Turoa. Ruapehu. Ohakune.

Andy has been skiing since he was six. Ambrose has been skiing since he was about 4. I’ve been skiing since I was 46 (apart from once while at uni). No pressure. When we’re in Italy we’ll be doing 10 nights in the Dolomites. I’m not sure how many days we’ll be skiing together. Maybe if I get a few more private lessons, I might be able to keep up.

We’ve got a few family “happy” places and Ohakune is definitely one of them. We’ve been up and back 7 or 8 times this season while Ambrose has been doing snowboarding school. It was heaps of fun heading up on a Friday night and back again on Sunday once we got our routine down pat and our go-bags were in place.

Ohakune has been an extended family holiday spot for Andy since he was a kid, for me since I met him and Ambrose since he was born. We’ve had many nights eating a big dinner then settling in by the fire playing games. There’s always bacon and eggs for breakfast and the early trek up the mountain to make sure we get in the “top” carpark. It’s hard to beat the feeling of sipping coffee and eating hot chips looking over the valley on a clear, crisp, sunny winters day. And the feeling at the end of it. Tired and a bit sore but invigorated and refreshed, sipping a red wine by the fire before you go to bed. Ready to get up and do it all again.

Here’s a very special photo from 2015. Andy skiing with his Dad, Bob who was 80 at the time, his sisters Cathy and Penny, and Ambrose and his cousin Tessa. I was still fumbling around on the lower slopes at the time.

Family skiiing

By the end of this season, despite average weather and average snow, the most we had to complain about was being sick of the takeaway selection en route. And we did need to invest in a new set of car tyres!

We haven’t actually bought season passes for Turoa next year. We’d be keen to head down south if we can. Ambrose is keen to try some new fields and as Central Otago is another one of my favourite places I don’t need much convincing. I’m sure the ski fields have changed quite a bit in over 25 years. Definitely overdue for another visit.


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