Hey everyone. Last time you heard from me, I was

surfing and skiing in New Zealand. Since that update, I spent another two

months in NZ before I came home in December. So here is how I spent those two

months.

First, I went to this place called the pancake

rocks. It was super jagged coastline and all of the rocks were layered, like

someone had stacked a huge amount of pancakes up and left em there.

There were also good waves there, so I went

surfing for a bit, and it was great

I spent a lot of nights sleeping on beaches, because I was

to poor to afford accommodation. This is one of the sunsets on the west coast

after surfing at the beach all day.

I then decided to do a 3-day solo hike up to Mt.

Angelus. It’s a lesser known hike, but is really gorgeous. The cool thing is

that it’s a fairly challenging hike, as it takes 8 hours in and 10 hours out

over knife ridges and snow crossings.

It started up a super steep section that took

you above this huge lake.

Then the trail flattened out and went along what

is called Roberts ridge. Here is a huge cairn showing the way to go

This is the trail up to Roberts ridge. The ridge

is the whole way across to the left.

The views from the ridge were amazing

After making it most of the way across the

ridge, I had to do this crazy snow crossing, that would have ended badly if I

slipped and slid into the rocks at the bottom. I was stupid, and didn’t have an

ice axe with me, but at this point, I was already 6 hours into the hike, and

had no chance of turning around.

This fence post is about 4 feet tall…

About halfway across the snow, I realized that I

had just finished my water. So I went to get my other water bottle, which I

couldn’t find. After freaking out for about five minutes I realized that I had

left it in the car. I had also left my water purifier with it. So I boiled a

pot of snow and filtered it through my bandanna so I could have drinking water

for the rest of the day. For the rest of the trip I boiled snow and lake water

for all of my drinking needs.

Once I made it past the snow, I had to cross a

gnarly knife ridge, where if you fell you died. See next pic for what you would

have gone tumbling down if you slipped.

Yeah you don’t fall here.

Once I made it across the ridge of death, I saw

my final destination, which is the hut in the bottom left corner of the pic.

The rest of the valley is a huge lake that was still frozen from the winter. It

was an epic place to chill out.

I got set up and watched the sun set behind the

mountain.

A candle and nutella is all that a person really

needs to make it through a cold night.

The next morning I woke up with the sunrise,

took some pictures, and went right back to bed for about three hours.

After I finally woke up for real, I went on a

day hike. The mountain in the background is Mt. Angelus. I wanted to climb it,

but since I didn’t have the equipment to do it safely, I decided against it and

went down a creek bed instead

On the way down there were some really cool

things, like this little yellow flower,

This gorgeous waterfall,

That disappeared into the snow,

And this crazy leaf that reflected water into

the coolest shapes ever.

The next day I went down another track, called the

Speargrass route, which was straight down a fault line. See the difference in

the two sides of the valley? That’s where two tectonic plates meet. It was

crazy how one side is really mellow and the other side is just a jagged scree

field of death.

Here are a few pics from the walk down

About halfway down I stopped at a hut for lunch.

This possum tail was hanging on one of the coat racks. Possums are a big

problem here, as they are at the top of the food chain, and are killing off all

of the native species. So if you see a possum you are supposed to kill it however

you can. Any way is encouraged: beating with a blunt instrument, throwing

rocks, shooting it, or running it over. Possums are mostly killed by cars on

the highways, and my kill count with my car was 4. Apparently someone wanted to

show off their kill here.

After the hike I stopped for a few days at The

Lazy Shag Backpackers in Kaikoura. This was one of the coolest backpackers I've

been to in nz.

About twenty minutes away from the lazy shag was a

break called mangamaunu. It was a super sick right point break that I played on

for two days before the swell went flat.

Since the waves were flat, I decided to drive back

to Dunedin, which was my home in New Zealand.

On the way there I stopped by the moerki

boulders, which are a set of naturally occurring spherical boulders that just

chill on a beach.

Once I got back to Dunedin I saw this really cool tag. There

was lots of graffiti like this all around town. They definitely were some of

the coolest stencils I have ever seen.

