Redefining Morning Glory

August 7, 2019

Looking back onto Lake Wanaka

Looking back onto Lake Wanaka

It’s 4:00pm on a Tuesday evening. 40cm of fresh powder is due overnight and you’re weak in the knees with anticipation.

But wait… tomorrow is Wednesday and you have an office meeting at noon. A sense of dread washes over you as you realise that this rare opportunity to soak up the most pristine lines of the season may pass you by. Then it hits you! You’re struck with an idea of utter brilliance. Some might say you’re crazy…but most would probably consider you a legend.

Immediately you ring up your three go-to ski mates to meet at the pub…where all great ideas come to fruition. Once everyone arrives you waste no time making your proposal. The vote is unanimous, and you push the speed dial on your phone until the other side answers

“Heya, Southern Lakes Heliski - how can we help?”

With a small smirk on your face the scheming continues as you utter the three magic words

First Turns Charter.

Skis and snowboard? Check. Museli bar? Check. Gloves? Check. Gore-tex in one bag, office shirt in the other. Your kit is dialled for the morning mission.

You climb into bed, unable to fall asleep, buzzing with excitement and satisfaction. You know you’ve just cracked the code.

Come morning you jump out of bed before your alarm clock even goes off. Coffee in hand and with the crew packed into the wagon, you’re off.

8:00am Lift

Navigating towards the fresh lines above Lake Wanaka

Navigating towards the fresh lines above Lake Wanaka

Morning Glory views

Morning Glory views

Climbing out of the helicopter, you’re greeted by the most spectacular scene; the first of daybreak expanding over the horizon. Your team is surrounded by the blanketed white alps, with Lake Wanaka ahead of you and Mt. Aspiring at your back. This is the view which most day dream-about. Today, that daydream is your reality.

Daybreak from the top of the Minarets with Southern Lakes Heliski

Daybreak from the top of the Minarets with Southern Lakes Heliski

Gearing up for first drop on First Turns Charter

Gearing up for first drop on First Turns Charter

It’s Go Time

While your crew gets locked into their skis and snowboards, your guide does a conditions check. Then the call is received,

”She’s looking good team! We’ll take it one at a time.”

You all exchange a glance with ear-to-ear smiles, practically frothing at the mouth. This is what you’ve been waiting for.

Chief Guide James Hamilton doing conditions check before dropping into first run of the morning.

Chief Guide James Hamilton doing conditions check before dropping into first run of the morning.


Dropping!


Alpine Glow lines with Southern Lakes Heliski

Alpine Glow lines with Southern Lakes Heliski

It’s almost 9:00am and your team has brought a new meaning to “hot laps”

Panting like dogs, you are overcome with gratitude each time you reach the helicopter at the bottom of the run. Piling in, you’re whisked to the top of a new summit where an entirely new blank canvas awaits you. Dropping in once again, the only sounds are the hooting and hollering of your crew echoing through the peaks.

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Ski. Heli. Rinse & repeat.

Ski. Heli. Rinse & repeat.

Lap #8 before most have even had their morning cappuccino.

It’s 10:30am and time to head for home. With high-fives all around, it was a mission well-accomplished. But now, duty calls. You return to base and make a wardrobe change in true Clark Kent fashion. Today you are the superhero. Strutting into the office with a slight swagger, your co-worker asks,

“How was your meeting this morning?”

You flash a smirk.

“Yeah, pretty productive”

The commute to work

The commute to work