NZ POW – It’s real!

I rolled into NZ on the 1st of August fresh from Corsica and a taste of summer. Off the back of the Austrian winter I had just had 20 pages of publishings of my skiing and 2 double page spreads published of my photographs – things were going well!

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A five page article on freeskiing for NZ Ski and Snow Magazine, click to read. Photo: Jakob Schfwieghhofer


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Lukas Zögernitz slaying it at Hochfügen, Austria




Once back in Queenstown I had one short nights sleep then off to the Icebreaker team weekend at Mt Nicholas Station at the head of Lake Wakatipu. The party got a little out of hand and I woke up at the neighbouring farm station, Walter Peak – whoops.


Taking the boat to Mt Nicholas station on the Icebreaker Team weekend, L – R: Byron Wells, Scott McNab, Jackson Wells, Stu Robertson, Kate Holmes, Finn Bilous, Richie Johnston, myself, Britt Hawes, Steph Whitaker, Sam Lee and Beau James Wells. Photo: helpful Southern Discoveries boat staff




Then it was time to ski! I had 3 Austrian friends in town; Christoph Schöfegger, Christian Unger and Lukas Zögernitz. It’s hard to impress Austrians when it comes to skiing but Treble Cone turned on 4 epic days of pow days in a row and impressed the schnitzel out of them!


Christoph getting pitted after sweet little chute drop, Sam Lee looks on



I took a cheeky fresh line over the back of the Saddle Basin. Photo: Lukas Zögernitz



Powder wheelie celebration above the saddle basin chair. Photo: Dan Power



Taking a small cliff long out the bottom of some Treble Cone backcountry. Photo: Lukas Zögernitz



Alone in the Treble Cone backcountry making my mark. Photo Zögernitz


Here is a little video taste of what we had each day…




I had many great days at Treble Cone this NZ season but the most memorable was the Wednesday pow day with this big backy that went on to get over 200,000 plays over various uploads…




I showed the Austrian boys around some other resorts too…


Getting upside down with sunset under lights at Coronet Peak. Photo: Dan Power



Sending a stormy one in the Alta Chutes at The Remarkables. Photo: Lukas Zögerntiz




I even managed to get the boys on a Heli day with Southern Lakes Heli Ski!


Our bird for a great day heli with Southern Lakes Heli Ski and great guide Michael Shynkaryk. Photo: Dan Power



Powder cloud! Michael finding us the goods with Black Peak in the background. Photo: Lukas Zögernitz




On the Austrian boy’s last few days my good friend, Hamish Smith took us all on an experimental back country mission. The resulting short film below has one an award and had over 40,000 views on Epic TV.


The Boys and their pretty bird from Heli Glenorchy. Photo: Pilot Nick


Temple Peak Tepee Skiing – Through The Lens short film winner





After 2 of the Austrian’s, Christian & Lukas went home, I took a quick trip to Ohau Snow Fields with Hamsih Smith, Heidi Cochran & the remaining Austrian, Christoph Schöfegger.


Hamish and Heidi boot packing up out of a picturesque slack country line



Hamish slaying the ridge in front of Mt Cook, NZ’s highest mountian



Christoph slashing the steeps




2 more good Austrian friends turned up in NZ, Joi Hoffmann & Jakob Schfwieghofer. They were in the country to shoot a film production about climbing and skiing the west face of Mt Aspiring. I was very honoured to be asked to join as one of the skiers! Unfortunately strong winds and very unstable snow conditions hampered our efforts  and were forced to abandon the attempt


Me, slightly apprehensive but excited before the attempt on the steep face. Photo: Jakob Schfwieghofer



Jakob, snaps some pics of a desolate but beautiful and somehow surreal glacial landscape



Joi looks longingly back as we have to abandon our goal



After our failed attempt we had quite a large night out. I lost a bet on a game of pool, resulting in having to monkey in the world famous tree in Lake Wanaka naked while tourist shot photos form the shore. Photo: Jakob Schfwieghofer




Late in the season Icebreaker were kind enough to lend me a company car for a month!


Taking the new wagon for a wash. Photo: Malin Karlsson




Spring hit in September so it was time for good old Treble Cone slush days!


My old ski bro form back in the day, Nick Kingston takes slush to the face like a stone face lumber jack. Photo: Shelley Kingston



Nick Kingston savouring the day and the stunning view at TC on a perfect day



Nick Kingston reminding us he was/still is a hell of a freeskier




The weather aligned once more so we pulled together another mission in Hamish Smith’s Tepee, this time much deeper into the backcountry with Nick Kingston and talented photographer Mark Bridgwater.

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Relaxing briefly after erecting the tepee


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Finding soft snow was challenging in the super variable condition. Photo: Mark Bridgwater


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Coming home to a warm dry tepee after hard hunting pow makes such a pleasure. Photo: Mark Bridgwater


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Our cosy nook for 3 days. Photo: Mark Bridgwater


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A breakdown .222, and some Speight’s can targets helps pass the afternoon after touring and skiing. Photo: Mark bridgwater


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On the last day while waiting for the chopper, once we had packed up the tepee early (and since it was Nicks 30th birthday) we decided to try something different with the airbed…




The last few days of Treble Cones season was nothing short of springtime perfect with a big base and fantastic corn snow… This is a snippet from my last run of the season at TC:




From late September the hot weather took its toll very quickly, and while I was working hard on our new business, I only had time to squeeze one small spring mountaineering mission.


I quick Jaunt up Single Cone in The Remarkables range near Queenstown with Jeremy Lyttle and Hamish Smith. Photo: Hamish Smith


Here is a clip of a line down a whiteout chute near the summit of Single Cone on the East face. Just as I skied out the choke a small slab avalanche ripped out from beneath me, luckily my speed took me out the bottom with no worries:




Once most of the snow was gone and there was little skiing to be done, there were still heaps of rad stuff to do in NZ…


Mountain biking with Hamish Smith up Ben Lomond near Queenstown. Photo: Hamish Smith



Rowing in the Marlborough Sounds with Sophie



Rope swing at Lake Hayes, Queenstown. Photo: Hamish Smith



Kayaking in Milford Sound with Sophie



Trying out our new MSR Hubba Hubba tent, thanks to Torpedo7. This is the morning after a brutal storm – the tent (and us) survived!



Trying to climb Mt Arthur, Kahurangi National Park, Nelson but getting bashed back by a snow storm… in mid summer!



One of the best wake ups ever – a beautiful sunrise on a secluded beach in the Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson with my Sophie



What a winter! Thanks to all I got to share it with and who helped me out.

There are a couple summer missions left, then Euro winter from 20th of Jan, let it snow!