Whenever I travel anywhere, I like to make a point to see and experience as much as possible of what the area has to offer. So many people come here to ski and by just hanging out in Wanaka, end up deprive themselves of some truly unique and amazing opportunities.
This being said, my friend Trevor and I decided to go on a few day adventure around a good chunk of the South island. We started by heading straight to the West coast in search of some sunny beaches.
Right off the bat, beautiful sights surrounded us, like this 360 degree rainbowish sun spot:
We stopped along the way to explore a few water falls:
And there is was, the ocean. The west coast of New Zealand is actually the Tasman sea, which separates NZ from Aussie:
Its easy to take cool pictures here:
Plenty of shoreline caves to explore:
Then we headed north to the Fox Glacier:
We hiked around on the glacier until the sun began to set:
Then we set up camp and went to bed. In the morning we had to chase away a few pesky and persistent flightless birds that resembled little chickens:
Then we headed East through spectacular Arthur's Pass to go skiing at the infamous "club fields". These are tiny, privately owned and operated ski fields deep (and high) in the mountains. They are only accessible by gnarly one way, 4-wheel drive logging roads.
I have skied a lot of places in my day, but NOTHING ever has compared to the experience of Broken River. HOLY SHIT!!!! That place is nuts, more about this later.
We didn't make it too far without having to stop to put some chains on:
Although there are a few club fields (all near each other), we had heard the most about a place called Broken River so we decided to head there.
After making it up to the tiny 20 car parking lot, we loaded our gear onto the "goods lift". This lift is only for gear, not people. You press a button and off goes your gear high up into the mountains:
Then you hike 30-40 minutes straight up on a sketchy, snow covered walking path to get your ticket. There were a total of 13 people (including us) there that day, and most of them I think stayed in the lodge.
After hiking up to the ticket office and base camp, you get yourself a device that resembles a weight lifting belt. Attached to it is a "nut cracker". You put this around your waist and that's exactly where it stays, all day. Yep, thats right. You ski the BC with this on you at all times. Why you ask? Because there are no lifts at Broken River, just a series of rope tows that take you up to some of the dopest skiing around.
There are no lift operators either, you press the button at the bottom of the rope tow and a timer automatically shuts the lift off after you get off. You ski up next to the very fast moving rope and attach your nut cracker to the rope. Then you hang on for dear life as you pass through numerous pulleys that threaten to take your hand off every time you go through one. Then you have to look back and pull the rope up onto the pulley after each one. Riding the tows was the most exhausting part of the day by far, quite a work out.
Then it was time for some lunch, and in true NZ style I had a venison meat pie:
Fortunately this is no Vail Resort, you are welcome to cook your own food, and you do your own dishes:
Then we headed back out to get some more goods:
To get back to your car, you ski out of bounds down a different drainage:
Then you cross a stream and traverse back down the logging road:
Broken River is by far the most incredible skiing experience I have ever had, thank you so much Megan for hooking us up with tickets, we'll definitely be back next year! To learn more about Broken River, check out their web site: brokenriver.co.nz
We continued our adventure to the East coast where we spent the night in the second largest city in NZ (largest on the South Island), Christ Church.
Yep, this is Chist's church all right:
After some dinner, we grabbed a few locally brewed Kiwi beers:
Hell yeah, Wisconsin represent! A restaurant in the middle of down town Christ Church named after my home state:
Then we investigated the East coast of New Zealand, the South Pacific:
We started our drive back towards Wanaka and cruised by Mt. Cook:
And of course saw our fair share of flocks of sheep:
Wanaka welcomes us back:
With limited time remaining here, I have been hitting the park everyday. Also taking a few pics in my spare time. Here Tanner works on his double which he has already begun throwing into the middle of his pipe run:
For more on this, check out an article I just put together on the front page of RedBullSkiing.com entitled "RED BULL SWEEPS PODIUM AT NZ OPEN".
Look for my next blog update dropping soon, detailing my 7 day long competition judging spree of Remarkables Slopestyle, NZ Open Pipe, Slopestyle, and Big Mountain.
Thanks for reading!