Having grown up in Canada, it’s often assumed I lived a stone’s throw from the Rocky Mountains and snowboarded to school. In reality, I only visited the Rockies once a year for a week long holiday. When my friends went to Mexico and Cuba, I begrudgingly froze my toes off learning to ski and snowboard at Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. Much like other activities my parents persuaded me pursue at a young age, piano, French Immersion and ballet, I now look fondly upon those lessons.
Fast forward to last weekend when Nick and I decided to embark on a day trip to Mt. Hutt.
The day began at 5:45 when my alarm summoned me out of bed. Armed with sandwiches and snacks, we were on the road by 6:30, just in time to catch the sunrise as we drove up the mountain.
The first point of difference was driving up the mountain. Kiwis are a nation of DIYers, and driving halfway up a steep and narrow mountain, stopping halfway to put on your snow chains, was a completely new experience for me. Luckily, Nick’s a pro at fastening snow chains, and we were soon on our way.
After hiring our gear, we were ready for a day of skiing in the sunshine.
The slopes open at 9 and you can expect a decently long line of eager skiers and boarders awaiting the first run of the day. Depending on your level, enjoy a few runs in the pristine powder before stopping to have a drink (Kiwis break for après-ski by 11:30) at Huber Hut, which overlooks the mountain and features a DJ spinning tracks.
We decided to call it a day by 2pm, so we could drive to Lake Coleridge, a remote turquoise blue lake without the hoards of tourists that frequent Pukaki and Tekapo.
Where have you daytripped lately?