The Remarkables Queenstown - First Impressions
Arriving in Queenstown the day before there was only one place I was heading for my first day on snow, The Remarkables. It had been years, six in fact, since I had been told about Remarks ski area in Queenstown. Working in the shop where I met Kate (co-founder of www.themilkrun.org) we also had another co-worker a ski boot fitter called Jez. Jez would often recant tales of his seasons working in Queenstown. Unknown to me at the time, as Jez would wax lyrical about his experiences I would be left with a yearning to head to New Zealand to experience it for myself.
Driving to The Remarkables ski area is an experience in itself. The 13.2 km road winds its way back and forth up the mountainside offering some incredible views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu below. If you are lucky you see planes flying into one of the most scenic airports I have ever visited.
Once parked at the base area a short walk takes you through a fully functional lodge equipped with rentals, restaurants, shop, gear tuning and pretty much everything you’d come to expect from a modern resort. The first lift I took was Curvy Basin Chair, which from the top offered a great perspective of the resort. Immediately I noticed were the boot pack tracks pretty much from the chair in various directions up towards the peaks. Given the long flight I thought I would save this for another day but I was impressed with the amount of easy accessible hiking there seemed to be. Riding down from Curvey Basin there are a number of wide pistes to choose from, although this is certainly where a lot of the resort traffic could be found.
The second chair I took was the Sugar Bowl Chair, which takes you to the top of the terrain park. From here there are various options most notably The Stash. Unfortunately, The Stash was closed on this day but I will be back to check it out for sure. Directly in front of the top lift station is a small hike park. There is also a beginners line with some fairly mellow low level box features as well as a more advanced line with both jumps and rails that will test the more advanced riders.
The final chair I checked out on Day 1 was Shadow Basin Chair. This is a fairly slow moving chair but it accesses some of the more advanced freeride terrain at The Remarks. The snow was pretty bare as this is still early season but the crew at Remarks had done a great job of opening up most of the runs up here. There is a short hike from the top of this chair that leads to a view point that looks out over Lake Wakatipu. I am really looking forward to heading back to Remarks to check this out further.
We’d love to hear from you?
Have you visited The Remarkables? If so is there a run or hike we should check out whilst here, let us know.
Do you have any resorts that have been on your list for a number of years? If so where? And are you going to make it happen?