In my 10 years with Freeskier I have been fortunate to travel all over the place following the people and places that make up skiing. However, New Zealand has always escaped my grasp – until now.
A sudden and serendipitous opportunity to help coordinate a commercial photo shoot by bringing together Freeskier, photographer Chase Jarvis and some of the best athletes in the game today, finally made New Zealand’s south island Alps a possibility.
So here I am, exhausted from a long day of travel – 18 hours from Denver – and an immediate trip to across the Queenstown airport and into a helicopter to scout “Middle Earth,” as the heli-ops like to coin their landscape after The Lord of the Rings made these peaks even more famous. Heliworks was the op that Peter Jackson used for his Tolkien celluloid tales and Alfie Speight and his crew are reputedly the best in the country at the craft of lifting lenses to great heights for your viewing pleasure.
We jumped from Queenstown to Snowpark to check out the scene and shoot some interviews with Chase regarding his work. I’ve talked to Peter Olenick, Colby West, TJ Schiller and Simon Dumont, who are all currently down here training, about shooting with us Thursday-Monday.
Stay tuned for the real action.