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Last day of snowplay

The last couple of days have seen energy levels at their lowest and highest with activities ranging from tummy bugs to heli boarding.

Wednesday was to have been our second day up at Cardrona. However, unbeknownst to us there is a vicious wee bug doing the rounds down here which I would pick up. So Tuesday night was, well, unpleasant. Mike had to suffer through my repeated trips to the bathroom but luckily didn’t get it himself.

The following morning saw a couple of tired people with one especially pathetic person unable to do more than really lie there with body aches and chills. Mike ended up doing an afternoon at Cardrona though it was again very cold with flat light. He had big plans the next day and didn’t want to overdo it.

In true 24-hour bug fashion, by yesterday morning I felt much better. Fortunately, as logistics were a little complicated. We were due to check out of Benbrae and Mike was heading to Qtown for the day and I wasn’t.

Mike had a great opportunity to fulfil a long time goal to go heli boarding. That endeavour is completely beyond me so I made my own more sedate plans. Mike left early with all our gear to meet his group over in Queenstown and I caught a shuttle bus up to Cardrona. The weather has been getting progressively more mild and no chains were required either over the Crown Range Rd or up the mountain.

At Cardrona, where I continued my quiet laps of McDougalls, the conditions were cloudy clearing to blue skies. Crowds were bigger than the other day though at times the lift queues died right back. From the lift there were good views of the Winter Games boardercross event and adventurous people on the half pipe. I had a good day.

So did Mike. They got in eight runs somewhere at the south end of Lake Wakatipu and finished off with a drink at the very swish Hilton. The helicopter diverted at one stage to assist in rescuing a guy (in another heli party elsewhere) who found himself under 2m of snow. He was ok.

I got to Wanaka via snow bus around 5.30pm and parked up beside the lake to wait for Mike returning from Qtown. There are far worse places in the world to be waiting! Gorgeous.

The day rounded out with pizza from well known local eatery The Cow. While chowing down on melted cheese (sorry food allergies) and whatnot we decided to enjoy some local sights the next day rather than head back to the mountain. The appeal of Otago goes way beyond snow!

About to embark on our separate missions

Waiting for my ride up to Cardrona

At the bottom of McDougalls. Another cloudy day

Fence at the top of McDougalls

The cloud did eventually clear

Mike was among two groups sharing a heli

Heading down to their lunch stop

Not bad views over Lake Wanaka

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