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Fresh tracks for new Southern Alps catskiing

Fresh tracks for new Southern Alps catskiing operation

Boarders enjoying fresh tracks

Media release from Alpure Peaks
4 August 2008

Fresh tracks for new Southern Alps catskiing operation

A unique alpine adventure offering the ultimate backcountry skiing and boarding experience launches today (Monday 4 August) in New Zealand’s central South Island.

Alpure Peaks offers catskiing and boarding in the heart of the Southern Alps with guaranteed fresh tracks, deep powder and no queues. In essence, catskiing offers access to terrain similar to that offered with heliskiing, differentiated mainly by its price tag and transportation. The exhilarating ride on a Hagglund and Snowcat makes the day half the cost and double the fun.

With Alpure Peaks, powderhounds have exclusive access to more than 2,600 hectares of private land near Fox Peak ski field, just 30 minutes from State Highway 8 between Christchurch and Queenstown. The terrain features spectacular views of the Southern Alps, huge bowls between Fox and Butlers Saddle, a 2,220m peak with vertical 650m run and a 1,500m base area in which to ski, board, snowshoe and telemark.

Catskiing with Alpure Peaks starts with an exhilarating 30 minute ride on a Hagglund, an all terrain vehicle used in Antarctica which can handle the most demanding of conditions. Passengers then transfer to the powerful Snowcat for the final grunt up the mountain. The Snowcat can take on virtually any terrain and can also build ski jumps with ease. It has been fitted with a custom-built, fully enclosed rear canopy and forward facing seats for maximum passenger comfort.

Owner operators Barbara and Donald Bray, along with their sons Justin and Roland, decided to offer catskiing on their land because they saw a real gap in the market.

“More and more people are looking to get away from crowded ski fields and seek out the ultimate snow experience, but price is often a barrier,” says Barbara.

“Catskiing is much more economical way of offering the same result. Half the fun is journey on the Hagglund and Snowcat with Donald which is why we’re also encouraging non-skiers to come for a joyride up and down the mountain.

“We’re hoping to build the business into a summer operation so we can provide tailor-made excursions for mountain bikers and hikers by taking them into untouched terrain that they would have otherwise been unable to access.

“We’ll also offer special rates to groups, industry members and film crews for exclusive use of our mountains, Snowcat, driver and guide.

“For us, the safety of our clients is absolutely paramount. Our experienced guides will operate to the highest safety standards while ensuring each group enjoys fresh tracks, fun and challenging runs. Clients will be given full safety instructions and will also be supplied with their own avalanche transceiver.”

The Alpure Peaks guides are Operations Manager Andrew Johnson (AJ), an experienced Ski Patroller, Avalanche Technician and Snowcat Operator, and Andy Tindall, a member of NZMGA and the Aoraki Mount Cook Mountain Rescue Team and one of the lead guides at Fox Glacier. Justin Bray also assists on the mountain.

Destination Mt Cook Mackenzie General Manager Phil Brownie has welcomed the operation, saying that the new adventure adds to the Mackenzie region’s fast growing reputation as one of New Zealand’s ‘must do’ adventure playgrounds.

”A day out with Alpure Peaks will give the visitor an experience unlike any other. Combine that with stunning scenery and plenty of crisp, clear bluebird days and it’s an absolute must do for any adventurer,” he says.


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