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Australia / New Zealand 2016 - Page 3post #61 of 1837/2/16 at 12:44amThread Starter
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #62 of 1837/2/16 at 6:03pmThread Starterpost #63 of 1837/2/16 at 6:43pmpost #64 of 1837/2/16 at 6:46pmpost #65 of 1837/2/16 at 8:39pmThread Starterpost #66 of 1837/2/16 at 9:59pm
Meanwhile.... at Turoa, we are waiting for a lot more of the white stuff to get the season started
Heres a shot looking up the Boneyard and Lower Yahoo
And looking up the Nga Wai Heke chair.
This is mid field...........
And theres no snow in the next weeks forecast eitherpost #67 of 1837/2/16 at 11:43pmQuote:I'll be there in a few weeks so I'm not that negative on it but you people from Nth America don't want to come to Oz specifically for skiing. I guess if it's a small part of a big trip you would risk it.
We average about 80 to 100 inches s season......post #68 of 1837/3/16 at 7:07amQuote:
Well, I was looking at airfare last night out of curiosity, and Chile would actually be a lot cheaper to get to as well. Still, something I'd like to look into for next year!post #69 of 1837/3/16 at 12:56pmQuote:Originally Posted by sbooker
Quote:I'll be there in a few weeks so I'm not that negative on it but you people from Nth America don't want to come to Oz specifically for skiing. I guess if it's a small part of a big trip you would risk it.
We average about 80 to 100 inches s season......
Understand the thought that Oz doesn't have big mountain skiing, but still would be fun for someone who lives in the Mid-Atlanic. Around VA and PA, most of the ski areas depend completely on snowmaking. My home mountain is a couple hours from DC and the average is about 25 inches of snow during the three month ski season.post #70 of 1837/3/16 at 7:09pmThread Starterpost #71 of 1837/11/16 at 8:58pmThread Starter
I'm back from a four day weekend. Demo weekend is done and dusted. Fifteen skis demoed (briefly). Fun!
I skied Friday, Saturday Sunday. Thredbo had sketchy conditions for the weekend, and it was raining in the village most of Sunday night and Monday. Wet snow up higher.
A big cold front has just kicked in though, bringing both snow and gale force winds, which will put much of the hill on wind hold. They certainly need the snow at this point in proceedings. It's been too warm to make snow since the last decent snowfall, so some of the trails were displaying varying shades of beige in many areas and snow-free patches of grass in others. Not a great time to be bringing shiny, brand new skis. Watching the kids' ski races on a solid 2cm base was a bit sad.
This first shot is Perisher's Front Valley again. School holidays at the moment so the crowds are out in force.
And here comes our cold front bringing up that mottled, cold-looking Antarctic air.
Edited by sinbad7 - 7/11/16 at 9:08pmpost #72 of 1837/11/16 at 11:20pmThread Starter
Here's one from my roving reporter in Thredbo Village, taken this afternoon.
[edit - adding in a section of the latest forecast: Yesterday’s snowstorm has already started to wind down and that trend will continue over the next few days as a fat high makes itself at home. The snow came just as expected, and it looks like Thredbo did best out of this system with epic amounts of snow on the upper mountain, check out our snow reports for more info. We will have excellent conditions over the coming days which will give something for everyone. Cold temperatures, strong winds and good quality snow will have the stormtroopers out over the next couple of days. A mild weekend will then coax out the fair weather crew from their city dwellings. We can expect a few residual flurries and light snow showers today driven in on strong westerly winds as a high starts to build in from Western Australia. It will be very cold so wrap up warm. With maximums of between -3 and -5c and a wind chill of -15 to -20c it will be one of the coldest days of the year. Check the lift reports before heading up as we might see a few delays due to yesterday's storm.]
Edited by sinbad7 - 7/12/16 at 4:13pmpost #73 of 1837/12/16 at 4:25pmThread Starterpost #74 of 1837/12/16 at 4:31pmThread Starterpost #75 of 1837/13/16 at 4:58pmThread Starter
Since I'm not down there *sigh* I'll post a few shots from Richard again.
"It was a ferocious night last night with winds stronger than I have ever encountered. There was snow even inside covered car parks and up against doors and windows.
