INTERNATIONAL TEAM RISTO MATTILA SETH HUOT DCP MATT BEARDMORE ALEXIS WAITE PATRICK MCCARTHY ALVARO VOGEL MATIAS RADAELLI BASTI KUHN GIAN SIMMEN
NEW ZE A L A ND SNOWBO A RDER , ISSUE # 5 3 , J UL / A UG / SE P T 2 0 1 0
DCP RIDING WITH DECADE SL BOOTS
SNOWMOBILE MISSION WITH NICK HYNE & CREW
TAKE IT ALL IN
A SOUTHERN ROAD TRIP WITH THE JACKWAYS BRO’S
WITH KAZUHIRO KOKUBO
nz$9.90 incl. gst issue #53 JUL/AUG/SEP 2010 www.nzsnowboarder.co.nz
Roxy Chicken Jam 5th Place European Burton Open 5th Place
Dew Tour Top 6 Finalist Roxy Chicken Jam Finalist
US Burton Open 2nd Place Winter X Games Finalist
Shelly Gotlieb TTR World #10
Billabong BroDown 3rd Place
NZ Burton Open 3rd Place
NZ - USA - Europe - USA - NZ 7 Months non-stop traveling 7 Major events 17 Hotel rooms 27 Flights 1 goal for 2010 - #1
Follow the NZ team at www.facebook.com/burtonnz R: Shelly G, L: Bear Mtn, P: Jeff Curtes
24 Cliff Notes 32
Hynesight Solace in all seasons.
By Nick Hyne
Revisited Stan Hill resurfaces after a decade over
Outer Realm Going deeper into the backcountry. By Shane Orchard
the ditch. By Ste’en Webster
38 STYLE COUNCIL WITH KAZUHIRO KOKUBO.
40 The Zone Nick Hyne and crew get petrol-powered
in the USA. By Nick Hyne
46 Gallery The best of the best! 58 Take it All In A southern road trip with the
Jackways brothers. By Will Jackways
66 The Real Alaska By Shane Orchard 72
RECIPE FOR STYLE THE METHOD
By JOEL WESTCOT
Pulling the Wool It’s local’s versus locals on an early season mission. By Karl Dunham
76 On the Job Pablo Azocar is one smart snowboarder! By DB 78 Fast Forward: Jay Walsh wana-shred?
80 Fast Forward: Ben Comber Canterbury comes up!
CONTENTS: “Mad rain in most of New Zealand meant plenty of early season snow. Broken River was the pick of the bunch and after great timing with the club members, a ride on a trailer and a hike... this is the result. The goods!” – NielsC Niels Ijpelaar scoring it on an early season mission to the Clubbies after the first decent snowfall at the end of May this winter, Broken River, New Zealand PHOTO: SHANE ORCHARD
COVER: “This day we had a pretty big crew and Mikey’s truck had just broken down, so we hired a U-Haul van and all piled into the back. It was really the only way to get the crew out to the zone. Luckily we didn’t get pulled up on the 4-hour drive because we would’ve looked like a bunch of Mexican smugglers! This jump spot was specific - we spent a lot of time getting it right and with the big crew it turned out perfect. Rob stormed a casual as front 5, front 9 and a few others I think, he was killing it!” – Vaughan Brookfield Rob Mitchell sends it over a precarious looking tree stump on location in Sonora Pass, California, USA. PHOTO: VAUGHAN BROOKFIELD
THE WAITING GAME IS FINALLY OVER! We sit through the dismal autumn weather, hoping and day-dreaming about snow, wishing it to fall from the skies…then the first storms hit, and its go! We’re lucky in New Zealand to have such a diverse landscape, our mountains are unique, offering up all sorts of terrain and features that transform into a wintry playground as the snow settles. From lift accessed, to heli, to hiking, there’s something for everyone. There are even tree runs if you look in the right places and are prepared to work for it! What better way to kick off the New Zealand season than with a photo so uniquely Kiwi as this… where else can you ollie a flock of sheep into the first snow of the season! Welcome to winter 2010, enjoy! Stef Zeestraten floats a flock ollie in the Queenstown backcountry, good on ya’ mate! PHOTO: NICK HYNE
NICK BROWN’S NAME IS SYNONYMOUS WITH BIG, BURLY RIDING. The first image we ever ran of him was a heavy frontside 9 merged sequence at Treble Cone – not bad for your first published photo. He went on to grace the cover several times in 2006 and since then has never failed to deliver when it comes to world-class riding and images. He’s one of a select handful of Kiwi riders holding it down on the international stage, gaining solid video parts, photos and a reputation in the Northern hemisphere. Here he is representing us Kiwis on location in Canada, filming with the Sandbox crew. To see more, look out for the movie ‘Now You Know’ later this year, and you can check out the teaser on our website – www.nzsnowboarder.co.nz Nick Brown points it down a sweet pillow line in the Pemberton backcountry, Canada. PHOTO: JUSSI GRZNAR
THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE THAT FIRST POWDER SLASH OF THE SEASON. Come to think of it, it could be any number of slashes; when you get ‘it’, the feeling is the same! Although a little later than usual, the snow came pretty much right on time this year, and as I sit here writing this, it’s snowing at most resorts in the South Island. It looks like we’re off to a good start and although I’m yet to lay my first tracks for 2010, I’m already looking forward to that slash and the feeling that comes with it – you pick your pocket, speed in and load up, smack! You get a mouthful of snow and a split second of blindness as you float through the debris of your turn, only to pin it towards the next destination and repeat the process again…and again… Will Jackways getting his stoke on at Stevens Pass in Washington, USA. PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
JULY/AUGUST 2010 ISSUE #53 NEW ZEALAND SNOWBOARDER © 2010
DIRECTOR Phil Erickson email@example.com EDITOR Ste’en Webster firstname.lastname@example.org ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dylan Butt email@example.com DESIGN Claire Hammon www.clairehammon.com SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS Greg Roebuck Vaughan Brookfield CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Pablo Azocar Shane Orchard Jussi Grznar Scott Serfas Paul Venning Stan Hill Ben Birk Stef Zeestraaten Tyler Heffernan SENIOR WRITERS Joel Westcot Nick Hyne CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Karl Dunham Shane Orchard Will Jackways ILLUSTRATIONS Jason Kyle ADVERTISING Phil Erickson ph: (06) 868 7974 fax: (06) 868 7971 email: firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER Ohana Media Ltd 27 Seddon Crescent Gisborne, New Zealand ph: +64 6 868 7974 fax: +64 6 868 7971 email: email@example.com PRINTING PMP Print Christchurch SUBSCRIPTIONS A subscription to nz snowboarder is $34.00 (4 issues) Australia $60.00 (4 issues) other countries $90.00. send cheque or postal order to: New Zealand Snowboarder, 27 Seddon Crescent, Gisborne, New Zealand Or subscribe online at: www.nzsnowboarder.co.nz
by riders - for riders 20 NZSNOWBOARDER
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ONSET By DB
WATCHING SNOWBOARD MOVIES, READING MAGAZINES AND CHECKING OUT footage from major snowboard events is awesome, but sometimes it can be a little like watching MTV. As in – how the f&#% am I ever going to get a mansion, a Lambo, a private jet, fist sized gold ropes and an entourage of hot sexy girls or guys (whatever your preference) to party all over my birthday…? Shit, I don’t really want all that stuff anyway, but what I wouldn’t mind is to be able to jump in the heli in Alaska, ride my sled to the gnar backcountry zones and shred the Olympic pipe or X-Games slopestyle course with a bunch of my friends! I guess what I’m saying is it’s great to look at that stuff and inspiring to see (well, maybe not music videos on MTV…), but it’s not really realistic or attainable, for but a small minority of talented few who either get paid to do it or have the bills and the skills to do it themselves. But what is real, and real attainable for most of us is going snowboarding this winter in New Zealand! It doesn’t have to be a 100-foot monster jump, a building-to-building death gap, or a thigh deep 50-degree chute to enjoy it. Sometimes all it takes is a few of your friends and some shovels, a road trip, an overnight dump, a sunny day or just stomping your first 360 or boardslide at the park! It’s the little things that matter and you never know, over time they may just lead to something big!
