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New Snow at Treble Cone – 8 August 2013

August 8, 2013

Fantastic Season Start at Treble Cone, NZ

July 8, 2013
  • Great early season snow led to a successful and very memorable Opening Day on 23rd June 2013
  • Treble Cone opened with all terrain and two metres of snow in the Saddle Basin
  • There’s currently still over 2m of snow in the Saddle Basin
  • There’s currently top-to-bottom skiing in the Home Basin
  • The ski area is looking fantastic leading into more New Zealand and Australian school holidays

Fernie, Canada – A World Class Ski Town

June 5, 2013

Steep and Deep in Fernie!Best For: Adventurous skiers with a hunger for the steep and deep

Though it serves up some of the most spectacular terrain and best snow in all of Canada, this historic mining hamlet of 4,217 people tucked into the far southeastern corner of British Columbia still somehow flies below the greater ski-scene radar. Which isn’t a bad thing—its wide-open alpine bowls, knife ridges, and daredevil chutes are rarely crowded, and fresh tracks can still be found in afternoons on powder days. For many skiers and snowboarders it hits the Canadian sweet spot, with more consistent powder than Whistler and warmer temperatures than Banff.

Similar to its American cousin, Whitefish, a hundred miles to the south, Fernie is a small, funky town with a tiny yet charming downtown. Restaurants are eclectic and unpretentious, the old train station has been converted to an arts center, and ski bums abound. It’s the kind of town where old skis are turned into fences, benches, and coat racks. Thanks to new developments at the base of the hill and in town, lodging options at all price points abound, from hostels to luxury lodges.

Fernie Alpine Resort overlooks the Elk River Valley from 4.5 miles outside town, clinging to the sculpted faces of the Lizard Range. Its five distinct bowls will keep advanced skiers and snowboarders drunk on adrenaline all day, while the new chairlift to the summit of Polar Peak opens up hundred-mile mountain views and 3,497 feet of vertical drop. Diehard powder addicts can head up to the Bear Lodge of Island Lake Catskiing, a few miles past the ski area, for world-class cat skiing.

Ask a Local

Brian Bell came to Fernie in 1993, living in his van, to ski for a winter and never left. He’s been running the Mountain Adventure Skills Training Program at the Fernie Campus of the College of the Rockies for 15 years. Here are his recommendations.

Best Digs

Budget: The Raging Elk Hostel in downtown Fernie

Swank: The Lizard Creek Lodge on the mountain is ski-in, ski-out.

Best Eats

Cheap: Big Bang Bagels—get the “Mr. Fernie” on a whole wheat salty top.

Gourmet: Picnic Restaurant + Social has beautiful ambience and the slow-braised buffalo ribs are fantastic.

Best After-Ski Party Spot

The Griz Bar right at the hill has the best nachos in town and great acoustic après-ski bands. Be sure to ask about the naked table sliding.

Best Rest-Day Activity

Hang out sipping espressos at Bean Pod, the best coffee (and handmade artisan chocolates) most likely in the Western Hemisphere. Then go fondle all the beautiful skis at the local ski shops in historic downtown Fernie.

Fernie’s Classic Ski Run

“Sky Dive nonstop, top to bottom. By far the best fall line on the hill,” says Bell.

Fernie Ski Packages

Article Source: National Geographic – Top 25 Ski Towns

The Right Skis for the Conditions

May 9, 2013

Leave your old skis at home, don’t hassle with overweight luggage, the team at Outside Sports has got your gear sorted!

New Zealand is renowned as a winter destination for its majestic alpine peaks, breath taking scenery and stunning bluebird ski days.  Being an island rising out of the rugged South Pacific Ocean means that conditions can change fast in our alpine paradise.  One day offering chalky firm groomers under cobalt skies, the next an overcast powder day, followed by scattered golden sun and cut-up piles of un-groomed soft snow.

To get the most out of your ski experience let Outside Sports gear you up with the right ski for the conditions!  On your bluebird groomer day jump onto the Dynastar Outland 80 Pro for men or the Dynastar Exclusive Active for women and lay down some smooth arcing turns and shred that corduroy!  For your powder da
outsidesports2No matter what the conditions our professional staff will have a solution to help you make the most out of your day.  All you have to do is enjoy it!y let us swap your carving skis for Rossignol S3s, the ideal platform for floating through winter’s bounty and giving you broad snow filled grins.

WIN FREE SKI HIRE – plus free lift tickets for your NZ Ski trip in 2013. Enter Here by 17 May

What’s New for One Pass in 2013

April 26, 2013

The One Pass is the ticket to freedom for your NZ ski holiday. Ride mountains from Porters in the Canterbury region, Ohau in McKenzie County to Treble Cone and Cardrona near beautiful Lake Wanaka. Plus, swap your day ticket for another activity and get your adrenalin fix or relax with a spa treatment or some retail therapy. The choice is yours!!

