Skia ora %%First Name%%,
The NZ University and Ozzy school holidays are underway now so it is a little busier on the hills. It's been a wet and windy one this week over most of the country with more wind and snow in the forecast for this weekend. Most snowpacks are holding up well though.
I am reporting from Queenstown this week, a big thank you for nzski.com for providing me with passes for this time. Unfortunately the conditions have kept me in town Tues & Wed but today I headed up to Coronet today for the first time since the rain. Coronet has had heavy rain on Wednesday & Thursday which had left the piste saturated from top to bottom. The temperature dropped on Wednesday evening and their arsenal of automated snowmaking guns decided to kick in at 8pm and were firing all night! They had some natural snow fall at the top on Wednesday but the rain claimed some of the out wide trails including Lower Walkabout under the Greengates Chairlift. The snowmakers will work on these trails but the main mountain is in great shape. They advised sticking to the main trails today unless you are an adventurous ice skater! The forecast for the southern Lakes for the next three days is for winds gusting 120km/hr at the peaks with snow down to 900m. Best just pray for more snow out of it and see what eventuates.
Whakapapa and Turoa are also in for a blustery one this weekend with snow lowering to 1700m (about Hut Flat and Wintergarden level) on Saturday, 1300m on Sunday and 800m (with winds easing) on Monday.
Broken River has been enjoying being one of the only fields open in Canterbury until this weekend. Unfortunately their Rugby/Access tow is still out of order after the last storm so you'll need to mentally prepare for the additional 20min invigorating hike from the "stairway-to-heaven" to Palmer Day Lodge. Don’t despair though because the ‘warm-up’ scenic hike is well worth it to sample their 120cm average base, well above what they usually have at this time of year. The latest from Porters is that the gale-force winds which have buffeted the mountains over the past few days (gusting in excess of 150kph) have caused additional delays to the lift repairs (caused by a massive avalanche two weeks ago).
Opening this weekend (weather and snow conditions permitting) is; Rainbow (beginners and platter only), Hanmer, Craigieburn, Cheeseman, Olympus, Dobson and Roundhill.
To our Internet polls: So far 72% of voters think that nzski.com should NOT fix their Mt Hutt's triple chair (recently badly damages by an avalanche) in favour of upgrading it to a high speed lift next season. What do you think? VOTE NOW. Further to this poll, I have spoken to nzski.com and even though it would reduce ride time they don’t feel that the current user capacity justifies this investment so deem it unlikely. Worth a crack though.
Make sure that you check out the go on the snow. The New Zealand Snow Sports Events Calendar is updated regularly. Some upcoming key events are;
THIS SATURDAY NIGHT - Ohau Hooley & Irish Winter Games
10 July - Ice Carving at Treble Cone
13th July - New Zealand Winter School Holidays Start
18-21 July - Warren Miller's Flow State in Arrowtown
TAKE PART WITH US THIS WINTER. The Snowco forums are buzzing with comments and commentary. Oh and you REALLY need to like Snowco on Facebook to get the latest right to your wall. We now have over 15,000 likes, fantastic!!
Get into it, take care and have a blast.
Scotty - Snow Editor