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Snow Ski in
New Zealand

The North and South Island of NZ offer great fun to practice snow ski. The snow period for skiing starts around June and ends in October or November, depending on how much snow has fallen.. In NZ North Island the snow season is a little shorter ending in mid-October, despite the help of snow making machines. Anyway, if it runs out snow on the North Island, the South Island will be still an alternative providing good falls by at least more 30 days.

  The ski resorts cater to all types of skiers, from those who have never skied, also called as "no-ass", to the professional sportsmen and competitors called as "snowmen" because they do not even stop to pee while skiing. The stations are very modern and some of them are open even at night, so the intrepid skier can freeze faster and be part of the landscape. The stations are divided into tracks, each one with evocative names according to the degree of difficulty. Example: A track for beginners usually will be in the Happy Valley. I think this name is because you will not stop laughing at the others falling, or your own fall. In my opinion instead of Happy Valley, should be more appropriate name Valley of Pain as in the end of the day  your jaw will be very painful from laughing so your knees and elbows may be also crying of despair and your butt would be in total misery. Be aware of the Valley of the Dinosaurs, it is only for the pro beasts, and should not be attempted by any inexperienced mortal.

The ski stations may "freeze" your money as they charge for Passes, the price is according to the time that you spend doing your glorious falls. For example, Half Day Pass entitles you to enter in the ski area by using the "Lifts" for a X period. Lifts are those chairs hanging on a cable that will take you from the bottom up and vice versa. There is also  "Ropes" which are strings where you hold and it will take you to the next fall. To use the ropes, you really have to be using the skis or you'll fall on your face. There is also the "T-bar", which as the name implies, is a bar in "T" that you grab and passes between the legs, trapped in the ass, so you can be towed  upwards. The passes are sold for half -day to 1 day , per week, per season and you may choose the different tracks.

 All ski clothes and equipment can be rented up there at the station, but you may find cheaper prices in the ski rental shops in the neighbouring towns to the "Ski Field." If you go for the budget, be very careful when renting boots, try them all with socks. If the boot does not fit well you will get crying fingers, pain in the butt, hips, elbows and knees, on top of that you will be limping for a week. Always carry spare pair of socks, gloves because they could be wet very easily, especially after a few ski-bums. In a beautiful windless day in the sky field, the intrepid skier can be taken by the famous menopausal syndrome, where the feeling of cold and heat alternate from time to time, in a urgent need of making a striptease in front of curious  crowds. So it's better to wear some light clothes, cotton underneath and lots of sunscreen, or the radiation of sun at these heights will add some beautiful bubbles to your list of bruises. Prices charged for the ski rental equipment (can be more or less depending on the store, or the ski resort). Ski rental prices below are for a day. In case of package and multiple days the cheaper it gets.

Equipment

NZ$  NZ$ 
Snowboard or Ski + boots + poles -adult $ 48 (recreational) $ 62 (performance)
Waterproof jacket+ pants  $ 39 ( adult) $ 28  ( young)

Tip: We recommend to get the insurance at the place you rent the ski and clothes, which is from NZ $ 3 per day. This protects you from losses, but also for  damage caused by you or any other person. Skiing equipment is very expensive to replace.

Prices for passes charged by the Ski Resorts (note that it may be more or less depending on the ski resort and the type of track you choose). There are passes for multiple shifts and days, and the more days may be cheaper. Adults, young people and kids have different prices.

Lifts

NZ$
Day Lift  Adult 91
Additional day 86
Day Lift Youth/ Senior 49
Additional day 47

Note 1: For those who never have skied, there is a very good deal for a initial package including equipment+ lift+ lesson with instructors for NZ$135 and for young people NZ$ 89. For the Pro, how about trying a Heliski, where a helicopter takes you to the top of the mountain and you just go down ( as well as your money in the bank....).

Note 2: There is also a combo package pass including Snowboard or Ski + Boots + Sticks + any type of Lift for a whole day Special padded pants to ease the pain during the falls, as well as knee pads, can be rented separately.( I wish I knew that so I would not spend the following week sitting on the pillow....).

Snow Ski in North Island:

Whakapapa & Turoa - both are located in the centre of the North Island in the Tongariro National Park at the slopes of the volcano Huapehu. Whakapapa is accessed by entering the Tongariro National Park and a bus will take you there for around NZ $ 15 round trip. If going by car, be aware that you may need to have or rent chains to place in the wheels due to excessive snow. Turoa is accessed from the town of Ohakune which also has a good lodging. For details and bus schedule in Ohakune and Turoa call 06 385 4022.

Snow Ski in South Island:

Mt. Hutt -- is the the ski station close to the city of Christchurch and it has snow for the longer period. it could be even open until November. Other popular stations in the same area are Mt Potts, Mt. Olympus, Porter Heights. Going south in the region of Wanaka, the stations of Treble Cone, Cardrona, Snow Farm, Snow Peak Waiorau have excellent tracks. Going near Queenstown, the Remarkables and Coronet Peak are very popular, offering ski activities such as winter festivals with night skiing under the torchlight. In the middle of the South Island, the ski station called Hommer Springs, located near Kaikoura, may be very good but only when there are lots of snow.

Big John, are you ok ? What a fall mate, very impressive!

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