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.
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.
Great conditions on and off trail and the whole mountain is open!
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.
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.
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.
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.
An opportunity to travel to Kenya does not come up very often. Especially with some adventurous people and the destination being a luxury Eco-lodge nestled on a remote ridge called Borana. We were 4 hours north of Nairobi and close to Mt Kenya. With lions and hyena calling during the early hours of the morning, it was easy to wake up and enjoy the view.
Mountain biking at Borana Lodge
Spring water from Mt Kenya
Mt Kenya looking to the South
Borana pool side
Jacqs Yoga Pride Rock
Set high on Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau, Borana’s 32,000 acre conservancy was about to treat us very well. Owned by Michael and Nicky Dyre and managed by Flick (Hollie’s sister) & Sam Taylor. Sam has an important job of looking after many of the rangers that patrol Borana protecting the animals, specifically the Rhino. Lewa conservancy neighbors Borana and the two of them combine is a massive 100,000 acres, home to countless species.
Say Yes to Adventure – the magazine has come to life. Hollie Woodhouse has been dreaming of producing a magazine for over 10 years and last week her dream came true. I can happily say that I have have a part to play with some photography and my very own 4 page story being published! Hollie needed a snowboarding story, so I shared my Japanese adventure which happened a year ago.
While on assignment for 360queenstown-wanaka, I had the pleasure of exploring the Welcome Rock and Roaring Lion cycle trail. Described by the Kennett Brothers as “New Zealand’s finest water-race”, I was in for a treat.
With clear blue skies ahead of me I drove from Wanaka to the Nevis road, which took a little over two hours.
Ski hut is the first of three huts, which offer accommodation high up in the hills of the Central Otago high-country. After parking there, I wrote my intentions in the guest book and started riding anti-clockwise around one of the best Central Otago rides today. There were enough supplies for two days with plenty of chocolate and curiosity.
The first part of the trail is a gentle up hill toward Welcome Rock. Smooth berms and corners lined with local schist stone made for fun riding, as I made my way up to the historic meeting point. Welcome Rock was an iconic place of trade over 100 years ago when Chinese miners lived there in search of a fortune. As the story goes, a bottle of whiskey was stashed among the mossy rocks for an emergency drink… After a few minutes of searching, none was to be found!
While hanging out with Dad, we decided to go for a last minute flight over the local rivers. He flew in the red & grey Moth and for much of the flight we flew side by side.
Classic Flights Wanaka took us on a flight of a lifetime. These Tiger Moths bring the soul back to flying. In total over 8,700 Tiger Moths have been built, 4,200 for the RAF alone. This type is credited with training thousands of pilots for the Allied war effort and remained in service until as late as 1951 in the UK and 1955 in New Zealand.
They were developed in the 1930’s and had 120 – 145hp engines. These particular Tiger Moths were built in New Zealand in 1941.
Check out this 50 second clip of the Tiger Moth experience.
There are may things in this wonderful world that makes me tick. Without a back-to-back winter this year, snowboarding has taken the back seat and surfing stepped forward. Well, not the salty kind but the next best thing.
River works started and the wave was built in late 2012. Located on the Hawea River at Camphill Bridge, the Hawea Whitewater Park (or Hawea Wave as it’s called by most) is a man-made structure within the Hawea River itself. The park has two river waves for kayakers and rafters, bodyboarders and surfers, to play and train on. When the Hawea Dam is released, the correct water flow provides the perfect standing wave.
The Hawea River flow is managed by Contact Energy, specifically for electricity generation. Releases are made based on power requirements. From the 1st of September to 31st of January Contact Energy are required to ensure that the flow is kept between 10 to 60 cumecs. About 50 cumecs is one of the best flows and has helped me learn to surf on a Rincon 6ft board.
If there is a community group with enough momentum behind it, they can request flow rates. Join and support Camphill Surfers and we can get the waves we need! An unexpected bonus this summer. With a fun crew to challenge each other we have spent hours at the wave till dusk searching for the next best slash or trick.
My Dad calls me up and tells me he there are some special guests coming to stay at the B&B. Being my curious self, I wondered who it could be. While on a break from cycle touring, I was fortunate to meet Ros and Hugh Cole-Baker. They are traveling the length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa Trail to raise awareness for the need for more live kidney donors. Ros gave one of her kidneys to her husband Hugh October 2013 and have almost completed a challenge worth sharing.
The duo set off late September 2014 from Cape Reinga and have been walking and biking the length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa trail. During their visit in Wanaka, my Dad hosted them while the enjoyed local walks and rides around town. I Was fortunate to meet up with them for a hike up Mt Iron followed by an interview with the Otago Daily Times.
If you would like to find out more about Kidney Health New Zealand they are more than willing to answer any questions ranging from dialysis to transplants.
What is Kidney disease?
Your kidneys clean your blood by working as a filter to remove water and wastes from your body. Kidney disease damages these filters so they don’t do their job properly.
Kidney disease usually affects both kidneys and may also damage other parts of your body, such as your heart.
When enough of the filters are damaged, the body will fill up with excess wastes and water. This is called kidney failure. It can happen when you have kidney disease for a long period of time (chronic kidney disease).
Kidney failure is fatal if not treated by either dialysis or a kidney transplant.
The role of KHNZ:
To fund research into the prevention, early detection and cure of kidney disease.
Provide education and support in the recognition of the symptoms of kidney disease.
Provide resource information concerning the treatment and management of patients with kidney disease.
To promote the donation of kidneys and other organs and tissue for transplantation.
Liaise with and support patient Support Groups
It is becoming increasingly likely that anyone of us or family members will be in some way affected by Kidney disease. To learn about a donation to help with prevention, support and research please visit here.
2014 finished of with fun travels and great news! I have been fortunate create a relationship with a company born and bred here in New Zealand that I have looked up to and respected from day one. Icebreaker have chosen me as one of their ambassadors leading into the new year. Stoked!
It all started when they needed snowboarders for a commercial during the winter. I put my hand up! Before I knew it I was sitting down with their Marketing Co-ordinator and Inhouse Producer a few weeks later. They kindly sent me new merino threads which will be great for the antics ahead – and because it does not hold odor, I will be doing less laundry. Happy days…
Some other good news is finding out that my story on Japan has been selected to feature in Say YES to Adventure Magazine! An amazing New Zealand publication that is raising money to help protect the Rhino and Elephant on the Laikipia Plains in Kenya. Read more about it here. Perhaps your story will feature in Volume 2?