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Queenstown 2017

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
About one month to the proposed opening of the first lifts so time to kick off this seasons reports. First a quick look at whats changed since last season.

Treble Cone has installed a new snow making system which should really help with getting back to the base area. This is what they are saying "The new hardware and controls are designed to enable Treble Cone to open on schedule even in seasons – such as 2016 – with minimal natural snowfall. The newly-installed pipes, pumps and snow guns will service Easy Rider from the top of Home Basin all the way down to the base lodge, as well as providing security around snow cover for Main Street."

Cardrona have replaced the old slow McDougall's quad chair with a chondola (what a horrible word) Their words are
"This summer we’re installing a new “combined” express lift of 8-person gondola cabins & 6-seater chairs. The new McDougall’s Express Chondola is the ultimate mountain access lift for all our guests, with a 150% increase to the McDougall’s uplift capacity that will decrease wait times on all other lifts. The new lift will also mean that first-time skiers & snowboarders, as well as sightseers, will be able to visit the top of the mountain without having to get on & off a chair – sounds pretty good, eh!?
The facts:
First cabin-style lift on a ski area in New Zealand
1:4 ratio of cabins to chairs
10 total cabins, 40 total chairs
Cabins hold 8 people; chairs hold 6
7 towers (old McDougall’s Quad had 11 towers)
Uphill capacity: 2550 people per hour (old McDougall’s Quad had 1000p/hr uplift)
Gondola cabins & chairs will be stored in the lift’s top station, & can be reconfigured in layout depending on weather conditions"

During the construction one of the crew found a 3.1 kg gold nugget which is the largest ever found in New Zealand. Unfortunately the guy does not get to keep it. The new lift also comes with some earth works that widen the Footrot Flats run. Else where on the mountain there is increases car parking and increased water storage for the snow making.

I haven't heard of anything new at Coronet Peak or The Remarkables so that's all for now.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 16-05-17 4:33; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Any sign of snow down there Sarge McSarge? Or are they snow making yet?

NZ is on our (ie my & Mrs MA's) to do list at some point in the future... wink
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@mountainaddict, There is a little snow higher up and the weather is getting colder but no snow making as yet. The good news is that we are expecting a cold showery change latter in the week with snow level quite low for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I don't expect it will be enough to get the skis out but anything at all will be welcome. You and Mrs MA should come on down. There is so much more to see and do apart from the snow Very Happy Very Happy
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My daughter, aka The Lass, is flying towards NZ on Thursday to teach the season at Cadrona...I will be watching this thread with great interest
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The forecast colder weather has arrived with light snow right down to lake level this morning. Not any great amount on the mountains but enough to change the look of things. Snowing lightly at home right now but it's not going to continue for long so the skis will stay in storage for now.
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Went for a surf this morning. Really cold Very Happy Not much snow in Canterbury yet.
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Chile has been puked on the past few days and a resort or two may open early next week.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
A very light snow fall over night but also the start of snow making at Coronet Peak. Hopefully this will be the start of the build up to opening.
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The season starts tomorrow hear in NZ. Locally Cardrona and The Reamrkables will be open tomorrow with limited terrain available. Cardrona will be the best of the two but neither will be that exciting. There could be a light snow fall tonight with a possibility of a reasonable fall around Tuesday next week. Farther afield Mt Hutt is also opening tomorrow with some of the best opening conditions for some years. I'm not up for the 5hr drive to required to get up there for first runs. I'm too lazy to drive that far for a day on the snow.
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I'm going up to hutt tomorrow. Apparently it was pretty good today.
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Finally some new snow here. Snow line came way down this morning and also snow making going big time. With more forecast for tonight and in the next few days. There may be even enough to lure me up the mountains in a few days.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Looks like longterm forecasts for a snowy El Nino season in NZ this year have been downgraded.

http://www.mountainwatch.com/snow-news/36044802/Snow-Season-Outlook-2017--
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@Whitegold, Yes it looks more like average temperatures and precipitation for the next couple of months. Coronet Peak opened this morning with very limited runs open. The Remarkables is looking a bit better but the best pick would be Cardrona at present. Looks like a light snow fall on Sunday night, Monday morning but not expecting any great ammount.
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Not much snow worth skiing here a the moment. The "big resorts" (I use that term lightly) in Queenstown/Wanaka are all on man made snow - Treble Cone is yet to open (due to open this weekend, but I am expecting that to be postponed). Cardrona is the place to go if you need to ski - but personally I'd stick to the bike for a few more weeks.

North Island "open", but only one beginner slope - it's still way to early. Whakapapa have some great new snow making machine this year, so it should be a better season for coverage, but as they say down here - "June's too soon".

