Tag Archives: Snowboarding

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
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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.

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.

Icebreaker | Ambassador

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?

IMG_4549
Kid’s Bush | Lake Hawea

 

2013 Winter Season: One to remember!

That feeling you get when the pressure is on… deep in the belly and mind. My deep breathes attempt to calm the roller coaster of nerves. As I visualize the course below, flashes of red and blue flags fade away as the mist rolls in over Treble Cone. The NLP skills were coming in handy in both competition and in instructor training.

Continue reading 2013 Winter Season: One to remember!

15th Annual Neil Edgeworth Memorial Banked Slalom

My heart beats faster and butterflies flap furiously. I strap my feet into my bindings and feel the board glide towards the start gate, this wax was a good choice. A blend of Rolling Stones and the announcers voice prepare me for my first run. Breathe!

This event is in memory of Neil Edgeworth, an influential Canadian snowboarder who passed away in 1997 in an avalanche in Chamonix, France while filming a photo shoot with friends.  The first banked slalom was in 1987 and was reintroduced in 1997 with an average of  245 people per year. A record 259 this year!

Once again, the Neil Edgeworth Memorial Banked Slalom was a huge success. Riders young as 9 and old as 67 who love snowboarding come to Big White, BC and enjoy the spirit of competition. Keen riders, mostly from the Okanhagan and BC area ride down a natural gully full of ruts, berms and rollers. Crashes and fast runs are equally cheered with support even coming from the Ridge Rocket chairlift which passes overhead.

Flynn Seddon, Director of Terrain Park at Big White Ski Resort “The Neil Edgeworth banked slalom has defined itself as an epic true spirit gathering for the sport of snowboarding.  The gathering represents what snowboarding is all about and that is friends having fun.  The industry sponsors who support the banked slalom showed just how much it means to be a part of the weekend by donating over $25,000 worth of prizing and $5000 dollars in cash.”

My best time was done on day one, 1:18:98 placing me 1st place from 54 riders in the Male 25-34 category. During the presentation Flynn shared to everyone about my Kidney donation at the beginning of the season. I think it is awesome for people to know that donors can recover quickly and get on with their passions in life, with one of mine being snowboarding with friends.

2012 Neil Edgeworth Memorial results:

Thanks to all the Events & Terrain Park crew, Cathy from BC Snowboard Association, competitors, spectators, families and friends who made all this possible.

Photo credit: Jonnie Millan