The "Off Season" For Southern Lakes Heliski Guides

For most the off-season, otherwise known as summer, can be a sad but definite part of life. Letting go of the bottomless joy which the snow capped Alps of New Zealand provide isn’t easy for anyone. Unless you’re a Southern Lakes Heliski Guide that is - they are just getting warmed up. Our heliski guides don’t exactly opt for the beachside piña coladas over the summer…

So what exactly are they up to you ask?

Andy Cole | @terranovacol

Favourite Southern Lakes Heliski Zone: Wyeuna

If Andy’s resume doesn’t say it all his photos will. Being a master clicker behind the camera lens, Andy keeps his inspiration flowing with his endless adventures. Following his ski guiding season in Wanaka, this New Zealand local follows the calling for the champagne powder of Hokkaido, Japan as well as the freezing temperatures of Antarctica guiding for Ski the Last Degree. Andy makes it back to New Zealand just in time for a quick summer refresh with some surf and sand between his toes before jumping back into the ski boots.

Tom Willmott | @tomwillmott

Favourite Southern Lakes Heliski Zone: Mt Albert, the Naumann, and found some epic lines at the head of the Hunter around Mt Enderby this past season.

Tom Willmott truly does live the endless winter lifestyle. This England native turned Wanaka transplant has made NZ his home base since 1999. He has been guiding with Southern Lakes Heliski since 2014. Tom spends a large chunk of his year in Colorado and around North America chasing the competition circuit.

via  @tomwillmott : “Great work  @snowsportsnz  team. Thanks to the rest of the support team back home too!”

via @tomwillmott: “Great work @snowsportsnz team. Thanks to the rest of the support team back home too!”

Tom is the head coach for park and pipe for Snow Sports NZ where this year New Zealand locals, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous, brought home X-Games gold. This March Tom spent time guiding in the Himalayas making in back in time to spend some quality time with the family before the southern hemisphere snow begins to fall.

Accessing the snow-line. Photo: Robert Sim

Accessing the snow-line. Photo: Robert Sim

Steve Schreiber | @mthuttheliguides

Favourite Southern Lakes Heliski Zone: “Really enjoying all the skiing...”

Colorado local Steve Schreiber returns to the Aspen area once the NZ winter comes to a close. This year brought a solid reprieve from the winter with a cheeky holiday to Hawaii where he and his wife Trish enjoyed some cycling, fishing and maybe a few of those piña coladas. After a refresh Steve was back into it working for Aspen Skiing Company (guiding, snow safety, and teaching skiing) and Colorado Mountain College (teaching pre-hospital emergency medicine to EMT students). Steve makes his way back to Wanaka in May. This year we have ordered him to bring the epic North American powder with him.

Dan Phillips

Favourite Southern Lakes Heliski Zone: Tyndal Glacier

Hailing from Perth Australia originally, Dan has been with Southern Lakes Heliski for three seasons. Dan has a strong case of winter fever which keeps him busy chasing fresh lines. Whether it be drinking up the champagne powder guiding in Japan or opting for some high altitude guiding in the NZ alps, down days aren’t in Dan’s vocabulary.

It’s getting to be that time of year where our team of guides slowly make their way back to Wanaka from all corners of the globe with war stories to boot. For those of us already in New Zealand, this means only one thing…winter is coming and we’re excited to offer new daily heliskiing packages for all of our powder pigs out there.

Do you have your trip planned yet? Pre-season bookings are filling up…don’t be left behind!