Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our non-ski trip to Mt. Ruapehu

This weekend we went on the annual ski trip that Jake's company puts on, however we skipped all the actual skiing. It was great. I'm usually only good for a couple hours of skiing anyway, then I'm focused on getting off the mountain, having a shower and having a beer.

So instead, this time we took advantage of one of the awesome hiking trails nearby. This is about 3 1/2 hours from home in the center of the North Island. It doesn't show up very well in this pic, but that's Mt. Ruapehu (roo-uh-PAY-hoo) behind us. It's one of the world's most active volcanoes, and the most active in NZ. Major eruptions have occurred in 1895, 1945 and 1995-96.

We joined our friends Marc and Kat for a hike to Waitonga Falls. Of all the photos I took during our trip, the only ones I have of Marc are of the back of his head. Sorry Marc! If you're curious, here's what he looks like.

So this track was mostly in the bush, but split in half by this boardwalk that exists to protect the vegetation. Plus there were a lot of little water holes around. If it wasn't so cold and frozen up here, I'd almost describe it like a swamp.

And yes, it was pretty cold -- here are some icicles we found along the track for proof.

Then within sight of the falls, we did a bit of bouldering and crossing the little river.

I was really imagining myself in a Patagonia ad for this little maneuver, but I guess it doesn't look that impressive now.

The falls were interesting because they were half-frozen.

Of course we had to fit some hot tub time into our schedule. No ski trip is complete without it.

On the drive back we took what might be a better shot of the mountain. We had some amazing weather this weekend. Apparently you often can't see Mt. Ruapehu because of the clouds, so we were lucky to have two beautiful clear days. Too bad for those who came to ski because although the skies were crystal clear, the mountain was closed to skiers on Saturday because of high winds.

We also passed kilometer after kilometer of sheep fields, and I haven't forgotten about my promise to provide some photos of the cute little baby sheeps, since this is lambing season after all. But every time we stopped for a photo, the sheep just ran away. So instead of posting all my photos of sheep butts (and I have plenty by now), I'll leave it to the pros and show you this postcard I picked up. Hope you enjoy this cutie as much as I do.



Juli Ryan said...

"I felt like I was in a Patagonia ad". Love it!

jamie said...

Thanks Juli! I was hoping someone could appreciate it.

Yer Mum said...

That little baby sheep is so cute, even if he is on a postcard. Your trip looked really fun, you guys look so happy together.