Heli-skiing is the best way to experience the Southern Alps of New Zealand for snow enthusiasts. Access to the interior of the Southern Alps is extremely tough due to their massive stature without any gradual elevation gain from the plains. This is why most of the ski fields are located on the exterior of the range...it is just too difficult to throw in a road and build a resort. Higher elevation, steeper slopes, better snow, longer descents, and incredible vistas are what you will find. Therefore, when its raining at the resorts, you can almost guarantee some fresh snow accessible by one of the well-known heli operations.
For my last day of riding, the cards lined up perfectly where new snow, blue skis, and a lack of wind allowed us to venture into the North Buchanans due North of Wanaka with Harris Mountains Heli-ski. We were a bit skeptical since two days prior it rained to extremely high elevations and then froze solid, making ice skates a necessity for our downhill descents. However, we were greeted by about a foot of fresh snow with low moisture content. Some Northern and steeper aspects were still bulletproof, but others were as if it didn't rained at all.
In this video, you'll find your tried and true New Zealand heli accessed hippy pow pow near Mt. Aspiring. Even better was having kiwi skiing legend Geoff Small as our guide.
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