Damian was kind enough to drop me off at the airport where I waited for John Blankenstein to arrive from Australia before meeting up with Chris Rayner and Pow and we stoked up for a overnight traverse of the Craigieburn Range over about 30kms and 10,000 vert going past 4 ski fields with an overnight stay at Mt. Olympus.
Fortunately I had a Licence to Chill pass so I was able to use the Nutcrackers to get to the top of Craigieburn but John and Pow had to climb the resort.
It had barely snowed throughout the season and we were almost 4 weeks into a drought but we made the best out of the situation.
We were able to ride from the top of Craigieburn over to Broken River club field and use there rope tows on the traverse.
After passing Mount Cheeseman we made a detour towards Mt. Olympus to stay at there hut and enjoy the hot tub, this is the only time I have ever taken shorts with me while ski touring.
We hiked until dusk to finally get there. It was cool because it was the first time I had been back to Olympus since I learned there a decade back. It was cool to see nothing had changed.
The next morning we got on the rope tow at 8:00 A.M. and just put our heads down and kept following the ridge. In the end there was very little riding but we did spot some rad terrain to come back for.
Pow and I made it to the Porter Heights car lot at around 5:30 where John was waiting with the car and a wild bunch of Kea tried to dismantle his car so we hopped in and made our way towards Temple Basin ski field.
The next few days we sat up at Temple Basin while the rain washed away most of the snow. We hung out with about 50 other skiers and boarders waiting for the weather to clear, it finally happened on Sunday so I got out on a quick mission to summit Temple Peak with Ryan Nicols.
We found a great line off the main peak and I was happy with the Splitfest turnout as the conditions were pretty dire yet everyone was having a good time. Kiwis know how to make the best out of the worst situations.
But it was mid September and there was no Snowpack. I was starting to question how much longer I would be riding before it was the end of the season.