Pure serenity at 1800 metres


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.