Yesterday I worked my last shift up at Coronet Ski Field. Unfortunately, as I want to work the whole summer season on the Milford track, I must finish at the ski field a little early. Two weeks prior to the scheduled close. This is to do with my working holiday visa requirements, which I might bore you with one day. And so, its farewell to a routine and lifestyle I've got used to.
For me, working a ski season has been a positive and eye opening experience.
Growing up in southern England, where you only get snow about twice a year, local ski fields weren't setting up shop but hey, maybe in the next ice age. Ski trips to Europe weren't exactly economically viable. I'm not dissing this, it was my parent's decision to have more than two children and as the youngest of four, my existence depended on this. Bad luck older siblings, you could have been spending the spring holidays making tracks in the Alps, instead you got rainy days playing cards in Bued. Ha! Don't feel too sorry for them readers, they once ganged up and mugged me but more on my repressed memories later. The point I’m trying to make is that growing up, I was never exposed to this sub culture and never thought it was something I'd come across. But on hearing the stories and adventures of friends, working a ski season has been on my list of goals.
I came to Queenstown for this purpose and if my application for a ski field was unsuccessful, I'd just work in town and buy a lift pass. From when I put in my job application in to when I got a call for an interview was a space of three months. I was so nervous about the interview, I knew how much I wanted this job.
Being part of the ski season, not only was it a great incentive to learn to snowboard (more on this later), it allowed me to work in a fantastic environment. I will never go as far as saying I was happy to wake up in the morning and go to work. I'm not a morning person and I'm never happy when the alarm goes off. But as soon as I got on the bus to the mountain everything was good. I enjoyed the view as the sun transformed the landscape. I enjoyed being surrounded by enthusiastic, cheerful people and a department I really loved.
Throughout my work and travel, I've experienced a lot of employers, all with their own ideas on how to treat their workers and what they expect from them. Coronet Peak has been one of the best.
Sometimes I don't think you know how you feel about a place until you leave. On my last day, I wasn't itching to go but felt sad and reluctant to say any goodbyes.
What's the saying again? 'when one door closes another opens.' By definition season work must end, but change is not always bad.
Thank you Coronet Peak and its staff for giving me a pretty amazing experience.