Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The weekend needed a mention. Plus, I needed to put 'Treble Cone' on the map for posterity.

I'd previously agreed to a big catch up night with the Mannion. It was long overdue. She'd also arranged a nicely timed rendezvous with Caroline's brother who was down from Christchurch. Not 'Pig' Caroline - James' sister, but 'enormous breasts' Caroline who spent Christmas with us in '04 along with Shiny, Igno, Chike and the other nutters on the roof of Base. Apparently, her brother was coming down to Queenstown for a spot of snowboarding and partying and was bullied in to meeting us by his fiery no-for-an-answer sister who'd given him strict orders. So it was a bit of a random first meet, which is always interesting. He had to spell his name to us when we first met. 'Padraig'. Another dodgy Irish name that I struggled to get my head round, much like Traoine, Tadhg and Nodlaig. He said we could call him Podge or Porridge if we wanted to. We did. And Podge it was. He was a right banter head luckily and the whole thing just kicked off, prompting the entire weekend to unfold into a series of random encounters...

...Like yesterday. An early start and a full day on the mountain. This time over to Wanaka, to 'Treble Cone'.

A word on Treble Cone: 'TC' is the largest ski resort in the South Island and boasts some of the longest and steepest runs available. Its huge, and the whole resort is spread over three large basins, providing an abundance of trails and endless adrenaline. Definitely worth a visit and definitely worth spending a full day, just so you know. We'd also got the 'buy one get one free' vouchers from the back of the limited edition 24 packs of Speights, to ease the damage of the day pass. I'm not gonna go on about the scenery. You know what I think. Have a look at the pictures. They do no justice whatsoever.

I ventured over with Podge and Jules, another random who turned up to meet him when he first joined us that night. Jules is a mad-keen boarder, experienced; Podge, fairly new to the game but keen nonetheless. It wasn't a bad day at all considering half the mountain was closed off due to a relentless pounding from the howling wind. The conditions weren't all that great either. To me anyway. The snow was like tarmac, packed solid but with a small dusting of old crunchy ice. Not really my cup of tea...as I'm a wet lettuce. A wet lettuce that came away with no broken bones. We rounded of the day with a meal in Wanaka and couple of cheekies in Brazz to bid young Podge farewell before his return to Christchurch...

...where we met two more randoms. Two Americans this time, who were over here to 'climb the hell out of Queenstown'. We quickly got acquainted: Jeff, from San Fransisco, and his 'hairy friend' Ahad, an American born Iranian who's just moved over here after being headhunted. Apparently, Timaru urgently needed a doctor and Ahad fit the bill like a glove. These guys were climbing buddies, serious adventurers who absolutely lived for the sport and were here to do just that. It was a night well spent. I found them extremely refreshing. They had a great passion for life, and for people, and kindly invited us to go rock climbing with them the following morning(!)

Which brings us to today. An absolute first for me, and something that I had every expectation of panicking over. My fear of heights at it's pinnacle: a height at which you can actually comprehend the danger. Not good. But...it was surprisingly enjoyable. I actually attempted it. I actually enjoyed it. And yes I was bricking it, yes my mouth was dry as I tied the figure of eight knot around my harness and looked up at the black vertical wall of granite, and yes I was shaking like a shitting dog the whole time as I switched my attention backwards and forwards from hand to foot. But I did it. And I might just do it again.

So I thought it worth a mention. A highly random and unplanned weekend. Aren't they always the best?
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