Waiting for the skiing season to start can sometimes feel like an eternity. But then it’s suddenly there: The first snows covering the Southern Alps in white goodness. The past two weeks have clearly marked the beginning of winter, temperatures have fallen and the summits around Queenstown and Wanaka are now white and promising. Time to have a look at what to expect of the new Heli-skiing season that is about to start at the beginning of next month
First things first: Our former Chief Guide, Mark Sedon, has decided to focus more on his other work like the Mountain Film Festival. After seven years he steps down from the position and will work as one of our lead guides this season. In his footsteps follows one of our most experienced guides, Queenstown local Mike Madden. Mike runs his own mountain guiding business and has worked as supervising guide for Harris Mountains Heli-ski for two years. He will now take on the role as chief guide and oversee the annual training for our guiding team later this month.
We expect all our guides to return within the next few weeks. Most of them have worked in the Northern Hemisphere over summer: Roger returns from another heli-skiing season in the Himalaya, Hugh leaves the snowy vastness of Alaska to come back home and Whitney just finished a season of ski-touring in China and Norway before coming back to New Zealand.
Some of our guides are attending the Southern Hemisphere Alpine Conference held in Christchurch this month, to keep up with the international trends in alpine snow safety.
Early weather indications suggest that we will have a cracking winter 2019 with a stable snow base already building up. We are planning to not only ski the local mountains around Wanaka and Queenstown but also continue our successful collaboration in the Mount Cook area. We had a lot of epic days up there last season and look forward to going back as soon as possible.
Our strong forward bookings show that many of our returning clients will come back this season. With available spaces filling up quickly, we suggest to book ahead of time. Charter bookings, especially in the month of August, should be organised with the help of our sales team now to avoid any disappointment.
This year our Queenstown team can be found on 19 Shotover Street, directly opposite the clock tower. The Wanaka booking and check-in counter is still located within Racer’s Edge, on 99 Ardmore Street.
HMH manager Hugh Barnard has already set up the office in Wanaka and can’t wait for the season to start: “I am looking forward to a safe and successful season. 2018 was the year of our 40th anniversary and I am happy to say that things are looking great as we move into our next 40 years.”