Japanuary | Snorkles optional 

All up in the nostrils | shot Keith Stubbs

How can it be so much fun riding through deep snow? The anticipation of a powder day creates a universal energy in a town filled with powder-hounds. The common interest to score that night (night-riding in Niseko is very good) or early the next day is priority, people even leave bars early! Well, the clever ones do anyway.

Ultimate Snow Search Japan guide and shred buddy… Keith Stubbs.

It’s not often shredders here have the privilege of seeing Mt Yōtie, so when she appears, out of respect, we take the time to enjoy the view. I have yet to climb her, but she’s on the list of things-to-do during my trip here. 

I have the pleasure of saying Mum & I are going snowboarding, in Japan! How many of us can say that?!

Niseko Academy road trip – Powder Detours
Ready to shred.
She tears it up. Powder, groomers & park you name it. She’s a legend. Niskeo Academy have a more senior Powder Detour product which gives here the opportunity to shred at a variety of mountains in the area with other people her own ability. Happy days. I joined her on a couple of days earlier in the week which were fun checking out spots in Anapouri Niskeko & a local mountain called Kiroro.  The plan is to ride as much pow as possible within the 3 weeks we have here. A road-trip with Keith Stubbs & friends to Asahidake along with checking out the Sapporo Ice festival. Mean-while we are super stoked to be here and are fortunate to have the opportunity to ride here. Snorkles optional. 

Stubbsy sending it

  

Walk through a fridge door and anything can happen…
 

Hot or cold … 24/7

Westland | Shades of Green

I feel privileged to spend so much time exploring my home country. To some it is an insect sucking, wet & simple part of the world but to me it provides infinite opportunities to explore. The people who I am fortunate to travel with, value a sense of adventure much like me, it is contagious and I love it.

With the wind and sun (sometimes) on me I ride the VBT bike with up to 20 guests down some of the most beautiful highway in the world. I hear the waterfalls, see the tree canopy above me and feel so much more on a bike. Being on tour allows me to balance the food indulgence and physical activity perfectly!

With up to 6 tours a Summer, the time away from Wanaka can be tough. When driving & riding toward Central Otago I see the shades of green fade and the tones of brown remind me of home. It’s great to be back.

I am currently in Hokitika during the 3rd tour of the season and we were just treated to another epic sun-set. Enjoy the shots from the tours so far along with a favorite quote.

Look deep into nature and you will understand ~ Albert Einstein

 

Keen as for Summer!

It was a fun afternoon charging around the Millennium track with Dom Channon, bikes and cameras. The awesome crew at Icebreaker needed some photos of their new Corespun merino so we found a cool beach and went to work. A huge thanks to Dom for his time & creativity along with Icebreaker for the continued support!

The summer ahead seems like a great balance between sun & snow… There are a couple of bike trips lined up with VBT which will mean plenty of exploring on the West coast of the South Island. We stay in Hokitika, Frans Joesef, Moeraki, Queenstown & Christchurch.

If you happen to be in Japan late Janurary & early Feb, hit me up! I’ll be shredding pow with my Mum (who also rides) in the Niseko area.

 

 

Road Trip | 2382km through Chile

Our truck skids toward a barrier, we narrowly miss an oncoming 4×4 with trailer in tow. The dust settles and we almost shit ourselves. In contrast to the locals chilled out lifestyle and ‘Chilean Time’ they can be hectic drivers! Fortunately my co-pilots Sam & Keith were above average back-seat drivers and kept us safe while driving our late model Nissan truck.

Sam Smith, Keith Stubbs and I had just finished a super busy time representing SBINZ in Ushuaia, Argentina and it was time to enjoy some more of what South America had to offer. We said our goodbyes to the rest of the team in Santiago and checked into somewhere central city.
Chilean flags were everywhere as they celebrated their national day. We jumped at our first opportunity to buy one from a guy at a toll gate and strap it to the hood of our Wicked Camper 4×4. It almost helped us blend in although we were mistaken for Gringos most of the time until we said All Blacks or New Zealand when questioned. How instant their attitude changed, two islands off the coast of Chile we would say and it was all good from there.
Check this epic snap-shot of the trip by Keith Stubbs:
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/140530575″>Chile Time</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/keithstubbs”>Keith Stubbs</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>
The snow in La Plava was average, firm and fast however the friendly locals – some of which the boys and I had met during Interski made up for it! The start of each day there would consist of packing up our camper, hanging out with the snow school and sampling their traditional BBQ. We met up the infamous Diaz family, all of which are somehow connected to the snow industry through instruction, professional riding/skiing and accommodation.  We shared stories from where each of us had traveled to while we sampled the local beer.
From here we set off south of Santiago, deep into the hills of Chillån and rode Farrilones, Nevados de Chillan, and Corralco. Classic spring conditions for the most part with a couple of powder days in the Nevados area.  There is plenty of terrain to choose from and super friendly local instructors to show us around which was great for us! Pretty much all our lift passes were taken care of in exchange for a couple of photos to help boost their social media. Corralco Resort was one of the finest we visited. Perched on the side of a volcano we had the pleasure of enjoying sun filled days as we build a kicker in one of the natural pipes.
After chatting with the locals, we learned of a locals hot pool 15km off the road down a winding gravel road. Nestled in the trees and bush – very similar to NZ was a wooden hut and natural springs. We soon realised we were the only foreigners there and it was not long until we chatted with each other, sharing an insight of where we had come from and where our path was to lead us.
After spending all this time in the mountains and sunshine, we figured a night on the coast was the perfect way to finish up our trip. Pichilemu was our beach town of choice on the way home. We packed away our snowboards after riding some of Chile’s finest mountains and decided to enjoy the coast. Expecting a bustling surf beach town with bikinis, boardshorts and BBQ, we turned up to find much of the town very sleepy! It did not phase us too much in the end because our bodies needed a break from the late nights and socialising. We used the 4×4 to drive along the beach until we found a spot to enjoy the sunset. Campfire, dinner and cervezas on the beach was definitely a highlight. Our accommodation that night – a million billion star rating. It was so refreshing to enjoy a complete contrast to the last few weeks and spend time reflecting on the trip in South America.

