Tuesday, 19th, July, 2011.
The temperatures rose again tonight as did the humidity so we turned on the meadow guns. The meadow which when I first arrived at Mt Ruapehu was a dipping rock valley was now a white almost level field. Hamish had his snow board tonight and I asked if I could try it out. I was expecting it to be as natural and easy as skiing was. I started on the small slope leading down to the meadow, did up my bindings and stood up. The restricted feeling in my feet was worrying and I began to slide down. I felt so unbalanced and had no idea what to do, I slid down the slope and went off the side and fell hard on my back on the ice. temporarily winded and with a sore head I recovered. I got up again and slide down the meadow slowly and fell again hard on my coxics. the ground was icy. I got up again and repeated this boring painful trail. I managed to get half way down the meadow before I completely gave up and unstraped my feet ” fuck snow boarding, I am a skiier” I said to myself as I nursed my throbbing tail bone.
Andy and I got a sit on sled and took it for a ride down one of the children’s runs while the guns did what they should. We slid down Andy sitting me standing up behind him. It was fast and scary and exhilarating, expecting to fall off at anytime, screaming as we went over the gentle hills and drops. We checked the guns although there was no reason to, the temps were perfect.
The temperatures stayed the same all night and the guns kept on churning out a steady plume of snow into a pile which began to rise to noticeably. By the morning all the Cats had finished their grooming up the top of the mountain and now were making their presence know in the meadow. No more sledding for us and by 6:00 other staff had begun to arrive so we had to look busy. Myself and Bree went to the bottom pump shed and found a few large green mats which are usualy used as safety cushions to wrap around the guns on the ski runs. We lay them out and had a sleep for almost an hour.
This job it either one or the other. Your either working more than 5 days a week slogging your guts out or like tonight you hardly lift a finger, infact you have the whole mountain to yourself and you can play till your heart’s content.
We caught the bus down in the morning and when I got home Sarah was already doing the cleaning, she informed me that Carleen and Gary were unhappy again with our cleaning and they expected us to do more. Although the night had been mild and it was my day off I suddenly became very tired and decided to rest, I left Sarah to keep cleaning and I went off to bed.
I woke up briefly again in the evening and chopped a large pile of wood before going to bed with Sarah at about 8:00 and we both slept well into the next day.