It's still snowing outside but not as heavily. The sun tried to break out a couple of times but otherwise all is the same: a -20C wind chill."
For those of you familiar with the Pineapple Express that brings big snows to Nth America, yesterday's weather pattern (picture from BOM) showed why we got what we got, being moist warm air from the NW hitting cold Antarctic air from the SW.
Looks like being a fantastic day today. The wind is still ripping snow off the ridge, but skiing the trees and the powder bowls would be simply world class.post #76 of 1837/13/16 at 7:25pmpost #77 of 1837/14/16 at 11:22pmThread Starterpost #78 of 1837/17/16 at 6:19amThread Starter
I’ve sorted myself out now. Time to post up some shots from the demo weekend.
In an earlier post I grumbled about the snow arriving just as I drove out of town. In many respects that was a blessing as my little sports car would have been stuck in the village once the snow kicked in properly.
I was up at 3:15am on the Friday, hit the road at 4:00am, drove into the village at 9:30am and (after about twenty minutes finding a parking spot) was on the slopes at 10:45. The weather had been warm for about a week, with no new snow, no snowmaking and a good bit of rain, meaning conditions weren’t the best, as you can see.
Dropping in off Eagle’s Way the slope had developed some large moguls. I’m far from the best bump skier going around, although moguls aren’t really a problem, but rocks on the back side of random bumps tend to provide a real test.
Visibility came and went on the Friday.
Just a random snowgum shot.
Saturday opened up with a clear blue sky, very hard and fast groomers and hardly a breath of wind - just enough to get the flags moving. On this morning the bumps were definitely something to avoid, at least until they’d softened up a little.
It was the skiMag demo weekend and the tents were out at the bottom of the Supertrail.
First cab off the rank (my favourite skis) was the Kastle tent: MX84, FX95HP and MX89. All great skis, although the 84 had the edge on this morning – it was hanging onto the refrozen groomers just that bit better.
Surprise of the weekend goes to the Japanese brand ID One. Their Freeride line of skis is really very good. These were 89mm underfoot and compared very well when skied back-to-back with the MX89. They’re a little lighter in feel than the Kastles, still a relatively damp ski, and beautifully tractable through the bumps (as you’d expect from such a dedicated bump ski company). Wonderful things. Thinking back to last year I consider these to be similar in feel to Fischer's Motive 86ti, which is high praise in my books.
Clouds started rolling in just around lunch, and I stopped at the Bull Wheel Cafe to ‘rehydrate’ a little. Here's a view of the Kosi top station from inside ...
... and turning around to show the interior (and my rehydration of choice).
I won’t bore you with shots of every ski, but the Fischer tent was next and I gave the Pro MTN 95ti a run. The Pro MTN is the evolution of the Motive series, which is very much worthy of consideration.
Then the Head tent received a workout, with a brand spanking new pair of World Cup Rebels iSpeed being the first cab off the rank, followed by the WCR iRace, the Rally and (for some reason) a dayglo green side country ski called the ProtoStellar. Given the conditions the Head rep wasn't sending the WCR skis out with just anyone, although I've been hanging around these demo weekends long enough, and on days like this I do spend a lot of time desperately trying to avoid the rocks, so I must have gathered some level of trust. I’ve enjoyed the Rally in prior years but they did suffer a little by being skied directly after the World Cup Rebels pair. Perhaps it wasn't the best order in which to ski those three.
The below shot is a cat track called Eagle’s Way. It’s the road that links the top station of the Kosi Lift to the Supertrail. Generally speaking everyone (of all abilities) has to ski down here to get to the Supertrail. The road is nice and gentle for a while and then you get to a section that’s a bit steeper than many punters are comfortable with. This shot shows the steep section ... the photo doesn’t really do justice to the pitch of the road.
On this bit of road people are either snowplowing (and consistently taking up half the road) or slamming on the brakes (and abruptly taking up half of the road) or making short S turns (and unpredictably taking up most of the road). People are often propped on the edge of the road looking down into the mogul field, meaning the tails of their skis actually take up a good bit of real estate on the right side, and they block straight line access to the mogul field. Add in a few lumps on the road and it can make life a tad difficult.
