Nothing beats a good roadie, as our JUCY NZ Road Movie proves.
30 years after Snow Action rocked around NZ in a motorhome to research our first ever publication, Skiing New Zealand A Complete Guide, we were back on the trail of those unique experiences only NZ provides.
Mrs Snow Action wasn’t so keen on repeating winter campa life again though, so our #1 grandson and Sydney based Film Editor & Producer Nic ‘Chinch’ Lever got the gig.
The deal was simple: grandad takes you skiing for a week, and sorts getting you up to speed fast on the slopes, (Nic hadn’t skied since he was little) and you sort the NZ Road Movie edit.
It worked. With the help of what has to be the best learn-to-ski experience in Australasia now, thanks to the new ‘Chondy’ (combo gonodola and 6 seat chairlift) at Cardrona, and excellent the instructors there, he was off to a flying start on day 1.
Dumping snow, terrible visibility, and a minor near death experience sliding on the access road when even the chains weren’t gripping (don’t tell your mother lad!) were no impediment.
If you want to get a partner, friend, or family member up to speed on snow fast, so that –
a/ they love it too and want to do more
b/ they can do a bit so you can have fun with them
then you can’t beat quality private lessons from good instructors. Sure, private lessons look way more expensive than the group lesson option, but group beginner lessons move by rote and/or at the pace of the slowest learner in the group, so if a couple of the group can’t get past the carpet ride lift everyone is stuck there, and generally the instructor (usually the most junior, inexperienced instructors) will struggle to spend any individual quality time with anyone in the group. Fine for a group on a budget learning together maybe, but useless for someone who already skis or snowboards well trying to fast-track that partner/friend/family member.
So forget that, get serious. Consider it an investment in their snow future and your future fun together. I got Nic a two hour private day 1 at Cardrona, with a fantastic American instructor from Vermont, then another 1 hour private lesson next day.
Before his first lesson we did a couple of laps of the carpet lift and at least got the pizza working, so we made sure he started there, ready to rock – otherwise standing around at the beginner meet point you can waste time too.
He was getting really confident by day 2, despite the almost zero visibility, but day 3 at Ohau – with no lessons, their little 12 instructor ski school was in overload mode already – he had to cope with stepping it up. At Ohau the blue runs are more like black runs most places in NZ. Character building.
Then we hit Mt Hutt for the last 3 days, and I got him another 1 hour lesson on the 2nd day there.
The result to see him skiing till the buzzer on day 7, not wanting to stop. Yep, he got the ski bug, and now understood why not-so-old grandad loves the snow, and is keen for more.
Plus he delivered our NZ Road Movie, so fair deal all round.
The family that skis together stays together, and it’s never more true than squashed in a little JUCY motorhome.