White Powder Specialists – Ski Trip 2014

Ski Trip 1Ski Trip 2

Photo Credit to Luke Diezmann

“…Do you wanna build a snowman?”

“…no.”

Operation Ski Trip successful. Don’t tell anyone, but I recently escaped my honours project for a week to go to Queenstown for some fully hectic extreme skiing.

Just kidding. My version of skiing for the first few days was less upright and more like horizontal stationary skiing. Following in the footsteps of Jon Snow, I knew nothing.

In fact, my third trip on the chairlift at Coronet Peak was a bit of a whoopsie. To set the scene: Skiing involves strapping two long, flat sticks to your feet and using them to slide down a snow-covered mountain. Early skiing pioneers realised that climbing up the mountain was lame, so they devised the chairlift. To embark from the modern chairlift, a conveyor belt slides you into position so the chairlift does not have to stop to pick you up. This is where my troubles began. I did not get on the conveyor belt fast enough. Now imagine, in slow motion, the following events playing out. Myself and a fellow USQ student Tayla are on the conveyor belt. Our troubles began when we realised we were a few meters behind the rest of the team. A local New Zealander notices, and quippes “I wunder what’s guing to happn nuxt”. The chair swings around the bend and knocks me over. I knock Tayla over. I get sucked under the chairlift, skiis flying all over the place. The long line of onlookers waiting for the chairlift admire the spectacle, wishing they had their gopro’s turned on. The staff member in charge of the chairlift realises that we aren’t going to recover without his assistance, and he reluctantly turns off the chairlift, and begins to pull us out from underneath the chair. We awkwardly get up, put our skiis back on under the heavy stares. #embarrassing #sillysausage

It wasn’t all bad times on the chairlift, though. A few days into the trip I’m back on the chairlift striking up a conversation with a fellow traveller.

“So where are you from?” I begin the conversation with.

“Australia.”

“Me too! I’m from Toowoomba”

“…Me too, I study at USQ”

“No way, I study Biomedicine” I hesitantly responded. Damn, I thought I had escaped Toowoomba.

“I study Nursing… Hey wait a minute. Take off your Ski goggles for a sec.” Well, this conversation is either going to take an interesting or a creepy turn, I thought. My inner voice said YOLO. I took off the goggles.

“Yeah I remember you from an O-week orientation session. It was Steph, right?” And he was right. Small world.

Other than Skiing adventures, we also had plenty of time to explore the glorious Queenstown.

Ski Trip 3

For those who might be keen to come along on a future ski trip, it included the following at a student-friendly group price:

  • Return Airfares from Brisbane Airport to Queenstown (direct), including 23kg luggage & air taxes
  • Chartered coach for all Brisbane International Airport transfers to and from USQ Residential Colleges, Toowoomba Campus
  • 7 nights accommodation @ Base Backpackers, in the heart of Queenstown
  • Breakfast daily
  • 4 dinners at various famous restaurants and eateries around Queenstown
  • 4 Day ski pass (2x days @ Coronet Peak, 2 x days @ Remarkables)
  • 4 day bus mountain transfers
  • 1 Day Activity Pass (includes the shot over jet boat ride, Skyline Gondola, hot buffet lunch & 1 Luge Ride)
  • 4 days of Ski, boots & poles/or snow board & boots hire
  • 4 Days of jacket and pants hire
  • Ski Trip merchandise – personalised ski jacket to use on the trip!

Let me know if you have any questions about Ski trip!

Holiday Envy

Although I didn’t go on the New Zealand Ski Trip, I did have the pleasure, or displeasure, depending on how you consider sitting in an office looking through hours of fun holiday footage.

Holiday envy to say the least.

So, I thought I would share this little video compiling all the fun that the group had and get you in the mood for the upcoming holidays.

Res Colleges Ski Trip

As Semester 1 passes us yet again, I realize again just how quick time goes. The last 6 months had included the infamous O-Week, College dinners and semi-formals, university events, charity committee, work, and I guess you could say study. As well as all this, I was also lucky enough that I was able to go on the Residential Colleges Ski Trip of 2013.

And what a week it was!

I can say with great confidence that it was one of the best experiences of my life. I mean, there aren’t many opportunities to go overseas with 20 friends that are all your own age. With a mixture of residents from all 3 colleges, under the direction of the fearless leader Katharine Bigby, it was certainly a recipe for success.

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We all made our way to the tourist capital of Queenstown after a gruesome 3 hour plane ride, and 4 hour bus trip. There weren’t too many hiccups however, it was bloody cold I will tell you that. We stayed at Reavers Lodge for the week, which is extremely inconveniently located on top of a massive hill and has a driveway with a very steep incline. Let’s just say we were getting taxi’s home by the end of the week we were that sick of walking up it.

Some of the best parts (which I believe are the most noteworthy) of this week were…

Drum Roll please…

The Nevis Swing

Swing

See the little black thing there? THAT’S ME! Well… I lie. It’s not ACTUALLY me. But it WAS me. To be honest I don’t know who that is, but you can’t see them so I am sure they won’t mind us using the picture.

The Nevis Swing is not only the biggest Queenstown Swing my friends, it is not merely the largest New Zealand Swing. This is biggest swing in the whole world!

After being lifted out above the launch deck, suspended 160 metres above the canyon floor, you’re suddenly released and find yourself rushing towards the other side of the valley at 150kph, eyes wide open in disbelief or shut tight in fear. Me personally, I screamed the entire way. But it was so worth it!

There were a fair few of us residents that went on the swing that Thursday morning, and I hope they were all as scared as me. I purchased a video of it, however haven’t been able to download it yet. Maybe I will upload it soon. .

My favourite day of the week would have to be the Queenstown sightseeing/experience day. It started with an all-day breakfast (It’s not over then and there!), and a ride on a Gondola which had awesome views of all of Queenstown. You could see EVERYTHING. I’m not really one for taking photos, so I can’t share any with you. We then went to an all you can eat buffet, which had THE best food. After eating way too much, we went on to the best part, the luge ride. You jump on your specialized luge cart, select which track you want to go on, and then zoom down it! We got to have 2 turns, and of course it turned competitive. It became so hectic that someone rolled their cart!

I suppose there was some skiing involved lol. We went to both ‘Coronet Peak’ and ‘The Remarkables’. I wasn’t the best at skiing but feel I was competent enough to make the judgment that I liked the Remarkables better. They had better food! We had people of all skill levels, some who had never skied before, and even a few that didn’t have to use poles, they were that good (crazy!). It was good being in such a big group because if you were on a slope, or on a chairlift and you saw someone stack it, there was a high possibility it was someone that you knew.

So there you have it, my two cents about Res Colleges Ski Trip 2013. As it was the first (hopefully of many) trips, I believe it passed all the tests. I would certainly recommend it to all residents!

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