But on the up side I hear there is some good ice climbing to be had at the Remarkables.
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I went up to the Remarkables this morning for a few runs to just get back on the skis and to check out the conditions. There are only a few runs open as yet but the snow surface was ok and I had a couple of hours of fun. Things went downhill after that as I took a bad fall in the car park due to an unseen ice patch. So lying on the ground with a dislocated shoulder was not what I had planned. My friends drove me to hospital where I was put back together with the help of codeine and morphine. Home now and wondering how long this is going to take to heal.
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@Sarge McSarge, How annoying! Hope you heal quickly.
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BenAS wrote:


North Island "open", but only one beginner slope - it's still way to early. Whakapapa have some great new snow making machine this year, so it should be a better season for coverage, but as they say down here - "June's too soon".



Did have some slow starts to the NI season the years we were there and as you say June is very early.

Good to see the recent investment in both lifts and snowmaking by RELC.

Sarge McSarge, sorry to hear about the injury and so early in the season. Heres to a quick recovery.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A few cm's of snow over night and snow making every minute when it's cold enough is slowly improving the conditions here. Still very limited terrain open on all the local mountains but the snow surface is reported to be quite good.
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Hope the shoulder's getting better sarge.

Lots of snow in the Mackenzie today. pretty warm in Christchurch, went for a surf this morning and it wasn't at all cold. Heading to Hutt in the morning, had about 25cm today, about half a metre at Ohau apparently
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@hang11, It's a lot better thanks but will be a while before I'm back on the snow. Bit by bit the snow is improving in this part of the country so most of the mountains now have reasonable coverage especially at higher altitudes. A cold change coming through tonight with a bit of snow to low levels by the morning.
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Look out for the British and Irish Lions. Apparently they're in Queenstown for some R&R before the big game in Auckland on Saturday
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@BobinCH, Yes they are here doing the tourist things like Shotover Jet Boats etc and quite a lot of supporters in town.
5 to 10 cm's of snow overnight and plenty of snow making so the improvement continues with Cardrona still looking to have the best coverage.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We fly a week tomorrow and will be staying in Wanaka 6th - 12th Aug. Hoping to get some time on the slopes at Cardrona. It will be junior DBASKLS's (age 13) first time since he broke his collar bone skiing in Italy in February. He's a little nervous so we're planning on him having an hour's private lesson to try to get his confidence back and then see how things go. Our trip to NZ is not about skiing, any skiing will be a bonus so we are going to take it very gently.

@Sarge McSarge, Hope your shoulder is better now. I see Cardrona has offices in Wanaka. Would we be ok to turn up to book lessons a couple of days in advance? I don't want to book any earlier in case junior DBASKLS decides he can't do it.
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@dbaskls, or you could go up to Treble cone. My stepson and his girlfriend are instructing out there for the TC ski school. Ask for Aly G or Louis C! (The latter has definitely had the broken collar bone experience, albeit from Rugby, at a similar age and then got back on skis......). Kids love skiing with L, and I'm sure he'd have fun.
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@dbaskls, Booking a couple of days out should be no problem at all. The NZ and Australian school holidays will be well finished by then so the mountains will be a bit quieter and plenty of instructor availability. Cardrona has better learners/intermediate terrain than Treble Cone and at present better snow. Snow conditions may have changed by then so just keep an eye on the snow reports. The shoulder is greatly improved and today was my first back at work but no skiing for a while yet.
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@Sarge McSarge, Thanks for your reply - I'll let you know how we get on Smile
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@dbaskls, don't listen to @Perty.... wink

Go to Cardrona and ask for Eva W....she is my daughter Very Happy

(Sorry @Perty!)
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@rungsp, Hahaha! I'd put money on my two knowing your daughter!
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You know it makes sense.
Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Perty, almost a certainty...PM sent
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
is anyone skiing queenstown this weekend? need a buddy!
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@treeslayer, Sorry still injured. Good news is that we have had a bit of snow in the last 24hrs. 15 to 20cm's on the mountains. With the little falls over the last couple of weeks and some epic snow making this latest snow fall will freshen things up nicely. So now most runs will be well covered and fun for all (except the grumpy old injured ones)
This latest weather has cause havoc on the roads. Yesterday morning it rained onto frozen roads and everything iced up. Then more rain at low levels through the day froze last night and now has a light covering of snow, with a bit more falling at present. So traffic is crawling with a number of reported crashes.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Another few cm's in the last day so conditions just continue to improve.
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90cm's of fresh up here. Today was fantastic. only letting 4wd with chains on up the road. Tomorrow will be great too, but guessing ridiculously busy with school holiday crowds. The ski hire shops in town were packed today.


great video of the drive up today from the press

https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/snow/94740787/watch-hairy-scary-drive-up-to-to-mt-hutt
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At least with all that snow piled up on the outside of the road the chances of falling off the road are reduced. Many years ago one of my sisters was skiing at mount Hutt and the wind got so bad that on the drive down they had to escort cars across an exposed area with the grader acting as a wind shield to avoid the cars being blown off the road. You gotta love it.
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