EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › July 9th Mid week trip to Mt Cheeseman Canterbury, NZ
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

July 9th Mid week trip to Mt Cheeseman Canterbury, NZ

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
  • Mount Cheeseman
  • Mount Cheeseman is a club snowfield in New Zealand's South Island, near the town of Springfield, about an hour and a half from Christchurch. Situated in a south-east-facing basin, it features two T-bar lifts and one learner tow. Wikipedia
trail-map2012.jpg
 
My workmate Steve agreed - tomorrow was the day, with a good possibility for some untracked stashes. 
By 8.45am we were at Texas flat, an area where you can chain up at before getting into the steeper, shaded, icy sections of the 11km club road. Using chains is a good idea at this time of year, as what is easy going up can moisten, then snap freeze if the temperature drops. Chains offer safety and control, and minimise anxiety.
10 minutes or so later we arrived at the car park.
The snow was packed powder on the groomed runs, and chopped powder on all the ungroomed. Skiing was excellent although runs are quite short.
After a few circuits we decided we needed to make new tracks somewhere. There were no untracked areas on the main basin unless you went low then trekked out so that is what we did.

 

You can see our rabbit tracks coming out from where we skied to

 

 

Here's the close up about the middle of our untracked run. The powder was light. The area is directly under the run called far out (far right as you view the trail map)

 

 

And here is the car park, where we end up after traversing and climbing for about 15-20 minutes. Steve, on the left, is wearing the skis with Scotty behind him. The day lodge is above to the left, and the accomodation (Snowline) lodge is behind that.

 

 

Here I am with Steve

 

 

 

After we made several passes in this area it was time for lunch, then Scotty decided to visit Tarn basin, which is the large unpatrolled area on the left as you view the trail map. Note the actual Mt Cheeseman is above Tarn Basin, and the actual skifield is under Mt Cockayne, just to confuse us all.

 

While Scotty went bush, Steve and I messed around on the main field for a few post lunch runs, then traversed out to Sunny Face, where we went low again, down to the access road

 

 

 

This run was very nice with a change to a gentle grade as the snow got just a bit heavier. Me again on the left, and on the right, Steve wants to give up engineering and market skis. Note the Snowline Lodge building up at top right. From here it is a pleasant 10 minute walk back to the lifts. 

 

Scotty reported back that the Tarn mission was an abject failure, with ordinary snow, impossible skinning conditions, and a gruelling steep climb out in too light powder. 

 

Did I mention the Thursday crowds? Count the cars, and also you can see some of the mountain area

 

It's hard to say exactly what makes a great ski day, but this was one of my better days for sure. Probably the relaxed environment we found ourselves in, along with the pleasure of skiing some untracked powder, and a nice feeling that we sort of earned our fun. Add to that the blue sky and scenery and we have a complete package.

 

Anyway, thanks for a great day guys

 

 

post #2 of 5

Sweet!  Thanks for sharing. 

post #3 of 5

I was not nearly as fortunate for conditions, but it was easy to see the potential for a day like you had when I skied Mt. Olympus and Broken River in July 2010.  You also had it easier with T-bars instead of the nutcracker rope tows.

post #4 of 5

Nice bootpack terrain, even for shorties. The broad chutes look like fun.

So what kind of snow do they get, big dumps? Low elevation for easy booting.

It might be time to visit my niece down there. ;-)

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snokat View Post

Nice bootpack terrain, even for shorties. The broad chutes look like fun.

So what kind of snow do they get, big dumps? Low elevation for easy booting.

It might be time to visit my niece down there. ;-)

Hi Snokat

 

We get all sorts. Not so much big dumps though, and right now we are going through an extended spring - no snow for 2 weeks and none anytime soon. Last year we got quite a few late season falls, typically coastal quality rather than light, but good fun skiing all the same. August is traditionally the best time but we may be seeing a shift to more late season falls. The Temple basin reports from last few days look a bit better than the ones from the areas further east, so it has obviously picked up some precipitation from the westerly winds, which makes sense as it is right on the main divide. Feel free to PM me if you want to know any more?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Trip Reports
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › July 9th Mid week trip to Mt Cheeseman Canterbury, NZ