Rob Mitchell is getting all rock’n’roll on the mini-shred…. Sick Andrecht under the night skies in Gulmarg, India. PHOTO: TYLER HEFFERNAN 22 NZSNOWBOARDER
D O J O
Joram Makuru, straight outta school and into the early season snow in the Southern Lakes. PHOTO: STEF ZEESTRATEN
cliff notes IT HAS BEGUN! The season of powpow, parks and parties is here and by the time you read this you’ll have already rinsed some braincells and hopefully got some turns in, or are getting pretty close to that first ‘shred’ mission! Things started off with a bang in June and some great early season snow laid the foundation for a mean season ahead, let’s hope that trend continues. I’m counting the days for the local hills to open so I can get up there and do some ‘work’… ha-ha, whatever! Get out there, have some FUN and remember it’s not how you look; it’s how low you can go on your Euro-carves that counts! In some rider news… it looks like most of the crew who’ve spent their summers in the northern hemi are back in home bases for the season. Just this weekend saw a lot of new and old faces come out the woodwork for the Snow Park parties in Queenstown and Wanaka… ruckus as ever! Nick Brown and Jake Koia are back in QT after a successful season filming with the ‘Sandbox’ crew for their new movie (check the teasers on our website). Nick Hyne is also back in Queenstown and filming / hosting for ‘The Diaries 24 NZSNOWBOARDER
Downunder’ for another season. Robett Hollis is back in Wanaka getting crazy busy with nzsnowboard.com and will be riding his newly imported ‘sled’ along with Pablo Azocar (who has an ‘On the Job’ profile this issue). Shelly G, who’s managed to get one the first New Zealand Burton ads in quite a while at the start of this issue is back in Wanaka for the season, check the ad and you’ll know what she did! The North Island crew seem to be slowly disappearing, with Shelly and Leroy Christensen making tracks to the deep south, leaving the vast play ground of Ruapehu open to up and coming riders such as Jason Price and Jake Mills. Colin Bartlett (NZS MFM) did a whirlwind trip to Tahoe, looking after FTB’s grom Mike McMillan, keep your eyes open! Colin is another one who’s relocated to Wanaka for the 2010 season. Mr. FTB himself, Willie Beggs, hung out with some cameras over summer, got tech and managed a few trips to the Goldie... surf’s up dude! Watch out for him and his FTB campers causing havoc in both islands. Also getting in the water was Tomas Battersby… when he can slip away from swinging the
Jye ‘Pieman’ Kearney, savage cutback, Tahoe, USA. PHOTO: VAUGHAN BROOKFIELD
cliff notes hammer, he’ll be slashing Ruapehu for sure. Leon MacKay, when not at Snowplanet, is breaking into the fashion scene, check him out in the latest music video clips! Maia Stier is still doing knee rehab and helping out with camps and events at Ruapehu, as is Rodger ‘Dodger’ Baker who you’ll see on the slopes getting the shot – go to 0fm.co.nz to see all local content. Rodger also spent some time in Tahoe with Ruapehu grommet Jake Mills – check his sick clip on nzsnowboard.com. I hear Kyle Cooper is amped to ride this season and to hit some jumps too… watch out! Tukino ski field’s Jordan Decker is spending the winter in Wanaka after a season in Canada chasing qualifying points for the Free Ride World tour! All the crew will no doubt be back in Ruapehu for spring… Possum Torr spent the season in Breckenridge with Stefi Luxton shredding it up over there. Will Harris, Joram Makuru and Connor Harding all had a stint in Breck too. Joram made his way to Capt. Greg Roebuck’s house in Seattle as well, along with half of this magazine, thanks Greg and Rachel! Rob Mitchell, Ferret, Vaughan Brookfield, Ben Ryan and Aussies Mikey Williams, Jye ‘Pieman’ Kearney plus 26 NZSNOWBOARDER
many more were all based in Tahoe filming for Ben ‘Bugz’ Ryan’s new movie ‘Made You Look’… I’m sure there were some interesting antics going down, including blowing up the transmissions in all 3 of their trucks and having to hire a U-Haul moving truck to get the posse around. Four hours in a pitch-black room – dedicated. Rob ‘tha’ Mitchell also had a ‘near-death’ experience when he over-shot a big step-down jump by ‘a lot!’ and ended up buried upside down and having to get dug out. In the meantime he was running out of air and came up coughing blood… sounds pretty scary, lucky for Rob he’s pretty tough! Speaking of ‘Made You Look’, Ben Ryan will be running a premiere tour of this NZ/OZ snowboard film… make sure you check it out and get behind our local riders and filmmakers. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a New Zealand production like this so the more support equals another great film in the future! ‘Made You Look’ features Nick Hyne, Rob Mitchell, Ferret, Quentin Robbins, RMB, Nick Brown, Will Jackways, Jye Kearney plus many more. In some comp news, Kristian Philipp and Rob Mitchell both competed in the ‘Ultimate Boarder’ event in the US over summer,
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Jake Koia, on location filming with the Sandbox boys in BC, Canada. PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
Abby Lockhart is back in the lakeside ‘mansion’ in Wanaka after a long season on the road... 50/50, Washington, USA. PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
KP managed his third podium in three years, with a 2nd place overall alongside some top pro’s from all 3 genres – skate, snow and surf – narrowly missing out on the top spot! Kiwi big mountain rider Andy Lagan spent his winter in Chamonix, France. He placed 5th in the Freeride du Flaine event, which is a Freeride World Qualifier. Andy will be riding at Treble Cone and is looking to pass the New Zealand Mountain Guide test. On a completely unrelated note, if you’re in the Cardrona Valley this season be sure to check out Benny Bright’s place opposite Cardrona pub for a skate, or even try your hand at ‘Doggers Six’ the new mini-golf course… by the way, it’s BYO (plus some for Benny)! On the event front, things will be kicking off in Queenstown during Winter Fest with the Rail Jam on 2nd July. Treble Cone are stepping up their events this season with a Big Air Series, the first on 16th July, followed by the infamous NZ Snowboarder Banked Slalom on 23rd – which after a year off last season is gonna be back bigger than ever, don’t miss it! There’ll also be a Big Mountain event at TC a couple days later on the 25th... Snow Park NZ will be
kicking off their events on 17th July with the Electric Hip Attack, which is always a good place to start. Snow Park will also be sharing The Junior World Champs with Cardrona and TC; they’ll be hosting the Slopestyle on 21st August. The biggest event of the season, The Burton NZ Open, will be taking place at Cardrona on 10th-14th August, another one not to miss with the world’s best riders battling it out in Slopestyle and Superpipe for valuable Open Series and TTR points. Another TTR event this season is the Billabong Bro-Down at Snow Park on 10th and 11th September, the main event being the Big Air. This year there’ll also be a Rail event along with the usual parties… rumour has it the week leading up to this will see another event in Queenstown featuring a top international band and some skateboarding, keep your ears open for more news on this one. The Remarkables is holding their annual Slopestyle Series, kicking off July 24th, and the Quest crew will be bringing their Banked Slalom to Coronet again for a late season gate-bash in September. In the North, Turoa is hosting a Freestyle Series staring on 24th July, along with
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Ben Comber is on the up... check his Fast Forward this issue. Mt. Hutt, New Zealand.
Stef Zeestraten is about to pass the Dutchy to the left-hand side into this pillow line...
PHOTO: JOEL NICHOL
PHOTO: BEN BIRK
many other events during the season. The successfully resurrected World Heli Challenge ski and snowboard festival, organised by Tony ‘Harro’ Harrington, will be happening again this year, in the Mt. Aspiring National Park region near Wanaka and Hawea between 30th July and 8th August. With over 50 athletes representing the cream of talent from at least six countries, the format will consist of an Extreme Day and a Freestyle Day, and heli accessed terrain will provide beyond doubt the best possible snow conditions. 2010 will also see the return of ‘The Wanaka Big Air’, albeit on a smaller scale, held at the After Burner Party in Lake Hawea Hotel on Saturday 7th August. Full event details, including a comprehensive contest and entertainment schedule are on the new www.worldhelichallenge. com website. TTR Pro Snowboarding have announced the creation of the World Snowboarding Championships, the new world-class snowboarding event which will be held every four years and will
feature men’s and women’s Halfpipe and Slopestyle. The first event is planned in Oslo, Norway, for the 2011/2012 season, and will create an environment for the best freestyle riders to compete for world snowboard champion titles in both halfpipe and slopestyle formats. Hopefully we’ll see this event visit New Zealand in years to come. The NZSBU National Team has been named: Browner, Hyner, Koia, Will J, Stef ‘Dutchy’, Mitch Brown, Carl Murphy, James Hamilton, Ju Bray, Shelly G, Kendall Brown and Abby Lockhart – also welcome to new comers Bex Sinclair and Maria Kuzma. If you want to find out more about the NZSBU, including an Events Calendar for this season, check their website at www.nzsbu. com … so if comps are your thang, get amongst it! And to all you cruisers and weekend warriors out there, go and smoke as much of that fine fresh NZ ‘pow ‘you can… love your work!
