When the snow on the Southern Alps has melted our heli-ski guides spread out all over the world for new adventures in foreign countries. Whether it’s ski touring in Antarctica or heli-skiing in India - summer for an HMH guide doesn’t really sound like your ordinary summer.
Being a mountain guide can take you to the most beautiful places on our planet, and our guides know some of them like the back of their hand. Take our manager Hugh Barnard for example, once the winter in New Zealand is over he will be heading to Alaska guide for the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. You simply can’t get the man off his skis! After that, he will travel further south for some surfing in Peru. Hopefully his wife Laetitia will be able to join him after recovering from a knee surgery she had this winter.
Our Wanaka operations manager Roger is flying in the other direction, for his work as a heli-ski guide in the Indian Himalayas. In the presence of the world’s highest summits, he guides guests with the same patience and reliability that he does back in New Zealand. Roger's been working in India for over ten years, constantly being challenged by the particular features of the terrain. The air in this part of the world is so thin that it takes guides and guests a few days to adjust. The local heli-ski company Himachal has placed portable altitude chambers at strategic points around the mountains in case clients are stranded above 10,000 feet. Just like in New Zealand, the safety of the guests and staff is the primary concern of the heli-ski operations in India and if there is one man you can trust in the mountains whether they’re called the Southern Alps or Himalayas, it is definitely Roger! When he isn't heli-skiing he's spending some quality time with his family in Tasmania.
Our guides can’t seem to get enough of each other even when the heli-skiing season is over. Which is why our Queenstown operations manager Chris teams up with fellow HMH guides Grom and Rene over the summer to guide US-American tour groups over the South Island. For the first two weeks of each month, the three experienced guides lead their guests on walks, activities and fine-dining experiences. Another three of our guides will be chasing winter to meet in Norway this NZ summer, chief guide Mark Sedon, Anna Cook and Whitney Thurlow are all heading towards the Scandinavian country to continue heli-ski guiding during the Northern winter. By then Mark will have returned from his yearly ski tour guiding expedition in Antarctica and ski tour guiding jobs in India and Canada. His summer, packed with adventures, will definitely get him some Airpoints!
Lead guide Whitney Thurlow’s schedule doesn’t look any less busy. Apart from his time in Norway, he will be ski guiding in China, hike guiding in New Zealand and kite-surfing in Peru. What does he do when he has a day off? “Sleeping. Probably for a whole month.”
At this point you might wonder if there is anyone who just chills out in summer, and enjoys the warm temperatures, a dip in the lake and a BBQ in the backyard? Yes, there is ! Rich Raynes operates his own joinery business in Hawea Flats close to Wanaka to keep himself busy during the summer season. He rents out the furniture he designs himself to functions, events and weddings. Rumour has it he can be spotted jumping into the lake from time to time on those long hot summer days.
You see, our guides like to keep busy during the summer, whether it's in New Zealand or some other corner of the world. No matter where they are, one thing is for sure, they're all looking forward to coming back for the 2019 season here in Wanaka and Queenstown with Harris Mountains Heli-Ski!
It's not too late, winters not over yet! Catch our guides before they take off for summer! With our Spring Special running until the end of the month and fresh snow in the forecast now is the time to Book a heli-ski experience!