I have dabbled with skiing, developing a certain slapstick style, but have recently discovered that I’m far more of a natural at snowboarding. The comfy boots were enough to fully convert me.
I’m rather partial to snowboarding in New Zealand and Australia. For one thing - it only makes you appreciate the European and North American powder more, and equips you well for hard falls on ice. We were lucky enough to go on a staff trip to Zermatt a few years ago, which I can only describe as epic. My favourite during the 2015/16 season had to be a trip to Colorado which turned into a true safari, and also introduced me to proper lose-your-legs powder! Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to jet off to Japan with some others in my team for a week, visiting several resorts in the Nagano region, plus stopping off to see some snow monkeys and the grand finale: Tokyo. We got so much out of the trip as it was also very much a cultural experience.
Cardrona, located between cosy Wanaka and adventure capital Queenstown, in New Zealand – small, extremely friendly, beautiful, where staff genuinely adopt the company endorsed tagline ‘fun is good’. Taking a helicopter ride with Air Zermatt over the Swiss Alps wasn’t bad either. Having the Matterhorn as a backdrop makes the resort a very hard place to leave.
I was rather a late starter. I was introduced to skiing in Bulgaria a few years ago where I utilised my instructor as a stopping barrier - unfortunately, he had to give up ski instructing as a consequence, but, I understand, has now become a successful chartered accountant. I started snowboarding a few years ago and love it. I have also tried cross-country skiing at Snow Farm in New Zealand; which was thoroughly enjoyable. I have also now been introduced to N. America. My snow expectations have therefore only increased!
Hakuba, Shiga Kogen, Nozawa Onsen and Myoko Kogen.
TBC but I should visit Europe, it’s easy to forget there is plenty of snow closer to home too. I am having a quiet word with each head of department in an overt attempt to get booked onto a trip for each destination Ski Safari operates in, research purposes of course!!
My close friends still don’t believe me – but it DOES snow in Australia. Apparently, the lowest temperature reached in Australia was -23 °C at Charlotte Pass, New South Wales on 29 June 1994, in the aptly named, Snowy Mountains. When skiing/boarding ‘down under’ you have the bonus of sometimes catching sight of wombats, possums, kangaroos and brumbies (wild horses). Luckily no bears though.
As much as I love Cardrona, if you find yourself in New Zealand during the winter Treble Cone in Wanaka is worth a visit. It has the best views in New Zealand and ‘gnarly’ runs. When booking a ski adventure it is always worth having a look at the other activities available. Ski Safari holidays can be so much more than a ski adventure, they’re an experience! And if you ever visit Zermatt, give the specialized, electricity operated mini eTaxis a wide berth.