22nd June 2019
When Sean and Kristy first promoted a mid- winter Xmas celebration at the Ruapehu lodge I said to myself, "that's a great idea". Ruapehu has a lot to offer and hedging our bets with a social weekend in the lodge meant we couldn't lose.
Initially the weather prospects didn't look that great and it seemed like outdoors activity might be a bonus. Come Saturday the mountain gods smiled upon us and gave us a real treat. The mountain beckoned and we followed through with a plan hatched the night before to climb Te Heuheu.
The skies were blue and still and the views from Te Heuheu and Tukino were spectacular. The temperature was mild and comfortable but the mountain was icy. Our crampons had a chance to show their steel. The climb was great fun.
More people joined on Saturday morning and did various trips on the mountain. Part of the group opted to spend the day skiing. Happy Valley was already open and offered opportunities. A set of new skis had their maiden launch on the snow. It was nice without the crowds and it was an awesome day on the mountain.
After a big day we were a happy bunch with high spirits on Saturday evening. Christmas decorations went up and we even had a fun Christmas tree, constructed from balloons. Refreshments included home brew beer and a glorious mulled wine (I still think of that mulled wine). We feasted on roasts of chicken and lamb with a casserole of kumara, potato and other choice veggies. We saw some real creativity in the dessert department with a deconstructed apple crumble creation. And don't forget the gingerbread house, thanks to Helen.
Talk about a white Christmas. On Sunday morning it was snowing just like a fairytale Christmas. The mountain may have had a bit too much of the mulled wine because it was grumpy as. It was huffing and puffing and had a bit of an attitude. We lazed around in the lodge and enjoyed good company for the morning. At around lunchtime we started heading back to the real world.
- Party members
- Ted Bannister-Sutton, Lucy Blackbourn, Kobus Boshoff (scribe), Sean Buchanan, Helen Chapman, Matt Fogarty, Jessie Go, David & Lisa Grainger, Nick Johns, Kristy Johnstone, Jenna Thoms, Riley Willis