New Zealand

New Zealand: Backcountry Ski Touring

NZ - Part Two: Backcountry Ski Touring

As the Alaska backcountry ski season begins I look back on the New Zealand ski season I recently finished. One winter completes as the next begins. I stayed busier than my expectations working but in between guiding heli-skiing and working hard on behind the scene tasks for my company I was able to get out touring with friends. Heli-sking is awesome, however when I get out in the hills under my own human power I'm quickly reminded of the simplicity and joy of quietly navigating the hills one step at a time.

I've had many guests complete top notch heli-ski days then join me for backcountry ski touring days and say how they enjoyed the touring day more (and I don't think they're just saying that to make me feel good.) The best yet and what I'm aiming to build my company brand around is offering people the chance to be guided by me for a day or two of heli-skiing on the weekends and during mid-week getting out for touring days. And while before, after or in-between our days making some good old fashioned laps riding a chairlift and enjoying the ski resort town lifestyle. The beautiful town of Girdwood is the ultimate place to be able to do this and the reason I choose to live here.  

Anyways here are some photos from the New Zealand backcountry.

backcountry skiing with ski guide Nick D'Alessio, Remarkable Adventures

Skinning our way back up a nice run on a warm spring-like day.

Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio, Remarkable Adventures

Elin Edlund makes her way across the slope on a cold windy morning.

Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio, Remarkable Adventures

My face is almost as red as my jacket from the wind and snow blasting it... it "hurts so good".

Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio, Remarkable Adventures

Yuko visiting from Japan cruising up on her new split-board above the town of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio, Remarkable Adventures

New Zealand is as beautiful as people say. Kinda like Alaska but different.

Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio, Remarkable Adventures. Voile

There's nothing like the feeling of ripping skins. It's that transition point of hard uphill work turning into glorious downhill fun.  #earnyourturns

Pictured are the Charger skis made by Voile, the name says it all, these skis can charge! This year Voile makes their transition to the revamped SuperCharger skis, I anticipate that again, the name will say it all. I look forward to the new skis coming in and another year on Voile's Ambassador team.  #the_V_team

Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio, Remarkable Adventures.

Jimmy dropping in. We then made our way over and up the run in the background, the Grand Couloir which splits the peaks of Single Cone and Double Cone. That was a good day out with good people. 

Booting up and standing atop the Grand Couloir. It's been awesome representing Voormi clothing as an ambassador as well. They have quickly built a good reputation for developing new and unique, high-quality wool clothing wholly manufactured in the USA. My daily use has proven their layers live up to their reputation.

Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio, Remarkable Adventures.

'Till next time New Zealand, it was awesome! For now it's time to enjoy what this year's Alaska winter season has to offer. Currently my stoke is high for a solid winter full of work and fun.

Bookings are coming in, if you are interested in a guided ski trip or an instructional course, the time to inquire is now. Visit for more info and how to make your booking.

Thanks for reading - Nick

New Zealand: Heli-Skiing

After 3 months of living and working in the Southern Hemisphere's winter season it's now time to look back on my time spent in New Zealand. For many years I have wanted to go to New Zealand and I was finally able to make it happen. The tales of beautiful mountain views, friendly easy-going people, great food and amazing coffee were all true. Life was busy with lots of ski guiding with Alpine Heliski based out of Queenstown where I lived. We had some awesome days, meeting and skiing with people from all over the world, living my guests' best day of their lives... almost everyday!

NZ - Part one: Heli-Skiing

Heliskiing New Zealand. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

Heli coming in for a pickup with Lake Wakatipu. Whether hanging in town, driving the road or flying and heli-skiing in the mountains, the lake always enhanced the scenery.

Heli skiing. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

The beginning of the season started out with less than normal snow cover, but there was enough coverage to get out and have great days. Regardless of thin or deep snow coverage, getting out in these beautiful mountains never disappointed anyone.

New Zealand, green grass and powder filled mountains. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio.

I continued to be amazed how all winter long down low there is green grass, while the mountains are filled with snow. Powder skiing during the day and a cold beer lying on green grass in the evening sun. That's New Zealand winter.

Heli ski lunch time. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

Lunch time with one of the coolest looking helicopters in the world.

Skiing. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

Skiing! The terrain surrounding the Queenstown area has a lot to offer from easier intermediate and avalanche-safe runs to the steeper and bigger runs when the snow pack allows us.

Powder! To be honest, New Zealand isn't world famous for its powder like Alaska but it certainly does happen. When it's out there we can go get it with the help of a helicopter.

Helicopter in the mountains. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

Heli heading up the valley for another run.

Heli-boarding crew stoked to be strapping in. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

This day was awesome. Private charter day. I had one group with our own heli to go anywhere I thought would be good, and it was good.

New Zealand Heliskiing. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

This is heli-skiing in New Zealand. Sheep, green grass and a helicopter to get you up into the powder-filled mountains.

Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio in New Zealand

Here I am on a beautiful day. Enjoying my hard day at work. This run is called "The Diving Board" because as you ski the run it continues to roll over and it feels like you are about to jump off a diving board into Lake Wakatipu below.

Heli skiing with Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

Another group just dropped off along the ridge beside me. Watching the heli lift away like this never gets old.

Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

Very happy guests out on a great day. You can see our tracks in the distance from previous runs.

Skiing with AMGA Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

The end to a perfect day of blue skies and powder. The town of Queenstown is visible behind us. A beautiful setting.

Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio in New Zealand

It's been awesome having Voormi clothing to wear this year. They are making industry-leading wool clothing that is comfortable, good looking and the most durable longest-lasting wool you will ever own. And it's all 100% made in the USA.  Photo by: Ben Johns.

Skiing and snowboarding. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

More happy guests stoked for another run. The Voile V8 ski stands out here against all the snowboards in the group.

Heli skiing. Photo by Ski Guide Nick D'Alessio

Till next time New Zealand. You were Awesome!