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Hynesight By Nick Hyne
Solace in all Seasons Frost, rain, snow, cold, condensation, goose bumps, electric blankets and dark mornings are things that go hand-in-hand with winter in New Zealand. Every year these things pop up, due to a thing called… the seasons. We’re lucky as snowboarders. Winter isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, we relish the moments when Toni Marsh announces a ‘horrific weather system’ is about to bombard our vulnerable islands. Sure, rain is depressing but when we think of that rain as powder, we can soon embrace it and know the result of the shitstorm is pretty much what keeps us snow sliders ticking through the dark, cold months of winter – the prospect of FUN, sliding around on planks of wood! Others, maybe our Grandmas, our friends or pretty much anyone who doesn't embrace the snow, hate the rain, the cold, and the short days. But we find solace in thinking about snowboarding. Most humans hate the cold. Naturally, we like to be warm. The seasons always roll around, however, and embracing the snow is a surefire way to overcome the depression the cold may induce. As shredders, we’re happy in the warm and in the cold. What many may see as a burden, and the media see as another excuse to interview a Southland farmer wearing shorts when his livestock are ankle deep in the white fluffy stuff, we see as an opportunity to be creative. The landscape is transformed when the snow falls, and we’re suddenly sliding about having a merry old time thinking about how great the day turned out, even though it may’ve started with scraping ice off the windscreen. It’s very rare that the media will put a completely positive spin on a snowstorm. For us snowboarders, that may be all we see in a storm – a positive. An opportunity to grease the wheels of our inner expressive self. Being in the mountains, as most of you reading this already know, is a liberating and refreshing experience. The scenery, the atmosphere and the elements all combine to make the act of just being up there an amazing experience. Take some straight-lining, some shakas, some friends, a hint of lift banter, and glaze it with a bit of progression and you have yourself the recipe for an amazing time, even on the darkest of winter days. So, thank yourself for starting snowboarding. Perhaps, without even realising it, you’ve not only saved yourself from three months of dark, winter misery but you’ve created an avenue for excitement, creativity and a whole bunch of experiences that you may treasure through the summer, the autumn and the rest of your life. Embrace winter, or hate it. The choice is yours.
Jake Koia making the most of winter conditions in BC, Canada. PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
Self portrait at his office, The Front, in Sydney.
REVISITED By Ste’en Webster
Stan Hill STAN HILL IS A NAME THAT NOT ALL READERS MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH. But during the mid-nineties he was ‘the’ photographer when it came to getting a killer shot. He managed 6 covers between ’94 and ’98, spanning the crucial period as photography moved from SLR towards digital technology. After becoming an established fixture on the Wanaka scene, Stan was quickly building a name for himself in the world of snowboard photography. Then suddenly he was gone, leaving many questions and rumours in his wake. These days Stan owns and runs a photographic studio/rental company called The Front in Sydney, which is where he disappeared to all those years ago on one fateful New Years Eve… My earliest trips to Wanaka were on family holidays, all of us in one room at the Campground. Then I went to Dunedin Uni to study Law, and bought a season pass for TC. Ended up renting a place opposite the police station in Wanaka and ditching the Law degree… we used to sit on the porch smoking pot looking at the cops but they never gave a shit. We didn’t have any heat and when it was really cold we’d sit around the oven. A few years later my parents bought a place there. I’d always been interested in photography. I was a ski bum at Lake Louise in Canada when a mate handed me his camera to take a shot of him dropping this famous cliff band. Next season in Wanaka an Aussie photographer called Harro moved next door. He saw the photo, said he could get it published, and told me about NZ Snowboarder mag. That started me thinking shooting photos could be a good way to pay for snow trips. So I moved to Surfers Paradise, worked 80 hours a week for four months in a Chinese restaurant, bought a Nikon set-up, snowboard etc. and returned to Wanaka. First day was at the Treble Cone pipe, met a rider named Olly Brunton who told me to where he was going to hit… got the shot, and it ended up making cover of NZ Snowboarder. My favourite cover would be the Devun Walsh one. I always enjoyed shooting with Devun, super nice guy, loved snowboarding, great style and no bullshit. We spent a lot of time shaping that jump, and he only hit it twice as the landing was too sketchy. My least favourite covers were the Quentin Robbins’ ones. I wish I could’ve nailed one that really showed off his talent. Looking back, Olly and Quentin were the most progressive riders of that time. We all worked 34 NZSNOWBOARDER
together to get the best shots we could. I thought Quentin would get some international exposure but it didn't happen while I was around. Deni Bevin was also a legend to shoot with, as was Paul Trapski. The Mack Dawg shoot with The Melt Down Project was a great two weeks. Their photographer had to get back to the States, so I got a call to meet them at Ohau. Mike and Kurt Heine said, “Mate, you got a good start, and perhaps keep it to yourself you’ve only been shooting a couple of months….” I had Terje, Peter Line and a bunch of other top riders at the time. I was such a novice, I remember Mike McEntire asking if I had a light meter. At that stage I didn't even know my camera had one! After that I went and bought a battery so it would work. I moved to Aussie on New Years Eve 1998, to live with a girl. I remember breaking up within 8 hours, and spending the night in some dance club trying to convince the DJ to play Prince’s 1999 song. Didn't go down too well. The plan was to shoot fashion, but I got a little caught up in the party scene. Started assisting photographers, probably not a good move as I then lost interest in shooting. My first job was with an American photographer for Blue magazine. He asked if I’d heard of it, “Sure” I said (I hadn’t). Turns out Blue was a gay mag. Ended up working on a shoot with guys, cocks out and all… never let many people know about that one! Did assist on a few penthouse shoots but never any porn. Besides fashion and advertising, I also had a job at Australian Snowboarding magazine. I was pretty burnt out on snowboarding at the time but needed some cash so did a trip to France for them. Was shooting a rider jumping a cliff only to look up and see the whole bowl coming towards me. No board on my feet, no time to react, so pretty lucky that Axel Pauporte had been watching from afar and managed to guess where I was. Saved my life (thanks mate). I haven't shot anything for years, just been working on my business which has been full on. Got a new baby boy called Stormie and a beautiful wife (Stacey). The dream is to work out how we want to live out the rest of our lives and make it happen. Perhaps move to Wanaka or somewhere close one day, and shoot some snowboarding before I’m too old to move! Would like to say thanks to everyone I worked with. The legacy of working with you makes for many happy memories. I'll never forget the years spent chasing the snow, those hikes and ridiculously early starts to get the shot!
Going Deeper By Shane Orchard
GOING DEEPER INTO THE MOUNTAINS OPENS UP A WHOLE NEW REALM. When you consider the size of the Southern Alps, there’s huge potential to find anything you’re after. Getting out miles from civilisation is an adventure in itself of course. Hiking for the goods often means accepting a certain level of hardship too. For the most part, bigger trips mean you’ll need to consider a whole new set of skills and possibly some extra equipment as well. Putting a good plan together is definitely the place to start. Begin with a topographical map and get down to some old school route planning. You might’ve also jumped on google earth, read a guidebook, seen some pictures, or best of all talked to someone in the know. But you’ll still need that map, and a compass too. Assessing how to get in and out of places is a real art, and often there’s no one best way. Since we’re dealing with snow, an assessment of conditions is vital and helps plan not only safe, but efficient routes. We’re talking not just avoiding avalanches but also any difficult terrain, potential rock fall and other hazards. Navigational challenges should also be kept in mind, like in the case of a whiteout. One good way to wrap all this up is to take the extra step of preparing a trip or nav plan – where you break the trip into different legs, and work out details for each. A major bonus of doing this is getting a more accurate estimate of time things might take, since managing time is a big safety issue in itself. Everyone in the group should make it their business to know the plan, even if not everyone has a map or GPS. Once the plan is made, you’re in a position to talk about what else you’ll need. Though all trips start with taking gear for the expected conditions, going deeper can make choice of equipment hard because there’s more room for the unexpected. This means taking enough safety gear to deal with likely hardships. I like to have my own first aid plus repair kit, and sufficient extras to get through a night caught out. Of course if you’re packing a tent then no problem, but otherwise equipment to improvise or perhaps dig a bivvy is key. So I might take a bivvy bag, pack liner, or survival blanket, and of course some good clothing. Weight is always a premium, so try and take only the most functional items. Leave the cotton at home and take only good thermals for instance. Real savvy mountain travellers target
two or three uses for everything they take! The value of having good gear becomes really noticeable once you’re in the position of needing it. My formula is to buy the best gear I can at a decent price, then try not to trash it! Don’t forget the gear to get you there and also home. It’s remarkable how many times I’ve discovered my snowshoes were about to fall apart prior to a mission! Give everything a once over when packing, and maybe even tune up that board. This all relates to an important principle in all wilderness activities, which is that even minor injuries can turn into major ordeals when you’re miles from home. A delay can mean hypothermia or worse. For these reasons it’s also good to have a back up. I tend to go with the good old ‘intentions’ system, leaving specific details with a trusty person including exactly where you might be and when to report you as overdue, which means a call to the police. If you’ve made a trip plan then brilliant, leave a copy with that person. For more major missions I’ll take a mountain radio or sat phone, and a good backup for all these is a tramper’s PLB. Will we want snowshoes, crampons, poles or ice axes – or all of the above? Do I really need the entire junk show? I usually err on the side of caution when dealing with ice, which means I’m more likely to take crampons and leave snowshoes behind if I’m trying to save weight. That way I’ll always be secure enough to make it around a tricky bit of ridge, or through a shady gulley for instance. Especially in spring, you only need one little frozen patch to render snowboarding boots next to useless. Of all these items always take an axe. That way you can chop steps to improve security for you or someone else. Plus an ice axe is a great tool for quickly arresting a fall, avoiding one in the first place, or maybe holding down your tent in that unexpected gale. The pack to put it all in will have quite a job to do, and it pays to get as much inside as possible. Experiment with strapping systems for ice axes and snowboards, as these need to be secure. Remember to ensure access to your avalanche gear too. So, as you can see, gearing up for a longer mission is a mission itself! We still haven’t got down to packing the food, setting the alarm for a nice early wake-up call, and putting all this gear into action. That’s probably another story – so for now stay safe, try to take the right gear for what you’re planning, and happy hiking!
