VNTRbirds would like to take the time to express how sorry they are for the delay in posts. The stress inside of the flat from Jaime’s computer exploding with awfulness was immense. Please enjoy the rest of the tales of their spring break!

One would think that waking up in a tent at 6:30 in the morning for the third day (almost in a row) would make some grumpy campers. Though, for VNTRbirds all of this uncomfortable, cold and hungry feelings were replaced with the excitement of snowboarding. Unzipping the door of the gray and blue tent, the girls &O struggled on their shoes and then gaped with mouths open at what they were in the middle of.  Hurrying out to get a panorama view, TUB &O stumbled into the heart of the Southern Alps. This mountain range was engulfing the trio the entire night without them knowing. I guess TUB &O are just really experienced at picking camping sites in the dark! (minus the whole gravel thing.)


While the girls and Oliver started packing up they were surprised by a DOC officer coming around to collect their camp fees. $7 a person, TUB &O quickly got together $21 so the man would leave them to their packing, but he stuck around. Trapping Kelley into a 10 minute long conversation, K learned that if their party continued that reckless road the night before and got caught they could have been responsible for a $2,000 fine! Wiping her hand across her brow in relief, the DOC officer moved on with a smile and a wave.

Once everything was all back in the Nissan, TUB &O tapped on the bright orange tent of Max, Quentin, Ian and James for a quick goodbye and pulled out to the main road.
There is a pass that goes through Wanaka that makes trips to the mountain and back to Queenstown half the time then going around. Unfortunately, chains were required that day for the mountain road so TUB &O prepared themselves for an hour and a half drive to Treble Cone. It didn’t seem like a full 90 minutes because of course, Mother Nature distracted the trio for most of the trip. Then JK&O were zig-zagging up the narrow, dirt mountain road. These are the scariest roads the three have ever been on. One slight over rotation of the steering wheel and the Nissan would be air borne off a cliff. There are no real guard rails (at least not like the U.S.) but this just made it more exciting.




Finally, the frozen, muddied parking lot was reached. The parking lot was quite small compared to Ruapehu’s on the North Island. Ruapehu has about 8-10 car parks while Treble Cone’s was just in a central area. Tossing everything they were going to need for the day out of the car, Jaime and Kelley quickly started putting together their snowboards and attaching their bindings with great care when they were interrupted by some Wellington friends. Chase, Sam and Curtis would be joining the girls for a great day of riding. Oliver ran into the lodge to get some rentals and the next step was buying their passes.

Treble Cone’s lift tickets are unlike ones you would have ever seen before. Inching their way through the lines, J&K made it to the front and ordered up their student passes for $72. The women at the ticket sales desk took their IDs, smiled and returned them. Asking for the birds to removed their goggles, the women took their pictures individually as if they were buying a season pass. The girls received a red credit card type pass with their names printed on them. Being slightly confused, the birds stashed them in their pockets away from any cell phones and continued up to the lifts. This is where things got tricky.

To get into TC’s lift lines, one goes through these big electronic scanners, as if it was airport security. The machine finds the credit card pass and automatically opens the gate to let the rider through. Though, anyone could use any old pass if that was the only part to it. There are also ticket checkers in the lines, but they don’t actually talk to the individual skiers or snowboarders. Each employee is equipped with their own iPADs that shows the pictures of each pass holder every time they scan through! This place makes it impossible for anyone to just poach for the day. Kudos to you Treble Cone, but is it really necessary? I mean, you have $72 day passes! JEEZ!

After a really fast warm up run, the birds were feeling great. Munching on a kiwi fruit on the next lift ride for breakfast, the girls went right for another quick one before meeting up with the Welly boys. Naturally, going all the way right puts TUB right in the middle of some hard packed moguls. FUN! (not.) Struggling through with fast turns, the girls ended the run panting and thinking let’s just stay away from that part from now on. Chase, Curtis and Sam joined the lift line quickly after. After explaining on the lift what the birds just went through the three boys laughed because they did the same thing.

Looking up at the peak of Treble Cone, the girls expressed how they wanted to make it up there at some point during the day. Surprisingly, the boys decided that right then was the best time to do it. Skating over to the gates, the five Americans took off their equipment (3 snowboarders and 2 skiers) and started up the incline of snow. A lot of the path was already dug out from early morning adventurers, but the lines back down were still fresh. Taking only about 20minutes to make it to the summit TUB tossed down their boards and looked around. The back side of TC faced the rest of the Southern Alp mountain range and made the birds feel like they were eagles soaring on top of the world, with blue skies falling behind as a backdrop.


The wind was picking up, but it wasn’t cold, just powerful. After taking in the scene, each rider scoped out their personal lines and then one by one ripped it down. With over accented turns and plenty of knuckle dragging, this was by far the best line of the day. Jumping the gap from the summit back to the groomed trails was the topper to a fantastic run and then it kept going. TUB &the boys were still at the top of the mountain!

The entire day was full of fast laps with Jaime and Kelley racing after the boys and finding small lips and hips for little 180s. Off trail runs weren’t in the best conditions because the wind recently took away all of the powder that was just resting on the mountain a few days prior, but the groomer runs were in their prime and there weren’t too many people to watch out for. By the end of the day, Oliver finally found the girls again and was ready for a few runs with them. O has skied about four times before this trip, so it was very entertaining for all.

The day way over before TUB &O knew it, but they could definitely feel it. Getting back into the car, Kelley passed out some granola bars and apples for snacks and Jaime passed out instantly. This is when VNTRbirds realized that a hostel, showers and relaxation was probably needed for the day. Yes, TUB was originally going to stay with a friend Brynna, but unfortunately she was kicked out of her place of residence for a couple weeks while the owners were using it for a quick and quite untimely vacation. Though, at that point TUB &O were so exhausted that the YHA right in the heart of Qtown looked just as inviting as anything. Going in and paying $28 each for a room with their own shower, toilet, double and single bed, the trio unloaded all of their stuff and made the room their home. Then fights for the first shower came up and beds were occupied. Oliver hung out and enjoyed a PB&J for dinner while the girls searched out a pizza place.

Soon after they arrived back to the hostel, TUB &O received multiple phone calls and texts from their TEAN friends to get to the Altitude Bar because they were going on a pub crawl! Quick panic to get an outfit, make up (minus O), and cash TUB &O out ran out of the YHA to see that the Altitude Bar is just across the street! Making it inside in time to snag the last three tickets available the birdies were set for a crazy night. Coming in late, the Big Night Out group was already moving on to a new bar! Below Zero was their next destination, the new ice bar. Coming in the girls were handed white coats and the boys grey, both with furry hoods and gloves. The crowded entrance gave some the opportunity to snag more than one drink vouchers so the cocktails made were free.


Pub Crawl Photos: Lauren Hoisl

Inside the bar, everything was ice, the glasses, the photo booth, the stools, even the fireplace!  Sitting on the ice couch across from the roaring fire the girls sipped on their cocktails, but were soon up running around and meeting people from all over the world; most from Canada, some from Denmark, a few from Argentina and then amazingly a few from the U.S. that lived in Pennsylvania. After an episode of free shots and way more chaos, it was time to move onto the Buffalo Club, then the World Bar, one more in between that TUB &O don’t remember the name of and finally Chicos. For this part of TUBs trip you will not be getting many details because it was just too chaotic and fun. Dancing, friends, stealing slices of pizza and plenty of ski shots made the decision for a hostel for the night a great thing.


Each dispersing at different times of the night, TUB said goodbye to friends new and old and went to get their four hours of sleep before having to wake up for Snowpark NZ the next morning. What were they thinking? Oh yeah, it’s New Zealand!