Ruapehu: where the sky was NOT blue and the time was NOT pretty!

I have just spent this past weekend at Mt Ruapehu, where I had hoped to spend the weekend snowboarding and lounging and generally having a fantastic time!

Instead, this weekend was about surviving the best we could. And yes, yes, I know, you're all asking, "why, Elly, WHY did you go? Did you know about the storm?". Yes, I DID know about the storm, it just seemed more important at the time to not be in Auckland.

Storm aside, it started fairly well. Friday night was fantastic, I was with three girls and we had a blast! Drinking and dinner at Schnappes, giggling with Vodka + Orange juice in the Hut Tubs! There was loads of gossip-y conversation and lots of honest talking, and then there was just lots and lots of talking about boys . . . it was nice to have a soundboard and to hear how things are going with everyone else.

Saturday was . . . not so great. We drove over to Turoa which was fine, till we got to the gas station where uhoh, our battery died. We got it jumped started okay, but in doing so screwed up the internal computers which meant no sounds. But okay, we were still amped and the weather seemed okay so off we went. Once there I managed to get one absolutely *perfect* run from top to bottom in, and was on my way to meet Sibling's friends when they closed the lifts down because of, thats right, the crasy Snow Blizzard which rocked the whole of the North Island.

Because Alpine Meadow (the learners slope) was still open, the girls decided they would stay for their lesson, which was fine. I opted not to stay and watch and meet them instead at the bottom of the mountain, and caught a ride down with my Siblings friends.

Well, lets just say that what started off as a little wind with lots of snow turned into a dangerous, dramatic storm. We were lucky to make it down, but the girls? Uh, no. They got stranded up the top of the mountain, rescued from their car (which was snowed in in the carpark) and were shepherded into the cafe where they had to wait for hours and hours and HOURS for the weather to slacken just a little so they could be taken down in a convoy bus.

I, on the other hand, was stuck in Ohakune with 5 young, rowdy boys. It wasn't so bad, I had to borrow their super oversized clothes (having only the snow gear I was wearing) which earned me the label 'gangsta'. What I didn't realise till too late was that these boys have only just turned 21, and their main form of entertainment was still just alcohol.

Lets just say we started early. Very very early. It was fun, though. We met a bunch of ESOL students who were staying at the lodge and coerced them into playing a loooong game of Circle of Death, which is always amusing. I introduced the rule 'Chicken Master' which brought no end to the hilarity:

Chicken Master - Circle of Death
Chicken Master - Circle of Death

They, in turn, got me ever so extremely intoxicated. Which was fine, really. Until the girls came down off the mountain to find that while they were suffering, and were cold and wet still in their snow gear, and had had to leave the car stranded back up the mountain, I had been drinking copious amounts of wine and was unable to keep a goofy grin off my face. Alas.

I opted to stay in Ohakune rather than to make more of a fuss than I already had, and saw them off in a rather expensive shuttle ride back to National Park.

So, after more wine and more drinking games (Of the 'Yeeehaaw, RollRollRollROOOOLLLBack' kind), we went out to Margaritas to watch the rugby. I'm not such a big fan of Rugby, and watching the All Black's lose had me falling asleep at the bar, so me and another went back to the lodge early. After having to detour to find a feed (something which isn't easy in a place where everything closes at 10 - it made me appreciate Auckland's 24/7 policy for everything) we made it back safe and sound. I think the boys got separated, because they all arrived back at different times.

Mm. The next part of the narrative is less than fun. It hadn't really hit that I was hanging out with 5, rowdy youngan's who had forgotten that I was a girl till we were all back in the very small dorm room. There are SOME things girls just don't want to hear, and there are SOME things that guys should JUST NOT SAY in front of girls! There was bragging, there was mocking there was dirty sex in the shower with one of the girls down the hall and just *pulls face* it was just fairly horrific. I don't think I've ever missed the company of the girls so much!

The next morning, also less than fun. The room was absolutely RANK, it smelt of dirty drunken boys, there was just stuff EVERYWHERE and I was horribly hungover. Lucky all of that was solved by simply leaving the room and having breakfast up the road in dinky little cafe.

The worst part was having to wait the four hours for the girls to retrieve the car back from the mountain, as the boys (who had already checked out) couldn't leave until I was picked up. We were lucky that the Ruapehu Alpine Lift people were awesome, because by the time they got up there the car had already been dug out for them, and the road and carpark had mostly been cleared (only the many many cars who had gotten stuck the night before remained!). The wait was just so incredibly long!

But the car was got eventually, and I was picked up (and so happy to be!) and after a quick stop at the lodge to shower and change, we drove back to Auckland. Without any sounds, because the radio system had been fried the day before.

Still, it wasn't as bad as it could have been: the girls came back snow bitten and were happy with the short amount of time they had gotten on the snow and I'd had a good time (mostly) hanging out with Sibling's friends. Next time though, next time will be a definite improvement.

It was a good weekend with too much snow and not so much riding, many many good times and some really frustrating times. Ah well. It could have been worse. I could have been back home.