Setting up a typical snow camp on the Douglas Neve, Southern Alps.PHOTO: SHANE ORCHARD 36 NZSNOWBOARDER
J E RE M YJ ONES
© SCOTT SPORTS SA 2009 | PHOTO: DAN MILNER
YOU COULD SAY 21-YEAR OLD KAZUHIRO KOKUBO FROM HOKKAIDO, JAPAN RE-WROTE THE BOOK on style when it comes to halfpipe riding! The first time I saw Kazu ride was at the US Open in 2003, he came out of nowhere all the way from the pre-qualifying rounds to land himself a spot in the finals. Even back then he was doing ridiculously massive airs and his signature huge McTwists, stomping the shit out everything with legs of steel – as Japanese riders seem to be able to do. A few years later he turned up in New Zealand and systematically destroyed the 90-foot Burton booter at Snow Park, on his own, at about 5pm in the evening – just imagine ‘solid as concrete’ landing! He threw every spin in the book at it and didn’t falter once. Come 2010 Olympics, apparently Kazu caused a bit of a stir in Japan for not wearing his Team Japan uniform correctly and then telling the media that The Olympics was ‘just another snowboard competition’. Incidentally he and two other coach / managers were barred from the Opening Ceremony. He went on be one of the standout riders in the finals adding flair and originality to his routine. Next stop was the US Open in March where he scored what some would say was a ‘controversial’ victory, with style reigning supreme over technicality. Not that his run wasn’t tech, but he didn’t adhere to the double-cork-a-thon that’s been gaining momentum. VB shot this rad sequence of Kazu outside the constrictions of comps and halfpipes, smooth as butter and stomped as ever! I caught up with Kazu real quick to get his thoughts By DB on the matter….
Style Council with
How did you find the Olympic experience? I really enjoyed it. Formal people managed the competition, but once I started riding those things didn’t matter. You won the recent US Open, congratulations. How was the Open different from the Olympics? The Open is free, the Olympics is strained…. But both are fun. What are your thoughts on how double corks have changed competition? I think it’s a good thing. It’s interesting when new tricks come out, and the speed in which everyone catches up is superimpressive… but I don’t like it! How important is style to you, compared to technical tricks? Both of them are important, but I choose style. You’ve been to New Zealand a bunch of times, any plans to return this year? I have my wedding this year, so I can not make it this time, but I’ll be there next year. Are we going to see more backcountry riding from you in the future? More than now for sure, but I will continue to compete in pipe contests. You’re well known as having great style when you ride, any tips to people about having their own style? Ride how you like, and spend a lot of time riding, then find your style. Thanks - Kazu SPONSORS: Burton, Oakley, Hurley, Shift, Shy Dental Lab, Seven Samurai. 38 NZSNOWBOARDER
Kazuhiro Kokubo never ceases to define style in his own unique way. Backside 900 in the Tahoe backcountry, USA. SEQ: VAUGHAN BROOKFIELD
Will Jackways getting the books out on this cornice dropper. PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK 40 NZSNOWBOARDER
Zone By Nick Hyne
IT WAS ONLY A FEW MONTHS EARLIER THAT I’D BEEN LOOKING AT THE great wall of China, marveling at what man is capable of, and now it was nature that had me in awe. The glacier area of ‘The Zone’ near Mount Baker, in Washington, USA, is truly fascinating and a sight that has to be seen to be believed. If it wasn’t for snowmobiles the whole experience wouldn’t have existed. Snowmobiles are an amazing tool not only for getting to untapped deep backcountry terrain but they also open up options in other ways – like getting towed into stuff! They’re also good for cooking food in, carrying and storing backcountry essentials, lying on, and using the hand-warmers to bring your limbs back to life on a cold day. Most of all, they give you a whole new perspective on what potential the backcountry holds. Last year I stayed with Greg Roebuck for three weeks and found myself writing more about him than the actual snowboarding in Washington itself. This trip I remember pondering what I might say, and the exact same ideas came up. That’s when I realised – you can’t write about a trip to Washington with Roebucks without mentioning the man himself. Keen, eager, full of beans, and frother are all words that help sum him up. This year Greg got a snowmobile. Put the two together and you have yourself a recipe for amazement. I think I’d been at Greg’s place for around 10 or 20 seconds before he started talking about how dope this snowmobile zone he’d found near Mount Baker was. The thing with Greg is, he’ll never talk something up unless he means it, so it pays to take heed of what he’s saying. One thing I’m sure everyone who has visited Roebucks can relate to is the early mornings. He doesn't care whether
you’re eager to get amongst it, have any intention of riding at all, or you’re hung-over – he needs to have a conversation with you at 6:30am! Usually it starts with him jumping up and down or rubbing his hands together excitedly explaining how “Baker just got two feet and it’s still dumping, wakey, wakey, hand off snakey!” My first trip to Seattle this season was a classic example of this. Roland, Greg and I were in the car and it was only about 7:30am when Greg’s first story started to gather steam. A couple minutes into it we had sore stomachs from laughing so hard – Greg would just keep adding details and we were damn near gasping for air. If it were school assembly we would’ve been stood up and sent out of the hall for sure! The first day we rode, the weather was looking average, so we went to Mount Baker resort. The crew was Roland Morley-Brown (RMB), Will Jackways, Greg and myself. After a warm-up day at the resort we were keen to get onto the next phase – snowmobile time. In anticipation the sleds were loaded onto Will and Greg’s rigs. On the way back from Baker we stopped at a town called Sedro-Wooley and got a motel room that had 2 double beds in it. The only prerequisite for the accommodation was a place to safely park the trucks and sleds. Will was sharing with Greg and he definitely looked a little scared when he saw the size of the Chinese meal Greg took down that night from the dodgy-looking ‘Lucky Takeaways’ joint next door. Soon enough though we were on our way to The Zone, and it didn’t disappoint! The Washington roof of cloud had miraculously cleared, the skies were blue,
THE BLUE COLOURS IN ALL OF THE CRACKS WERE INSANE; IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST LOOKING LANDSCAPES YOU COULD IMAGINE
Roland making the most of being ‘petrol powered’ in The Zone. PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK 42 NZSNOWBOARDER
The boys take in the winter wonderland before them… the options are endless! PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
we had SNOWMOBILES, and a dope crew! See the list of words above in the second paragraph that describe Roebucks and magnify them by four – the whole crew was suddenly ready to get at it! The Zone is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever visited. The first feature we found was a hip. It looked amazing and could be hit natural it was shaped so nicely. The only issue was speed; it was dead flat leading into it, and there was a bump to be absorbed. The flat wasn’t an issue – we had snowmobiles for speed, it was the bump however that proved challenging. The sled had to go slow enough so that it didn’t get air and give the rider slack, but fast enough to send the rider high enough off the hip. RMB stepped up first with Will’s handy sled skills on deck. After a few run-ins he was sending a beauty of a backside melon to fakie – first hit, no tracks and completely natural. A beautiful hip designed completely by nature, with the help of a snowmobile – a beautiful thing designed completely by man. I feel this combo is the true essence of backcountry sledding. Will wasn’t only kind enough to drive me all the way from Seattle to Mount Baker and up to The Zone every day, he also doubled me around the whole time while Roland shared Greg’s sled. It wasn’t long before RMB was getting a little crazier on Greg’s machine, he was slowly getting higher and higher up the hills and trying to turn around. Will and Greg started to roll their eyes when he went for all glory, trying to one-up some slednecker’s high mark… next thing Greg’s brand new 2010 Ski-Doo sled is flipped. After the boys helped him get the sled back on its track, Roland was grinning and laughing, saying how he ALMOST had it. Next we headed up to the glacial zone, hiking around apprehensively and hoping to
not fall down a giant crevice to our ultimate doom – which according to Roebucks happens to snowmobilers up there every year. After testing the waters a little, we were soon exploring the glacial wonderland. It was like a little kid visiting his first ride at Disneyland. Will found himself a nice little wall to handplant, and Roland had his ice pick out manicuring a narrow shark fin style lip to launch off. I was off just to the side, still taking in how crazy the glacier’s cracks and shapes all were. The blue colours in all of the cracks were insane; it was one of the best looking landscapes you could imagine. At around 6:30pm the light had gone, and a long ride back down to the trucks ensued.The next day the ritual for us was pretty similar. Back to the motel, Lucky Chinese for dinner, sleep in a – by then – pretty smelly room and wake up early to head back to The Zone for more of the same. The weather was beautiful once again, and we were quick to shape a little cutout I found right across from yesterday’s hip. The run-in was natural this time but it was narrow, bumpy, and the compression near the bottom was crazy. I still had my board set up goofy (since the first day at Baker) and I was almost ready to give up after having been towed up 3 times and not making it to the lip yet. I was seriously thinking about how it was holding my riding back. The only technique here was persistence, so I gave it one more go. I was flying – mentally and physically! My board finally made it off the takeoff and I was trying new tricks. Roland put every ounce of his classic style into his hits off our narrow lip, in the meantime Will made a nice little pat-down directly to the side of our cutout and was sending some really nice switch backside spins. After lunch, Will and Roland got doubled up to a step-down with a mind-
SNOWMOBILES ARE AN AMAZING TOOL NOT ONLY FOR GETTING TO UNTAPPED DEEP BACKCOUNTRY TERRAIN BUT THEY ALSO OPEN UP OPTIONS IN OTHER WAYS – LIKE GETTING TOWED INTO STUFF!