The first brown spot (middle of the road beneath the orange warning pole) is the top of a big rock. You really should go left or right of the rock, which narrows your options. If you’re a beginner (or an early intermediate) you’re likely going too fast for comfort right about that spot, and panic is starting to set in. If someone abruptly swerves to miss the rock (or stops altogether) you’re in trouble. You can either bail out to the right, into a steep, gnarly mogul field, slam into the snow wall on the left, or you can collide with the random stranger who took your bit of road.
In a normal year there are usually several ‘bail out’ lanes turning uphill to the left. Not this year, at least not for beginners and early intermediates. The first easy chance you get to turn uphill is where the people are standing. The road progressively narrows as you approach that spot, and the lady in white (with dark pants) is standing immediately above another big, exposed rock. By the time an early intermediate gets to this spot they’re really shifting along, and they’re quite often screaming. There’s often a gaggle of people stopped either side of the rock laughing and congratulating themselves on surviving the blackest green run on the hill. Then they get slammed into by an out-of-control random stranger.
It gets harder when someone (or multiple someones) are upside down on the ground, trying to untangle their skis from between their legs in that spot. There’s a knock-on effect as space gets taken up at the bottom of that ‘chute’, and it’s not unusual for three or four people to be organising themselves after a fall at the same time.
If that wasn't enough, the slope above the road is actually a groomed piste called "The Falls". Skiers returning from The Basin are funneled into that same choke point where the people are standing. Madness!
It’s a real event, and worthy of a bit of consideration. I was either waiting until the coast was clear or taking the ‘bail out’ line up onto the wall in the centre of shot. It just seemed the safest route. Many of the locals (i.e. staff working on the hill) choose to take a slower, lower chair in order to avoid this bit of road.
No doubt you have a similar patch of 'green' run at your local hill.
The next morning I was encouraged to try a couple of skis from the Icelantic tent, as that manufacturer was making its first appearance at the demo weekend. I tried the Pioneer and the Nomad. Beautiful skis.
Ignore the grass – that’s a patch immediately in front of the lift base station.
I’ve always wanted to try the Dynastar Speed Course series of carvers. This year that line has evolved into the Speed Zone series. Here’s the Speed Zone 12ti – a very good ski indeed. I want a pair. They just did everything really well, carving beautifully and coping well with some uneven terrain on the day. The Speed Zone 14ti is the same ski, but is mounted with the R21 race plate.
This’ll give you an idea of Sunday’s conditions. Mist on the upper mountain, with the brown spots starting to have a real influence on the colour of the snowpack, which turned a light beige in many areas.
Misty conditions in the bump field off Eagle's Way. The flattest of flat light in the bumps makes things tricky.
I spent some time on Elan skis, and then finished up with a run on the Dynastar Cham 97 - one of my personal faves. I feel like I can do anything on that ski. I’d prefer the 184, but they always have the 178 for demo. Great skis.
Following my last demo run I took a ride on the Snowgums (aka the ‘Slowgums’) chair to do a bit more rehydrating. This is the view across the face of the hill – a series of cascades as the creek makes its way down the slopes to the river below.
The top of the Kosi lift, through the gloom.
The late lunch of champions.
I’m not sure of the significance of the chainsaw, but it sort of seems appropriate alongside the Canadian flag.
Conditions are looking much better down there after our latest snowfall. I'll be heading back for another extra-long weekend in just under two weeks.
Edited by sinbad7 - 7/23/16 at 7:16pmpost #79 of 1837/18/16 at 11:04pm
What a difference 5 days can make
Literally, from the lowest summer snow pack base in 20odd years ,to well over a 1mt base.
Its one decent storm that hasnt yet finished with another half a metre yet to come tdoay and tomorrow
And looking up from the base of the Nga Wai Heke
The Movenpick,Giant and the Parklane are all open but the reality is the conditions are cold,windy and mostly 50-100mts viz .
These are the clearest webcam shots I could find from yesterday
The groomers are busy forming the first trails of the season further up the hill and I would imagine that job will take another day or so to deal with ,especially with the expected 50cms of freshiespost #80 of 1837/19/16 at 8:14pmThread Starter
Nice to see someone getting some snow. We're having a mid-winter warm spell this week. Rain on Monday night has damaged / reduced the snowpack noticeably after last week's snow storm. Sydney is quite balmy this week.
