The first cold wind of winter might’ve just hit your face, but way down deep on the other side of the world–it’s been winter all summer. TransWorld hopped an all-nighter flight across the international dateline to catch some September powder slashers in New Zealand, and damnit if we didn’t witness the biggest dump the land of Hobbits has seen all year. Now, it’s no walk in the park traveling as an American these days thanks to our man in the White House, so instead of a pack of Yanks, we brought along strictly Canadians–everyone loves them, right? Photo-man Scott Serfas, Jesse Fox, Gaetan Chanut, Jon Cartwright, and oh yeah, the token Finn, Paavo Tikkanen.
A puddle-jumper flight from Auckland on the north island brought us down south to Queenstown, where we literally went straight from the airport to the resort at Coronet Peak and got our shred on. It was sunny, after all, and you don’t waste a bluebird day in New Zealand. Weather fronts can move through in ten minute’s time, and since New Zealand really is just a tiny island in the middle of a gigantic ocean, there’s no telling where the next storm might come from.
Anyway, over the next twelve days we rode halfpipe at Coronet Peak and sussed out The Remarkables before moving north to the Wanaka area, where we encountered an insane park setup at Snowpark, rolling bowls at Cardrona, and finally, the high-up rocky terrain of Treble Cone. After waiting out a nasty set of cold fronts that puked rain all over the valley floor (which means snow up high!), we finally awoke to a paradise of crystal blue skies, and yeah–powder. So up the winding road to Treble Cone, bypass the chain-up station (no time, we’re trying get fresh tracks here), and into the muddy parking lot of the resort…already packed with the dinged-up cars of every local who’d beat us to the goods. Oh well, it was still sweet.
Keep an eye out in the upcoming issues of TransWorld SNOWboarding for a full account of our insane trip to the land of down undah, complete with pretty pictures and of course a ten-thousand word think piece of a story categorically exploring the impact of tourism on the New Zealand market economy. Just kidding–about the story, not the pretty pictures.