We woke early at Christchurch, had a great breakfast and strong coffee just by the Cathedral, went to the Chill office to pick up our lift tickets, nut crackers, glove protectors etc, and got on the road. The roof racks on the rental car were pretty crap, but when heading out of town the ‘Check Engine’ light came on, so the rental company swapped it out for another one which had much better racks. So we headed up to the house at Castle Hill Village to drop off our gear and then headed to Porters to make the most of the rest of the afternoon.
I had skied Porters back on a school trip in the early nineties, all I could remember was that it had some very long T-Bars, and a fantastic view if you hiked up 50m from the top lift.
We have almost 2 cameras per person on this trip so we took the opportunity for a photo session, followed by a few runs. Bluebird skies and cut up powder was great, Loi and Andrew were rocking their new K2 obSetheds and grinning from ear to ear.
I have a fantastic habit of finding some of the toughest terrain on a mountain for the first run of a ski trip, wit the Hobacks at Jackson and Col Des Gentianes in Verbier being some of my finest work, and today was no exception. Nicole got to test her ankle strapping on a scraped narrow & icy chute straight up, and being the loving husband I am, I wasn’t particularly keen on sideslipping or jump turning down so I just pointed it and hoped she would make it too!
We finished off on pretty impressive run called The Bluff, it was as long and consistent a pitch as you are likely to see anywhere – quite reminiscent of the Chassoure itinerary at Verbier. Again fun chopped pow/crud and it was a massive leg burner to end the day.
As we were heading down to stock the house with groceries, we got a call from the Heliski company suggesting that tomorrow was going to be a good weather window, so we decided to go with it.
Look out for tomorrow’s report!