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.
Whoo hoo! Upgrade! A grin from ear to ear as the sweet girl behind the desk issues me my new boarding pass. After 10 years of chasing winter I eventually score leg room. The trip to Japan is off to a great start! Snow, food, monkeys, people and their genuine culture was on my mind… Keith sends through the snow report for Niseko and it looks fantastic! The first couple of days in Japan are filled with face shots, drops and plenty of stories of the fun filled days riding Hirafu. Wang Lei, Keith Stubbs and I rode Park while the sun was shining on Anapuri. Great to see Wang Lei again and it’s exciting to know the potential and momentum of snowboarding growth in China.