I haven’t been skiing for over almost 10 years, so when I found myself staring down the top of a high run I was tempted to sit on my behind and slide down like a baby.
But, once you’re up you’ve got to come down, so I figured there was nothing for it but to exert mind over matter and push off down the slope.
It’s strange, because I didn’t expect to be scared when Jenene and I headed out to Snow Planet, a new indoor snow dome just opened at Silverdale, a 20 minute drive north from downtown Auckland.
From the bottom the incline looks pretty easy and I was sure I could wiz down without a trace of fear.
But the slope sure does give you a good run for your money. Speaking of money, we were pretty surprised at how reasonably Snow Planet is priced – in the weekend you can get two hours in the snow plus gear rental for $59.
It’s cheaper during the week and there are all sorts of high-use concession passes available.
If you’ve never tried snowboarding or skiing then a first time pack, with an introductory lesson and rental gear will only cost $49.
There’s nothing artificial about the powder, it’s the real deal just manufactured in a giant freezer, so the only thing missing from a mountain experience is the view, but on the plus side there are no cliffs to fall off!
There is still that alpine chill in the air though, and the cold whipped my checks as I speed down the slope like a pro (yeah right!)
While you don’t need your sunglasses because you’re not contending with the glare factor you do need all the other gear.
From our experience we would particularly recommend you don’t forget your beanie (like we did) – frozen ears are not a good feeling!
If you don’t have waterproof pants or a jacket you can borrow them there, but you must bring your own gloves (they’re compulsory).
Just like being on the slopes there’s a toasty warm bar where you can sit après-ski and sip a cold beer while watching the action on the snow.
They also do the “hot ski instructor” cliché well – we were very impressed with the standard of the male staff!
In all we think it’s a great place to brush up on your skills if you’re a little rusty, get your confidence up if you’re a beginner or just get in shape for the season.
We liked that it’s so close and not too expensive so you can just tear out there when you’re feeling bored on a Sunday afternoon
To find out everything you need to know about Snow Planet head to www.snowplanet.co.nz