Luckily for whoever is reading this, I'm not going to tell you my life story or about every adventure I've had over the past 7 years. Instead, I'm starting it from my most recent trip to New Zealand last June.
This was my second visit to NZ, i had spent a year living there in 2011 and had been trying to find a way back ever since. After persistent emails and bugging as many shops as i could in Wanaka, i was lucky to be offered a job in a very well known ski shop. They were willing to sponsor me as a workshop tech.
NZ is a very special place, its hard to put into words how unique it really is.....but i'll try.
First and foremost the locals are incredibly friendly, they will go out of their way to help a stranger(something i feel is lost in the UK now) Secondly, the surroundings are so stunning that it takes you breath away. The mountains rise up of of the flats in the Canterbury region. Otago has huge jagged peaks as far as you can see. Abel Tasman has beautiful clear waters and tropical climates. The North Island has its own beauty,maybe not as dramatic as the south island.......but if you visit the Coromandel or the Northlands then you find a completely different type of beauty. I will never forget campaign on the beach, waking up at sunrise to dolphins playing in the water just off the shore.
Thirdly, and probably the best reason to go there is the lifestyle. You aren't constantly asked what you do for a job, instead you are asked what do you do in you spare time. The work/play balance definitely tips in favour of play. Its all about being outdoors, enjoying what nature has given us and making the most of it with you friends.
In Wanaka everyone goes to a bar called 'Kai whaka Pai' on the lake front, it has a great vibe and is full of people stoked on the day they have just had.
So as you can see, i have a soft spot for NZ
But back to the winter.
Although this winter i didn't really go on any adventures as such due to snow conditions not being great, i still had a great season riding.
We had a really good crew at the shop who went up to Treble Cone as much as possible to get their turns.
Treble Cone is one of Wanaka's nearest mountains along with Cardrona. TC is a very steep mountain that will definitely test you. The snow is usually hard packed, the terrain is full of couloirs, cliff drops and natural hits. There are two lifts which access two areas, the best of which is the Saddle Basin. You can spend the whole day lapping the same lift but each time can be bitting a new line or finding perfect natural drops. The level of locals here is insane, especially when the likes of Sam Smoothy and Will Jackways are cruising about.
The workshop was pretty full on, we are know for the quality of servicing so we usually had a lot to do especially with the condition not being great. A lot of people hit a lot of rocks....
The end of the season was crazy hot. 27 days straight of sunshine made for great spring snow and our staff party involved taking a speed boat to a secluded cove where we had a big BBQ and party.....it was a perfect way to end the season.
All that followed was the long flight back home...