Queenstown Winter Festival – the recap

What a week it has been! The 2015 American Express Queenstown Winter Festival was an amazing experience, bringing together all of the things we love most about the chilly season.

From ice rinks and ice hockey through to mountain bike rides through the snow – Winterfest had it all.

Macpac was proud to get behind this year’s events as Winterfest’s official clothing sponsor. Along with making sure the festival team was wrapped up in cosy Macpac down jackets, we also sponsored three events – the Avalanche Awareness Seminar, the Guided Snowshoeing trip, and the first ever Pecha Kucha, powered by Macpac.

Avalanche Awareness Seminar

More than 100 people packed the Queenstown Memorial Hall for this very informative evening. Staying safe on the snow is so important – things can go wrong in an instant, so it’s vital that anyone who ventures out into the snow and ice is prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw their way!

It was great to see such a huge turnout – an indication that people genuinely are interested in playing it safe on the mountains. Mountain Safety’s avalanche and back country safety experts presented a great seminar, sharing tips on how to stay safe in the snow – we hope those who came along learned a lot!

Macpac Guided Snowshoeing
Pecha Kucha

We were really excited about this event – the first ever Pecha Kucha, powered by Macpac. For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to come along, Pecha Kucha is a storytelling sensation – speakers present a series of 20 images to the audience, and have just 20 seconds to narrate them.

We had an amazing line-up of speakers – from New Zealand Alpine Team members Ben Dare and Jaz Morris, through to Freeski Coach Bruce Wells. The packed audience was entertained by some fantastic stories that we’re sure they’ll never forget.

A memorable moment was when artist and photographer Bel Jones took to the stage with her Alaskan Malamute and the poor dog got stage fright!

We also really enjoyed photographer and adventurer Joseph Michael’s stories about his time in Antarctica. He gave us a snap shot of what it’s really like on the icy continent when he played some of the sounds that he had captured while he was over there. The sounds of ice moving and cracking were so unique – some of them even sounded like gunshots ringing out into the distance.

Guided Snowshoeing

An amazing opportunity to experience some of Queenstown’s stunning mountain surrounds! Normally it can be pretty difficult to walk through snow without sinking, but with a pair of snow shoes, it’s easy to take a wintery stroll on top of the snow.

Our Snowshoeing group was treated to a spectacular walk around a basin near the top of The Remarkables. It was a truly breathtaking experience looking out over a frozen Lake Alta with Double Cone in the distance.

A real highlight was when we were treated to a hot drink at the top. Our guide Seb had carried glass cups to the top with flasks of hot water to make tea, coffee and milo – a real treat!

We had such an incredible week that we’re already excited about next year’s festival! If you’ve got any shots from Winterfest that you’d like to share, please send them to content@macpac.co.nz or #macpac #whateveryouradventure on Instagram!