blowing backdrop – the whole glacier zone from yesterday. Will launched a textbook Indy and landed on top of a slednecker’s deep high mark, but as Will does, he rode out anyway. By now it was getting later and colder but it was RMB’s last day riding for the season and he wanted to return to the glacier zone up high. The options looked limited at first, but he and Greg were up finding angles for a gnarly looking drop. The surrounding area looked so crazy, ice sculptured by nature everywhere. Although it was about 7pm, freezing cold and the snow a little firm looking, RMB boosted a gigantic backside 3, WAY past where we thought he would land. After a few longs days out snowmobiling it was time reflect, what a crazy experience! Due in part to the kind nature of Greg and Will, sharing their prized possessions with Roland and I, and partly due to what exists deep in the mountains already, the opportunities are almost limitless. Whether it’s Tahoe, Washington, Whistler or Ruapehu, the options snowmobiles make available are a thing that has to be experienced. Embrace the snowmobile and you’re embracing one of the best tools in a snowboarder’s toolbox for creating adventure and the opportunity to encounter some of the many wonders of the world.
Nick Hyne getting tricky with his board set up goofy, switch backside rodeoâ€Ś or is it a regular back rodeo riding the wrong way? Never mind! PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
Nick Brown, frontside 7, Mt. Baker Resort, Washington, USA. PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
Nick Veleber, Smithbrook, Washington, USA.
PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
Abby Lockhart, switch backside 180, Smithbrook, Washington, USA.
PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
Jake Koia, Brandywine, British Columbia, Canada.
PHOTO: SCOTT SERFAS
Andy Lagan, Chamonix, France. PHOTO: PAUL VENNING
Will Jackways, switch nose-press, Leavenworth, Washington, USA. PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK
Ferret, backside lipslide, Truckee, California, USA. PHOTO: VAUGHAN BROOKFIELD
Robett Hollis, tow-in stalefish, Castle Peak, California, USA.
PHOTO: PABLO AZOCAR
Besides being a dab hand at online poker and golf, Tim Jackways has also been known to ride a snowboard fairly well. Nightfall frontside 5 on the backside at Porters. PHOTO: PHIL ERICKSON 58 NZSNOWBOARDER
By Will Jackways Photos by pe
IN JULY LAST YEAR I GOT A PHONE CALL FROM DYLAN BUTT WITH AN idea of doing a mission to the club fields, for an article for NZ Snowboarder. Initially I thought, “Yeah, sounds cool, maybe…” but the more he told me about the concept the more I began to listen. You see, sometimes a typical magazine trip can consist of going somewhere for a while, waking up super early, working really hard, sometimes stressing, sometimes cursing, waiting out bad weather, building a jump all day and not getting conditions that are ideal…. Well, this trip had a different concept, “Let’s all hang out at the clubbies, ride powder, wake up whenever, hike around, have some laughs and find a few new destinations to shoot… just enjoy it as it unfolds,” said Dyl. “Sweet, sounds good,” I said. As it turned out, Dyl couldn’t make the trip, but the crew was still super fun; TJ (Tim Jackways), Roland MorleyBrown, Chris Blinkhorne and myself made the trek up to Methven to meet PE, where he’d document it all and keep us in line. The Drive Up TJ and I packed the car with the usual; boards, boots, gear, shovels, back packs, skateboards and some homemade baking that Abby had been nice enough to whip up for us before departure, mmm, bacon and egg pie! We realized the car wasn’t even close to being packed full, and what’s a Kiwi road trip with out a jam-packed-can’t-even-see-out-the-back-window car? So we threw out the idea of taking golf clubs and hitting a course or two along the way… that’s where it all began. The plan was to play as many courses as possible on the way up, skate a bit, have lunch on the lake, play some more and then meet PE, RMB and Blinky in Methven around dark. Ba-boom… easy as! We left early, around 9am, and the first course we played was Tarras. We’ve both played Tarras quite a lot and it’s pretty much my home course over Wanaka, so we whipped around quickly sinking some decent putts and getting good scores. Tarras is a classic local haunt and anyone passing through should check it out – expect lots of sheep, fences around the greens and the occasional friendly farmer having a wack. Next stop was Omarama; neither of us had ever played Omarama before so it was a new course to tick off. It’s mostly pretty flat but has great views of the Clay Cliffs and surrounding scenery up towards Lake Ohau, it also has a couple of fun Par 3’s and big ol’ drives off the tee to enjoy. For ten bucks it’s a bargain, I’ll definitely return to play there.
Ridiculously underrated and under sponsored, Blinky always makes the most of any borrowed kit, although it may not come back quite so mint! Front 3 into the Mingha. 60 NZSNOWBOARDER
The Mt. Hutt lodge was the perfect base to access the fields in the region... they also have pretty decent warm up facilities. Will J and TJ in pre-riding routine.
It was all fun and games getting down to this feature in the daylight... a totally different story getting back up and out in the dark!
We pulled into Tekapo golf course hoping for a quick nine holes, but were denied due to the heavy frost and snow that was still present on the ground. There was no Clubhouse, or even anyone there to tell us it was closed, just a rusty stake in the ground on a lean that said FROST! We’d both played Tekapo years ago on a family trip, it’s a great course from memory, kinda hilly and challenging but overall in good condition. We figured it keeps ticking over because it’s 2 minutes walk from the Army base and the cadets probably have a swing out there from time to time. Anyway, we charged on and decided to rally for a bit to Methven. Methven has a sick 18-hole course and is definitely worth checking out. It’s popular with all Methven loc’s and is kept in great condition. We hired a cart because by that stage we were on a bit of a time schedule and we smashed out nine holes super quick, a very fun course! Anyway, enough about Golf! I was amped to snowboard with TJ again, we hadn’t ridden together in New Zealand for three years or so, and after growing up riding together all the time I missed not following him off drops and hits and slashing each other in powder. I was excited to hang and shred with RMB and Blinky also. RMB always has a happy vibe around him and is stoked doing whatever, it rubs off on you, and he’s always down to have a laugh too – a must on any road trip! He’s also very well rounded with his snowboarding and can ride anything in front of him, so he’s a great person to have around. Blinks is amazingly talented at everything he does whether it’s riding his snowboard, skating a mini, working hard to build a jump, or generally just giving it in life, he charges! He’s a young buck too, so I suspect you’ll be hearing a bunch more of him to come. Blinks is also super mellow and rolls with whatever’s on the schedule… all you have to do is lend him most of your gear and he’s good to go! Porters This was the first time I’d ever ridden at Porters, Blinks too. But we’d heard from lots of crew that it was worth checking out and had some good terrain off the backside. So, sure enough we went straight up had a quick scope, we decided to ponder down the back into this beautiful bowl overlooking Lake Coleridge. “Roughly how long to hike out you reckon?” we asked Patrol as we dropped in. “Ah, about 30 minutes mate, you’ll be right!” Well… it wasn’t quite 30 minutes but I’ll get to that in a second. What followed was a fun session on a booter, a few turns on some of Porters’ finest blower, some lunch together and a few more laughs. Before we knew it, the sun was setting and it was time to peace. On the run down we didn’t really notice, mainly because it was just too much fun shredding, but we were actually quite far down, like, pretty deep! Slowly we started our hike towards the main basin. Sometimes it can be hard hiking at the end of the day after riding, building and generally being pretty beat, the hike can feel like more of an ascent of Everest or something. Every boot-step would go through to the knee at least and our bags felt like dive tanks or something, but eventually we made it out, just as it was getting dark. When I say dark, I mean, ‘can’t see without a light, dark’…. Okay, “wahoo,” good stuff we made it, now all we have to do is snowboard down in the complete darkness, shouldn’t be that hard right? Holy shit – cell phones came out, iPods were called on, even TJ’s lighter got used in helping the case of getting us down in one piece. This was the first time I’d ever snowboarded holding my cell phone in front of me to navigate where I was and let’s just say it was pretty daunting. Apart from not being able to really see anything and being completely pitch black and totally sheet-ice, we did eventually make it down, by this stage it was around 9pm. Ah… first day of the trip and a pretty memorable one at that.
Lucko and Petariki are part of the woodwork at Temple Basin... these guys make it all tick. 62 NZSNOWBOARDER
Digging the track comes with the territory, gazing up ahead is normally motivation enough!
