Skip to content

Snowboarding in the Remarkables

I took a day that I was in Queenstown to head up to one of the local mountains and carve up some snow.


I couldn’t see a thing.There were three lifts. 2 of them went up a bit higher and the third stayed more central and lower on the mountain. I tried one of the higher lifts first and found that all I could see was white and the odd marker that showed the middle of the run. Just getting to the next marker was a bit of a nightmare and I hit the snow pretty hard a few times sailing over unseen holes in the snow.The rented boots and board were treating me fine. The combination of wind, snow, fog and old, scratched goggles were frustrating me. I had my sunglasses with me so I tried those out instead. They worked ok but each run I had to dry them out and unstick all the snow from the front of the lenses.Finally giving up I went in to have something warm to drink and mull over my options. I was very close to throwing in the towel and heading down the mountain. I would have to wait until the next bus just after lunch to do that though. May as well stick it out till then and see what happens.I was struck with an idea on the way out and found myself in the ski shop trying on goggles with yellow lense. I hadn’t intended on buying any since I couldn’t use them for the rest of the trip and they would just take up space but after spending money to get to the mountain I was determined to make things work. I’ve been looking for some goggles with yellow lenses for dirtbiking at home anyways so I’ll be able to use them again.By the afternoon it had cleared up a little.IMG_4254With the fog drifting away and my new goggles I was able to make it down the run without regularly sprawling on my face.I had no expectations going up to the mountain so I can’t say I was disappointed. I wouldn’t rave about my day at the Remarkables either. Every mountain has its good days and bad though and I’d imagine my day would have been one of the bad ones.Areas that had regular wind run across it ended up icey and slick. Dips in the sun were reduced to piles of slush that grabbed my board and threatened to throw me over the front. There were too many flat spot for my liking. Skiiers wouldn’t have minded pushing through the little uphill bits to get back to the lodge by I can’t say I was pleased to take off a binding and hike up.The lifts were all quads but were of the old style so a liftee had to hold the chair every time or your knees were abruptly taken out by the seat.Not having boarded much last year I was glad to get out on the snow. I will be riding as much as possible this year and hopefully the snow at home will be a fair bit better than what I found at the Remarkables.[gmap]