‘Last Orders…First Lift’ Afriski Season Ender!!


The last weekend of the Lesotho season, with the snow receding and the sun beating down on the resort it was never going to be a powder session, but with the added incentive of huge discounts on accommodation a final weekend on the slush and partying hard in the Gondola Cafe was called for!!

After arriving in Resort fairly early despite a slow start through Jo’Burg traffic, mainly thanks to the drivings skills of Matt ‘Ken Block’ Amoretti, we hit the Gondola Bar to get in the mood, where special mention has to go to SA’s most Gangsta rider.. ‘Technine’ Errol was properly messed up.. with double Jagers putting the final nail in the coffin EggRoll wasn’t seen again until the following afternoon!!

Amoretti Racing!!

When we got back to the Aspen Lodge the crew had arrived in full force, with the Jekot’s, Rassman’s and Lammer’s and all the other usual suspects chilling in the lodge.

After chewing the fat and piss taking for a bit we all hit the sack in anticipation of a fun day of shred on Saturday. Only to be awoken at 1.30 am by an Avalanche hitting the resort….

…. well that’s what i thought as i was awoken, until i realised it was actually the dolly on the floor above us was getting a serious ‘Punishing’  from one or more of the Afrikaans Jack Osbourne lookalikes she was staying with!!!

Pulling our hungover bodies onto the slope on Saturday, we where greeted by a rapidly depleting snow coverage, but that didn’t stop the freestyle hungry from busting out some huge tweaks over the hip and some stylish sliding on the mega box combo.

The huge crowd please of the day though was the Afriski PondSkim, snowcat’ed out some of the rest of the slope and sealed with the biggest tarpaulin in Africa (maybe) the pondskim was an olympic sized pool of icy Lesotho water pumped straight from the reservoir.

Junkyard Team Rider Mamo lead the charge taking the first few hits whilst others where still plucking up the courage, his first hit was so fast he barely touched the surface and shot out the back of the feature like a rocket, but with more runs came more control and confidence which lead to Matt laying down carving turns and kicking up a wall over water…. much to ScratchMedia’s Mike Rassmans dislike and everyone else’s amusement… as Mamo dumped a huge torrent of water on him as he got in tight for the shot!!

It wasn’t long before others where dropping in, Team Rider Robbie Alunni made the skim with style (despite me dissing him as i thought he was was going to slam due to Maluti intake.. sorry dude i should of know better!!) after a ton of hits and stacks we vacated the quickly melting slope and headed for the bar.

The afternoons Poker Tournament was taking over a large part of the bar (which 12 year old mini ripper Luke Dutton managed to pocket the winnings after schooling all the grown ups) and little is known (or should mentioned) about the next hours…. but let’s just say it included a ton of Maluti Lager, Jager and even ended up with me busting out some of my best Dad dancing at about 2am.. before finally my way back to my bed at around 3.30 Sunday Morning…whilst Mamo and EggRoll went scaring Dollies in their beds and trying to find an after party somewhere on the resort (fail).

Riders were a bit thin on the ground on Sunday morning, but i was up on the lift nice and early waiting for the groomers to finish a slope tidy, i managed stick in a few turns in the early morning crust that helped blow out the last of the alcohol before the brothers Lammers joined me on the hill.

As the day blew on we started to pack up our kit for the final time this season, for most of the crew it means a return to the summer pursuits of Wakeboarding, surfing & braai’ing, for others it’s the signal to take a few months off before heading to Northern Hemisphere to continue the party and shred.

And for me it marked the end of my stay in South Africa as i return to the beloved dryslopes and snowdomes of the UK, However I’ll take a piece of Afriski with me in my head and heart (and probably my liver). SA Snowboarders are a breed apart, and are some of the most dedicated, passionate & fun shredders in the world and I feel really honored to of been part of the scene for a few years and I have met some of the coolest people that I am proud to say have become my friends.

Cheers Guys!!

About Branny

Snowboarder, Runner, Traveler!

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