What a privilage to see such a beautiful country. Even though we were a huge ocean apart, because of the similar latitude many times it felt like home. The simple life, qualities of Chile & South America we can all admire.

It’s a wrap! | Ushuaia, Argentina

It was an incredible week meeting snowboarding representatives from around the globe. Interski gave SBINZ & NZSIA an opportunity to showcase how strong we are as an organisation. We showed strength in our on and off snow clinics and made connections with ski areas from all over the world. 

From here we can take information and a fresh insight home to our membership in New Zealand. We look forward to running clinics throughout the country to further enrich our snowboarding. 

Check out the latest of our videos and see www.interski.nzsia.org for our other write ups & video. 

https://vimeo.com/139429360 

From here… Sam, Keith and I enjoy a road trip through Chile in search of pow! 

   Photo: PSIA 

Photo: PSIA  

  
    
    
 

  
Chilling in Chile… La Parva – high above Santiago.

Treble Cone Banked slalom | Riding with Giants

A great day for snowboarding…

The 2015 DB Banked Slalom starring a mix of local and pro riders including Terje Haakonsen, Danny Davis, Mikkel Bang, Scotty Lago, Ben Ferguson and Amber Schuecker was battled out on one of Treble Cone’s natural halfpipes. My result was not quite as good as last year because of a wee crash, however I managed 10th. Thanks to Thierry Huet Professional Photographer & Sponsors DB Export and Never Summer NZ.

Bringing it back to how the sport started… Bring on a New Zealand/Southern Lakes Series I say!

Official Video by 360 New Zealand
  
  
  
  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC0Mtqdwao4

Treble Cone Opening Day 2015 |Getting Layered

For months the anticipation has been growing. Only recently I have been enjoying more Summer in my life so the thought of snowboarding again, especially at Treble Cone got me stoked. Icebreaker ran a Get Layered gig giving away socks keeping people’s toes warm.

Icebreaker Ambassadors
Icebreaker Ambassadors Sam Lee & Brit Hawes – and Finn!
Freshies all day Photo: www.360newzealand.com
Freshies all day
Photo: http://www.360newzealand.com

We pulled into the carpark at TC and there was hardly anyone there! I guess turning up over an hour before the lifts open that was bound to happen. The froth was thick.

Britt Hawes  Photo: www.360newzealand.com
Britt Hawes
Photo: http://www.360newzealand.com

Great conditions on and off trail and the whole mountain is open!

Stoked on euro carving Photo: www.360newzealand.com
Stoked on euro carving down Main Street
Photo: http://www.360newzealand.com
Sam Lee charging Photo: www.360newzealand.com
Sam Lee charging – such dry snow!
Photo: http://www.360newzealand.com

Huge thanks to Keith from 360nz who snapped some great shots, Treble Cone & Icebreaker for creating a great day on the hill.

Treble Cone Lift station go Layered with Icebreaker
Treble Cone Lift station got Layered with Icebreaker

Last week: A few days at Coronet Peak, Queenstown  was a great place to get the legs back. SBINZ Trainers Training lasted 3 days and it was great to shred with the crew again. We practiced our Interski presentation and made time to shred freshies. It is super important that our whole team connect pre-season and re-calibrated our training eye. It feels good knowing that good things are in place for an awesome season ahead.

Riding into the Alps | Aspiring Hut bike packing 

Few people will venture beyond the sealed road along the Matukituki valley. Especially with a mountain bike! I had ridden this track to Aspiring but before, but this time we planned to stay over night.

Sheep are awesome!
On the right track

Within 2.5 hours we drove out of Wanaka and ridden up the valley while taking photos along the way. Only a few river crossings to tend with which made both driving and riding great fun! Memories of jumping in puddles those years ago flood back to me.

Continue reading Riding into the Alps | Aspiring Hut bike packing 

Welcome to Kenya | Adventure of a lifetime

It felt good to see the local people believe in the value of tourism. Especially those that lived near the conservancy. Health care, education, transport and general well being are heavily supported by the revenue gathered from tourism. This video is dedicated to the Rangers of Borana and Lewa Conservancy. Many thanks to Flick & Sam and the owners of Borana Lodge, Michael and Nicky Dyre. Support from Icebreaker Merino and Say Yes to Adventure Magazine is very appreciated. Nick Yuki and the Masi locals at Ololokwe for their beautiful music.

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