NZ eh.

they say 'eh' in New Zealand. just in case you didn't know. just differently then how people say it in Canada.

Ohh NZ. I love heading down there. After BC I thinks my favorite place on earth. Snow, waves, crazy landscapes and fun riding. Usually I spend a few months down there each year but this year I was a little pressed for time so I only got to go down for 2 weeks. But it was worth it.

As I sat in the Aukaland airport i did my typical weather and conditions scouting. Some years I've gone straight into chasing waves for a few days prior to heading down to Wanaka, others I chase pow. Not having brought my surfboards this year i was hoping for pow. Olympus -45cm and not open. Craigieburn 37cm and opening today. temple basin 35cm. YES!

As soon as i got my rental car in Christchurch I headed up into the Canterbury mountains to ride Craigieburn. Craigieburn is one of NZ's notorious club fields. Awesome terrain, no people, no grooming and nutcrackers. The nutcrackers is a rope tow on steriods. And to be able to hold to it, you need to wear a harness and a nifty little metal contraction (the nutcracker) which is tied to the harness. Grab the rope, hook the nutcracker on and hold on to the tip of the cracker. Sounds easy right? well the rope seems to go a million miles an hour and the first pulley is not very far away. So you need to grab on, set up the nutcracker and get your hands out of the way before that pulley. Cause it your hands are on the rope, say good by to your fingers!. They're very interesting and truely kiwi.  and kids are allowed on them. it's amazing.

Having made my way through the single lane dirt access road with couple thousand foot drop offs, grabbed my ticket i was back into pow! Having never been there i had no idea where i was going, but i noticed on my way up some people were able to ride down to the road so that looked like a good plan. Getting to the top and heading over the ridge, however i was confronted with a rather foggy entrance into the unknown maze of chutes.

I love riding the unknown and having it hidden in fog, just made the first few laps that much more interesting! However eventually it started to clear a little and was able to hike and explore some more.

and after coming out of the upper chutes I was generally greeted with this view...

My plan was to stick around the clubbies and ride Olympus and Temple Basin the next few days, but the weather had other plans. by the end of the afternoon it had gotten quite warm, misty rain to the peaks, and snow was starting to slide everywhere. well, it was awesome while it lasted and I bolted for Wanaka.

The whole rest of my trip was spent riding Snowpark and Cardrona. I'd gone down with pipe riding in mind so I was mostly focused on that. Snowpark's pipe was really good i thought. little slow (pitch is a bit flat there) but the walls were really nice. Cardrona's I didn't really like. Rode there for a few days and pretty much hated it. The weather was insane for pretty much the whole time. Springtime slushies everyday. The riding at snowpark was really fun. friends from all over the world were there, conditions were good, the pipe was good, jumps were good. Good few weeks down there. So thankful for my friends Will Jackways and Abbey Lockheart having me at their house for the trip. Great hospitality and amazing views out front from their pad...

Thanks NZ! Hopefully see you next year.

 

 

 

 

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