What a week! As we opened our front desk in Wanaka on Monday morning, the sun came out and has stuck around every day since.
With more than a meter of fresh snow from the previous weekend, no winds and cold nights, the conditions have been perfect for heli-skiing.
Throughout the week we took our lucky groups out to the Buchanan range near Wanaka where they enjoyed bluebird days and lots of untouched powder.
“I can’t stop smiling.”
Mark is a former Wanaka resident who has been overseas for some years and has recently came back. He joined us on one of our trips and couldn't wipe the grin off his face.
Our Sales Team has been all over Wanaka and Queenstown, providing information, posters and snow reports to local businesses.
“Everyone is really excited, the region is buzzing” reflects our Wanaka sales representative Dom Channon.
We have also had some amazing athletes flying with us this week. British climber Leo Houlding who has been staying in Wanaka for the Mountain Film Festival didn't want to stop skiing even after seven runs.
Also with us this week was Aussie surf icon Barton Lynch which was a special pleasure for guide Tony McCutcheon: “I am a surfer myself so I really enjoyed taking Barton up on the mountain.”
1) Are you excited to go heli-skiing with us?
"I am so stoked! I have lived my whole life at the beach for work and play. Ever since I retired from that, snowboarding has fascinated me because it has some similarities with surfing and is still quite the opposite. I’ve heard about heli-skiing a couple of years ago and wanted to try it for a long time. And today is the day!"
2) Why did you choose New Zealand for this experience?
"My wife is a Kiwi from Dunedin and she always wanted us to come here. I did a lot of snowboarding in Australia but simply looking at these mountains here gives me a very different feeling. The Southern Alps are truly stunning and I love this snow lifestyle. Everything is new and fresh and fascinating. I came to realise that snow is actually alive, it changes its form, color and structure constantly, similar to water."
3) What are you expecting from today?
"I think it will take my experiences in snow to a whole different level. I can probably compare it to surfing. I did a lot of beach breaks because that’s what was right at my doorstep. Then one day I was in Hawaii and surfed my first pipeline. It was mind-blowing. And I guess it will be the same with heli-skiing, it’s the next level of involvement in something I really love."