I peer out the plane’s oval window, across snow-covered mountains to the shimmering Tasman Sea in the west and down into remote valleys looking for good lines to ski. We fly over Lake Wakatipu and circle around the craggy cliffs of The Remarkables – far below houses line the lake shore. As we lose altitude ready to land at Queenstown airport, the hills rise up beside us until the aircraft jerks lightly onto the runway, engaging the brakes as we slow to an idle as we cross to the terminal. I inhale that first blast of chilly mountain air and look around to admire the mountain scenery anticipating some great days skiing.

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