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Australia/New Zealand 2014 - Page 5

post #121 of 125

Alright!  I'm organised now.  Time to load up some photos from mid-August.


A two week break in Thredbo, mid-winter, is not something to be taken lightly.  Without any regard to the weather, which really could be anything at all, there's the small effort of two weeks of constant partying, and the toll it takes on both the wallet and our energy levels.  Still, it's nothing we haven't braved before, so what the hell.


We'd cunningly broken it down into two separate weeks.  Week one was by ourselves, staying in Bernti's and enjoying time with our local Thredbo 'family'.  That was the dangerous week.  Week one was all about hitting it hard; playing hard, skiing hard, letting it all hang out, and generally getting a bit loose.  Fun was had.


For week two we had about nine or ten friends, plus children, scheduled to arrive on the middle Sunday (changeover day).  After a loooong Saturday night, with a Bledisloe Cup match at Bernti's (nothing short of the biggest rugby bar in town) in there somewhere, plus some on-stage action at the Denman, and a late night appearance at the Schuss Bar, we had to pack our bags, lump all the gear down to the car (again) only to drive about 300 yards to the Alpine Hotel.  When I say "we" that's a euphemism for "yours truly" ... you know what I mean.  After a three minute drive "we" lumped it all upstairs again to kick off our second week.  


Week two was all about cooking, wine, a heap of cheese, laughing with friends and helping some people learn to ski, or to improve their existing skiing.  More fun was had, and stories were told.


Describing the weather is easy.  After an overcast day on the first Monday we had epic bluebird conditions for the entire first week, with 'hero' snow and very little breeze worth mentioning.  It was all about finding stashes off piste and zooming the grooming with abandon.  All of Monday and Tuesday morning of week two it rained steadily, and that sogged up the hill a little.  Thereafter we had the same bluebird days with no wind, but the hill was hard and refrozen in the mornings before softening through the day.  Off piste was coral, so week two was all about the groomers.


Day one.  The Top to Bottom race had been held the previous weekend, and the FIS crowd was in town and enjoying the conditions.  Here's the podium above Valley Terminal.



An early run on the morning groomers.



The storm fences can cop some serious breeze along the ridge - 150km/h is semi-regular.  Steel posts plus chains gives a clue, if you're looking.



From the traverse at the top of High Noon looking up to the top station of the main Kosciuszko Express quad chair (the Kosi) ...



... and here's one looking the other way.  Consider standing underneath the triple lift pylons shown above and looking back to where the above shot was taken.




Despite the lack of brand new snow conditions in the first week were pretty much ideal.  The temperature was staying low enough to keep the snowpack in fine shape.  Here's the T-bar up to Karels; Australia's highest lifted point.  In this photo what looks soft is soft.  That wasn't the case for week two.



Just a quick, self-indulgent shot of our fave skis.



Putting a Mumm Champagne bucket to good use one afternoon in Kareela Hutte.



The Thredbo Alpine Hotel has been putting on an apres ski scene outside by the pool, complete with (smoky) fire pits and a DJ.  It's a fun way to end the day.



I managed to find Wally.



And Captain America was in attendance.



Not to mention a dragon.



And, if you look closely, there's a unicorn in the middle of this shot.



I'm afraid this one's just a mish mash.  We have the Jamaican Bobsled Team, a cow, a Ghostbuster, a fireman and someone who appears to be impersonating a ski instructor (the cheek).



This is me.  I'm afraid patroller Brett's attempt to grab a panorama shot reflected off my goggles was an abject failure.  Still, it captures an action shot of another patroller clearing up the snow steps out of the hut at the top of Anton's T-bar just nicely.



Snowgums.  Gorgeous.



Toyota always put in an effort with some of the snow sculpture marketing around the place.  This is a great concept.  Get the kids inside the snow 4x4 so they demand a Toyota.  Genius!



The view down the Kosi lift line from alongside the top station.



Turn around and you see the snow drifts in the lee of the Eagle's Nest restaurant, with the Bull Wheel Cafe on the lower level.



This is on Funnel Web, which reminds me I have some better / higher shots to drag off my phone.  A little steeper than it looks, especially higher up.



 This old sign was the subject of a raffle in Black Sallee's Bistro.



One of the reasons Aussies end up all over the world in January and February.



The wall of remembrance at the entrance to Black Sallee''s.



And the steps out of the Bistro.



On the first Thursday (I think) they opened up a banked slalom course for the boarders that had been under creation all week.  It may have been nice to begin with but by the time I arrived to check out the action it was a bit gnarly.  Amateur bodies were going in all directions.






In an earlier post I've shown some shots of the One Hit Wonder jumps in action.  This is the rather enormous pile of snow that was going up when they were creating the jumps.



And from the same place a day or two later.





I found a shrub.




Make that a brace of shrubs.  I may have seen them up on the hill earlier but ... how would you know ?



Later that afternoon I bumped into one of the shrubs in the gents.  I'm not quite sure of the etiquette around taking a clandestine photo of a guy/shrub in the gents (it's no doubt quite creepy) but what the hell.



And there's most likely all sorts of potential conflicts when taking a photo of a pretty young lady wearing a weiner suit, but again, what the hell.



And, last but not least, the zebra had returned.  There always seems to be a zebra.  They're not an indigenous species but we always seem to get one or two ... [edit - unless it's a white tiger; I can never tell]




I have a couple of decent shots from Funnel Web that I'll edit in here at some stage.  Otherwise week two was a social thing and didn't tax my shutter finger at all I'm afraid.


We're already putting down deposits and planning flights for a return to the Italian Dolomites (Campitello and Corvara) in late January / February 2015.  That'll no doubt be more snap-worthy.


Thanks for taking the time to read.

Edited by sinbad7 - 9/24/14 at 4:25pm
post #122 of 125

Meanwhile, in more up-to-date news, things aren't looking good down there today.  It's raining.


The snow pack up high is still hanging in there, but the lower third of the hill is starting to look very grassy.  That's no surprise for late September.




This is lower Sundance (see a few posts above) this afternoon.  That big pile of snow has been pushed/carried down from higher up in order to extend the toboggan slide area.


Edited by sinbad7 - 9/25/14 at 12:45am
post #123 of 125

A "100km/h hair dryer breeze" that kicked in over the weekend changed our spring thaw into top gear and started the lift closures.  Here's a shot of the Meadows area on the lower parts of the Supertrail.  Not sure there's much left to tell.  



Lots of snow in July, hardly any through August and September, but a good season nonetheless.


I'm just waiting to upload the season highlights video, and that will be all folks.

post #124 of 125
Thread Starter 

Still snowing in NZ apparently.  Mt. Hutt just posted 22 cm.  Is it normal to see snow like that this late?  Hope someone is getting after it.

post #125 of 125
It's unusual to have consistent snowfall this late. We haven't had that, though. We've had a few random storms that have precipitated more than just a cm or two well after the end of the resort ski season in the South Island. Which is pretty much par for the course.

The Remarkables also copped a bit in the last storm cycle, there's probably still some alright touring to be had in places up there. Mt Hutt had skiable snow on New Year's day this year, if I recall correctly (I was in Japan, so...). New Zealand weather is typically unstable so getting the odd turn in late Spring or mid Autumn is normal.
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