Monday, August 30, 2010

Extreme curling

You may possibly have heard of heli-skiing, heli-hiking and even heli-biking, where you make use of helicopter transport to deliver you quickly to off-the-map places to enjoy your sport. And New Zealand of course is a paradise for adventure sports.

So that's the place to go if you happen to be into heli-curling!

No, it's no joke. Members of the West Coast Curling Club in New Zealand have been hiring helicopters to fly up to frozen tarns high in the Southern Alps to play. Lake Browning at 4,500 ft is apparently a favorite on a calm day.

Peter O’Sullivan explains, "We began curling as a club twelve years ago and have since grown to thirty members with twenty traveling to Naseby once a year for a weekend's curling. Several of our members travel to play at other times as well. We have this year begun heli-curling. We have also identified a old curling dam in the Craigieburn Range just off the Cheeseman ski field road that we plan to fix up over the summer in preparation for next season."

"Our problem is that we have no stones and rely on borrowing stones from the Naseby outdoor rink anytime we play. We have experimented with attaching handles to natural stones with little success. We also have been looking to purchase second hand stones from Canada. However in ones and twos the freight is a bit of a logistical nightmare. Does anyone have stones or know of stones that we could purchase?"

Peter's email is peteros at, if anyone has a container load of curling stones available for sale.

Heli-curling! Made my day. Thanks to Skip Cottage Curling's NZ correspondent, Kenny Thomson, for the heads up on this one!

Whereas the top pic is simply for illustrative purposes, sourced from this website, the photo above was forwarded by Kenny and shows some of the West Coast Curling Club members at Lake Browning. Club uniform apparently involves the wearing of 'See You Jimmy' hats, of which we heartily approve. Also the catering arrangements. Sorry I don't have (yet) a L-R of who's who in the pic. Click on the pic to see larger size.