It was the last day on hill for the trip, the vibes were right, and it was time to commit to riding the line of all lines. Blake and I began the trek to the top. After only forty-five minutes or so we made it to the drop in zone and were posted up, eating delicious chicken and brie sandwiches from our perfect breakfast spot. The view from up there was simply incredible; it felt as if we could see the whole south island of New Zealand. We watched the boys ride back to the van, load up, and drive down to the zone from which they would be filming us. We started gearing up and got really excited; this line had been staring at us all trip and now we were about to ride it with perfect snow and a deep glow of golden light.
A call came through on the walkie-talkie. In a classic scratchy radio voice, we could hear Jon telling us that he was ready for us to drop. We rode it in two sections: a big open face at the top, then we cut over across some sketchy rocks and into the main chute. Blake was first to drop the top section. As he ripped the perfect corn snow, I stood there in awe while simultaneously filming on my phone and taking pictures with my camera. Then I packed up, strapped in, and got a taste of some sweet creamy turns down to where the real line started.
One more radio check to make sure Jon knew we were dropping together and we were off! The line was longer and steeper then we had anticipated, but it was also way better snow then we had even hoped for. I followed Blake as he high-speed snaked back and forth down the cliff-lined strip of orange-shaded snow. I have to say it was one of, if not the coolest sights I have seen while strapped into my board. I don't think I will ever forget our run down that beautiful Kiwi chute; ripping down that thing was like nothing I have done before and it would be very hard to replicate.
Stark and the crew. p: Max Warbington
The three-hour hike/climb/fall/scramble from the bottom of the line back to the van is a story for another time. Just let me say that without the adrenaline from a run like the one we just did to keeping us going, the crazy hike back would have been damn near impossible. Despite the savagely slippery bushes, a river crossing and the fact that it was dark, we eventually made it back to a happy van full of the homies who all were glad to see that we weren't lost somewhere in the hills. Looking back on the experience, this run was just a very special way to cap off a very special trip.