Starting TUB’s spring break a day early, the girls left Friday morning for the mountain. Challenging Thursday’s late night with an early morning ended up being a little harder for the birds than prepared. With the plan of leaving at 6am on Friday, for some laps at Whakapapa before the day was over winded up being at 8am, but still getting up to the mountain by noon! The day was warm, blue and gorgeous. It was one of the few times VNTRbirds didn’t see a cloud in the sky. Check out the link above to see our newest Tubisode!

Flowing into the line for the double chair, it took almost 20 minutes for TUB to get on the lift. The crowds came in for the beautiful weekend and fresh snow. Transferring over to another lift, waiting 15 minutes in the line, plus another six for the ride, the girls and Ben were finally at the top and ready for their first run. Going off to the left, TUB quickly realized this was a bad choice for their warm up. The snow was wind blown, making it hard and icy. Though, after all the struggling to make it over, the birds were lead out to a nice, steep chute.
The sun was beating down on the slopes all day giving VNTRbirds energy to charge the mountain. The conditions were ripe and the company was good. If only those damn lines were cut in half. TUB ended up with a good five or six laps under their belts before 4 o’clock rolled around.

That night, after eating dinner with Ben in his hostel, and playing with two beautiful sheep dogs, the girls got dropped off at the Heartlanz Hotel in Raetihi. Never wait on booking accommodations for the weekend of shred, Ohakune gets full real quick. With the birds learning the hard way, they ended up about 15 minutes away for the Kune. Not minding too much, Kelley and Jaime unpacked their gear and made their room a home. Next step was taking a glorious hot shower. Back in Wellington on Fairlie Terrace, hot water has been a bit dodgy, so to have the option of a steamy sanctuary TUB was stoked.  Waiting for the rest of the boys to show up from Auckland, TUB read some magazines and fell asleep before they knew it. But the morning came soon enough.


Being woken up with the most obnoxious ringtone isn’t always pleasant, but knowing it’s starting off the day of shred is what powers VNTRbirds to pull off the covers and place their feet on the cold floors. Getting layered up for the day, the girls were being hassled by the boys for taking too long. Though, in the end TUB enjoyed eggs and toast for breakfast while the boys had granola bars and creamed rice (rice pudding). NUTRITIOUS!  Saying their ‘hellos’ and ‘great to see you again’, the birds, naturally, were crammed into the back of a car with the four boys. This is one thing TUB will remember about New Zealand, constantly being squished in some type of vehicle.

The ride up to Turoa went by quickly and  the day was once again, blue bird to welcome these snow birds. Piling out of the car, Jaime and Kelley grabbed their lunches, cameras and all of the essentials and started to up towards the lodge. Stashing their stuff in a bin for the day, TUB loaded up on sunscreen, cleaned off their goggles, snapped up their helmets and were off!

Being told by Cody, the ticket scanner from Colorado, that the park was being redone put the birds into a slight depression. “I just want to hit some jumps” is all Jaime kept repeating, but when the girls made it over to the High Noon chair, they could see that the jump line was untouched! Starting off with a lazy run of quick carves and pow slashes, TUB and the boys cut over to the park. Here the girls got to show off their style for Jukes, Forty and Nick P. (Andy being too busy with his coffee to make it to the mountain). Well, as stylish as they could be while learning new tricks.


The group would meet back up at the bottom after a fast lap through the park and then hop onto the high speed chair. Turoa’s terrain park is planted in the perfect position of the mountain. Riding up, the High Noon ends high on the slope giving TUB the freedom of cruising around, finding little shoots, and then they can filter themselves to the top of the terrain. After fooling around on the boxes and wall rides and of course the jump line, the park ends right at the high speed chair to continue the process all over again. Props to Mt. Ruapehu.


Breaking for some Peanut Butter and Jellies (while the boys had creamed rice), TUB recharged during lunch and headed back up with camera in hand. With Jaime’s Panasonic DVX-B video camera, VNTRbirds captured some footage of the awesome day of snowboarding and Kelley got to learn how to film. To add to the perfect day, it was so nice out that Turoa left their lifts open for an extra half hour. That 30 minutes were not taken for granted and TUB & co. ended their day with two thumbs up.


After a few cold showers (it’s not only Wellington with dodgy water heaters) the crew started making dinner while listening to the drunken locals. After being shown a few card tricks that never worked, TUB and the boys escaped out to the car for their night on the town. Starting at the Powderhorn, the girls were rewarded with a beer from Forty. Which then had to be repaid: bummer.
The band played one hit after another leading to dancing on the tables with anyone who was around.
After a few hours the birds were able to convince the boys it was time to move on and they finished their night at the Suitcase with the beats bumping out of the DJ.

Settling back in the hotel, eating snacks and jumping on some beds, TUB finally went to sleep waiting for the morning to get back on the mountain. 6:45 came a little too fast. Dragging their legs for each step, VNTRbirds packed their bags, ate their eggs and crunched into the car. With an accident on the entrance road to Turoa, the crowded car ride was less than desirable. Making to the top car park by 9:15ish the birds had to back track down to Ben’s car to toss their stuff all the way in parking lot 5. A hike, a hissy fit and some exhausted birds later TUB made it to the lift. The blue skies cheered the girls right up and they strapped in.

This time Jaime brought up her Canon EOS20D and got the shots. Attempting hand plants filled up the morning hours for the girls, which never really turned out to be successful, but replaced with some snow slashes. Unfortunately, VNTRbirds couldn’t ride in the park too much because there was a small slopestyle contest going on. Why didn’t these birds compete? Because an entrance fee was $30! And well, that’s an arm and a leg. Though, Scanner Cody competed so Kelley and Jaime were at the top scoping it out and cheering him on. At about 2 o’clock the Auckland boys scurried out to beat traffic, but the girls were staying until closing. The day ended up being slow with even bigger crowds than before and TUB was shredding down to the car park soon after.



Driving home with Ben and his friend Markus, the girls enjoyed a banana and berry smoothie and caught sight of a fulled bowed rainbow over the beautiful green fields of New Zealand. Once the darkness of night crept in the sleepy birds were out, leaving Ben to navigate home on his own.


This week VNTRbirds will be cruising around Wellington because we have no classes and won’t be leaving for the South Island until the 27th. Keep telling your friends about TUB and support our project. If you have a facebook (who doesn’t?) LIKE our page and if you’re really tech happy follow VNTRbirds on Twitter and keep leaving your comments!