his friends at the front of the line. He hopped the fence and that set off a chain of boo-ing all the way back. He and his friends tried indignantly to explain, but the crowd scented blood. Attracted by the noise, the liftee came over like the white hat in a cowboy movie and threw the claim jumper right to the back of the half hour plus line.

Score one for the good guys.

By the time the chairlift got to the top, I was pumped. The snow looked very good to me (although the local snow snobs didn't hesitate to complain about it) and I hadn't been riding in a while. It was a great moment, sliding down the ramp from the chairlift with a few gentle snowflakes drifting down.

And that's when it all went horribly wrong.

I had forgotten to adjust my rear binding (brand new gear - ooooh). So, not only was my first run for a couple of months in "elephant snot" (soft heavy wet snow, aka Ruapehu Powder), I could't use my back foot properly.

Now, I know this doesn't make any sense to those of you who haven't snowboarded, but trust me, it's not particularly fun. So I fell down a lot and got stuck in the snow a lot. This was mainly because I'd forgotten how to ride in soft snow (in other words, I sucked).

But it was fun, unlike reading this post - I'm sorry, but I seem to have forgotten how to write well (if I ever knew).

Long story short, it was a good day (even when I discovered the hard way in the rain that the crotch of my boarding trousers wasn't quite waterproofed properly).

Since then, the rain has washed away a lot of the snow, but Santa says he's bringing us some more for Christmas and the weather network (channel 21) - the best TV station when there's no hockey on TV - agrees.

I'm really broke though, which sucks, but things should pick up if / when the resort (and more particularly the hotel I work) gets busy.

Yippee! I'm the first to comment, welcome to the blogsphere and all that "cool" stuff. Hopefully the snow will bring the visitors too.

I spent the morning recording in Shortland Street. (The uni studio in that st not the TV soap.) It went well.
Why does it say your location is Whakapapa Ski Field when all the world knows you are in Canada somewhere?

There's a thing about you in the follow up to Fiji 1994 (ten years on) a LONG quote!

Did dad send you our Christmas letter?
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