Instead of living for most of the year in New Zealand and then going for a relatively short ski trip in the Northern Hemisphere, this year I am doing the opposite. I have just returned from a 3 month trip to NZ based out of Queenstown – as it turns out home is a cool place to visit!
LUMBER JACKING TO PAY MY DUES
It was not all fun and games though, it was a working holiday so when conditions were not ripe for skiing I was working hard as an arborist. As it happens in NZ sometimes, the snow was fickle and lacking for most of July so I spent much of my time working, which is not such a bad thing since I have almost paid off my student loan!
On the job with Jimmy Carling in Queenstown, NZ
BREWSTER THE BITCH
While the days were sunny and the snow pack was trust worthy Jeremy Lyttle and I had an unsuccessful attempt on Mt Brewster. See my previous blog post about this.
Looking up at the summit of Brewster and possible ski descents from the top. Photo: Jeremy Lyttle
Walking along the knife edge West Ridge of Brewster
THE GOOD SNOW
Through early to mid August came new snow and fun times!
The “Fat Friday” of the season, up at The Remarkables midweek smashing waist deep pow all day long with no one else around as my tracks filled in with the storm snow – PERFECT
This north facing sunny aspect line at The Remarkables is one which I have wanted to shred for a couple of seasons and was finally on for only one day this season! Photo: Sam Lynch
The face sits above a chairlift so it had been bombed but I still released a lot of sluff and some thin slab which I managed ok. Photo: Sam Lynch
Flying out the bottom! It was a really fun, high speed line! Photo: Sam Lynch
Getting off “Hunger Buster” or the “Mid-station Cliff” at Remarks. The plan was to go and backy it for a photo but this one was also only on for that one day
Sessioning “The Breakfast Rocks” also at Remarks with Hamish Smith and Taylor Rapley. Photo: Sam Lynch
LUKAS, DAN & SHOOTING
Then in Mid August the photographer, Dan “The Danimal” Power, and my good friend Lukas Zoegernitz (also a journalist for PowderGuide.com) turned up to share the fun for the last month. But unfortunately for us it failed to snow even once in the entire duration of that last month! So we did what we could with average snow and endless sunny days…
The three of us hungout and hunted around the local resorts for any remnants of a decent photo… The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Treble Cone & Cardrona.
Lukas & I with Henry Youngman – my good friend and local radio host on More FM at Coronet Peak night ski in the last light of sunset. Photo: Dan Power
Touring in the Cardrona backcountry for any sign of untracked dry snow. Photo: Dan Power
And we found some good dry snow weeks after the last snowfall in the Cardies backcountry. Photo: Lukas Zoegernitz
When we were tired and sweaty from hunting dry snow Dan would still not stop shooting, here he is sneaking brand shots for Icebreaker! Photo: Lukas Zoegernitz
I spent lots of time riding around in cars enjoying my own country as a tourist! Photo: Lukas Zoegernitz
Partying for Lukas’ 30th birthday!
The photographers alterego, “The Danimal” coming out to play… Oblivious to his broken glass from cheersing way too hard!
When we got sick of forcing photos in rubbish snow we took down days on the bikes
We were lucky enough to get a days heli skiing with Southern Lakes Heliski! We had a window of 3 weeks to do it so we waited and waited for fresh snow but when we realised that it probably wasn’t going to come before we left the country we just had to get up there and make the most of it. Lucky for us our excellent guide, Ian, managed to find us good pockets of dry soft powder! Never a dull day with SLHS!!
Looking for the next heli line. Photo: Dan Power
Getting dropped at the top and left to it. Photo: Dan Power
Dropped this one off the top nose into a pocket of soft snow. It was the only decent sized cliff that was on for the heli day. Photo: Lukas Zoegernitz
Getting NZ scenic shots. Photo: Lukas Zoegerntiz
On the last run of the day I found a stranded and injured sheep! So I pick her up and skied her down to a flat area with grass. Pretty sure she was fine and would survive. Photo: Dan Power
Turns out that the sheep rescue photos went virally mental as well as on mainstream media! Newpaper covers, magazine covers, radio interviews, international news, websites and even a womans’s weekly magazine! Photos: Dan Power
Lukas and I pumped at the end of a great day! Photo: Dan Power
The crew on the heli day in front of Lake Wakatipu – L-R: Myself, Lukas Zoegernitz & Dan Power the photographer
OHAU I LOVE THAT PLACE
In my last week in NZ we went north to Ohau Snow Feilds, Lake and Lodge – what an epic place and nice people!
Dan the photographer pointing out a potential shot to Nat Segal, a fellow Icebreaker team mate
A delicious hearty meal and fine wine from the team at Ohau lodge to celebrate a great couple of days with fantastic people! L-R: Veronica Asmus, Nat Segal, myself, Lukas Zoegernitz, Ed Rawlings & Mike Hanford. Photo: Dan Power
Then 2 days at home to see my family (1 day spend in the mountains & 1 day spent on the sea) before jetting back overseas…
Mum and I on top of Sixone Peak at Rainbow Ski Area, Nelson Lakes – my home mountain where I learnt to ski. I had not been there for 12 prior! So good to get back there and what an awesome little hidden gem!
Sailing to the family bach on the family yacht for a quick chill out before flying away again. L-R: Mum, Deigo Dominguez (a very friendly hitch hiker I picked up driving home to Blenheim), Lukas & Dad
ISLE OF WIGHT – PREPPING FOR AUSTRIA
Now I’m back on the Isle of Wight, UK with my girlfriend, Sophie, and her family before flying back to Innsbruck, Austria for the full season there.
Sailing in “Bart’s Bash“, a fundraising sailing event for Andrew “Bart” Simpson who died during the San Francisco America’s cup. We were sailing a Feva sailing dinghy (designed for 2 small people). L-R: Sophie Stevens, Harry Oswald (my sister who lives in London) & myself. Photo: Seb Godsmark
The skate hill to the Gurnard water front. Photo: Sophie Stevens
Sophie flying her kite on Compton beach where the two of us went camping just after I got back
Soph and I about to cook up a feast on the fire!
Now I am just counting down the days till skiing again in Austria!!! I leave you with the teaser for Trail & Error, Whiteroom Productions new movie for which I spent many days filming last European winter. It is premiering in Innsbruck on the 22nd of October, if you are in Innsbruck I hope to see you there!