MT. HUTT LODGE
There’s no such thing as riding downtime at Temple Basin. Rain, hail, sunshine or pitch black, there’s always shit to do. RMB with a late night pole jam to back to the bar!
Staying at the Mt. Hutt Lodge was a real pleasure. With beautiful views over the plains, it backs out onto the Rakaia River and feels like you’re ages from anywhere, when in fact it’s just a short distance from Methven. The hosts Butch and Jo were super welcoming, hospitable, and went out of their way to accommodate us. They’re keen golfers too, and aside from having an awesome place with a pool, trampoline etc. they also had a practice hole with the tee-off right outside the door of our room… ahh, perfect! A big thanks to them. Temple Basin I’ve been to Temple Basin a few times now, it’s definitely one of my favourite places to shred and hang out in New Zealand. Everything about Temple is a snowboarder’s dream; the terrain, the hiking, the snow, the lodge and of course the view. It’s a special feeling being all the way up there surrounded by these enormous snow capped mountains and getting to experience it in full-bloom. Aside from the terrain being epic, the crew up at Temple Basin really make it what it is… it’s rad being able to interact with everyone and share stories of the day. Ben the manager casually strolls into the dining area one night after dinner and says, “Well, who’s up for some night skiing… I’ll fire it up for ya!” One morning it snowed so much that the whole lodge, like, grommets and parents included, are all out there going hard shovelling like mad to cut the track into the top tow. You see, everyone who stays up there helps out, one night you’re on dishes, the next cleaning. These sorts of things you’d never see at your normal commercial resort, and they make Temple unique in it’s own way. Big-ups to Ben, Todd Windle, Hugo and Harry, Joe the chef and everyone else up there that hold it down! We got two good days of shredding the resort top to bottom, hiked around, sprayed up a bunch of pow at each other and had a ball catching up with all the crew in the evenings. TJ even manages to win a cool $300 from online poker – yeah that’s right, they’ve got wireless in the lodge too. We’d all been wondering what he was doing sitting on the heater by himself typing away….
Homebound We decided it’s time to head off and finish on a good note as the Electric contest awaits RMB and me, and TJ is keen to bounce too, so we pull in to the Springfield Pub for some food and a quiet. What a classic Pub, you almost get bowled over by the Jack Russel running around inside when you enter, there’s some interesting photos of pig hunting and random fancy dress parties on the wall for viewing, and if you’re after deep-fried anything, you’ve come to the right place! All in all, I had a blast hanging out and riding with the crew on this trip. We got great snow, had a bunch of laughs, got lost, snowboarded in pitch black and made some more new friends. The clubbies are definitely a unique experience and should be ticked off your to do list, go with an open mind and expect to put in the yards. Oh and by the way... you probably won’t see any fur coats, drink lattes or peep the newest gear up there, but you’ll have plenty of fun adventuring and you’ll have some great stories to take home with you. My advice is: “Take it all in, it’s what we did and we had a ball!” Yeaaw… till next time.
Will J unleashes some built up cabin fever at Temple Basin.
51 Nuffield St. Newmarket P +64 9 529 5500
Lake Alta chutes, The Remarkables – photo by Miles Holden
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By Shane Orchard CAPTIONS RUARI MCFARLANE
IT’S A LONG WAY TO GO TO OBSERVE THE INSIDE OF A CLOUD. AND ALL IN THE HOPE THAT ONCE IN A WHILE THE MOUNTAINS MIGHT SHRUG OFF THEIR SHROUDS, AND ALLOW THE FEW HUMANS AROUND A CHANCE TO GO EXPLORE. BUT SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT, SO WITH AIR TICKETS JUST TWO WEEKS OLD AND TRUSTY TOOLS OF THE TRADE PREPARED FOR TAKEOFF, I HEAD FOR THE DEPARTURE LOUNGE…
11:00 A.M. MARCH 29 “What do you mean 23kgs?” I thought it was 32. “Oh, I can take my laptop plus 7kg cabin baggage?”… “Great, I’ll just repack a bit and come back in a minute.” Holy smokes, I was yet to pass stage one! I hastily looked for anything small and heavy I could hide in the bottom of my laptop bag. Crampons might fit in, and yip, a camera lens could go too. I put on an extra jacket then made sure the carry-on weighed a good 7kg and fronted up again. “24.5… oh, I think that’ll be okay” the nice lady said, “have a great trip”. I was on my way. 11:10 A.M. MARCH 29 “Is this your computer case sir?” Oh no, the crampons… duh! “Umm, is there a problem with those? I couldn’t fit them in my other bag.” That required checking, apparently, and five minutes later I got a reply. “We don’t allow crampons in the cabin but no problem, we’ve contacted an airline representative who’ll check them in for you.” It looked like my planned crampon-wielding takeover of the in-flight bar was off the cards! Shortly afterwards the same nice lady from check-in found her way through security, crampons in hand. “No problem she said, we’ve located one of your checked bags… do you mind if we unzip it and pop these inside?” “No I don’t mind at all,” I said hastily, “sorry, I was a bit rushed…” And with that and a friendly wave from the security officer, I was a lot closer to AK. 5:00 P.M. MARCH 29 LAX. Not the flashest place to hang about. I’d already inquired if the last plane to Seattle was full. It was. So it was back to the original plan of a 13-hour book reading stint, perhaps broken by sleep if possible. Come midnight the crowds thinned, as did my enthusiasm for the book. Then I spotted those comfy looking curved couches in the foyer. Empty at last! I quickly scuttled over and tried to work out how to lash four bags of various sizes around me in some configuration able to thwart any sneaky thief. The solution was to lie on all of them, and whilst doing this a couple other kids came along and started setting up their versions of the same. At least they’d be a few pairs of friendly eyes about, so I made some small talk, and settled down for some airport sleep time. This is where that oversize snowboard jacket comes in handy. I pulled the hood over my face for a lights out effect and dreamt of the morning.
Sooner or later, youâ€™re bound to end up right place, right time. This line epitomized rare, perfect Alaska; sunny, steep, stable, deep, watched by curious mountain goats and merely en route to an even sicker, bigger peak! PHOTO: SHANE ORCHARD
Hiking up to this cliff, I was distracted by pillows plastered on around the corner. Dropping in, the lot peeled off, sending me crashing down into saplings amongst fridge-sized blocks... slightly shaken, I needed a breather; and of course Shane-O was only to happy to hand over the lens and do this drop justice. PHOTO: RUARI MCFARLANE 68 NZSNOWBOARDER
‘Though the clouds were low, one thing was becoming really clear… more pillow lines than you’d ever seen”.
Fools Gold, maybe, but the search is mighty addictive. Exploring all our options at Paulson Bay, Prince William Sound. PHOTO: SHANE ORCHARD
4:30 A.M. MARCH 30 “It’s time to get up, the time is 4:30” said my cell phone’s talking alarm in that cute pommie chick accent. Awesome! I already knew where Alaska Airlines were and headed straight there. This is where I learned of a cunning fast-track plan to score a seat on an early flight. The check-in lady was so helpful she even forgot to charge for my bags! I’d discovered you can go standby on any flight on the same day, and a much earlier Seattle to Anchorage flight had some unsold seats. And here’s the bonus; check your bags through on that earlier flight and like magic you seem to go to the front of the standby queue! Sure enough, I got to Seattle and went to inquire how many were waiting for seats to Anchorage. “We’ve got about 40 or 50 people waiting, is your name on the list?” they asked. I checked, and I was number six! 12 NOON, MARCH 31 It’s so hard to wake up in Alaska! I remembered that much from the last trip. It was snowing outside so we checked the weather and made a plan for the next day. Ah ha, major storm on the way! 4:00 P.M. APRIL 1 Finally we’re on top of a mountain, even if only the mighty ‘Flat Top’ situated within plain view of downtown and literally walkable from our house on the outskirts. It’s freshies though, and we shuffle over to look down the north face chute we’d seen from the house. Whooah, it’s at least 45 degrees for a long way down out of sight. This is quite some backyard, I was thinking. We’re a little worried about how Prudhoe the dog is going to fare chasing us down, but some minutes later she comes porpoising down our tracks looking totally happy. Shredding the gnar, Prudhoe! 9:00 A.M. APRIL 2 Yes, I was out of bed before midday. And it was blue outside. Time to check the excellent backcountry reports you get in these
parts. It said 19” fresh in the Turnagain car park and more up top. What to do? It was time to head out of Anchorage and get amongst it! The plan was to check out the Turnagain Pass Mountains for the next week or so whilst some other Kiwis found their way up. So we headed for the Pass for a snow check, and sure enough the mountains were pasted. Dangerously beautiful one could say. We headed for the safest looking line and found a bunch of kickers hidden in the trees. Perfect! Meanwhile the locals had other ideas and began putting in more daring lines than might have been sensible. So we split thinking that maybe tomorrow might just be the day. 12 NOON, APRIL 3 This is it. The rib rolled off disturbingly. I could see a small mushroom a bit further down and beyond that only the dark shadows of the ‘Superbowl’. A semi-safe, first big line. Dropping, turn, turn, launch off that mushroom, aargh can’t see, cut right, sweet there’s the rib again, don’t go off the other side, hit that bank, aargh can’t see, where’s that roller, point it, cut right, avoid those cookies… sweet! 3:00 P.M. APRIL 3 We regroup on the ridge after choosing a super spaced out strategy to get us up the headwall past numerous avalanche paths. But nothing was moving so we headed for the back peak. Further up the valley the iconic Grandaddy Chute beckoned, one of the classic local lines. But it didn’t have the features of our next line, another super-rib in the superbowl. This one had a 15-footer onto the rib, leading to a platform above a big cliff, and towards a 15-footer escape route to the face below. If only snow would stick to ridges like that in New Zealand! It was so good we did it twice, stoked in the knowledge that tomorrow’s storm was on the way.