Most of my friends had gone back to America, so the

few friends that were still around and I did a lot of cool stuff to keep

ourselves entertained.

On the way to one of the beaches there was

Cedric’s boat in the harbor.

Sadly we didn’t see ced around. I was hoping to

see that crazy pirate!

Without pirates to worry about, we drove to the

beach.

We finally made it to Aromoana beach. This is

where I first went surfing.

Me standing in the keyhole rock with Chad

climbing up to join me.

Then we walked to the other side of the rock and

got these sunset shots

Sadly I had to leave New Zealand shortly after

that, but I got one last day of surfing at St. Claire’s, which had really good

waves for my last day

After leaving NZ I went to Fiji for Five days,

which was fantastic. I had spent the whole winter working and saving up for

those four days, and because of that I got to stay at Matanivusi eco surf

resort. This place is a five star surf resort that is essentially heaven on

earth if you are a surfer. Heck its heaven on earth for anybody.  I mean look at the place!

The pool, with the dining area and bar in the

background

Inside the dining area

The Bedroom.

We woke up early to go and surf.

You have to go out by boat to make it to the

breaks, as the waves break over reefs about a half mile out to sea

This is a picture of Shifties when it is really

pumping. This is where I surfed the whole time. It never got this big, but im

sort of happy about that, because I would have been really scared, since the

water is about 3 feet deep and the bottom is a razor sharp reef.

The wave standing up

And breaking into a nice barrel

I only hit the reef once, and I only got a

little scratched up.

After spending the whole morning surfing, we

trolled for some fish. I caught this barracuda. We turned this fearsome hunter

into fish sticks. Mmmm fish sticks…

Matanivusi has the best pool ever.

When I wasn’t surfing, fishing, or snorkeling

this was my view from the lounge chair by the pool.

I also spent a lot of time chilling with the

cat.

The food here was epic. This is stir fry, with

the coolest presentation of rice that ive ever seen. They really know how to

make food there.

Oh yeah, here are a few pics of a tropical

sunset for ya

The dog in the picture is named Mercedes. She

will only fetch rocks for some reason. If you throw a ball she’ll chase after

it and bring a rock back.

On the second to last night, the staff and local

villagers had a kava session at the resort. Kava is a mild narcotic that makes

your whole body go sort of numb. In fact it was almost marketed in the USA as a

natural alternative to Valium. It tastes like death, but it is a really good

social lubricant. The ceremony was really cool; they played music, talked, and

passed the kava coconut around all night.

The other two guests and I loved the kava

session.

Then the staff made us stand up and dance. It’s

hard to dance when your body is numb from kava…

This is a pic of Brian and Donna. They are the

owners and creators of matanivusi eco-surf resort. They are truly some of the

best people I have met in my life. They took me in like I was part of their

family. Make sure to check out the website for the resort at http://www.surfingfiji.com. And if you’re ever

going to go on a surf vacation, check it out. It will be well worth your while.

I then hopped on a plane, and flew directly into

winter.

After getting all my ski gear together I went

back to my parents house in Salida to ski Monarch, the resort where I grew up

skiing. This is the view from my front door. When I woke up and saw the fresh

snow and sun, I booked it to the mountain.

I got ready in the parking lot as fast as I

could

My mom and I were stoked to get some fresh pow,

But it turned out that it hadn’t snowed that

much on the mountain, and that the last big dump had been a few days before.

I was really stoked to try out my new 4frnt

EHP’s. The 186’s, which are the model I have here, are rockered, and I was

excited to see if rockers lived up to the hype.

Luckily I know all the stashes around the

mountain. Here I am dropping a mini cornice to switch.

So it turns out that the rockered EHP’s live up

to the hype.

They are definitely amazing skis.

After we skied out all the stashes, we went and

hit up some of the tracked out areas. I found some untouched stuff and skied it

switch.

Shredding switch in pow is super fun, and the

rockered ski makes it so much easier.

Check out the 4frnt EHP at Jibij

Peace out everyone. Have a great winter and hope

for snow!


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