Seven-year-old Lochie Win from Cromwell has set himself just five weeks to meet a huge target: visit every Kiwi ski field in just over a month.
Using the goal to create a fundraiser for the New Zealand Cancer Society and Daffodil House, his mum Rebecca’s cancer recovery and love of skiing were equally massive inspirations.
Lochie and dad Luke are half way through their journey arriving in the North Island from their start in the South.
Over the weekend, Lochie, Luke and Rebecca visited Ruapehu’s ski areas.
“I love it!” said Lochie, for whom it was the first time either Whakapapa or Tūroa.
A highlight was seeing mum Rebecca back on skis for the first time in ages, though he said she needed some coaching.
Lochie,centre, with snowboard instructor Damien Bernard and ski coach Jess Nielsen on Ruapehu. Photo / Supplied, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts
“I was scared she was going to crash but she didn’t!” said the precocious seven-year-old ski fiend.
As the first on the slopes and the last to leave, it was a full day on the mountain. There was even a ride in the passenger seat of a piste basher.
A bit of a surprise for the South Island-based family who spend their winters in Central Otago.
“There’s something very special about Mt Ruapehu, we felt it when we left. And to be on the slopes at the weekend and see the sunrise was pretty amazing.”
Their stop in Ohakune and Tongariro National park is just one of many, as Luke and Lochie continue their four-week journey via campervan.
With school work and to fit in as well as skiing, it has been a long trip away from home and away from his mum.
However, it was a great opportunity for Rebecca to joining them at Mt Ruapehu, for a weekend in the North Island.
“It was really hard for him to say goodbye to his mum yesterday as she headed back home for her yearly check-up at Dunedin Hospital. He’s looking forward to having her back with us soon,” Luke says.
Since the beginning of July Lochie and his dad have visited ski fields, large and small.
The father and son team have skied everywhere – from Central Otago’s Ōhau to Mt Dobson in South Canterbury – in their quest to conquer New Zealand’s three-dozen commercial ski fields.
“We loved hosting Lochie up at The Remarkables and supporting his incredible goal,” said Libby Baron, comms manager for NZ Ski. “It’s pretty inspiring and our teams loved seeing him skiing”
Luke said the Cancer Society, for whom they’re raising donations, have been a huge support to the family during Rebecca’s treatment.
“They were there from day one all the way through.”
The money they are raising through a Givealittle page will go on to support those facing cancer treatment in New Zealand’s alpine regions and Daffodil House centres around the country.
Lochie was just four years old when mum Rebecca Win was diagnosed with a rare tumour.
However it was her ski-mad son’s plan to turn his passion into a way to raise donations for the Society. Their trip from South to North is not their first fundraiser.
Last year Luke and Lochie raised almost $11,000 for the Cancer Society, racking up 500 sponsored ski runs in 40 days at Cardrona Ski Field.
Luke, Lochie and Rebecca Win spend the day at Whakapapa. Photo / Supplied, Lochie's South To North Adventure
“If we each take the time to do something for others we have never met it might just show to others the kiwi spirit is still alive and well,” says Luke Win.
Lochie has already set his sights on bigger goals and after the New Zealand ski trip he wants to visit every skifield in the world.
“It would take me years! I know that after this trip though I’ll be a good skier and so will dad.”