Lochie Win (7), of Pisa Moorings, has set himself a goal Zealand. His inspiration is his mum, Rebecca, who is now in remission from a rare form of the disease. His dad, Luke, reports.
Back on the slopes after lockdown
After getting the word we had to head for home and lockdown for a few weeks, we spent our time watching skiing videos on YouTube, making a promo video with some awesome people to help raise some funds for the Cancer Society, since the Daffodil Day street appeal was cancelled, and lots of physical exercise to keep ski-ready.
Lochie and I found this lockdown very hard, as we were in full steam, pumping on adrenaline skiing New Zealand, then just like that we were back at home, not knowing if we would ski again this year. It sure was tough.
For a long time now, Lochie and I have dreamed about heading overseas to ski, but over lockdown I did have to wonder when that day might be possible.
It is unknown times, but one thing is for sure, we are very lucky to have so many awesome ski fields across New Zealand we can visit.
Those ski fields sure are thankful for your support.
Fast forward to this past weekend, it’s Friday afternoon the ute is packed and I’m sitting outside Lochie’s school, Cromwell Primary, waiting for Lochie to finish.
Rebecca has arrived to see us off, the clock hits 3pm and here arrives, this young man, 7 years old but thinking like an adult, what he has to get done over the next coming days.
We are heading for the Craigieburn Range and Arthurs Pass to ski Mt Cheeseman and Temple Basin.
We arrived at Castle Hill late that night ready to ski.
Mt Cheeseman gave us a bluebird Saturday, and what a day it was.
It was a good feeling being back there, as this was the place we had to leave the night of the news of a lockdown, and it was awesome to see long lift lines of people who turned out to support the club.
The day went way too fast and we soon had to pack up and head for Temple Basin, on the west side of Arthurs Pass.
This ski field will blow your mind. We arrived to the goods lift just on 5.30pm, and the weather was changing. There we meet some real friendly faces of other skiers who have been following Lochie online.
We loaded our gear on to the goods lift and parked the ute, then just when most of New Zealand would be getting ready to put their feet up after the day, ours was still going. We had a 500 vertical-metre hike, around 1.5 hours of steep walking without stopping to get to the lodge on the mountain.
This is no easy walk. We had Eli, one of the staff members, to show us the way and just as well, as the last 40 minutes was in the dark just in time for tea.
As we walked into the dining room we could hear everyone around the room saying “Lochie’s here, look it’s Lochie, he’s actually here. Wow that’s the kid who’s skiing New Zealand. I’ve heard about him.”
It was very cool, then a lot of people started to come over to meet him they all thanked him for coming to visit Temple Basin.
We had tea with the crew, and then it was time to hit the hay.
The next day arrived with the start of a big storm.
We braved the weather and hit the snow.
Here we were at the top of the rope tow with snow blowing in our faces on a steep slope. It was full on but well worth it.
We loved it and before we knew it, we had skied the day away and it was time to get our gear back on the goods lift to send it down the mountain.
We had to suit up with all our weather gear as the rain and wind was coming and the walk back down was hard work as the track was flowing with water. We arrived back to the ute soaked but high on life, as we had just ticked one of the hardest ski fields in the country off the list
I looked at Lochie with tears in my eyes and said “Son, I am so proud of you for what you have just achieved and keep being you, mate”.
We packed the ute and headed for home. We got back into phone range to get word of another hurdle along our challenge.
There is a massive weather warning for our location.
Here we were, Sunday night, almost 8pm, on the back roads in inland south Canterbury. Trees were getting blown over in front of us on the road. It was not cool.
We got off the road as soon as possible and headed away from the storm on a longer way to dodge the weather and it worked.
We arrived home late that night and got Lochie into bed.
Rebecca had the house ready as we needed to get the ute unpacked, wash and dry all of Lochie’s gear, ready for the morning, as he was off to Cardrona on Monday morning for school skiing.
Hard case, eh? He just loves the snow.
This was a very hard experience for me, as it was the first time I had never been with Lochie on the snow I was worried all day.
Rebecca took him up the hill for the day and getting the phone call at lunchtime to say he was OK and he had been put into a group with kids almost twice his age, due to his experience just made my day and put my mind at rest.
There is no doubt about it, this challenge sure has changed both our lives and I’m a changed man, thanks to my son Lochie.