Skia ora %%First Name%%,
Brrrr - Return to winter. Dress warmly and obey closures... AND GO WILD!! Today and tomorrow look like the absolute best of the season. Of course, you guessed it, the next cold front will start its slow march up the country on Friday morning with a deepening low pressure system due to sit west of Taranaki but midday on Saturday. Check out the snow forecast for details. Remember it is the vis and wind that kills the party so be sure to check out you local conditions on the day.
The webcams for the moment though are looking fantastic with more snow at many ski areas than we've seen all season.
Be sure to check out the Snowco homepage today and over the next few days. SnowTV will be live streaming the Whakapapa Xtreme event. This 3* Freeride World Tour Qualifier put Mt Ruapehu on the map in the Big Mountain Freeride World. Competitors ride the gnarliest terrain Whakapapa Ski Area can offer and are judged over a several days to claim stake to bragging rights and massive winnings. The Event will run on the best 3 weather days out of the 5 days available. Helmets, spinal protection, back packs, ice axe and crampons are mandatory. With all of the new snow you will see the biggest airs in the history of this event. Trust me on that.
The big event on this weekend is the Dobson Dash. This is a new event for Mackenzie and is a downhill mountain multisport event involving skiing/snowboarding, mountain biking and trail running. Approximately 22kms in total it starts high on Mt Dobson Ski Area and finishes at the Silverstream Hotel in Kimbell. The ski/board route will be suitable for intermediate skiers/boarders but be prepared for a bit of a snow sprint too. The mountain biking is on a steep windy alpine road with no edge barriers and a changeable surface condition. These multisport downhill events are very popular with the Peak to the Pub at Hutt and the Peak to the Powderkeg at Turoa coming up on October 6th.
There are pirate parties, Oktoberfests, Interfields and Mini shreds this weekend. Check out the New Zealand Snow Sports Calendar for more details.
Published proposed closing dates so far are: Sept 23rd, Cheeseman; Sept 30th Treble Cone; Oct 6th Snowpark; Oct 7th Remarks, Coronet, Hutt and Ohau; Oct 22nd Whakapapa & Turoa. Generally the ski and board areas in the South Island tend to close their doors after the last week of the school holidays (Sunday 7th October) with the exception of some of the club fields who open for as long as the snow lasts, especially for the weekends.
CALL TO VOTE: You choose. Tell us who shone and who stunk. Since 2000 online Snowco has published an independent survey, which asks the public to judge, based upon their experience the level of service that they have received during their visit to a ski or board area. The survey consists of 33 questions relating to the service received from the snow user across 9 departments that make up the front line of a ski and board operation. There are two awards, the NZ Ski Area Service Award for commercial ski areas and, the NZ Small Ski Area Service Award for club operated ski fields.
Get into it, take care and have a blast.
Scotty - Snow Editor