QT Magazine _ QT Magazine Winter, Page 6'

Bucket List Privately Guided Snow Tours Launched

By Jane Brooke

A Queenstown luxury guiding company has launched a series of innovative private snow tours this winter including a bucket list combination providing an unrivalled heli-skiing and surfing experience in one day.

Alpine Adventures, spearheaded by owner and leading Kiwi guide Mark Dewsbery, has established a reputation for quality privately guided summer hiking tours and other outdoor adventures and this winter has expanded to focus on private snow tours.

“Skiing is as much a passion for me as hiking and I like the idea of clients chasing the snow with me. My snow tours are ideal for up to four people and as well as private ski guiding there are heli-skiing and boarding options, along with the unique heli-ski and surf tour.”

Mark, who has a background in high country farming, owning the remote South Island station Mt Potts for many years, is no newcomer to the ski industry. On his Canterbury property he set up and operated the Mt Potts ski area and also opened the well-known Heli-Park- a world-first pay as you go heli-ski venture allowing people to access off piste terrain in a controlled environment. Another string to his bow was Southern Alps Heli Ski which he launched in 2004 offering privately guided heli-skiing trips to the Two Thumbs range.

Mark has an intimate knowledge of safety in the mountains and has worked as a ski patroller at both Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski areas since relocating to Queenstown in 2011 and commencing Alpine Adventures.

“I always take all the necessary ski patrol gear with me on my guided trips so there’s no delay if help is needed. I guess it’s like skiing with your very own ski patrol guide. People can feel very safe in all situations.”

Mark makes use of his vast network and experience to choose the best snow on the day whether it be at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Treble Cone, Cardrona and Ohau or in one of the remote heli-skiing areas in the region.

“Whatever tour options they choose my clients expect a luxury, world-class experience. They don’t want the hassle of working out where the best snow is and how to get there and that’s where I come in. We take care of everything.”

While Mark has developed a flexible range of exclusive tours for riders and skiers of all levels and abilities it is the Surf & Heli-Ski tour, using the South Island mountains and rugged Fiordland beaches, which is distinctively different.

“There aren’t many places in the world where you can ride your surfboard and snowboard or ski in one day. Fiordland is one of best places possible to surf a fantastic and remote wave with an expert guide then heli-ski the afternoon away on the mountains. It has to be a legendary adventure.”

Alpine Adventures exclusive private guided winter tours are filling a gap in the luxury market and Mark says there has been strong demand already this season for his top end personalised tours.

“What we are doing is allowing visitors to sample the New Zealand backcountry in a way that’s very personal and very safe. It’s an absolute privilege for me to share my backyard with clients and ensure they achieve the best possible experience.”