Ski, Surf, Climb – the kiwi triathlon

The day I arrived in New Zealand, I heard that Christchurch is the only place in the world where you can ski, surf and climb in a single day. The right conditions, however, kept me waiting for almost 3 years. Recent “polar blasts” have flooded parts of Christchurch – but they also led to some fresh powpow up in the mountains and some decent swell at the local surf spot. The long period of waiting eventually came to an end !

I meet my mate Nick at 7am in Sumner. It is still dark and a thick layer of fog prevents any sight of surf. However, the distant sound of rolling waves is motivation enough for us to jump into the wintry Pacific. We manage to paddle out between 2 good sized sets of breakers, and find us just behind the line up still within the fog. Out here, the ocean is calm and peaceful. A moment later, Nick catches the first wave and surfs off into the fog.

After getting washed in an epic morning session, we coffee up and head to Castle Hill. We usually spend our weekends bouldering up there, so it was quite clear that it is the place to do the climbing part. But due to a good foot of fresh snow in the valley floor, we decide to skin up to Flock Hill and combine climbing with some turns between the rocks. Lost in a maze of boulders, we navigate our way and try to find the climbs which are so familiar in summer. The place looks amazing in winter and offers fun skiing on very unusual terrain. We reach a narrow shoot – Nick gathers his courage and drops in. I rather “wedel” between the boulders, European style !

We finish the kiwi triathlon after 12 hours and confirm: New Zealand is the only place where you can have such an awesome day. It is also the only place where you find yourself skiing with a boulder pad and a surf board on your back. Haha

Thanks to fallzonephotography for the pictures and the good day out:

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