Can get a bit windy on Mt Ruapehu, tried to ski there last year. The three days I was there all on wind hold.... of course a blue bird powder day on the day I had to leave....
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2013 Season - Australia - Page 5
Gear mentioned in this thread:
The snowgods just don't like the tax man
The first Dopplmayer double chair was installed at Buller. Old man Dopplmayer apparently wanted it 'hidden' in the antipodes in case the new fangled thing failed.
The engineering behind lifts is amazing. A couple of years ago 'standard' lifts literallly blew over. I think the lift was really overhauled.
According to Snow Australia.....
Thredbo had an avalanche. That's news down here. Snow + rain + snow + rain adds up.
Big rock slide on a road has trapped people from getting down. Another hill had the road half fall into ravine before the season opened. . (A couple years back a carpark collapsed, taking cars with it).
yesterday it rained so much, I heard people were changing gear 3x and pulling their 80s gear out of storage for something dry. If its not wind, it's rain, or fog. The snowgods are upset this year
Just back from a week in Thredbo. Seems we picked a good week as things will start getting very spring-like down there this week. Seems last week was all the winter they'll get.
The week began with predictions of a couple of feet of snow spread across three or four fronts starting on the Saturday. That didn't really happen, and we managed to drive into town on the Sunday without any trouble (or any snow). The predicted snow "lowering to 900 metres on Monday and 700 metres on Tuesday" didn't occur either, although the forecasters were accurate with their call for strong winds - it was windy all week. I'm sure it's not an easy game trying to predict snow hereabouts, but for the locals the best bet has been to look out the window each morning.
Monday was cloudy and cold with a little wet snow up high and fog above around 1800m. Tuesday remained windy, but started with blue skies before the clouds gathered in the afternoon and it began to snow lightly in the evening. Wednesday was cold and breezy with the odd snow flake, and thickish fog returned at higher levels. Thursday opened up with 3 or 4cm of snow in the village and a decent amount of new snow on the hill - 15cm or more. Snow continued all day Thursday - there were some great fresh lines and refills to scope out all day - although visibility was 'challenging' at higher levels. Friday was a bit warmer and the snow had turned to light rain across most of the hill, with wet snow up high (although you couldn't see it for the fog). Saturday was blue and relatively still all day. Somehow the cover had hardened up overnight even though it hadn't been cold enough to make snow Thursday or Friday nights. Saturday was the first and only day I bothered to be lifted up to the highest point at Karels since visibility was pretty awful up there all week.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were the pick of it, although it was hard to argue with a sunny Saturday. Friday was a day for wringing water out of gloves, freezing hands, wet bums and lots of hot drinks across the day. Still, we had a great week.
I'll post up some shots in coming days once I sort out another ISP. My current provider "3" seems to be shutting up shop and transferring clients to Vodafone.
Edited by sinbad7 - 8/25/13 at 11:22pm
Err ... not any more. The fickle winds of change have hit the Pacific Peso as well. I'm afraid we're down in the low $0.90's now.
Alright, better late than never. Here's the trip report from mid-August.
Since January of this year we had a week in Thredbo booked, locked in and paid for. I’ve been looking forward to it for some time.
There was a nice snowfall in the middle of May, and I got a bit wound up, but that was ridiculous. I knew it at the time.
June skiing was non-existent, but we had confidence that ‘the middle two weeks of August’ wouldn’t let us down.
In early July things weren’t looking promising, but our confidence remained high.
Mid July saw a nice dump, but that snow was washed away by some sort of out-of-season monsoon. The river in Thredbo broke its banks. That was bad!
Late July saw another dump, and we managed to get a demo weekend in. Fun was had. Then it petered out again. More rain arrived, and my expectations took a bit of a hammering.
And then, finally, predictions of snow for mid-August picked up, even if the valley terminal snow cam was showing waaay too much grass for comfort.
Sydney is dealing with the warmest winter on record ... ever! Still, we loaded the car on a Sunday morning and headed off to avoid a predicted BLIZZARD down in the snow country. A BLIZZARD, I say. Anyway ... I made sure the snow chains were accessible when we packed the car ...
... and the predicted snow didn’t happen. But we had a great week anyway.
This was the view from the hotel apartment when we arrived. Funnelweb is the run through the trees on the skyline.
Although conditions would improve before the snow retreated leaving a blue sky finish.
Heading for the gloom on the first (Monday) morning.
Another view of World Cup, above the mid station. Get used to it, I seem to like this shot.
Monday conditions were like this. It shows the increasing fog at higher levels nicely. For reference the World Cup shot (above) is taken exiting the trees upper middle in this shot.
This was the view at the base. A bit too much grass for my taste – especially for peak season. We have a nice new video screen on the side of the lift station though, so that's a bonus.
A bit of snow gum action to make the Aussies homesick. I wonder who hit the lowest branch there? That would’ve hurt.
The sun came out on the Tuesday. Boing! Up the Kosi lift we go again.
