Where is he now?

From Blenheim to Mt Olympus & now the Austrian Alps.

Neil Williman, originally a Blenheim local, now one of the lucky ones who resides in Europe, with his wife in close proximity to the Austrian Alps. He is a qualified civil engineer who juggles his day job of engineering for an English firm along with skiing with numerous film crews in unexpected and incredible destinations across the world. He is an incredibly happy man who would be the first to tell you to come and ski in Canterbury’s high country.

Across the years Mt Olympus has always been one of Neil’s meccas in New Zealand skiing, Temple Basin being another favourite. It’s a famous mountain in Canterbury offering a superb balance of terrain and is one of a kind for backcountry and freeski enthusiasts.

Neil grew up with a love for the mountains along with mastering the art as a stand out ski bum. Living on a mountain was a dream for Neil. ‘Having grown up skiing Mt Robert (a club field between Blenheim and Nelson, which is now closed) it was the ultimate version of a skiing never-never land, and I never wanted to leave.’ No opportunity went missed. Any chance he could get to be on the mountain while he studied at Christchurch Canterbury University was taken. After completing a trainee ski patroller course he finished his time up at Mt Olympus in the winter of 2004 as a staff member on the slopes.

‘As a fresh faced 18 year old it was one of the most eye opening and enjoyable experiences of my life’ he states.

When asked to summarise Mt Olympus in three words, Neil responds with ‘ski, party, repeat’. It’s common knowledge amongst the club fields that Mt O, offers an incredible social and party atmosphere. ‘There's something different about Mt Olympus’, as Neil summed up, ‘for me it sums up how I always come back to NZ skiing no matter how many other places I try to explore. I haven't found a place that feels as untamed, unspoiled and off the grid as the club fields, and especially the playground of the gods.’

A few hot tips from Neil Williman himself;

Favourite run at Olympus:
Hiking Mt Olympus itself. Amazing views, classic couloir, intoxicating atmosphere.

Best tour, trip, overnighter?
Touring up the sphinx side, dropping over into the Ryton Valley and skiing back to the road below bottom hut, such a long and good run.

Greatest memory of Olympus?
Night skiing under a full moon with deep pow and a tow to ourselves with AJ, Nick Mills and Rosco the Wanaka superlocal.

First timer advice:
Get into the dress-up box as early as possible before the good stuff is gone. And get into and out of the hot tub as early as possible before it’s human soup.

Must pack items:
Party pants, your favourite hangover cure and if you're lucky then a snorkel.

The drinking club with the skiing problem will treat you well, from airing into Kea Tucker to sliding across the dance floor in a dress.

Image credits (in order from top to bottom):
Takeshi Nakahara (Skiers: Dion Newport, Roy Schott, Charlie Lyons, Lucy Clinton-Baker, Nic Eves)
Takeshi Nakahara (Skiers: as above)
Neil Williman (Skier: Lachie Read)
Takeshi Nakahara (Skier: Neil Williman)
Takeshi Nakahara (Skier: Neil Williman)
Takeshi Nakahara (Skier: Neil Williman)



SS6 Interview with Neil Williman Mt Olympus Image 1 SS6 Interview with Neil Williman Mt Olympus Image 2 SS6 Interview with Neil Williman Mt Olympus Image 3 SS6 Interview with Neil Williman Mt Olympus Image 4 SS6 Interview with Neil Williman Mt Olympus Image 5 SS6 Interview with Neil Williman Mt Olympus Image 6