Winter is ROCKING this season !! With BIG snow though comes big avalanches. Damaging avalanches have taken out the Triple Chair and damaged the snowmaking shed and equipment (not that they need to make any this year) at Mt Hutt and damaged facilities at Porters. Porters are being tight lipped except to say that they are working around the clock to open as soon as possible.
TC opened today!! There comment, "Unbelievable !" They open with a 2m base up in the saddle of squeaky dry powder. This weekend Whakapapa (52cms), Turoa (159cms), Hanmer Springs (135cms), Ohau (140cms) and Snowfarm are all opening on Saturday. Snowfarm is offering FREE rental and skiing on opening day. Upcoming opening dates are;
1st July - Queenstown Snowcats,
6th July - Rainbow, Craigieburn, Cheeseman, Olympus, Roundhill,
12th July - Dobson and,
13th July - Tukino, Fox Peak. The New Zealand Winter School Holidays run from Sat 13th - Sunday 2th July. Openings will be dependent upon road closures, avalanche safety and weather conditions on the day.
A number of people had a go at Mt Ruapehu recently for only opening Happy Valley and the Rockgarden this weekend. With all of the talk in the media about how much snow has fallen it is easy to forget that many seasons start with patchy snow on the ground during the early school holidays. The snow that has fallen in the last two weeks in unprecedented in recent times. Be patient North Islanders and enjoy the Ohakune Mardi-Gras and early snow at Turoa.
The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival continues until Sunday. On-snow events coming up are, at Coronet; The
Speight's Dog Derby today, the
Corona Coronet Night Skiing tomorrow,
the Mountain Mayhem on Saturday; and at The Remarkables, the
Quiksilver Invitational Slopestyle on Sunday. Don't forget all of the other off-hill activities that will be rocking Queenstown this week.
To our Internet polls: So far 69% 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.
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;
29 June - Ohakune Mardi-Gras
21-30 June - American Express Queenstown Winter Festival
6 July - 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
If you're planning to ride this weekend, be prepared on the roads and the mountains, get into it and have a blast.
Scotty - Snow Editor