Day 28 – Wanaka and a full day of skiing at Treble Cone

I didn’t sleep all that well, maybe it was the nerves, the excitement or the five other guys in the dorm room at the YHA Purple Cow. After trying to put on all my ski gear as quietly as possible I stepped outside to be greeted by this stunning sunrise, it looked like I couldn’t have asked for better weather to go skiing.

beautiful colours on the clouds at sunrise

I had some tea and a muesli bar for breakfast before making my way out to the pavement to wait for The Flying Bus, my choice of transport to the Treble Cone skifield because it was the cheapest plus I was told the other buses would take 40-45 minutes while The Flying Bus, as the name suggests, would only take 25-30 minutes.

the morning sun just catching the snow-capped peaks across Lake Wanaka

Sure enough we arrived at the skifield just after 8:30 where I collected my pass, snapped on my skis and gingerly made my way towards the baby slope which was all of 10 metres long but after two times down there I plucked up the courage and headed to the top of the beginners training slope which was more like 100 metres long doing my best to eavesdrop on some of the group lessons going on to pick up a few tips. I waited for a gap to appear so that if things went wrong  wouldn’t take any other people out and then set off down the slope. A got the hang of the snow-plow/pizza slice stance but needed to work on my turning and stopping but my confidence was building and I hadn’t fallen over yet.

A few more runs and then I set off up the chairlift to the top of the main ski area which was a lot higher than I anticipated. Trepidatiously I pushed on my ski poles and started moving down the slope. Some people came flying past but I kept to my line and all was going well. That is until the I got a little too confident and the slope a little steeper and before I knew it I was facing backwards, then my skis crossed and I ended up flat on my back. I fell twice more before I reached the bottom but was not deterred and got straight back on the chairlift to the top. Second time down I didn’t fall once and my skiing got better and better. It was all coming back to me, leaning into the corners, lifting the inside ski going into a turn and soon the biggest obstacle was dodging all the other beginners.

standing at the top of Treble Cone ski-field looking down on Lake Wanaka

chair lift station at the top of the beginner run at Treble Cone

panorama of the Treble Cone Skifield and Lake Wanaka

The weather was so good that I had to take off my thermal longs and top. I took the opportunity to grab some lunch and then headed back out onto the slopes. Feeling braver I made my way across to the neighbouring Saddle Basin which only had intermediate (blue) and advanced (black) runs. It was less crowded though and the snow was better so after overcoming my fears I spent the rest of the afternoon skiing on this side just enjoying every moment and having so much fun.

after lunch a bit of cloud rolled in at the top but it didn't last

in the afternoon I braved the Saddle Basin that only had intermediate and advanced runs

180 degree panorama of Saddle Basin at Treble Cone Skifield above Lake Wanaka

Wanting to make the most of my whole day ski pass I skied non-stop before finally at 3:40pm taking one last run down Main Street, which connected the two ski areas, all the way back down to the Ski Station where The Flying Bus was waiting to take me home.

intermediate or intermediate? I'll take intermediate.

view over the Treble Cone Skifield from the Main Street intermediate run

My leg muscles were aching and my arms were tired but I was smiling from ear to ear after skied for nearly 7 hours, thankful that my parents had taken me skiing when I was younger so that I didn’t have to waste time and money on lessons again. Even after 18 years it was like riding a bike, the skiing all came back to me and I loved every minute of it.


About Rory Alexander

Ever growing blogger that spent 2 years in living in China, then 6 weeks backpacking around New Zealand and is now back home in South Africa for the foreseeable future.
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