The last week inched by slowly, with the promise of snowfall to sea-level forecast for much of the lower south island all eyes were focussed squarely on the weather radars while we eagerly counted down the days. With baited breath I hit the hay early in the evening, knowing that promising storms are often nothing more than a whisper upon arrival at this time of year I didn’t want to get myself too excited. A huge gust of wind woke me around midnight last night, and the snow falling with it finally delivered the gift of an epic day to come!!
We kicked off the day nice and slowly, think cups of coffee, big breakfast and sitting back enjoying the view. After giving the council plenty of time to clear the roads we decided it was time to get our snow legs back. Not wanting to cause any early season injuries, and partially to ease myself back into the splitboard rhythm without too much shellshock, gentle was definitely the name of the game. Seemingly every second person in Queenstown was also keen to claim first turns of the season, so we took the road less traveled and stumbled upon white gold – fresh, boot deep, POWDER…in MAY!!
We lay claim to a small corner of Coronet Peak and put down our first turns of the season, grinning from ear to ear. A few short, fun laps later with snow legs well and truly underneath us the executive decision was made to call it for the day – there’s plenty more turns to be had in the next 5months, so no need to rush it!
Honestly, I am so stoked that we got to ride in May, let alone to claim our first turns in lovely fresh powder! Plans are in place to get back up the mountain tomorrow and notch up day two, maybe followed by a sneaky trip to the local onsen hot pools as a reward for a hard day’s work. Here’s hoping 2014 winter keeps up its awesome form – I’m looking forward to a big one!!