Saturday Session of Succulence @ Harris Mountains Heli-ski NZ – September 14th, 2013

Casey Cane | | Featured VideoFeatured Video

What is the best way to spend your last day on a ski vacation?

Heli-skiing is crucial to experience the Southern Alps of New Zealand for snow enthusiasts. Access to the interior of the Southern Alps is extremely tough due to their massive stature without any gradual elevation gain from the plains. This is why most of the ski fields are located on the exterior of the range…it is just too difficult to throw in a road and build a resort. Higher elevation, steeper slopes, better snow, longer descents, and incredible vistas are what you will find. Therefore, when its raining at the resorts, you can almost guarantee some fresh snow accessible by one of the well-known heli operations.

For my last day of riding, the cards lined up perfectly where new snow, blue skis, and a lack of wind allowed us to venture into the North Buchanans due North of Wanaka with Harris Mountains Heli-ski. We were a bit skeptical since two days prior it rained to extremely high elevations and then froze solid, making ice skates a necessity for our downhill descents. However, we were greeted by about a foot of fresh snow with low moisture content. Some Northern and steeper aspects were still bulletproof, but others were as if it didn’t rained at all.

In the video above, you’ll find your tried and true New Zealand heli accessed hippy pow pow near Mt. Aspiring. Even better was having kiwi skiing legend Geoff Small as our guide.

We left Queenstown at around 8am and headed North to Wanaka…

Morning on Lake Wanaka

The location for heli pick up is a short scenic drive past Treble Cone ski field…

The North Buchanan’s in view

Our instructions were to find an aesthetically pleasing parking lot…and looks like we found it.

Who’s going to pay the meter?

Hannah from Mons Royale was also there to sample some heli accessed powder…

Friendly kiwi heli skier

Perfect weather for a day in the mountains…

This bird can fly

With the rainy weather a few days back, this was a pleasant sight…

Miles Holden looking to straightline

From bulletproof to the whiteroom in 24hrs…

Happy customer

Yours truly enjoying the Southern Alps of New Zealand…if only he knew how to ski,

Who let this guy into the country

With only a few groups out today, it wasn’t too difficult to find untracked runs…

This could be fun

Who doesn’t love an open snowfield of powder?

Miles enjoying his office for the day

The North Buchanan Mountains have some wicked terrain. Its too bad most of the steeper stuff was a variable with pockets of glaring ice…but there’s always a next time.

Nice mountains eh?

Time for a lunch break and work on the September goggle tan…

Who doesn’t love evil ski graphics?

The snow remained great all the way down to the lower heli pick up.

Fluff between the tussock

We found some massive slide debris as we exited from one our laps…

A reminder to be careful in the mountains

The day’s accessible terrain had some really fun rolling features up there…

Skier666 holds onto a turn

Plenty of slash opportunities to test out your new rockered fat skis…

Skier666 goes retro

Mt. Aspiring waving back in the distance…

Mountains covered with snow

Our guide loves to get first tracks…

Geoff Small skiing large

Long day for the guy from California…

Skier666 looking for his iPhone

Old friends from different countries continuing their common bond with the mountains…

Ski buddies last forever

Back at the bar, we ran into Mr. Mons Royale aka Hamish Acland. After a few beers, we had a deep discussion revolving around whether newspapers should still exist.

Hamish being Hamish

For the longer report, check out the longer version on my site:

http://www.slaythegnar.com/2013/09/saturday-session-of-succulence-harris-mountains-heli-ski-nz-september-14th-2013/


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