After the World Cup happened, the entire next week was spent in preparing for the next contest, The New Zealand Freeski Open. 

Switch 10 Stale: Photo by Carson Lehouillier

Switch 10 Stale: Photo by Carson Lehouillier

Flat 3 over the Cardrona Hip, Photo by: Robby Franco

Flat 3 over the Cardrona Hip, Photo by: Robby Franco

When the day of qualifiers came around we got up to the mountain early for practice and expected to start the contest very soon. Unfortunately for me and the rest of the competitors, the contest was running extremely slow. The first heat did not finish till around 2:00, and me being at the back of the second heat didn’t even take my first run till 3:00. During my first run I screwed up on my first jump. On my second run I had my run landed until the last jump, and my binding popped off. It wasn’t my day, but it was a great day for my buddy Robby! Even though he was the first one to drop, he landed a run so good that the rest of the scores were low for the whole day.

Robby during one of his runs for the NZ Freeski Open

Robby during one of his runs for the NZ Freeski Open

The next day was finals and I skied with Robby on the course and followed him with my GoPro during his runs. He did an awesome job and ended up finishing 6th place with our buddies Nick Goepper, James Woods, and Jesper Tjader making the podium.

Robby during his NZ Open Run  

Robby during his NZ Open Run  

A couple days later Robby, Carson, Toby, and I got to go enjoy one of the most active and fun 24 hour periods of our lives. In the morning we went skiing and rooted on Toby and our halfpipe friends. As soon as Toby finished his runs, we headed back to Queenstown. After a quick change we went and flew around New Zealand thanks to Toby’s Dad, John. Right after taking off out of Queenstown we got to see all the gorgeous mountains up-close, and experience New Zealand in a whole other way.

(Below is a slideshow from our flight - Click on the image to move onto the next photo, there is a lot of photos) 

Our first stop was the shores of Big Bay on the west coast of New Zealand. After hanging out there a little while we kept going along the coast, randomly stopping at different spot or two until we arrived in Milford Sound, one of the most beautiful Fjords in the world.

Big Bay with Robby, Carson, and Toby

Big Bay with Robby, Carson, and Toby

Flipping around Milford Sound

Flipping around Milford Sound

 We got to walk around and soak in the beauty of the area before heading back to Queenstown for dinner. Following a great meal prepared by Lisa, the boys all headed over to Wanaka so we could hang out with our buddies. Had such a blast dancing and hanging out with our friends.

We woke up bright and early the following morning to go bungy jump for the first time. Bungy jumping was so much fun, and was surprisingly peaceful. Makes me want to go skydiving really bad now, hopefully one day soon.

Nevis Highwire Bungy

Nevis Highwire Bungy

Right after we finished jumping we had to get some breakfast, and decided it was time again for another Fergburger.  

Seriously one of the best burger places ever. 

Seriously one of the best burger places ever. 

The last week we spent in New Zealand had us trying to get as much skiing in as possible with the buddies. During a random trip back home from the mountain Robby, Toby, and I decided it was time to go rope swinging. Although the water was extremely cold, it was very worth it to send it into Lake Hayes. 

Toby going dub back into the lake

Toby going dub back into the lake

One day at Cardrona thanks to the motivational help of Robby and Hackel. I was able to sack up and finally try Right Dub 12’s. So happy to have friends push me, and help me progress more. 

Some of the buddies down in NZ. Trevor, Eddie, Nick, Hanley, and Kyle. Photo taken by: Robby

Some of the buddies down in NZ. Trevor, Eddie, Nick, Hanley, and Kyle. Photo taken by: Robby

The last few days in New Zealand were spent with a few more trips up to Cardrona, and a night out in Queenstown to check out the Ice Bar and the local nightlife.

Robby and Annabel playing table hockey in the Ice Bar

Robby and Annabel playing table hockey in the Ice Bar

Ice Bar chilling

Ice Bar chilling

The very last day in New Zealand, Robby and I decided to hike up to the top of one of the large hills in Queenstown.  Took a little bit longer than we thought, but ended up being very worth it.

On top of Bob's Peak with the Remarkables and Queenstown in the background

On top of Bob's Peak with the Remarkables and Queenstown in the background

After hiking back down and doing a little souvenir shopping we finished getting packed up and then headed to the airport. So happy we were able to make this trip happen.

Jack, the best!

Jack, the best!

Even though contests didn't go that well, just the experience of being somewhere else other than the states was amazing. It really got me excited to travel a lot more in the future, and see all the beauty this world has to offer.

-Noah

 

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