When I learn I’ll be venturing up The Remarkables “snowshoeing” I have no idea what the adventure will entail.
In a way this is perfect. I have no expectations even though I’m a little hesitant about my fitness levels.
Pete Hitchman – not only a back-country expert but former Duran Duran bodyguard and bodybuilder – assures me if a 74-year-old and a six-year-old can hack the hike, I can too.
My sneakers are strapped into the snowshoes, I hold my poles and crane my head to the summit of The Remarkables. Oh dear.
The only thing disturbing the desolate skifield is the wind chill factor of minus 15 – it is cold.
However, I’m ready to roll even though I feel distressingly like Pingu with my flippers on.
We begin climbing below the stationary chairlift but hit powder. We sink into it and I can tell my legs are going to hurt the next day.
“If you all stop and lift your left foot up, I just need to put your heels on,” Peter says.
This is my kind of gig, I say. Peter jokes all I need now is a little black dress – I’m sure the group can tell I’m from the city.
As we climb, I realise how serene it is up here and how quiet the usually bustling skifield sits. My breath gets a little heavier as the altitude gets higher which is no wonder as Pete tells us snowshoeing burns between 800-1000 calories an hour.
It could just be the next craze – it’s already the fastest growing sport in the northern hemisphere.
We stop at Lake Alta – more than 1800 metres above sea level – for a cup of tea and biscuits with a backdrop of Coronet Peak and Mt Aspiring.
Back at the bottom I’m buzzing.
Our flipper footprints, a mile up, mark our tracks through the undisturbed snow. You can’t get this in the city – pure serenity.