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Queenstown/Southern Lakes 2018

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
With fresh snow on the mountains it is time to start this seasons thread. Not much in the way of changes over the summer just Coronet Peak and Cardrona announcing increases to their snow making capacity. Cardrona has also announced that they will be doing 20 million NZ$ worth of improvements over the next few years but apart from the snow making no details as yet. It's only two and a half weeks until the planned opening of the first lifts so the change to colder and wetter weather is right on time. The forecast is for snow off and on for the next week with up to 50cms expected. Not enough to start skiing but getting close and when you add in the efforts of the snow makers we will see major changes by next weekend. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fingers crossed for you 👍
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Mike Pow, Thanks. Yesterday it snowed all day on the mountains and this morning i am seeing a few flakes drifting past my window and the forecast is saying snow showers off and on until Saturday Very Happy Coronet Peak has had the snow making working hard for the last 48hrs to add to the coverage. It's not yet enough for opening the lifts but is a very good start.
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Early signs good for a decent season!

https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/coldest-winter-in-years-on-its-way-metservice/ar-AAxIhyT?li=BBqdg4K&ocid=wispr

https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/more-wild-weather-after-wintry-blast
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After the snow over the last week and some full on snow making the mountains are looking very good. There do not appear to be any plans to open any lifts early so still a couple of weeks to go.

Snow making this morning at Coronet Peak

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Cardrona is opening this weekend with limited lifts, just for the weekend.

Looks great down your way!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
And Coronet having a limited operation on Saturday as well.
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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!
Yes Coronet is opening just for Saturday and Cardrona is opening for Saturday and Sunday. A bit of a marketing teaser with limited lifts and services. Still it's better than nothing.
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Fun and games in the North Island with the usual battle between volcanoes for first to open bragging rights... Mt Ruapehu with a lastminute.com attempt to steal Mt Manganui's thunder with the surprise announcement to open Happy Valley free of charge from 11am-2pm Friday... but with a swift parry that only a nimble wee clubfield could pull off, the Pride of Paranaki got its nose back in front by firing up the bottom T-bar and officially opening the New Zealand winter ski season today.

WINTER 2018 IS HERE! snowHead snowHead snowHead

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/watch-ski-season-officially-underway-hundreds-snow-lovers-take-slopes-mt-taranaki

The Ruapehu season pass is itching to earn its keep so I'll be angling to turn turnstiles every other weekend and, if I manage to read the isobars correctly, Ruapehu's annual powder day over the next 4-5 months. Will post the odd snap from time to time, in between gale force gusts and ice shard shrapnel blasts... just to keep the Southerners reminded of the lovely conditions we have the privilege of on our maunga in the middle Laughing
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Early forecasts for next week are picking over a metre of snow due. Probably won't end up being that much, but could be a good start.

Hutt opens Friday. Cleared the diary just in case Very Happy
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20cm of snow on the mountains overnight and 5cm down at my place. The usual havoc on the roads with muppets out in large numbers. I took Mrs Sarge in to work this morning (5 km) and saw four cars stuck and three crashes as well as the car that bumped into the back of my truck as I waited at an intersection. Good news for me is that they hit the heavy duty tow bar and only damaged their own vehicle.
The Remarkables is opening tomorrow so the fresh snow is right on time.
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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.
Meanwhile, in North Island...

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/104493902/mt-ruapehu-crater-lake-warming-up-rise-in-volcanic-tremor

Must mean ski season is opening Laughing Shocked rolling eyes
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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
@Sarge McSarge, and @Skiwi 55,

We need skiing pics asap!

Have a great season!
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You know it makes sense.
@dbeatski, Sorry but I won't have any for about a week Sad
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just had a couple of nice days at Coronet Peak. Although it has not snowed for a while the cooler temperatures have allowed some snow making and the grooming has been top quality. All the groomed runs are in good condition and the ungroomed while reasonably well covered has a slightly crusty surface. The good news is that we should be in for some fresh snow and cold temps over the next few days. Still almost no one on the mountains yet but that will be changing fron this weekend onward.

No time for photos but here is a look out over m valley clouds yesterday morning.

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Looking good @Sarge McSarge, you're rolling in clover, the hordes of Queenstown under that grey blanket with the mountain to yourself.

Is that the Remarkables across the grey sea? When do they open for business? Perhaps that's where your competition for piste space is today Laughing
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@Sarge McSarge, looks great! Love the views from up there with the inversion.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Skiwi 55, That is indeed The Remarkables across the valley. All of our local mountains are now open with Cardrona probably having the best coverage. Most are reporting 10cm's of snow overnight and with showers forecast all day and something a bit more substantial coming tonight and again tomorrow night all is well in this part of the world.
@hang11, The cloud slowly cleared during the day but I think Alexandra has had yet another grey day under the blanket.
Cold and light rain here at home this morning so that means a little more snow on the mountains. Very Happy
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Another 10 to 15cm since yesterday morning and more for tonight so it's building a good early season base for us.
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And 20cm's more since yesterday and quite a bit of wind. So no big falls but the repeated small ones are really stating to build up. Improving weather for the next few days and maybe back to more snow for the weekend.
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Mr P Junior attracting attention in Treble Cone sometime in the last 24 hrs. Madeye-Smiley
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Silly question maybe, but is it normal for the valley's to be snowless? Has New Zealand always had this thin snow coverage, or is it a sign of the times? I had always assumed it was a little closer to the conditions we get in EU, but it looks closer to AU than Europe.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Depends where you are, but not usually permanent low snow near any of the ski areas.
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Considering that in places like Wanaka and Queenstown the valley is something like 800m lower than the bottom of the lowest lifts it is not an issue for the valleys to be snowless most of the time. Great skiing down this way at present with fresh snow yesterday morning for all the local mountains. Treble Cone reporting the heaviest fall with 35cm+ and lesser amounts elsewhere. More forecast for tonight and clear skies by breakfast time.
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A great day down here with 10cm+ overnight and clear blue skies. The little snowfall has given us a lovely surface and combined with major snow making it was wall to wall smiles. Only issue is the crowds with school holidays (both NZ & Aus) filling both the town and mountains.
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Great news about soho/cardona developing new terrain