This was the view across the central ridge from just under the top station on the Tuesday. You can drop off into some steep bumps (not that there’s anything wrong with that) or you continue on the cat track around to your left (which can also be a tad bumpy) and deal with the crowds 80 yards later – often in thick fog.
Here’s G at the top of Merritts. That enormous pile of snow in the background is the grooming team getting ready for the One Hit Wonder in early September. They beam the ‘big air’ action direct to the web and have the public vote on the winner.
Random snowgum shot.
Here we are rallying out from Michael’s Mistake down to the top of the Gunbarrel lift (through the trees).
Another random snowgum shot.
Thursday opened up like this, and it was good.
And World Cup looked like this (told you to get used to it).
Bit of a selfie with the guys on the snowy Thursday. It was a bit cold and windy. That’s me hiding from the camera at lower left.
Here’s a bit of a snow sculpture taking shape at the bottom of Merritts. This tends to always be something to do with Toyota – a valued sponsor.
Team Kastle, kickin' back!
Friday was a rainy, wet, cold, wring-your-gloves-out, stop-for-a-hot-chocolate kind of day. It certainly wasn’t a day for dragging out the camera.
And then on the Saturday out came the sun (welcome) and the crowds kicked in (not so much).
And up we went again.
Wonder where this is? It looks soft but it started out like coral and then softened into mashed spud. I was on 188cm Rossignol Sin7s here. Not the ski to use for a refrozen Australian morning, I can say that for certain. It's a pretty good ski after about 11:00am though. Swapped it out for the 186 Rossi Experience 88 later that day. That’s more of a Thredbo all mountain ski.
Top of the Kosi lift, looking left ...
... looking right ...
... and looking straight ahead.
Michael’s Mistake always (in my mind) starts by dropping in off the small cornice at upper right in this shot.
This is Karels – the highest lifted point in Australia – plus a bit more (you have to push uphill for a bit). Way down there are the Victorian resorts. They seemed to be copping some weather that didn’t make it to NSW that day.
This is approaching the entrance to Funnelweb. I promised myself I’d be in there when conditions allowed for some visibility.
The top of Funnelweb, taken (back a little) from a small cornice alongside a chute at the top. No sign of the wombats this year. Photos do tend to flatten things out, don’t they?
Here’s the finished Toyota sculpture. I had to head over to the other side of the hill to finish the story. Nice work!
And this is Stanley’s Gorge, looking all glacial due to the previous day’s rain. It’s out of bounds terrain, visible front and centre (well, a little to the right) as you head up the intermediate Cruiser chair.
Stanley’s is not to be underestimated though.
Couple of Panorama shots to show a little more of the terrain.
Looking back from the Waimea Traverse.
And now for some wildlife sightings. We had ducks (of all things).
And an echidna was being ushered across the main Supertrail by some curious Americans. “Dude, that is so awesome!” I must have disturbed it when I slid to a stop so it curled up into a ball. I didn't spray it's face with snow mind you, it was already like that . After a few seconds it opened up and continued on its way. This was directly under the Snowgums (“Slowgums”) chair, so there were a lot of excited people pointing and taking photos at the time. I’m probably on a lot of Facebook pages right now, but I wasn’t the star of the show.
So, we’re back. The lounge room looked like a bomb site for about a week, with boots, gloves, helmets, skis and jackets laying everywhere and drying in the ridiculously balmy weather we’re having right now. Sydney has just come through its warmest winter on record - two degrees (Celsius) ahead of the average. We didn't see the temperature drop below 7 degrees (Celsius) all winter – only the second time that’s happened in 160 years.
I think we lucked out and hit one of the two real wintery weeks this year. Thredbo turned to spring the minute we left. The prediction was for 10 degrees (Celsius) at 1,700 metres this weekend. Nuts! With cover already thin the season will disappear pretty quickly. Our snow cover is already running off the hill in torrents, and the photos look grim down there. The web cam at the base of the Kosi lift went 'off line' early last week, which gives an idea what the home run must look like.
Spring skiing is great skiing team. Get in quick 'cause it's disappearing fast.
Edited by sinbad7 - 8/31/13 at 7:23pm
Baw Baw closed today and Lake Mtn has essentially shut down its XC operations and the snowmaking for the snowplay area.
Midweek, I'm going up for a day to mainly get my gear and come home.
I'm glad I got shareholder passes to ski free. This season I might've had 3 decent days on half decent snow without a mix of fog, wind and rain. Looking forward to skiing o/seas though.
There's always something a bit sad about the 'decay' of the ski season ... especially this early in the year.
Safe to say it's been a bad year.
We're not heading back this season. Thanks for checking in anyone and everyone who's been interested.
Won't be long before it's your turn.
Just to rule off this season (such as it was) once and for all here's the end of season video clip from Thredbo.
This year it's large on parties and short on powder snow, which was to be expected.
Sydney has just experienced it's warmest September on record. Sheesh!
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