Bright and early this morning I headed out with two European girls I met down here, also competing in the World Heli Challenge, and we went to a place called the Club Fields. People have been talking about this mystical place the entire time I have been down here, every local says its the best place to be. So 6am this morning we began the 5 hour drive to the north of Wanaka. It went pretty smoothly then about a mile away from the destination one car ran out of gas… this is after we passed a million gas stations along the way and even fueled up the other car. Someone didn’t pay much attention and we ended up having to shuttle some gas. Little hiccup but our journey went on.
The Club Fields are on the northern area of the south island. They are a bunch of rustic “ski areas” that you have to hike up to and stay for cheap. They don’t have chairlifts, instead some really steep hard core tow ropes called nutcrackers that go up to places where you can hike to some pretty gnarly backcountry spots. You put all of your gear in a little tiny open faced tram at the bottom of the mountain, that looks like its from the 70’s. Then you hike an hour to the lodge about half way up the mountain. Its kind of like communal living up here, the price of staying here and skiing here is cheap so to offset it you have to do a few chores around the lodge… not a bad trade off.
I can’t wait to see what this place has to offer tomorrow. The snow is great and I’m super stoked!