If you go with the right crew and a tight plan, terrain of this caliber isn’t as unattainable as you’d think.... PHOTO: SHANE ORCHARD
9:00 A.M. APRIL 7 They forecasted another 6 to 8” new snow, so we check the freshies total. Umm, what? 28” in the car park overnight and still snowing! That was the day we discovered riding the trees in Alaska ain’t too bad at all. 9:00 A.M. APRIL 8 Another 6” overnight and it’s bluebird. Plus, the remaining Kiwis Phil ******* and Tess Carney have turned up, right in time for a stunner. We go straight back to yesterday’s discovery, knowing exactly where those steep pillow lines through the trees are hiding. Plus we have a track to follow! We look longingly at the many ridiculous lines about, including a couple of spines further up our ridge. It was a big evening tour but we had to give it a crack, eventually finding our way to the ‘Roundtop’ as we called it, a peak at the end of the valley. Now where was that one break in the cornice line we were hoping to find? We made sure of its location before getting a little closer to check out the view. It was the kind of steep loaded AK line we’d come for that was for sure, but first things first, so we found a test location and proceeded to dig our pit. 20cm pow, a little bit of slab, a bit more pow then a firmer base perhaps? Hello a sneaky weak layer 80cm down popped to our attention. Damn it, I’d rather like to rule out that chasing me down. As often happens around here it was a case of ‘close but no cigar’. 2:00 P.M. APRIL 12 We’re loaded up with food and heading to Whittier for the 3:30pm tunnel opening. Also known as ‘Shittier’, this place has reputably the worst weather of anywhere. Which means at least one thing… lots of snow! We miss the tunnel opening and wait for the 4:30 instead, just in time for our appointment with the ‘Good Times’, a local charter boat. We spot sea otters and porpoises along the way, as we head out into the stormy waters of Prince William Sound. Before long we’re in
glacier country and everywhere there’s a good 2 metres of snow right to the beach. Aboard the Good Times was a good time alright, but if only we had a sled on board! Though the clouds were low one thing was becoming really clear… more pillow lines than you’d ever seen. Maybe we’d just found the world’s biggest terrain park, at the unlikely location of sea level! 2:00 P.M. APRIL 18 After driving all day in the sun we get to the wall of cloud that is Thompson’s Pass, gateway to Valdez. Oh well you can’t complain about more snow, so we pull over and start hiking the first thing we see. There’s been 4 feet of fresh from this storm so far… let’s hope tomorrow we might get to see it, aye! 7:00 P.M. APRIL 19 Is that a blue hole? Quick, let’s scramble. Two hours later and we’re on top, looking down a nice long chute in the rosy evening light. Now you can’t do that back home in New Zealand! And so continued our Valdez mission. As they say, ‘One in the bag is worth two in the bush’. At least two in the bush when you’re talking bluebird days in AK! Cloud dodging became a major pastime and many days were a quest for that elusive ‘sucker hole’ that tended to turn up now and then. Problem was, the sun usually peeked through just long enough to get you amped before vanishing right when you needed it... like on top of your line! Slowly the storms backed off, and by late April we’d seen enough of the Chugach to have scared ourselves a few times over. Each adventure was a chance to test some limits of some kind. It’s all there to be done in AK, that’s for sure. But that’s a whole bunch of stories right there! Back home in one piece now, it seems a world away, and it really is. But that’s why you’ve just got to go, if you want to know the real Alaska.
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Recipe For Style By Joel Westcot
ONE OF THE ILLEST DISHES ONE CAN SERVE UP ON A SNOWBOARD IS THE METHOD, and it has a long history. It’s a timeless combination of practicality and style. There’s no correct combination of ingredients, you just have to add your own flavour and season to taste. Simply take any obstacle – be it a hip, a kicker, a halfpipe wall or a cliff – and launch yourself skyward. You’ll then need to bring your heel side edge up toward your ass. Then take one leading hand, preferably gloveless, and wrap it in a determined fashion around the heel side edge of your board just behind your front foot. Then push against the force of your grab with both feet. Tweak to taste with the freshest of style and serve to the closest onlooker or paparazzi. The man who first tasted the glory of the method is said to have been skater Neil Blender, and in snowboarding Terry Kidwell and Craig Kelly undoubtedly had a lot to do with the recipe’s initial refinement. A little later, in the early 90’s, Chris Roach and Tucker Fransen came on the scene out of Grass Valley California, and had such an influence on the method’s technique that it began to be known as a ‘grasser’. Following close behind these guys came Jamie Lynn, who it could be said brought the method’s freshest flavours yet to the table. In 1996 Ingemar Backman cooked up what might be the most publicized shot in snowboarding history, a method to end all methods. This was some serious gourmet s&%t, and held the record for the world’s highest air for several years. Even now this is one massive backside air, and it graced the cover of almost every snowboard magazine in the world. NZ Snowboarder is also no stranger to method shots, Paul Trapski whipped up a sweet meth on a now famous Utah quarter pipe, which graced these pages in 1996. And in 1997 Nick Bourke heated things up on a Treble Cone hip, earning a double page spread. More recently Will Jackways delivered us a mouth watering powder sprinkled treat that went straight to the cover just last year. The flavors and styles of the method are as diverse as they are timeless and how you serve your own method is up to you, as are the ingredients you use to make it. Just serve it cool, not on the rocks, and never bring a suitcase to the kitchen.
Rob Mitchell shows us the method to his madness. PHOTO: VAUGHAN BROOKFIELD 72 NZSNOWBOARDER
Karl Dunham feeling a little out-numbered, sends a shaka to the ‘other locals’. Backcountry Queenstown, New Zealand. PHOTO: STEF ZEESTRATEN
Pulling the Wool By Karl Dunham
SO, YOU’VE JUST LANDED IN NEW ZEALAND FOR THE FIRST TIME… you could be here for a week, a month, or planning on learning double corks and living in a van for the season. You might’ve seen some or one of the ‘classics’; ‘Lord of The Rings’, ‘Flight of the Conchords’ or ‘Once Were Warriors’. But apart from that you know next to nothing about our beloved little country. Firstly, I will quash any misconceptions you may have about New Zealand. We do have the Internet and cell phones, probably stronger coffee than you’re used to, and not everyone lives on a farm or has face tattoos! But some things are true; our houses are poorly insulated, most people do know someone who knows someone who your friend met, and we have tons of sheep here, actually about 47million! Sheep really are everywhere, and most of our resorts are based on sheep farms, so finding flocks of sheep cruising around the hill is common. In fact, they can be quite a nuisance, often standing on the landings of jumps and generally getting in the way around the hill. Just before Coronet Peak opened this year, I headed up for a pre season hike along with some of the local shreds, Joram Makuru, Nick Hyne, Stef ‘Dutchy’ Zeestraten, and Bugs from Reason Films… we had blue skies and soft snow. But right away we ran into some problems. The place was like a cross between The Agro-Dome and a Tokyo train station, with way too many sheep to do anything decent. Stef tried to boost off a roller and I tried to slash a bank, but it was a nightmare trying to get anything done. The other ‘locals’ – i.e. woolly ones – had beaten us to it! In the end the flocks cleared and we managed to have some fun before heading down, the day ending on a big high, and everyone had a date for the evening to top it off. So in New Zealand you will find some challenging riding situations, but you can always make fun of it. NOTE: No animals were harmed during the making of this article (…except when Joram clipped that one…).
