Settling in for the NZ season

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May 31 2009
It’s been a week now – a week today I left England and here’s the first moment I’ve had to actually sit and chill, doing absolutely sweet FA. A week ago I didn’t imagine I’d be sitting here now in a 3-bed detached house with panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu from my bedroom and our massive 30sq ft deck… and only be paying £40 a week for it. Every time I look out the window I can’t believe I’m looking at a never-ending expanse of glittering water, surrounded by towering snowy mountains and green hills.

The view from… San Sebastian

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Ladies, ladies, ladies. 

What an epic season that was, but what to do now the snow is melting and middle-aged hikers have taken over our Alpine playground?

I think I have a solution.

Board sports is as board sports does, and I’m dedicating this summer to the surf.

The similarities to snowboarding abound and I think this masterplan will improve my riding – and my fitness – no end.

So I’ve relocated to the Basque country and taken up with a bunch of Australian mentalists who have dedicated the past five years to travelling madness.

Snow and sunshine at Maverix summer camps

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Ride the mountain in the morning, chill in the baking sun by the pool in the afternoon.Anna McKellar – Having fun hippy hopping in the summer park

It’s possible. Very possible – thanks to Maverix’s plans for Les Deux Alpes this summer.

Powderroom caught up with Maverix founder James Streater and a couple of his coaches, Thom Boddington and Rachel Elliott, to get the low-down on still getting your snow fix when many Alpine resorts have gone into hibernation.

In short, the crew have commandeered a luxury chalet in the centre of resort for three weeks from June 13. 

Ride 24/7 with rudechalets’ Shaun White hook-up

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Snowboarding gets under your skin, right? 

It’s like a (very pleasant) addiction that needs to be fed.

Well, thanks to rudechalets’ hook-up with Ubisoft, riding can be a 24-7 activity for their visitors this season. 

 The hotly-anticipated Shaun White Snowboarding game arrives on November 14.

With rudechalets’ properties already pimped to the max with hot tubs, table football, wifi and 42” plasma screens – this new Xbox 360 release will provide yet another thing to play with. 

Turning Japanese: Instructor course in Far East

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With old man winter pricking up his ears and the powder calling, the thought of spending the coldest months of the year in the UK is a pretty gloomy prospect.

But – if you’ve got cash to splash and a hankering for adventure – you could be making fresh tracks in Japan in the New Year, while winging your way to an instructor qualification that could take you almost anywhere in the world.

British company Peak Leaders has boldly ventured to the Far East with a 10-week instructor course in Myoko, starting on January 17.

By the end of it, successful candidates will be Level Two qualified by the British Association of Snowsports Instructors (Basi).

Powderpennies: 2 for 1 deals on lift passes with Crystal

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In the current doom-laden economic climate, we thought you might like some tips on ways to save cash on your snow adventures this winter.

For starters we found this deal with British travel operator company Crystal Ski. They’re offering two-for-one deals on lift passes if you book a holiday online to any of their chalets and club hotels throughout Europe before September 30. This deal could save you up to £223 for every two adults travelling.

The offer is available on seven night Crystal ski holidays to 32 European resorts for adult lift passes and excludes departures on December 27/28, February 14/15 and April 4/5.

This offer is for new bookings only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Zoom Airlines grounded

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 Zoom Airlines, a popular, low-budget airline for travel between Canada and the UK has been grounded this afternoon due to financial trouble.  There are apparently hundreds of travellers stuck in both countries this afternoon as planes are not moving.  The company is saying they can no longer continue service because of the high cost of fuel.    

Check out this link for the news article:

Fly from LA to Mammoth This Winter

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The journey from Los Angeles to Mammoth Mountain is long and often riddled with traffic, speed traps, and bad roads. On a good day it takes about five hours.  So I’m sure Horizon’s new service from LAX to Mammoth Yosemite Airport will be a welcome edition. That is if you have the money. A one way ticket costs between $79 and $99 and adult lift ticket costs $79.,0,2392579.story

Personally, I’m not sure when you add in check-in time at the airport and baggage and transfer costs that it’s worth it. I’m sure the views will be great though!

Find the best and worst seats on your plane before you board

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So you’re going on holiday with your insanely tall boyfriend and don’t want him to grumble, or want to be able to stretch out your achy legs after a week of powder hiking – would be good to find out where the best seats on your plane are wouldn’t it? is a service from Tripadvisor which shows the seat layouts of planes used by the world’s major airlines and highlights seats you might want to try and bag – and those you want to steer clear of if possible.

Thankfully it doesn’t point out the blatantly obvious – that the seats in business class are always going to be more comfy than anything at the back….

Animal Snow Camp places going fast

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The Animal Snow Camp crew just dropped us a line to say that places at this season’s camp are filling up place so if you want to go along then it’d be a good idea to book up pronto!

There are five one-week camps starting on February 16, based in the BoardnLodge chalet in Argentiere, Chamonix. Each camps offers the chance to ride with Animal British pro riders.

Full details at