I topped out at just over 1950m, changed over from ski mode and strapped myself in pausing for a moment to breathe in the crisp mountain air and admire the sheer grandeur of the back side of The Remarkables. Had it not been for the 4 ski tourers heading back into resort, I would have felt like the first person on earth to see its beauty. Regardless, it was my first time into the “real” back country, I couldn’t decide if I was nervous or excited, but either way I couldn’t wait to get into what lay before me!
During our skin up I was quietly wondering to myself what the snow would be like, there was reports of upto 10cm fresh in bounds the day before..but the slippy, crusty, windblown snow didn’t have me convinced. Luckily for me I’ve still got a lot to learn about the nature of snow!! We slipped almost silently down the valley, until we came to a stop, grinning from ear to ear after enjoying some of the BEST turns of my life! Knee deep powder turns on completely virgin snow would have even the biggest sceptic convinced that we were in for a treat!
We had a quick snack, and my partner decided he was itching for another run. I made the call to play photographer and let my legs have a bit of a break, unfortunately I’m not as fit as he is.
Watching him lay down some awesome turns in some pretty amazing snow had me gagging to get back to the top, this time leaving my partner in charge of the camera. I made a plan of action in the hopes of getting some good shots, but mostly I just wanted to get up there and enjoy some more of that delicious snow!!
By this point I knew that I had to save some energy for the skin back out, and the ride into base, so again, my partner headed up. Clearly his couple of extra seasons splitboarding have made a hell of a difference to his stamina! He skinned off while I changed over – by the time I even looked up he was out of sight.. bastard.. so I had nothing to do but wait for him to drop back in. He picked a bit of a steeper line, finished out with a sweet little rock drop and pulled up with the biggest shit-eating grin I have ever seen on his face!
We got our stuff together and headed out, it was a long slow climb back to the top, where I waved a sad so-long to Wye Creek, knowing that I’ll be heading back in there sooner rather than later. Who says there’s no such thing as a powder day in New Zealand?!
Check out my partner’s take on our little mission over at www.splitboardnz.com