We have a flying site at the top of the gondola in town.
The gondi doesn't take you all the way to takeoff though. You have about a 10 minute hike up a pretty steep path before you're there.
The gondi hike has always been my metric for my physical fitness.
I could always tell that I was turning into a soft American over the Summers in Maryland when I got back to Queenstown. I would take brakes hiking up the gondi. At the beginning of the season, I'd take as many as eight brakes. You're hiking up with a 40lb pack on your back, but since I've done it for many years, I've gotten a feel for what means what.
One year, I'd made a concious effort to stay in some shape in the Summer and I could definitely feel the difference, though I still took like three or four brakes.
I've been living at the gym since my accident, but I'm doing weight training. I've been very keen to get back to the gondi since it's such good cardio. And since I fly down, I've got heaps of motivation to climb it! But, like I said, it's a full-on hike. So even after I was fit enough to hike up, I still needed to be fit enough to hike down just in case I couldn't fly. Hiking down is immensely harder on my knee.
I'm just now at that level.
So today, I went up the gondi. I was very curious to measure how out of shape I was.
Made me feel even better about all that hard work at the gym :)
I wasn't steaming up the hill by any stretch, but I wasn't winded or sore either. I'd felt a good workout and had a good heartrate. I was feeling good.
Today's my gym day, so I went there afterwards.
There was something easier about it today.