Friday, 10 July 2015

Great Start to 2015 New Zealand Ski Season

Well after a pretty terrible ski season last year....we've started with a bang down under here in New Zealand....

Tarn Basin, Craigieburn Range photo by Gordie Lees

 Mr Kingswood - Alex Herbert sends it in the Middle Chutes at Craigieburn Ski Field. Photo Geoff Browne

Mount Olympus with another 25cms top up about to get carved up!

Mount O getting tracked out good & proper

Geoff Browne getting the goods at Craigieburn Ski Field photo by Alex Herbert

Looking towards Mount Cheeseman, Tarn Basin photo by Gordie Lees

The Craigieburn Range scored over 1 meter of snow about 3 weeks ago and with subsequent top-ups of 30cms, 20cms and 25cms we've been scoring great powder and last season is a distant memory!

Marker Kingpin AT Binding ready to go

On the GEAR front I was really trying to lighten up my AT set up as I'm continually finding myself doing more skinning...getting away from it all and skiing new, interesting lines or just getting quality, fresh pow in a bowl with my buddies.

So this season I've added the new Marker KINGPIN AT bindings into the quiver - mounting them on my 189cms SkiLogik Bombsquads. I've had 5 days on the Kingpins and have totally enjoyed the experience...can't fault them really...easy to fit my boots into the pin system, they don't even ice up which I was warned about....Totally bomber on the downhill too and have a few different settings for touring when you're on the up...very easy to use as they have a little rim to aim for when you're putting your toe in - aim for this - line up the pins - and you're in. Done!

The Marker Kingpin 13 has a pin system in the toe like the Dynafit

I've been really enjoying surfing more on my SUP...the past 3 winters and it's been a great way to train your core for upcoming rope tow travel, skinning up and bombing it down when you've got the froth....I've also added the usual MTBiking (gotta have a bike if you live in Christchurch), some hiking, swimming & yoga (for when the busy work life takes hold a bit too much;-).

Surfers enjoying beautiful lines at Sumner Beach, Christchurch. Southern Alps in the background!

Paul skinning up Foggy Peak photo by Marcus Cullen

I was stoked to skin-up FOGGY PEAK (1741m) with my old ski buddy Marco and had the pleasure skinning & skiing directly back to the car at PORTER'S PASS (942m).

It's a good 800m vert, fairly consistent with a couple of false summits just for good measure. After the 1 meter dump it rained (probably what has caused us to have such a great base) and so it was pretty firm, but we managed to find a nice line to skiers left which had been nicely wind buffed and made for some lovely chalky early season turns with superb views over the Canterbury Plains.  Job done & a good early outing under the belt.

Views of the Canterbury Plains plastered in snow June, 2015

Marco on the top of Foggy looking towards Castle Hill Peak - another good AT day trip

Sublime views over the Craigieburn Range

Here's a few parting shots of the stunning MOUNT OLYMPUS...Playground of the Gods

 The Sphinx, Mount Olympus plastered with new snow

 View of Lake Coleridge from Mt. Olympus about to ski 'Parson's dollar' and I even met the infamous Derek Parsons on the day...his friendly face is always up at Mt.O!

 What a beautiful finish to a powder day at Mt. O.....

Well here's to more of the good white stuff and tearing up beautiful lines in epic powder. It's shaping up to be a very phat season with some opportunities to ski some of those dream lines!

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