What is your favourite ski trail in Queenstown and why?
Alternatively and in contrast, some great on piste trails for learning to ski are the Big Easy on Coronet or Alta Green at the Remarks.
Any particular conditions that suit these trails?
Homeward and Exchange are both great after a NW storm cycle and an early start to grab the untracked slopes. Once Patrol have managed the terrain, get into it and smash out the laps with a whoop and a holla and feel the early season burn.
Big Easy all morning on the fresh groom and Alta Green all afternoon in the winter sun with coffee and pizza after, purr-fection!
Tips and tricks for those who want to get to the next level in their ability?
Come have a yarn to Patrol on all the local fields, we`ll always point you in the right direction and give ya some tips.
Push your ability one step at a time, great skiers take years to ride the lines on a Red Bull set. Get some lessons from ski school or take an avalanche course with a local guide if you want to get into the back country and advance your riding in uncontrolled terrain.
Most memorable experience while patrolling?
So hard to answer, its the best job in the world and we all have hundreds of memorable times.
Standing on the top of Coronet in the rising sun, ski cutting or using explosives to trigger an avalanche prone slope, or helping injured guests in their time of need all resonant in your subconscious.
The team is everything and that's what we all enjoy the most, great times together and an awesome bond for life.
Any recommendations for those looking to get into backcountry skiing?
YES! Stay safe, take an avalanche course, make good decisions and carry and learn how to use the equipment.
Go to https://www.avalanche.net.nz/ where there are heaps of resources.
Alternatively hire a guide for the day, their skill will take you to the best terrain for your ability and teach ya lots!
Russ Wilson on Crown Peak - shot by Alan Swann
Any once-in-a-lifetime ski experiences people have to try in Queenstown?
Heaps of them! Go heli skiing at least once in your life. The heli skiing terrain in the Southern Lakes is legendary.
Ski at all the local fields and mix it up with all the locals, there has never been a better time to enjoy this little piece of paradise. On your rest days go and see some cool little towns close to Queenstown, such as Glenorchy or Arrowtown.
Heli Skiing in Queenstown
What makes the ultimate winter's day in your opinion?
Either a dawn start for a days back country skiing with good friends, grabbing as many laps as possible and always finishing with some apres beersies and a feed.
OR for me, a heli onto one of my local peaks in Glenorchy with good friends, then spending the day skiing epic terrain in my back yard.