As I think about it – staff parties are somehow very reflective of the company culture. I’ve seen them BMW style – where it’s all about the style and very classy, IKEA style – where it’s all about the fun and the people and now Cardrona style – where, to me it seems, it’s a lot about the alcohol and some seriously crazy partying. Or is that because of its employees? Last year, I didn’t know what to expect: I bought my staff party tickets – consisting of entry, bus to the venue, food voucher and four drink vouchers, hopped on the bus to the Albert Town Tavern and stepped into the Pub without expectations – but was surprised anyway: The tables were pushed to the sides to create a wide and empty space – no tables, no sitting opportunity, just a huge empty room. Everybody who was already there huddled together like a herd of sheep in one corner of the room and chatted in little groups. Since there was nothing in the room, not …
A day off during school holidays is luxury so you better spend it well. Not much to do during those rainy days anyway but we probably need the rest to catch our breath and get energized for another week of crazy school holidays. Quiet days, cruisy mornings, a walk to town, coffee with the friends and relaxed movie nights with the housemates. Let’s just cross our fingers that the rain doesn’t reach our snow up at Cardrona.
When I started investigating Ski Instructor Jobs in New Zealand a couple of years ago the first field that repeatedly came up was Treble Cone. Fellow Ski Instructors had worked there and I had seen stunning images of the view on Facebook and Co. Back then I inquired working there – but as soon as I had figured out that their ski school is basically run & dominated by Austrian (Staatliche) Ski Instructors I knew it wasn’t for me and opted for the more international and rather beginner-focused Cardrona Alpine Resort – on the other side of the mountain but still close to Wanaka. Although I had escaped the Austrian Ski Instructor community work-wise there was no way I could in my social life. They are dominating Wanaka’s night life and seem to be everywhere! Even at Cardrona Ski School parties, as I found out during last year’s welcome party where two of Treble Cone’s instructors had sneaked in (most of you can probably guess which dynamic Austrian duo that was). Nowadays I’m quite happy to count …
Our ski field is finally open and we’re all really happy about that – especially if you consider the snow situation in New Zealand. Other Kiwi fields like Treble Cone, Mt Ruapehu or The Remarkables could not yet open and it’s thanks to our amazing grooming and snow making crew (who did magic with the 20 cm snow base) that we have slopes to teach on. First days back at ski school were good fun and were a good reminder why I love doing this so much. In between we have enough time for fun runs amongst ourselves, freshly baked muffins at the café and catching up with ski instructors from around the world. When we finally take the vans down the mountain I am most of the time pretty knackered, just looking forward to the essentials: shower, food, sleep. It’s getting better though and sometimes I even make it to happy hour for some social drinks.
Cardrona is officially opening tomorrow but we took the chance to already go up today and get a first taste of winter. It was windy up there & quite chilly but so good to smell the crisp cold air. A good appetizer for the weeks to come, hopefully there’s some snow on the way!
Although all that paper work for getting a visa in New Zealand is strenuous, the good news about it all is: I am going back to New Zealand for another season, hooray! More news to come as departure date gets closer.
Just came across this video from Kevin – my locker-room neighbor at Cardrona and the only German I met on the mountain (which is quite uncommon as New Zealand in general seems to be full of Germans). Anyway, Kevin did an awesome wrap up of the season in video format. And although he worked in a different department this pretty much reflects what the season in Wanaka felt like (including the early wake-up, fun workouts at the trampolining places, etc.) Just replace the half pipe with the magic carpet & ski beginners and the slopestyle with more terrain skiing and you get what my world looked like (although I missed the dress-up at closing day which looks like it was good fun).