New Zealand was a dream come true for me. Ever since I started skiing, New Zealand has been one of the places I’ve always dreamed about going to. At the start of the summer I booked tickets with my buddy Robby Franco, and luckily it all worked out for us to go down there.

Traveling with Robby

Traveling with Robby

My 24 hour travel day started off in Spokane. From there I flew into Portland, then San Francisco before rendezvousing with Robby, and hopping on the 747 to Auckland.  We left San Francisco around 10 PM Thursday night, and landed the around 5 AM on Saturday in Auckland. After going through customs, glad to have all of our luggage, and a quick layover we finally landed in Queenstown. Right after Robby did some quick negotiating with the taxi driver we got dropped off at our buddy Toby Dickson’s place.

Layover in Auckland

Layover in Auckland

Flying into Queenstown

Flying into Queenstown

When we arrived at the Dickson home Toby’s mom Lisa, and his sister Lucy greeted Robby and me. After getting situated and talking to them for a bit Toby arrived home from skiing with our friend Carson Lehouillier, and his hilarious friend Guy. That night we headed into Queenstown for a rail jam and meet up with some buddies. Fun times, but quickly headed off to bed so we could go ski the next day.

Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

The first week of skiing at Cardrona involved a lot of fog and wind. We all still had a blast just being able to ski this late in the year, but unfortunately the weather didn’t get much better, until the World Cup. Thankfully Robby and I were able to get our spots for the contest. Although we weren’t able to hit the jumps as much as we wanted it was still awesome getting to do another contest.

Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona Alpine Resort

Lucky for everyone the qualifying day had some of the best weather, with sunny skies, and no wind. My first run I was finally able to link two double corks in the same run, but unfortunately my ski binding popped off on the last jump. During my second run, I was able to fully land my run, although missed my last grab that resulted in a low score. Check out my run below. 

Still happy with how I skied that day though. It was a bummer we wouldn’t ski in the next round, but we couldn’t let misfortune get us down. That night it was Robby and our friend Dara Howell’s birthday. So a big group of us went out for pizza to celebrate.

Getting some pizza at the Cow in Wanaka with the buddies. 

Getting some pizza at the Cow in Wanaka with the buddies. 

The next day we all took it off to relax our bodies a bit, and walk around Queenstown a little bit.

One of the many trips to Fergburger in Queenstown

One of the many trips to Fergburger in Queenstown

The following day was finals for the comp, and we were stoked to see our buddy Nick Goepper take the win with James “Woodsy” Woods in second, and Russ Henshaw in third on the mens side, and Tiril Christensen, Dara Howell, and Lisa Zimmerman making the podium on the girls side.

Fun times, till part 2

 -Noah

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