Monday, September 16, 2013

Skier V Snowboarder

Day 2 on the track in Cardrona and things start to get interesting!
Belle Brockhoff from the Australian National Snowboard Team and I race head-to-head to finally decide once and for all who is faster down the slopes... skiers or snowboarders...???

Check it out here....

Skier V Snowboarder
from Katya Crema on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Round Hill & Lake Tekapo

I have spent the last week training at Round Hill, a tiny ski resort above Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. 

This was a brand new ski destination for me. Put simply, Round Hill is an Alpine Mecca for ski teams all around the world, ranging from world cup down to ski clubs. It has to be one of the most popular training hills in the southern hemisphere. 

We decided to get our alpine technical skills up to scratch and train five day of GS & Super G. The weather was perfect right up until the last day which was great timing. Then in true New Zealand style came gale force winds and torrential rainfall, closing the resort temporarily. 

Lake Tekapo is a beautiful part of the world. Not much of a town (just one small cafe with great food and coffee thank god! Run 77 for anyone who is traveling through there soon...), but the lake was incredible. Water bluer than I have ever seen before. Apparently the turquoise blue colour is created by suspended "rock flour" floating in the water. The glaciers in the headwaters grind the rock into fine dust which makes it way into the water. A pretty stunning view from the top of the small mountain nearby...

We are now in Wanaka for a two-week training camp in Cardrona. An Olympic standard ski cross track is currently being built by a Norwegian course builder. Apparently it's going to be even bigger and better than last year, so I am pretty excited to get up there to ski it!

Hiking for a view! Photos by Shawn Fleming. 

Lake Tekapo

Anton's idea of "recovery" is a swim in Lake Tekapo... (the water is about 8 degrees C). He's crazy!

On the tourist trail: New Zealand's famous "Cookie Time" monster...

Training above Lake Tekapo.

Balance and coordination training.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Kick back, relax, and take in the views! Latest video edit....

Welcome to Winter Down South - NZ Spring Camp Part 1- Katya Crema
from Katya Crema on Vimeo.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Back to Basics

This week has definitely been a week of firsts and new experiences.
Five days of skiing, five different resorts in New Zealand.

The idea behind this weeks’ training was to experience skiing in a new way. We visited the Club Fields of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, all located within two hours drive of Christchurch.

The Club Fields are renowned for their incredible off-piste terrain and for their local skiing enthusiasts. You have to really love the sport of skiing to spend a day up here, and the level of difficulty involved in all aspects being on the mountain means that there is not one beginner in site. There is no grooming, no chairlifts, no cafes or bars. It’s like skiing back in the 60s. Mum always tells me about how she first learnt to ski at Mount Mawson in Tassie. “You have it so easy these days,” she says. “When I learnt to ski in Tassie we used a leather belt, a nutcracker and a pulley system to get up the mountain…” Mum would do run after run on the one ski slope using the rope toes. Maybe this is where I inherited my passion for skiing from?!  

Day 1: Mount Olympus

The pulley system was definitely more difficult than I anticipated. You’ve got a small window of opportunity to latch your nutcracker onto the rope whilst you’re still on the flat. After a few trial and errors, I slowly started to figure out how best to avoid having your arm wrenched from the socket as you get dragged up the hill. Best part of the day was hiking to the summit, taking in the view, and skiing the soft spring snow all the way to the bottom.

Made it to the summit after a solid hike.

My best friend for the next four days; the nutcracker.

Day 2: Broken River

The day started with a ride up a vintage self-operated tram carriage designed by New Zealand engineering students. A little sketchy but we managed to get up in one piece. We did a full day’s skiing followed by a long walk all the way to the bottom. The tram has limited opening hours (obviously everyone is obviously out skiing!)

Broken River tramway.

The scenic walk all the way to the bottom.

Day 3: Craigieburn

After two days of warm spring skiing, we were lucky enough to wake up to 27cm of fresh winter snow. My first powder day in a while! And it just so happened to be bluebird.... Craigieburn had some amazing terrain to offer; steep chutes and couloirs, large open bowls, and even a few small cliffs to jump. Deep snow, blue skies and a whole new mountain to explore… my idea of fun!

No friends on a powder day!

Anton and Jamie making some fresh turns through the chute.

Who sees the scary ghost man climbing through the mountains?

Day 4: Temple Basin

The toughest day of all! Before we even contemplated putting our skis on, the day started with a 50 minute strenuous hike from the car park to the day lodge. We climbed over 2000 vertical feet (approx 600m) over a 3km track. Trekking on a rocky path, with warm temperatures and arid vegetation, I felt like I was somewhere in the Himalayas. Once we finally arrived to the day lodge, we had another 20 minute hike with skis and boots before we reached the Temple Basin ski area. Once again, incredible terrain, amazing views, and a great adventure experience.

Another hike

Himalayas style hiking to the top.

Day 5: Mount Hutt

Groomers on fast, sharp race skis and a high-speed 6-seater chairlift at Mount Hutt felt like a piece of cake after the past four days roughing it on crud, icy moguls, steep uneven terrain and rope toes!

We are now training super G and GS at Mount Hutt for the next five days. I might even pull out the old alpine lycra race suit if I’m feeling game! Next stop on this New Zealand Spring training camp is Lake Tekapo, three hours south of where we currently are; Methven.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted with all of my adventures over the next three weeks.

Soon to come is a video blog from the past week of skiing...