What a great season for Banked Slaloms! A very large THANK YOU to all the riders, sponsors, resorts, event crew and supporters to help make these events possible.
TC – 2nd & 3rd
Mt Hutt – 1st
Shredders waiting to drop… Wanaka Beerworks Treble Cone Banked Slalom
Caldron – 3rd
Coronet Peak – 3rd
These events bring the snowboarding community together like no other event. The majority of events I have been to over the years have sold out out because of the atmosphere and good times. Stoked to have stood on the podium 4/4 times this season and rode with a great crew of friends each time. Big thanks to NeverSummer, Candygrind, Icebreaker & Outside Sports. Your support is very much appreciated.
Bring on an even bigger Banked Slalom scene in New Zealand next year… Let’s turn this into a festival…
A huge thanks to all the competitors, supporters and organisers who helped make the Banked Slalom a great day. Almost 100 shredders turned up for the annual event which was held in the famous Gun Barrel on Treble Cone.
I cannot think of a better way to celebrate snowboarding and the fun people an event like this brings together. Originating from the CORE of snowboarding, this type of gathering stays true to it’s roots and always delivers a great atmosphere. A tight and technical course made it challenging, even for the seasoned riders and the light made for some interesting line choices.
Banked slaloms in NZ so far…
Cardrona Alpine Resort
Check out the event video produced by myself and the talented team at 360newzealand.
There is a constant layer of frost in my backyard that continues to remind me winter is here to stay. The mountains start opening this weekend and there are plenty of excited people in town anticipating a great season ahead!
Tom & I hit the road bound for Treble Cone’s access road. Maybe we should’ve ridden from town but our coffees would spill.
With a very short warm-up, we ride from the TC arch and start shedding layers…
Fitness aside, food preparation for a ride like this is critical. After experiencing the early stages of being hangry two years ago, I had to ensure the perfect snacks and lunch was packed for the 125km ride. Wrap ingredients from Fedeli were ideal!
The EPIC ride clockwise day ride around Lake Hawea was my first so it was important to pace myself and spread out my energy. As we jostled for position, staying with a pack of riders with similar cadence seemed to work well. Cheers of support from the friendly farmers and locals made all the difference, especially those at Hunter Valley station!
Saying we walked the Routeburn sounds so boring… We Strolled the Routeburn and soaked in all her glory! With the size of our packs, we really had no choice …
It’s been 18 years since I last had the fortune to spend time on this track, well worth the return and the company I had made it that much better. Ashley, Erin and I spent 2 nights and almost 3 days on the track staying in the DOC huts along the way.
The biggest difference I noticed this time was the massive decrease in bird life. The introduced Stoat aka the incredibly well adapted native bird killer were prolific and were the main cause behind the dramatic drop in bird life. Once teaming with a frenzy of bird calls and vibrant bush, we were left with a green paradise left in silence, with only the sound of a booming waterfall in the distance.
To say the DOC staff were oozing with passion for nature was an understatement. Each night they would present a conservation speech to the happy campers.
Each night we rested our legs and reflected on the day of strolling through paradise. Even without the Kiwi, Tui, Kakapo and other natives we were still treated to a gizillion waterfalls, streams, lush bush and springs we could drink from along the way.
Cruising Milford was the cherry on top… We marveled at 140km gusts and what they did to the water over the narrow Fiord. Trickles turned into Gushers and Waterfalls turned into Water-ups!
I hope in another 18 years we can return to the area with the new generation of nature lovers and cherish the native birds once again while we stroll through paradise.
After spending much of my Summer guiding multi day cycle trips down the West Coast of the South Island, it was time to hit the trails – at my own pace! Tommy Parker, Keith Stubbs and I packed up my truck with the necessities, including a decent rain jacket, snacks & headed toward the Alps. From Wanaka, it was going to take 3.5 hours to get to Frans Josef where there is a 4km loop track, just north of the township. After hearing of the recent deluge there, we were happy to know the track was intact, due to a passionate few local shredders.
It gets me stoked to know the local councils and government is pumping cash into creating and extending trails. The West Coast Wilderness trail is over 120km of track that will keep riders with a range of abilities happy. The section from Ross to Hokitika starts off super flat, however the bush near Mahinapua makes for great bush riding with small gradients.
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.
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?!
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.
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