The One Pass is included in all our Queenstown and Wanaka ski packages for 2013. Plus you can WIN A ONE PASS PRIZE PACK just by entering your details. Check It Out


Winter in Wanaka and Queenstown

April 19, 2013

Guest Post from Outside Sports Wanaka

Epic chutes, powder fields, perfectly groomed beginner slopes or heli-skiing.  Experience all this and more on your perfect ski holiday in Queenstown and Wanaka.

Last winter proved to be a great combo of soft snow and bluebird skies, there was no excuse not to get up there and make the most of it.  After snowboarding for about 10 years I was hungry for a new challenge and decided to learn to ski.   The wide open slopes at Cardrona were a beginners’ dream come true.  Plenty of time to turn and lots of space to fall over!  I took advantage of a few lessons and the instructors had me turning smoothly in no time. Ski Wanaka

This year we’re expecting more epic, blue bird powder days.  Don’t miss out.  Head over here and experience it yourself.

Here at Outside Sports we’ve got the gear to get you out there loving it.  The perfect range of equipment to suit everyone from a first timer through to a seasoned professional.  You can even swap from skis to snowboard mid rental if you fancy trying something new.

Check out our gear online or feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

See you soon!

Outside Sports, Queenstown and Wanaka.


Win a 2 Day Ski Wanaka Prize pack include ski hire or snowboard hire from Outside Sports

The Unknown Resorts of Hokkadio, Japan

March 20, 2013


TRAVEL JAPAN – Floating On Pow – No Crowds No Lines

Rusutsu is only a 40 minute drive from Niseko, yet offers an escape from the crowds that choke the better known resort

The secret is out! Japan gets almost 5 times as much snow as Australia over its winter season. The crowds are flocking to resorts from Hakuba to Niseko, but with fresh tracks the ultimate prize, why ride tracked out snow? Check out these incredible resorts on Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido, where you’ll ride fresh tracks on your last run.

Rusutsu Ski Resort
Rusutsu is an easy access, slightly well known deep powder destination. A cruisy 40 minute drive from Australia’s favourite resort, Niseko, Rusutsu caters to all levels. Traditionally, Japanese riders rarely stray from the piste, guaranteeing fresh tracks in tree runs and open ridges. This quieter mountain attracts local tourists, but lift lines are rarely long. Passes are about $60 AUD and include lunch. Powder under gondola lines and tree runs funnel into the valleys, leading you back to the chairlifts, so you can’t get lost! A huge range of terrain, with the option of steeper piste and sidecountry makes Rusutsu a welcome change from Niseko’s very gentle gradient. Head there for a day trip on the bus from Niseko, or a short drive from Sapporo.

So close to Sapporo Sapporo Teine mainly attracts intermediate skiers from the city, with a little effort you can access some incredible sidecountry terrain Image:: Teine Highland Ski

Sapporo Teine
Little known resorts are where back country riding comes with a chairlift. Sapporo Teine is a simple 40 minute drive from Sapporo, a great city and the gateway airport to Hokkaido. A ‘gnarly’ resort, the off piste riding here is steeper, with tighter trees and drops and features everywhere. The piste is steep and fun, but there aren’t very many runs. Experienced riders will love the back country here, but a guide or experienced local is recommended as Its easy to get lost around the side ridges. Hiking out in powder is not ideal, and can end badly with the sunset at only 4:30 pm peak season, so plan your route!

Asahidake back country resort brings the lightest snow imaginable to Hokkaido. The highest peak on the island, its inland location means dryer, lighter snow with a huge amount of terrain. Asahidake’s ropeway, or cable car, adds an extra touch, and groomed runs are considered merely gateways to the incredible off-piste riding. Plus, Mt Asahi (no relation to the beer) is an active volcano, so this mountain is literally smokin’. Hostels and hotels are reasonably priced, and the lack of tourists makes for a truly Japanese experience.

With plenty of off hill activities Tomamu is a destination that suits more than just the skiers in the group Image:: Tomamu Hoshino

Tomamu Hoshimo
Less than an hour from New Chitose airport, Tomamu Hoshimo has it all. Deep powder, thrilling ridge lines and tree runs, plus ski in ski out accomodations at the base. Perfect for those wanting a true Japanese winter festival feel, check out the magical illuminated ice village, ice bar and restaurant. Mouth watering eateries and a little ice skating rink make the tiny village a winter paradise. Tomamu is perfect for a family holiday, or those looking for skiing plus a little extra fun.

But wait, there’s more!
Still not enough? Try these: Hakodateyama, Furano, Asahikawa, Moiwa, Kurodake and Kiroro. With so many resorts on Hokkaido, why not road trip between them. You’ll experience true Japanese culture, food, and courtesy without the loud mouthed Westerners and pushy tourists. Plus, you’ll stimulate the local economy, which in the last few years has been hit hard after natural disasters. Japan’s northern island is a ski and snowboarder’s powder playground. Forget Niseko, the powder at these mountains will blow your mind. Remember, off piste riding is not patrolled, so keep your game face on, and ride with all necessary avalanche safety equipment and terrain tools. Explore other resorts, ask locals where to ride and you’ll have the time of your life!


Courtesy of Mountainwatch/Caitlin Reid