Tubisode: Fack a Papa

Being the owners of a season pass to Mt. Ruapehu, VNTRbirds are grabbing any ride they can to make it to the mountain each weekend. For this past weekend, the birdies conquered the sister peak of Torua: Whakapapa. Whakapapa (pronounced Fak-a-papa) is another glorious, white volcano, without a tree line and endless ridges and gullies to play in. Above is the second video of TUB produced by Jaime. Hope all you TUBers enjoy!

Packing up on Friday, the birds made sure they had all the necessities; snowboard gear, lots of eggs, sleeping bags, food, money and oh yeah, more food (Jaime had baked some fresh cinnamon scones that joined the girls on their trip). Without a hearty (and usually healthy) meal, you’ll end up with some ruffled feathers a cranky TUB.
This time around, TUB has made reservations to stay in The Crossing Backpackers‘ hostel, rather than camping. This was something the girls were looking forward to. Beds, a room for all their stuff, warmth, and plus maybe Ben’s car wouldn’t be as jammed as the first weekend since there was a lack of camping gear. Guess again TUB. Three snowboards, a pair of skis, four backpacks, a couple of grocery bags packed with food, boots and helmets take up more space than the girls could give up in the Mazda’s trunk, inevitably spilling into the back seat. Once again they scrunched in, knowing that if anyone opens the car door they’d be catapulted out from all the pressure.

Arriving this time at the Tongario National Park, TUB looked out the fogged up windows to see the view they’ve been waiting for, Ruapehu. From this side of the park, Mt. Taranaki is also visible. Being right across from each other, these two volcanoes distracted Jaime and Kelley from the last half hour in the tin can that Ben called a car.
Pulling into the hostel, the girls shot out of the Mazda and into Reception hoping their dorm would be close and the agony of the car could be put off until the drive back to Wellington on Sunday. Kelley and Jaime gave their names and flashed their season passes, receiving a $5 discount a night. At least there are some savings to this sport! Scooting off right after to room 33, they were reunited with Ben and Jonathan who happened to also be in 33. Picking bunks and setting out the next morning’s gear, TUB decided to check the scene of the hostel. With a soft wooden interior and a large kitchen including pans and dishes, VNTRbirds knew the extra $5 a night was a good step up from camping. The birds soon settled into their nests for the night waiting for the 7:15am wake up call.



Rise and shine TUB! Kelley started off the morning by making herself and Jaime some breakfast sandwiches (having lost a bet which she owed Jaime one), and washing them down with complimentary instant coffee. Piling into the Mazda, VNTRbirds were anxious to explore the new peak. The entrance road to the ski field was a lot less treacherous than Turoa’s which made the journey quicker. TUB went from the parking lot to the lifts as fast as they could accompanied by Ben. Ben knows Whakapapa’s trails and back country well and promised the snow birds he would show them around since it was their first day and there is no park to distract them.

Whakapapa brought in some spring-like weather. With the soft snow and sun shining, TUB ditched their jackets and began to play around with all of the natural features this peak had to offer. The day was full of sun, smiles, high-fives, T-bar rides and naturally, thumbs up going all the way until last call.


Driving away from the mountain Jaime and Kelley pleaded for Ben to pull over at different areas for some photo opportunities. The volcanic rocks, mixed in with the green grass and the back drop of the snow covered mountains drew the girls in to go frolic around.


Back at the hostel, TUB prepared and cooked up their own super cheesy pizza for dinner followed by pasta and then started hopping about their room strapped to their snowboards. This ‘dry land training’ just got the girls even more pumped for the next day. All that TUB asks for is endless hours of shred for their enjoyment and progression.

Sunday morning everyone seemed to be moving slow. Sore arms, legs, backs and everywhere in between was the result of the long day of riding before. More eggs for breakfast and clearing out the dorm room, the small Mazda welcomed TUB once more. Though, this time Jaime was rewarded with the front seat to do what she does best, catch some scenic footage, all the while Kelley grumbled about her confined area between the snowboards and Jonathan (who takes up a lot more space than little Jaime).

Whakapapa looked as if it was smiling out upon the petite, red car as Ben turned up the road. With a blue bird sky everyone was expecting a repeat of Saturday. Going up a double lift, then a quad and onto the T-bar, VNTRbirds were ready to challenge Whakapapa’s terrain with a camera in hand. Taking their time with the shots, the girls started cruising around to show all you TUBscribers the life of their snowboarding.



The conditions on Sunday had a noticeable difference from just the day before. The snow was very crusty and had some icey spots that would catch one off guard and bring them right off their boards. TUB just tried to continue the fun of Saturday and decided to play a game of T.U.B. Though, no winner really came out of this because once again, the land of the long white cloud lived up to its name. Rapidly settling down onto the slope, the birds found it hard to tell which direction they were currently heading or if they were moving at all! The white out turned the perfect fun of snowboarding into a torturous event of trying to make it to the base without colliding with other riders and sliders or dropping off a cliff altogether!

Jaime directed Kelley they would have an early lunch and wait for the sun to stop punking out the day. Sticking with the crowd of skiers to guide their way, TUB finally made it into the lodge after a 45minute run from midhill. Enjoying more PB&Js TUB started to overhear a conversation of a Whakapapa employee and the family sitting at the next table over. “We have just received a report from our safety adviser and there is a terrible snow storm heading this way from Turoa. We are asking everyone who doesn’t have a 4WD vehicle to start heading down now, because soon, the mountain and roads will be closed”. At this TUB had a slight shock of panic rushed through their feathers. Contacting Ben to come down ASAP the girls packed their things and headed to the parking lot. Watching all of the other cars get packed and leave for the safety of lower roads, Kelley and Jaime waited very impatiently for the two boys to join them. When Jonathan started to complain about leaving early, he was shut down with, “You egg, it’s a white out!”
Once on the road, TUB calmed down again and awaited their own warm beds back in Wellington.


Thanks for getting down with thumbs up and keep telling all your mates to join in on all the fun!