Trip Report: Testing New Gear, Exploring New Zealand September 19, 2016September 16, 2016 by Jonathan Ellsworth Prev|Next We headed to Canterbury, NZ, to test new ski equipment and to explore this exquisite place. (photos by Cy Whitling) There is magic in these mountains of the South Island of New Zealand... And large alpine parrots (keas) that exist nowhere else in the world. The Southern Alps seem to go on forever. (View from the top of Porters Ski Area) Craigieburn Valley is home to beech trees and big mountain lines. (Reviewer Paul Forward) And we skied plenty of them. (Reviewer Brian Lindahl) We also explored the neighboring Kura Tāwhiti (Castle Hill) area. Surreal: The grand limestone of Kura Tawhiti. (Paul Forward) In Sir Arthur’s Pass, Cy Whitling found an invigorating way to wake up. So did I. (Jonathan Ellsworth + High Brew Coffee, Sir Arthur’s Pass) More skiing: high winds and tussock can be part of the experience. (Brian Lindahl) So can a big coastal snowstorm. (Jonathan Ellsworth, Craigieburn Valley) Sun, Snow, and Rock. (Brian Lindahl, Porters Ski Area) As a farewell gift, we left our friends in Canterbury with heaps of new snow, put chains on the tires, and headed home — with so much of this place still to explore.