The forecast is for snow this coming weekend though.
Spencers Creek is our standard measure of snow. It's a physical measure of the snow depth rather than an aggregation of measured snowfalls, remember, so it always looks less impressive than simply adding up the result from each storm. This is where we're at for the year to date. I tend to compare against 2007 as it's a reasonably 'average' year, albeit that we seldom get a nice average like that. You can see last week's snowfalls followed by the rain effect from earlier this week.
Edited for some predictions -
Tomorrow Sydney may experience the warmest July day on record, with 26*C predicted. How odd.
On the other hand, behind this north westerly system is a south westerly cold front. Snow is now predicted (in the mountains) on Friday night, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and a dusting on Wednesday. That'll top things up. It's much needed after this week.
Edited by sinbad7 - 7/20/16 at 3:55pmpost #81 of 1837/20/16 at 2:06am
Rained terrible at Mt Buller
Hosed it out.
Happens that way some years.
Waiting for next falls this weekend.
No base down so need to go day after it falls to allow time for some lifts to open that are shut now.post #82 of 1837/21/16 at 12:07amThread Starterpost #83 of 1837/21/16 at 4:55pmThread Starter
All this warm rain has killed the hill. The main lift seems to be on wind hold anyway, and about five days of snow is going to start from tonight, but it still looks awful.
Edited to slot in a few more shots from late on Friday afternoon for posterity. Remember, this is just prior to new snow arriving ...
The creek has risen making a river across Mt Perisher ...
... back in Thredbo High Noon looks awful ...
... last spring the pond skim was held near the fence on the left of this shot, and right now you wouldn't actually need to build the pond.
Another edit to add a couple of shots of the river in Thredbo, which rose far enough to flood the road / carparks.
The Alpine Way also flooded and the road to the Village was closed.
How depressing. I'm astonished there's any snow left on the hill at all.
Anyway, let's come back in two days when I expect all will be looking better.
Edited by sinbad7 - 7/23/16 at 7:34pmpost #84 of 1837/21/16 at 7:12pm
Great conditions for Canoeing
Wipe out at Mt Buller
46mm of rain over last 12 hrs at about 5C
But, we have embedded cold fronts coming in and good chances we will get some good falls after this pre front rain.
90CM this week forecast.
Just a shame its hosed out what we had so far which wasn't a great deal of snow but formed a base.post #85 of 1837/22/16 at 4:13ampost #86 of 1837/22/16 at 6:15pmThread Starter
Wasn't much different down in our snowfields by the look of things. Mind you, it seems to have snowed all night, and it's still snowing.
Most of the snowcams are covered in ice and snow (or have low vis) but here's Excelerator, on the far side of Perisher, and it's certainly looking better.
How crowded is the Front Valley? I've never seen quite this many people on one camera before. 11:00am, so it must be lesson-gathering time.post #87 of 1837/23/16 at 7:56ampost #88 of 1837/23/16 at 5:52pmThread Starter
Yup. The Village 8 Express (aka "the V8"). Must be a scramble to get everyone lined up neatly in rows of eight.
Here we are nearly two days later and High Noon is looking better. Marvelous what two nights and a day of snow can do (topped up with some snowmaking, no doubt).post #89 of 1837/24/16 at 1:32ampost #90 of 1837/24/16 at 8:39pmThread Starter
Something a little different today. It was 'edging and waxing' time yesterday. Prepping last year's skis for a two week break in the back half of August.
Unfortunately I had a replay of the last mountain stage of the Tour de France running on TV in the background, listening intently, when the commentator Phil Liggett (I blame him) upped the volume and got excited about something during a very fast, very wet mountain descent. I turned to look, slipped and hacked a chunk off the knuckle of my thumb on the edge of the FX94s. Not the first time, and it won't be the last, but damn me that hurts. Edit - at least now I know they're sharp
Edit - meanwhile, the hill is almost back to normal, on a thin base. Here are a couple of shots dragged off a local forum.
And it seems the wind blown stashes on the Bluff are almost back to their best.
Edited by sinbad7 - 7/25/16 at 12:41am
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