The young digger from Bend, Oregon, Austin Smith was on my sketchy flight over to Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand. Had I known he was on the plane we could have held each other as the bird almost went down circling the airport in gale force winds. Miraculously we touched down unscathed, and two hours later met up with Nick. We then swooped on the rental car, and made tracks to our home for the next week and a half in Wanaka just about an hour outside of Queenstown. Wanaka is basically the new Government Camp. If you don’t know, Govey services the town-like needs of everyone summer camping at Mt. Hood. Wanaka has a bit more going on than Govey—food, bars, girls, etc—but it’s essentially the same thing, a global shredders base camp.
Since arriving about a week ago, we’ve been up to most of the local resorts—Treble Cone, Cadrona, and Snow Park where you can currently find DC founder Ken Block rallying his Subaru around Snow Park. Not so much around Snow Park as in it. Aside from towing the DC team into jumps and other features, Ken hit the big table in his car and stomped it—that happened. The resorts have all been really fun, and have offered up good stuff to shoot on. There are no trees at any of the resorts as they’re all above the tree line, but there are plenty of rocks, fences, cat track gaps, and other sweet stuff to send it on.
The weather was sketchy and rainy when we first got here, but since then we’ve had a big storm and the cm’s have been solid. Solis enough to warrant a heli day via Harris Mountain Heli—the most legit crew in town. They took us out to the way back and we got heaps of untracked, untouched, champagne powder. Along the way we also picked up a few more riders. Pat Moore, Robbie Walker, Jake Koia, Danny Garrity have all enlisted in our crew. We’ve got a few more days and we’ll see how it all pans out. Stay tuned for more info and a web video coming soon to a computer screen near you!