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Harris Mountain Heli-Ski

I went Heli skiing with Harris Mountain!!

Monday 11th July 2016 by Yuki

Up until just recently we haven't seen much snow on the ski fields in Queenstown, the weather has been so mild. The good news is there is still plenty of snow up higher, you just need a helicopter to get there!

Harris Mountain Heli Ski by Yuki Outside Sports NZ

(Take off time after some avalanche safety training and helicopter loading).

So I went Heli Skiing with Harris Mountain Heli Ski!!

Harris Mountain Heli Ski by Yuki Outside Sports NZ

(First run and I can't quite believe where I am).

The weather was fantastic and the views from the top of our private, untracked mountain were just gorgeous.

Harris Mountain Heli Ski by Yuki Outside Sports NZ

Not only were the snow conditions awesome, at lunch they put on a delicious spread of cheeses, meats and hot drinks- on a snow carved table.

Harris Mountain Heli Ski by Yuki Outside Sports NZ

This was my first time ever Heli Skiing and I would highly recommend it. Harris Mountain offer various levels of terrain to suit your ability so you don't need to be a world class skier to experience this amazing New Zealand trip. It's great to get away from the crowded ski fields and ski some untracked New Zealand powder.

What I was wearing from Outside Sports:

-Haglofs Spirit Jacket

-Haglofs L.I.M Power Dry Hood

-Icebreaker 200 Oasis Base layer

-Icebreaker 200 Body Fit Zone legless

-Icebreaker Oasis Balaclava

-Icebreaker Sierra Gloves

-Marmot Spring Glove

-Spyder Sport Merino socks

-Smith Optics Maze Helmet

-Dalbello Scorpion Ski Boots

-Rossignol Saffron Ski (Outside Sports Ski Rental)



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Cardrona Valley’s New Bike Park

Cardrona Valley’s New Bike Park

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Yesterday’s winds didn’t deter a bunch of local freeride mountain bikers from checking out the new downhill jump park that has been constructed in the Cardrona Valley.

The nearly-finished bike park, consisting of over 30 jumps, all varying in size, has been built somewhat under the radar over the past few months. Yesterday was the first real “test” day, even though it wasn’t open to the public.

With Queenstown pro riders (Kelly McGarry, Conor Macfarlane and others) in attendance, plus a select few Wanaka locals, the freshly shaped track was well ridden in. The gusty winds meant riders had to hold back a little on the big jumps, or just pick their moments perfectly.

One of the two-man building team, Jamie Thompson, said: “The track is designed to minimise braking and pedaling, which allows riders to flow from one jump to the next with out having to change speed constantly. This means less braking bumps too.”

“Local riders have been waiting for a solid jump line for ages in this area. We’re filling that gap. There’s nothing else like this in Queenstown or Wanaka.” – said Jamie.

Queenstown pro rider Kelly McGarry - cardrona valley bike park

Queenstown pro rider Kelly McGarry finding gap in the wind

Wanaka local rider Rusty getting it done on the wall ride feature at the top

Wanaka local rider Rusty getting it done on the wall ride feature at the top

The jumps varying in size from 5-30 feet and are well-built with flow and safety in mind. Almost all the jumps on the track are roll-able, with options to go bigger and bigger as your confidence increases. Most of the jumps are built as step-ups, so the consequences of coming up short are minimal, and many of them have a hip-like option to jump into the bank on the side. The only two features that require full commitment are the ‘road gaps’, but it is possible to ride around both of these.

The track begins on the Snow Farm / Proving Grounds access road and finishes in the valley bottom. With no signage as yet, it’s hard to spot the entrance and the exit is even more discreet. Those keen to pop up and take a look will get the best view of the track from the 3km mark on the access road. But don’t be tempted to take any sneaky laps just yet, it’s still lambing season and the track has multiple gates across it, all under lock and key.

cardrona valley bike park top section

The top section of the track

cardrona valley bike park bottom section

The bottom section, from afar

The man behind the plan is Scott Jones, who is a relation by marriage to the well-known Lee Family. Scott is aiming to have the park ready and open to the public within the next few weeks and has plans to cater to both groups and individuals.

They plan to offer a pay-per-person shuttle service on weekends and possibly on a Wednesday evening, then a half day hire option for groups. The expected rates will be $300 for self-shuttle or $400 with the shuttle. Portaloos and a BBQ will be available at the bottom of the track.

Watch out for their Facebook page coming real soon!

cardrona valley bike park drop in

All the test riders waiting to drop in

Queenstown Bike Taxis at cardrona valley bike park

The good fellas from Queenstown Bike Taxis helping out with shuttles

riders at ardrona valley bike park

Riders looking pretty happy with the shape of features

cardrona valley bike park

BBQs at the bottom

Check out our bike rentals in Queenstown and Wanaka. Our local expert bike mechanics can also book you on the Queenstown Bike Taxi or provide some advice on local trails in the area.

Reference: 360queenstown-wanaka

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Skyline Queenstown MTB Early Opening

We are excited to share the news that the Queenstown Skyline Mountain Bike track will be opening early. This recent stretch of amazing weather in Queenstown, New Zealand, has allowed them to prepare the tracks ahead of schedule. Skyline NZ will be opening the doors for Mountain Biking on Thursday the 18th of September. 

Please note that between the dates of 18th September to the 24th of September, Skyline Gondola access for all Mountain Bikers will be between the hours of 1pm and 5pm. The afternoon half-day session will also be between these hours.

From the 25th of September, Skyline will resume the AM and PM, 4 hour sessions for the 2014/2015 season. 

Check out the new ThunderGoat trail, Skylines new mountain trail that opened earlier this year

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