Monday, September 26, 2016

Flying Beasties

I have been really slack at updating my blog since we moved down to Queenstown... I have got several trips I would like to write up and have sitting in my 'drafts' but I just haven't had time at all.

Strangely enough, when I ever do have a chance to blog it tends to be school holidays...which is when I am mostly off doing trips! So the result is = no blogging.

Anyway, enough of a rant I thought I would tell you a little story about a flying beastie from the weekend.

So, Chris and I headed up to Coronet and skied for a bit until the field shut, at which point we headed up the slopes on our skins. Chris has recently acquired a 'flying beastie' otherwise known as a drone. This is strictly for mapping and financial purposes (according to him). Most people would spend some time learning how to fly one of these things in a nice park, before taking it up onto the mountain, with wind and cloud swirling around and the potential for disaster...imminent.

Not Chris though. This was flight number 2. The little drone whisked up into the sky and zoomed out over the slopes before returning obediently to its controller. "Yikes, that wind is a bit tricky" said its owner.

We continued up to the top of Greengates, which is always a bit eerie when closed, empty and misty. The idea was to ski down a bit, then Chris would get out Drone for a fly and maybe get some shots of me skiing down the mountain. So, Chris headed off and set up Drone and I waited. After a while the buzzing sound started and before long the snow white drone was buzzing right above me.

I skied down a bit, it soared up, down, sideways in an attempt to follow. Turns out Chris's steering needed a bit of practise, surprising! I headed on down the mountain, past Chris and Drone followed. Eventually I reached a point where I would no longer be able to see Chris any more. Should I go down? I signalled to Chris, but after getting no response and with Drone still buzzing above me I decided to head down anyway.

The trail entered a fairly tight gully, and as I got lower I noticed that Drone had finally landed mid slope above me. I figured I might as well continue on down, but as I reached the next corner I heard a faint rumble. Suddenly a thought flashed into my mind... could that be the groomer?

I spun round and waddled (it is hard to run uphill with skis on) back up the hill as fast as I could. As I did the rumble got louder and round the corner came two very big groomers heading straight for snow white tiny Drone!!

I made it up to Drone, grabbed it, unsure if Chris could see what Drone could see, and ran off the trail into the tussocks. One minute later the groomers rumbled past, and the spot where Drone had landed was smoothed out to corduroy.

This is the photo Drone took of me as I rescued him.
Another minute later Chris came zooming down the hill, horrified that his brand new toy had been squashed to smithereens, until he saw the little white thing tucked under my arm. Perhaps this wasn't the best place to learn to fly a drone after all, but it was a fun adventure :-)