NZ! We have been LONGING to get some Winter Missions done in the incredible land of the Kiwis. We lined up North Face Rider and longtime Transferite Roland Morley-Brown plus now NZ based filmer, Marcus Skin to embark on some of the best missions this winter that NZ has to offer.
Mission number one…of course they ended up in the Heli with the crew from Inspired Unemployed!
Words: Roland Morley-Brown “RMB”
What can I say about Matt Ford and Jack Steele from the Inspired Unemployed that the whole world doesn’t already know? To be honest, I was kinda nervous meeting these international celebrities (lol) and didn’t really know what to expect, but I’ve got to say, the boys are freakin’ legends.
After hearing that the guys had posted up in Queenstown for the winter season due to being locked out of Australia, we knew we had to get them out for a day. And in true NZ style, throwing them in a heli was the logical option!
Trying our best to capitalise on weather patterns and lack of snow around the Southern Lakes district at the time of filming this, we figured our best option would be to hit up the awesome crew at Southern Lakes Heli and see if they could squeeze us in for a few bumps.
Waiting it out over a few days, it ended up being a classic case of getting the phone call the evening before the fly day, this actually happens more often than not around here and it’s always the same feeling, which goes something along the lines of…oh shit! Sick – we’re on tomorrow! Let’s GO.
An early morning start from Queenstown, we jumped in the car to go pick up Jack and Matt, loaded up and headed straight back over the crown range to Wanaka.
A quick blast back over the crown range to Wanaka, as day broke we noticed a bit of low lying cloud around and as if right on cue we receive a phone call from Southern Lakes Heli letting us know that our takeoff time has been pushed an hour to let the cloud lift, giving us extra time to grab some breaky, Allpress coffee and cruise to the helipad.
Froth levels at an all-time high, gearing up in the heli headquarters the boys were given a nice little refresher course on the correct way to use the avalanche beacons and what to do in case of slides and emergencies. It’s super important to keep yourself familiar with these protocols and Southern Lakes Heli are really good at giving the appropriate amount of information to their clients without it being an overwhelming experience. And we’re off!
The views of Lake Wanaka flying towards Treble Cone are legit unbeatable! Even without the added excitement of heli-boarding this as a sightseeing flight is enough to blow your mind. And it has to be said it is a special feeling flying over Treble Cone looking down at all the people waiting in the lift lines.
Seconds after touching down, hoots, hollers and high 5’s are getting thrown around like no one’s business! Let’s do this…A blank canvas ready to be cut to pieces below us, Matt and Jack drop in and get straight into ripping massive arcing turns. It was so fun chasing them down the rolling terrain I almost forgot I was holding a GoPro and was meant to be capturing the action!
First run jitters out of the way, the next couple of laps the boys were able to really sink their teeth in…Oh and speaking of teeth, that made it time for lunch. We filled our YETI bag full of the good stuff and some Pirate Life Beer.
I was pretty impressed with the snow conditions we had on offer, especially for the time of year and the amount of snowfall the Wanaka region had seen. We were able to squeeze one more run in after lunch as the sun began to dip behind the mountains our slope became covered in shade fairly early, we came up with an epic last-minute late afternoon plan…
Let’s take the boat out on the lake for some sunset Pirate Life Beers! Boom!
I think Matt sums it all up quite nicely describing the day as “a triple threat” saying “we’ve been in the air, we’ve been on the land and now we’re out on the water, you beauty!”
For me playing host, I was mostly just blown away by the guys’ amazing attitudes and outright legit stoke for snowboarding! Matt and Jack shred and it was an incredible experience to share our beautiful backyard with them out here in little ol’ NZ.
Huge shoutout to all our partners for making these Winter Missions possible! So rad to work with brands we love, and have them support what we love. Thanks to Ford Australia for the wheels, GoPro for all the camera, YETI for all the gear, Allpress Espresso for the caffeine, The North Face for all the outerwear and kit, Pirate Life for the beer, Oakley for the prime vision and G-Shock for the time keepers! Thanks to Cardrona and NZ Ski for helping us bring the NZ missions to life also!