Article Title:Fun, flurries & faceplants - Gay Ski Week, Aussie-style
Author or Credit:Jay Bennie
Published on:6th September 2013 - 09:42 am
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Story ID:13911
Text:Lisa's first snow! The chance to experience snow for the first time was key to Sydney lesbian Lisa Blackmore entering and then winning a competition for a free trip to Gay Ski Week. It wasn't long before she was face down in the stuff and freaking slightly at one of New Zealand's premier ski fields. But, mostly, she's been having a ball. The 21-year old hails from south-west Sydney - "I'm a real westie," she laughs - and entered a competition on the Lesbians On The Loose website in which she had to say in 25 words or less why she wanted to go to Gay Ski Week. "I told them I'd never been out of Australia and had never seen snow before," she says. It did the trick and she was soon winging her way into Queenstown, gazing out of the aircraft windows at the seemingly endless snowy ranges and peaks of the Southern Alps. "It was breathtaking... I never realised there was going to be so much snow," she says. Several friends back home had suggested that at this time of year there would be little snow left. Wrong. Kenny and Lisa Luck was with her when snow fell on Wednesday, with flurries even settling down around Queenstown itself. She was up at the Cardrona skifield for the day and says she got out amongst the falling snow "and loved it." She and her traveling companion then drove back later in the day through falling snow. "It was amazing," they recall. Her traveling companion is Kenny, a guy she has known "for years... since school." For some time the pair have been planning to do a trip to New Zealand but somehow it had never quite happened. Until now. "Kenny was the first person I called when I found out I'd won," says Blackmore, "even before I told my parents I was on the phone to Kenny!" Wednesday, their first day on the actual snow, was a mixed experience. "The snow was lovely... so soft and fluffy and cold!" she says. But heading up the slopes on a ski lift to try snowboarding didn't quite go to plan. "Getting on was easy, but getting off was pretty shocking... somehow I slipped and went head first into the snow... total face-plant!" The snowboarding experience itself was a mixed bag too. "Next time I'm going to get some lessons," she smiles wryly. After hitting the deck a few times she became a bit freaked about the prospect of ever getting way back down to the bottom of the slope and eventually accepted a ride from the field's medical aid team in their rescue vehicle. "It was fun to ride," she laughs, "I could have had fun on that all day!" Kenny, who did some skateboarding in his younger years, had more success and now wants to master turning. They've attended every Gay Ski Week event they can, from the opening party to the Bingay nights. They've been shopping, roaring through narrow river gorges on the Shotover Jet and were so buzzed they ended up getting a speeding ticket... "33km over the limit!" she chuckles a little guiltily. The pair will be flying back to Sydney on Sunday. Blackmore says anyone who has a chance to enjoy Queenstown's winter sports delights should take take any opportunity to get amongst it. "Take a chance and explore," she advises, "and maybe come here a couple of times or more so you can take it all in!"     Jay Bennie - 6th September 2013
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