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/105425496/new-zealands-largest-alpine-resort-to-be-built-in-south-island

Might sort the crowds out a bit Very Happy
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
It will be a major improvement for this part of the country although it sounds like there won't be much happening for a couple of years. The terrain is really nice with three big open bowls with steeper lines around the sides. This will make Cardrona far more attractive to the intermediate/advanced people. Way back in the day when skis were long and skinny and all boots were painful we used to run intro heli skiing in that area. Meet the clients at the top of the chair and take them past the boundary and ski as far down as the snow was fun then helicopter them back to the top. Some days it was five or ten people and others it was as many as fifty (in small groups) A great way to get people away from the lifts and into the untracked snow.
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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
After a week of sunshine and nice (but not fresh) snow it is now snowing and due to continue for the next 36hrs. The forecast is only for about 15cms of snow but the way it is coming down right now we could get quite a bit more. Good news as I don't go back to work until next Wednesday.
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You know it makes sense.
Yes quite an active low passing by, dumped a shedload on the Aussie fields earlier this week. Hoping it stalls east of the country and gives us a repeat performance!
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looking pretty good up this way too. Off work early next too,
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Quite variable results from the recent snow fall. Treble Cone 3cm, Cardrona 30cm. Coronet Peak 5cm, Remarkables 35cm. So good for some and not much for others. Maybe a little more today then clearing away for the next few days.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Very nice snow accross the region and a great spell of sunny weather. The lightest dusting of snow the last two nights. Just enough to enhance the surface. Snow forecact for this afternoon and night but probably not amounting to much. Still everyone is having a great time and school holiday crowds are over so more locals are being seen.
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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?
5 to 15cm reported around the region this morning with the most at Coronet Peak. Light snow fall off and on for the next few days to keep it all fresh and fun. unfortunately no big falls expected.
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Another great day and a few photos for you all.

This is the western face of Mt Cardrona. These bowls are the Soho basins that will be opened up with the new developments coming in the next couple of years. The existing ski area is behind the right hand summit and the long gentle ridge.



The top of Coronet Peak from the Lunch Rocks area. Notice the crowds.



Looking over the Lunch Rocks towards the Rocky Gully T Bar and race training area.



Top of the Meadows chair with Arthur's Point village in the left distance and Queenstown in the center by the lake.



A few early lunch/drinkers at the Ice Bar

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Great pics! I didnt know you could see Cardrona from Coronet Peak. Is Treble Cone visible from Cardrona? Is it a Council requirement for all Otago skifields to be connected by line of sight? Im envisaging them all installing the beacons from LOTR Two Towers, but summoning skiers instead of the Rohirim to fresh snowfall... a sort of pre-Snowheads form of snow reporting Very Happy

Soho will be a blast when open.
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Great photos, as others have said Smile

Questions from me: Is the current snow line that is shown on the pics typical for the time of year? Do you ever get snow down to valley level?
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@Skiwi 55, You can't see TC from Cardrona but you can see the very top from Coronet.
@mountainaddict, The snow line usually varies from where it is now down to close to the valley. We do get a few falls in the valley every winter but it does not last for more than a few days or a week. So some times it looks like this.

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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!
@mountainaddict, I've been in Qtown when it's snowed down to lake level in May, but it's relatively infrequent. It's a common misconception about the NZ winter. Definitely not like Austria where it's snow into the valleys 3 months of the year. Queenstown may party like St Anton but there's generally very little snowfall to go with it. Three factors I put it to:

1. Latitude - skifields here are between 45 (Queenstown) and 37 (Ruapehu) degrees South. That's the equivalent of Grenoble and Seville, above the equator. So generally longer days and higher incident sun angles during winter.

2. Altitude - the Southern Lakes ski towns eg Queenstown, Wanaka are only about 300m asl. Contrast to the likes of Westendorf, Kitzbuhel where the valley floor is around 800m. The Central Plateau in North Island is more comparable, Ohakune and National Park are both around 600m but further north so milder.

3. Climate - NZ has a maritime climate where incoming weather is tempered and moderated by the surrounding ocean. Much like the UK & Poland - equivalent latitudes but the latter continental and much colder winters. A similar comparison with Australia exhibits in summer, where inland parts of Aus reach 40+. Auckland rarely gets above 25-26... "intensely mild", as a visiting comedian put it... 20 is the likely high, whether Jan or July!
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Also it's where the weather comes from. NZ gets whatever the wind sends us and that could be cold antarctic air from the south, cool from the west or relatively warm tropical air from the north and any of these could possibly be at any time of the year. Hokkaido in northern Japan gets way colder and way more snow than NZ because it gets very cold siberian air coming across the Sea of Japan causing sea effect snow fall even though it is at about the same latitude as southern NZ.

A little cloud and snow shot from a couple of days ago

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No new snow to report so we are having to get by on the old stuff. Lower altitude runs are getting firmer but higher areas are still nice. Unfortunately nothing in the forecast but lovely sunny days.

A few pics for your entertainment.

Red sky and wind clouds above Coronet Peak yesterday morning. It all came to nothing.



These baloonists were having a beautiful morning today



Frankton under the morning mist



General view from Coronet Peak this morning.

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