Home' Special Publications : Go Central 2011 Contents go
Open from 5.30pm
• Sticky Ribs & Fries • Chicken &
Shrimp Curry • Steak & Ale Pie
For only $19.50
Check out our new
Winter Menu and our
www.crookeddoor.co.nz • Cnr Roberts & Titiraupenga Sts • Ph 07 376 8030
"New Zealand's classic countryware store"
Purveyors of ne wool products.
Quality New Zealand made c lothing for all seasons .
Overseas packaging and postal service in store.
Open daily 364 days of the year!
Ruapehu St, Taupo, New Zealand (Opposite Pak'n'Save Supermarket)
07 378 9513
Standing on a slippery board, on slippery snow,
on the top of a very large hill does not bode will
Still with friends and family waxing lyrical about
the joys of skiing and snowboarding I decided it
was time to find out just what it is about this icy,
wet, snow stuff that people enjoy.
The friendly staff at Mt Ruapehu suggested I
try a Discover Ultimate Package - this includes
a beginners lift pass, hire of skis or board, and a
scenic lift ride as well as a 1hr 50min lesson.
The morning comes and we rise early. After a
delightful drive, some concerns about the weather
(quelled by a quick phonecall) and coffee in Turangi
I opt for snowboarding and with visions of
carving up the knarly upper mountain by midday,
I've settled in a group of fellow beginners in Happy
Valley where every skier and boarder starts out.
My teacher's name is Siah Alexander - a Kiwi from
Cambridge whose just returned from a winter in
the United States - he's friendly and positive we'll all
be pros by the end of the lesson, well almost.
I ponder why it's called Happy Valley - I suppose
Collison Canyon (whilst more appropriate for
the crowded domain of beginner skiiers and
snowboarders) didn't quite fit the image.
First off is attaching our boots to our boards I
manage it fine and silently promise myself I won't
be the first to fall on my butt. Sweet.
We learn to ``skate'' which means pushing
ourselves along on our boards with one foot
attached; it's a bit awkward but I don't fall over. All
Thankfully, the next challenge sends many of us
snowbound - we attach both feet.
Siah teaches us to use our centre of gravity (our
butt) to move our body weight on the board and
steer by looking where we want to go- and most
I congratulate myself on the big breakfast I
consumed with gusto - surely a heavier centre of
gravity must be more effective.
Once we get to the bottom of the hill, it's time
to use the chairlift - Siah lets me put the board on
my lap as I'm concerned I'll take out a small child
whilst disembarking, (I've already learned yelling
``Get out of the way, I have no idea what I'm doing,''
doesn't ensure people will get out of my way).
Before long we've learnt to turn left and turn
right, albeit whilst taking some tumbles.I've
grasped the concept of stopping, and I've even
learned to stand up without hurtling down the hill
straight away - which makes me feel a lot more
A word of warning: snowboarding is very hard
on your legs and requires a bit of core strength. If
you've been more sloth than superman over the
winter months, then be prepared to be sore the
By now we're ready to go off on our own - I'm
not so sure, but with a bit of coercing, I'm set. What
follows is moments of ``I can to this - I'm awesome!''
dispersed with moments of ``Oh-my-god what on
earth do I do?!?''
The lesson is done, and Siah reckons we all did
really well - everyone progresses at different levels
he says, but anyone can learn to snowboard (except
small children, who don't have the bodyweight to
control the board) he said.
Unfortunately, by now, the changeable nature of
the mountain has revealed its true nature - clouds
settle in and the upper ski lifts are closed. I'm
gutted; carving up the upper mountain will have
to take place next time - probably a good thing, no
one likes a show off.
With the largest Ski field in New Zealand on our doorstep it's surprising so many locals are still hesitant to hit the slopes.
Reporter SARAH BOL checked out the winter wonderland.
Some tips for beginners from the crew at Mt Ruapehu:
Learning the joys of snowboarding
Make sure the boot fits!
Whether renting, borrowing or buying -
the most important thing when it comes
to ski and snowboard boots is the fit.
Your boots should feel firm but not so
tight that they hurt. A well-fitted boot will
make your day on the snow comfortable
and give you better control of your skis or
Get a lesson!
The best way to learn to ski or board
is from a professional instructor. Your
friend may think they are super hot on
the snow but does that mean they can
teach? Ski and snowboard instructors are
all fully trained and qualified to teach you
the right skills at the right pace. They'll
keep you safe and help you build your
confidence and skills so that you'll be up
riding with your more experienced mates
in no time.
Book accommodation in advance
If you're planning on staying over, the
Ruapehu region can get busy during winter,
especially during weekends and school
Check the weather conditions
The weather on Mt Ruapehu is extremely
changeable and hard to predict. Don't take
the forecast as gospel - it can and does
Come prepared for any weather conditions
and check on the current conditions before
you leave your accommodation. These can be
found on the Mt Ruapehy website.
The sun might be shining but it can still
be cold up here and conditions can change
rapidly. Cotton clothing like jeans offer no
protection against the cold when they're wet.
Wear plenty of layers of wool or synthetic
fibres like polypropylene and polar fleece.
Links Archive First Five 2011 Home and Living 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page