Elliot Smith and Tom Beaumont have been out exploring what Canterbury has to offer if you are willing to earn your turns.
Words and Photos: Elliot Smith – @ewsphotography
The recent boom in on-piste skiers and snowboarders has tempted more and more people out into the backcountry in search of the fresh white stuff. With prices for backcountry equipment continually falling it is becoming easier and easier for snow lovers to access what was once reserved for the ‘pros’ and serious scrog munchers.
Canterbury high country has become a hive for backcountry bandits and it’s not hard to see why. Stand atop Olympus Peak or look backside at Mt. Cheeseman and there are endless possibilities. Tom Beaumont and I did just that and were not disappointed with what the wintery gods had in store. Joined by Mons’s Tom Brownlee and Tori Beattie, a group effort helped produce some of the creamier turns of the season so far.
But it’s not all fresh turns and face shots out there. Caution cannot be thrown to the wind and even all the snow safety and avi courses in the world may not be enough when things go wrong. The world’s best found this out the hard way last year in Chile. So while you are out there enjoying the best of what the mountains have to offer, always keep a weather eye and play on the side of caution but never forget to do it with a big smile slapped on your gob and keep those ‘yeoooowwws’ echoing through the mountains as they should be!
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