First Day at the Remarkables

One of the 5 main Remarkable bowls....that's 2 days of tracks!

One of the 5 main Remarkable bowls....that's 2 days of tracks!

First day at the Remarkables!  Finally on snow, it feels like it took forever.  After looking for a job with no success, stressing about money, missing friends and family back home, a good snowboarding day was truly needed.

The road up to the ski field is dirt, rutted, steep as hell, and long.  My van is rear wheel drive, has nearly bald tires on the back, and an undersized engine.  Its not exactly a winter, mountain vehicle, but it makes it up the hill.  I got up pretty late, around 11:30 am, but I knew there hadn’t been snow fall in a week, so no real reason to get up early.

Wider view of the lookers left bowls

Wider view of the lookers left bowls

There are only 3 lifts at Remarks!  That’s it.  NZ skiing is much different than other regions of the world.  It’s small operations, but the terrain is big and rocky!  Most of the steep shoots have to be accessed by foot, and lay above the lifts.  This is perfect because most skiers/riders here won’t make the effort, keeping fresh tracks available for days after a snow.  These pics where taken 2 days after the mountain opened, and that is all the tracks on the two big open steep bowls!

After a 40 minute hike almost straight up to a ridge line.  I am sitting on a rock cropping over the chute I dropped.  This is looking back at the lifts, parking lot, and lodge.  The southern alps are in

After a 40 minute hike almost straight up to a ridge line. I am sitting on a rock cropping over the chute I dropped. This is looking back at the lifts, parking lot, and lodge. The southern alps are in the back ground.

As I road down, looking at all the possible lines, I got filled with strong emotion, and it hit me again that this is why I am here.  In that moment I was as close to true happiness.  Then frustration set is as I remembered that I haven’t ridden seriously in 6 years, and my legs and body weren’t acting the way they where suppose to….but that is another story.

The lodge from the 2 tiny car parks

The lodge from the 2 tiny car parks

I think this is going to be a fun season!  Hopefully I can stretch my money to cover it.

Lake Alta, and Double Cone.  The peak of Remarkables.  I have no idea how to access this area yet, but there are some lines and chutes that are insane!

Lake Alta, and Double Cone. The peak of Remarkables. I have no idea how to access this area yet, but there are some lines and chutes that are insane!

This is taken from the other side of the mountain, after a 30 min hike.  It is looking down the backside of Remarks, towards Queenstown, into a clouds abyss.

This is taken from the other side of the mountain, after a 30 min hike. It is looking down the backside of Remarks, towards Queenstown, into a clouds abyss.

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4 responses to “First Day at the Remarkables

  1. That last photo remind me of Lord of the Rings.

  2. Hey dude – it’s really good to see you get your spirits up! Keep up the good fight buddy – things look like they’re picking up for you. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  3. Daniel Fallon

    There’s nothing more epic than riding above the cloudline. Beautiful.

  4. Fantastic…I don’t ski, but since you do and you write about it, I’ll just live vicariously through you, ok?

    I don’t know what it is about mountains, winter and snow…they are so captivating! I love hearing about mountain adventures! I look forward to reading about more of your snowboarding and skiing escapades.

    Obviously you made it over the hurdle of dwindling financial reserves as you’re still writing and traveling over a year later. I look forward to reading about how you kept yourself out of the red.

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