attack of the nutcracker!!!

After a few days of riding at snowpark, we started thinking of a quick trip up to one of the club fields around christchurch to ride some pow. The weather was looking good, new snow, and a fun crew. Will jackways, abby lockheart, their friend ruoriu, photog greg roebuck and myself heading out from wanaka and missioned up to My olympus.
The club fields are notorious for their nutcrackers. Generally the hills are rope tow access only. And in true kiwi fashion, the rope tows are fast, steep and run through several pulleys. So you need a nutcracker to hold on. You wear a harness around your waist, and have a metal clamp attached to it via a chain. as the rope passes by you grab on with your hands, and clamp the nutcracker onto the rope and hang on. and a big tip is don't get anything caught (ie your fingers) in the pulleys. Neither Abby or my myself had been on the nutcrackers so we were stoked to check it out.
we navigated the hours of dirt roads at night, in the fog, with dark glimpses of cliffs right next to you, to find ourselves at the bottom hut. Basically a bunk house built for club members and visitors at the bottom of the acccess road.
We woke to new snow, semi clear skies and a slight dilemma as we'd forgotten out chains (chains on 4x4 to make it up). We easily hitched rides up with the few cars passing by.
We were greeted up top with a series of rope tows, and a whole bunch of awesome lines all around the ski hill. Our first trips on the tows worked out real easy, and our crew was all smiles as we got some good powder runs in bounds on the hill.
Then my day drastically changed! On one of the top tows, i put my nutcracker on crooked and thought i could make it up no worries. after a few sketchy pulleys, the nutcracker finally ripped out of my hand on the last one and whipped straight into my knee! It seemed to hit the perfect spot and my knee just swelled right away. Bummed, my knee wasn't that stoked on bending. into the top hut i went to try and ice my knee and so i could get a few more laps in. A few hours later, my knee was feeling a bit better and i went out for a few more runs as the crew were out hiking and getting some shots.
Our next day dawned super clear, and my knee was even bigger! i did all i could to convince my knee that riding pow would be good for it, but it was just too stiff. With all the swelling, I was scared of doing actual real damage in my knee so i sat the day out and went for a mellow walk around the valley. Pissed that i missed an awesome day. The crew got some sweet lines in and had a great day. ahhhhhh. stupid nutcracker!
Back in wanaka for a few days now, and the swelling is going down in my knee, and i'm hoping to ride tomorrow. we'll see what the physio say tomorrow morning.
later
jl

will and abby scoping lines from the top hut


this is busy for mt olympus!


dinner time in the bottom hut


sidecountry lines at mt olympus.


patroller out scoping the snow


fat right knee.


out for a paddle on lake wanaka


greg, abby and will down day mini golf in queenstown

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