" Day Hikes "

Heli-boarding-19

Heli-boarding New Zealand and Mt. Cook National Park

I’ve been down here in New Zealand for what seems like three weeks, but has actually been two months. Time has been moving at warp speed and before I know it I’ll be returning home. I took the first few weeks easy really getting to learn the city I am living in and the varying bars and restaurants as well as what makes the city tick and move, but the last few weeks have been full on.

As I was working down on the South Island for a few weeks I took full advantage of the Southern Alps. We’ve all dreamt of heli-boarding but few of us pockets deep enough to afford it. New Zealand is one of the cheapest place in the world to go. I’d heard mixed reviews about the quality of snow, but I knew not to compare it to the champagne powder of the Rockies. With the dollar being as strong as it is I signed up and flew down to Queenstown for the weekend. I was beyond stoked.

In the days leading up I feverishly checked the snow forecast converting centimeters to inches in my head. I must have called the heli-operator three times leading up to the day. After a bumpy and mountain skimming landing I arrived in town by sunset racing over to the board shop before checking in to the heli shop to fill out the usual liability waiver. I was lucky to score a Jones powder board, which rode amazingly well, despite the massive core shot I put in it.

The wind was increasing, which was evident by our bumpy landing and it had started to snow. It was to be a game time decision in the morning. I was told to expect a phone call around 7:45am if launch was a go. Being me I was up by 6am tossing and turning waiting. The phone rang, I powered through some stretches and breakfast before heading to the docks where we boarded a boat for Mt. Nicholas. It was a beautiful 30 minute sunrise cruise taking in the scenery of Lake Wakatipu with the coastline covered in morning clouds and dew. Mt. Nicholas is a 100,000 acre farm home to 30,000 Merino sheep and over 2,000 cattle. It was also to be our launch pad into the Backranges.

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Mt. Massive Hike

Prior to diving into the Mt. Massive hike I wanted to provide a quick introduction. This is a new territory for myself – sharing. Yeah I know – weird huh? A virgin to all social media services, I never had any desire to be part of the Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Snapchat experience. Not that I am a hipster who thought himself above or better than the individuals who connect or use these services. I understand their purpose – I get it. However it’s not who I am. I lack that emotional connection to want to share or be shared personal stories. Not that I don’t care about friends or acquaintances, I just don’t care enough to read, write, or post. With our South American trip looming Nate wanted us to begin writing about our experiences, to provide a portal to our future travels. I cannot promise that I will start narrating 140 word updates about the pork belly tacos I had on Tuesday night nor will I fill this blog with useful anecdote during our excursions. No promises, just an attempt to finally share and be shared.

With out much further ado…Mt. Massive

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The Three Apostles

Huron Peak Hike

Huron Peak Hike

Date Climbed: 6/28/14
Difficulty: Class 2
Summit Elev.: 14,003 feet
Trailhead Elev.: 10,560 feet
Elevation Gain: 3,500 feet
RT Length: 6.5 miles
Trailhead: Clear Crk./S.Winfield

This ended up being a last minute trip for us and we ended up driving out late Friday night to Buena Vista to camp by the trailhead, however, we were lucky enough to be graced with a beautiful alpenglow. I immediately instructed Nate to pull over and scrambled to gather my camera equipment. Not using it in 3-4 months due to being in for repair it was all a mess. Dead batteries in the remote, filters out of place, a filthy/dusty sensor, etc. I had about 10-15 minutes to get a good shot and a solid timelapse…the results were great.

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