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On The JoB
Pablo Azocar By DB
BORN IN THE TALCAHUANO, CHILE, PABLO AZOCAR’S NAME HAS popped up again and again in the last 3 seasons in New Zealand. The tall, lanky Chilean tends to slide under the radar a little, maybe because his softly spoken and second language english gets drowned out by rowdy Kiwis, or more likely because he’s lying in the snow beside a jump or standing on a ridge waiting to capture a movement in time. His skills behind the lens have been steadily improving – and they’re not his only set either. With a background as a natural scientist, a university degree and a diploma in web design, Pablo is definitely packing a full toolbox. In fact Pablo is the man behind our new website where some of you are likely to be reading this. But first and foremost, like you and me, Pablo is a snowboarder – just a very smart one! How and where did you get into snowboarding? In the south of Chile, at a place called Termas de Chillan. I think it was 1993, a long time ago. I remember I had just enough money for a ski lesson or renting a Burton board with hard boots... Guess which one won! How about the photography? After I finished Uni, I did a diploma in Web design… kind of in search for a way to express myself artistically. Later I found photography was the one. I haven’t studied photography, but I’ve always liked it. I read a lot and do a lot of reverse engineering – probably because of my background – so when I see a picture I like, I deconstruct it in my mind. Snowboarding photography came up naturally, a few years ago I broke my collarbone and one year later I broke it again, so I had to chill for a while. In the meantime I started taking pictures, mainly because I still wanted to be on the hills. I guess I like snowboarding over photography, as I still enjoy watching somebody land a stylish backside 180, a method or a proper front-board. I’m not the kind of guy who’s checking the camera screen even before the rider lands the trick. It’s cool to see how things evolve, a few years ago I used to look at pictures in magazines and think, “I wish I could be there”, then I started saying, “I’ve been there”, and now it’s “I took that picture”. I’m pretty stoked on that. ‘Ta Bueno Esto’. You spent some time 'sledding' in the USA and you’re bringing one back here, what are the advantages of being petrol powered? The main advantage is to get access to new terrain. Last year I did some exploration using GPS and satellite images, and found a few places that have potential. With sleds we can save the legs for the riding. Bringing a sled to New Zealand is a mission on it’s own, there are so many logistics involved but that’s just part of the game. I’ll forget all the problems as soon as I hear the first “Dropping!” in a never-seen-before spot. You’re from Chile, tell us a little about your home? I’ve spent 14 seasons in Chile, so you can imagine, I do have some local knowledge of the mountains there. I really miss those long open powder turns on the good days. Mountains in Chile are higher and bigger than in New Zealand, more rocks, cliffs and drops as well. You get big storms only, not as often but when it’s snowing, it’s half a meter at least and not as wind affected as here. The downside is definitely the parks, there aren't as many. In fact, my home resort Valle Nevado used to have the only halfpipe in South America, but 2 years ago they decided it wasn’t worth it and literally filled the pipe with dirt. It must’ve been really scary for you when the earthquake hit. Were your family and friends affected? What are the long-term effects? Yeah, quite an experience... pretty crazy. First you get a 8.8 earthquake, which is bad enough, but then, after everything has collapsed and half of the buildings are on the ground, tsunamis started to hit the towns in the coast! Then the people freaked out, big riots took control of the major cities, so the military had to go to calm things down. Some of my family was affected, but they’re okay now. There are so many long terms effects, from changes in the coastline to people that lost everything – no house, no work, no school for their kids.... It’s gonna take a long time to go back to normal, I really hope the basic needs of the people affected are covered before winter starts.
“I saw ‘Once Were Warriors’ like 15 years ago, that’s all I knew about New Zealand. It looked pretty similar to Chile in some ways, so I thought it was going to be easy to fit in...”
Arrowsmiths/Ragged Range z Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
phone: (+64) 3 302 8108
www.WildernessHeli.co.nz phone: (+64) 3 435 1834
THE BANKED... IT’S BACK! The NEW ZEALAND SNOWBOARDER MAGAZINE BANKED SLALOM,
in association with CAPITA snowboards, makes a return to Treble Cone for 2010.... Fastest overall Man and Women will be crowned 2010 CHAMPIONS on the 23rd of July at Treble Cone. Entry Fee $30 // Half Price Lift Tickets Two Runs... Fastest counts: CASH PRIZES FOR FIRST MAN AND WOMAN Spot Prizes galore from VZ,NIXON,HUFFER, HARRIS MOUNTAINS HELI, UNION BINDING CO, CAPITA SNOWBOARDS, POWERADE, MARS & SNICKERS Registration in the Cafe from 8:30am till 9:45am Course inspection 10.30 First runs commence 11.00am Free handle and snacks downtown at the Lonestar from 5.00pm
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Lil’ Jay throws some style in the mix at Breckenridge, Colorado, USA. PHOTO: PABLO AZOCAR
JAY WALSH Age: 17. /// Born where: Snells Beach, North Island. /// First time shredding: Snowplanet, 2005. /// Live in: Wanaka. /// Local hill: Cardrona, Snow Park. /// Favourite spot to ride NZ and overseas: Breckenridge, Colorado, and Cardrona and Snow Park are both sick. /// Mode of transport: Skater. /// Best travelling item: iPod. /// Future plans: keep pushing my riding, travel, do big comps and filming. /// Best city: Dunedin, good surf, good skate too. /// Best beach: Whangamata. /// Tastiest beverage: Corona with a lime. /// Last trick you nailed: switch back 9. /// Last trick that nailed you: switch back 9. /// Sooo hot right now: Yea.... /// The future of snowboarding is: Next level stuff. /// Crew: There’s a big crew you know who you are. /// Say no to: Early mornings. /// Inspiration: Mikkel Bang. /// On the stereo: Gangsta beats. /// Pipe, parks, powder and/or pool parties: Park, powder, pool party for sure. /// Sponsors: DC, Dragon, Alta. /// Thanks: Sponsors, Jody Blatchley, NZSBU, friends and family. /// Last words: Now comes the mystery.
16TH JULY @
C H E C K O U R FA C E B O O K : F O R U M S N O W B O A R D S N E W Z E A L A N D
BEN COMBER Age: 20. /// Born where: Christchurch. /// First time shredding: I started mid season 2002 at Porters, after seeing my dad and uncle trade in their single tipped skis. I was hooked! Dad and I have been calling in sick every winter since. /// Live in: Christchurch. /// Local hill: Mt. Hutt, or Port Hills when the snow is low. /// Favourite spot to ride NZ and overseas: Revelstoke, BC. Next level vertical! /// Mode of transport: ‘95 Nissan Terrano, pokes a bit of blue but who’s complaining when it gets me to the Mt. Hutt car park in one piece – except for the time Dad tried to put lime juice in the radiator after it overheated, resulting in a blown radiator. 4WD is key at Hutt./// Best travelling item: I picked up the bad habit of carrying a rubix cube around after my latest trip to the states. Can’t claim I’m sub minute quite yet./// Future plans: Finish studying architecture and actually get out of Christchurch. But realistically I’m probably stuck here for life, ha-ha. And keep on shredding till I’m bound to a walking frame. /// Best city: The quaint little town of Moana on the West Coast, South Island. It’s far from being a city with a population that barely cracks 100, but it’s a home away from home during the summer months, of which endless hours are spent wakeboarding and wakeskating. /// Best beach: I spent my childhood years at Woodend Beach. It was every kids dream complete with dune boarding, a rope swing and a hydro slide. /// Tastiest beverage: Gin and tonic with fresh lemon. One-in-three chance of having a bloody good night out, or so my mate Cam Craighead says. Otherwise you end up having a cry in the corner or picking a fight with someone twice your height. /// Last trick you nailed: Wildcats, on my last day in Breck. /// Last trick that nailed you: Probably the first wildcat I tried that day. /// Sooo hot right now: Mum’s chicken and leek pie. /// The future of snowboarding is: Video game manoeuvres. /// Crew: The Bathurst Brothers, Dave Nurse and the rest of the Hutt park crew, my lil’ sis Jess, Dad, and pretty much anyone that’s pumped to shred. /// Say no to: Cheese in a can. /// Inspiration: Snowboard movies and carpet jib sessions help build the stoke pre season. Snowboarding in general is inspiring! /// On the stereo: Euro Electro Pop, David Dallas, Jack Johnson. It’s a pretty mixed bag.... /// Pipe, parks, powder and/or pool parties: I’m definitely a bit of a park rat but you’ll never catch me lapping it when there’s powder to slash. And I always rock a pair of boardies under my snowboard pants just in case there is a pool party. /// Sponsors: Burton, Anon, Cheapskates and Mt. Hutt. /// Thanks: Firstly I better drop a big overdue thankyou to Mum and Dad otherwise I’ll be out on the street by tomorrow. Jess, Jasmine, my best mates Tim and Riley Bathurst, all the crew at Higher Ground, Mt. Hutt and Christchurch Cheapies, all my other friends who I haven’t mentioned and of course MOTHER NATURE. Looks like she’s been on point so far this winter, keep the snow rolling! /// Last words: Touch wood and never call last run, I’ve definitely seen it go very wrong when people disregard these two simple rules. Colorado. PHOTO: PABLO AZOCAR 80 NZSNOWBOARDER
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haere ra CHEAP AS CHIPS. You donâ€™t need a snowmobile or helicopter to score lines like these here in New Zealandâ€Ś just go for a hike, and cut down on the CO2 this season! Stef Zeestraten clocking up some credits at Temple Basin.
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Style Council: Back 900’s never looked so good… Kazuhiro Kokubo shows how its done! The Real Alaska: Shane Orchard and Ruari McFarlane test...
Published on Jul 21, 2010
Style Council: Back 900’s never looked so good… Kazuhiro Kokubo shows how its done! The Real Alaska: Shane Orchard and Ruari McFarlane test...