Lochie Win (7), of Pisa Moorings, has set himself a goal slopes in the country to raise money for the Cancer Society of New Zealand. His inspiration is his mum, Rebecca, who is now in remission from a rare form of the disease. His dad, Luke, reports.
We set off into the sunset, leaving the beauty of Canterbury with excitement for our return in the coming weeks when the weather conditions would be more favourable on the slopes of Hanmer Springs ski field.
We were heading for Saint Arnaud, the home of Rainbow Ski Area, a lost world in the mountains. We arrived late at night, during a torrential downpour. Lochie and I had to find our camping spot and set up for the night.
It was a mission man showed his resilience that night as he was out in the rain with a torch in one hand and a handheld radio in the other guiding me back into our camping spot.
We had to wait a few days to be able to get into this intriguing mountain, due to the weather, but once we were there it did not disappoint. The runs were fast, the views were spectacular and the people we met soon felt like family.
Once the day came to an end it was time to get the caravan and head for Picton, as we were a few days behind schedule
We arrived to Picton late into the night.
Lochie was amazed by all the trucks parked in town, waiting to cross the strait.
We stayed the night with our relatives who had reached out and offered us a bed for the night.
The next day came and it was time to get on to the boat, thanks to the team at Ricks Trucking Co for helping us out with a ferry crossing.
We were now set to ski the north, but before we could, I had a surprise for Lochie. His mum Rebecca met us in Wellington to share with us the weekend ahead and our first experience on the North Island ski fields of Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa and Turoa.
After negotiating the streets of the capital city we headed for Ohakune, which was to be our base for the next few days.
The next day we met Emma, of the marketing team for Mt Ruapehu. She wanted to make Lochie’s visit to Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields one he will never forget, and that she did.
The welcome each morning from the crew and having Jess, who is a ski instructor on the mountain, show us the slopes for the next two days made for highlights. We even got to be the first on the lift early Sunday morning at Turoa to then head up the mountain with “Sticky” from the park crew and help set up the park for the day.
Then a once-in-a-lifetime thing happened. It was just after 7.30am and the crew looked at Lochie and said “mate, the snow groomers have the hill ready for you and they need you to test it out”. He was off, watching the sun rise over the mountains and skiing the slopes before the mountain had anyone else on it. He was on form and loved every minute.
He ticked up 40 runs over those two days and when we said goodbye to the beauty of Ruapehu we left as different people, for the better.
The whole experience had us feeling on top of the world.
Inspired by Lochies journey? Support him by donating to his givealittle page here