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New Zealand Gathering 2009

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Its taken me a while, but how about we have a Gathering in New Zealand, for those New Zealanders who post and lurk, or for those looking for an excuse to come down under and enjoy some of-season skiing. Oh, and of course, any Aussies who want to cross the ditch.

Its all about getting together, so I am proposing we just stick to one town for the inaugural event, and one ski area. For those that travel and want a bit more, we could arrange other informal days at different areas.

Town         :  Wanaka, New Zealand
Ski Area    :  Treble Cone
When        :  possible dates   September  Sat 5 , Sat 6 
                                 or        August        Sat 29, Sat 30

If you are interested - what suits you? For those of you I have met at US Gatherings, my ski buddy Adrian will be about the weekend of August 29,30.

I am going to be in Wanaka for both of these weekends, and for the week of August 22-30. On the 30th I'll only be skiing half a day as I have to leave early for Adrian to catcha plane.

Our season has had an amazing start. Temperatures are colder than normal, and the snow cover is the best it has ever been for this early in the season. They are predicting a cold winter, so hopefully there will be enough moisture for that to translate into snow.

Closer to the time we can organise some off-mountain social arrangements depending on numbers.



post #2 of 26
One is arriving today, around 1:00.  He's brought everything except skis and poles.  That shouldn't be a problem.  Let's see how the season develops.  Not likely to get much info out of him, so please keep us informed.  Treble Cone looks beautiful and they have chair lifts too
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Paul, I'll keep you informed. How exciting,  I hope he doesn't get an initial bad impression of Dunedin, weather is awful today. Wet, low cloud, pretty chilly. It has snowed heaps inland, Lots of the main roads the roads are closed. If he wanted to go to Wanaka or Queenstown this weekend he wouldn't be able to get there. But I expect he'll be too busy settling in and exploring his new home.

Yes Treble Cone has a 6-seater chair :-) quite civilised really. Even though it has snowed low enough to close roads, Treble Cone ski report said they only got 10cm in the last 12 hours - not much. Thats the same amount that closed the road by my parents at a much lower altitude so sounds like an even layer over everything. Winter has definitiely arrived.
post #4 of 26
Interest is high.

Correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like a "Max Vert" day of heli with HMH out of Wanaka is about $650 US per person this season...
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thats about right at current exchange rates, it is $995 NZD  per day. I'm sure thats cheaper than in the past, I thought it was about $1100 NZD per day for max vert - maybe they are trying to generate interest during the recession. There has been no publicity about it. You can count me in for a day - I have the skis to do it now.

post #6 of 26

Is everything ok where you are.  Sounds like the tsunami has been canceled.  Please post.
post #7 of 26
I would be up for a day at TC (two chair).
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Everything is fine, the tsunami was 17 cm (6 inches?) when it hit the Dunedin coastline about 11 pm - needless to say we didn't notice. Was the longest earthquake I've ever felt, it was 7.8 at its epicentre, and it went for over a minute, a very long minute. The whole house gently rocked and rolled but did not damage anything, hanging lights swung quite a bit, but not enough to make my wine glass fallover. It was like everything moved together in sync. There was nothing on the TV after it happened so we were not aware of any tsunami warnings, and went off to bed (lucky we live 40 metres above sea level). Sounds like those overseas were more aware of it than us, could be something to do with our TV stations all beng run from the North Island, when something happens down south they don't have any reporters or cameras down here to cover it. The epicentre was in remote Fiordland , where no one lives permanently, but there were some fishing boats moored nearby who got a bit of a fright, and they still have to check to see if all the trampers (hikers) didn't get caught in any landslips. 

2meke - would be great if you could join us for a day, I am hoping it will be 'us' and not just 'me'. 
post #9 of 26
I'm heading down in a week or so, not sure I'll make the gathering, although I will be around TC for some while. Very curious how the snow is though - from the webcams it looks pretty consistently covered, but not that deep?
post #10 of 26
Just about everywhere has decent coverage (1 metre plus) and from this weekend right through next week there is going to be solid storm activity and a lot of snow.
post #11 of 26
Avalanche, one killed several buried.  Wow!  First death for the heli company.  That is sad.  They knew risks were high, so they skied "lower angle" slopes.  Condolences to the family.

Use good judgment out there.  Playing in the mountains can be dangerous.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
This was very tragic, they dug him out within 7 minutes, he was 61, so maybe had had trauma injuries, have not heard yet.  Another guy was buried longer but was okay and went skiing the next day at a commerical ski area. Heli-ski deaths are very rare here. 

I used good judgement (not!) , I went heli-skiing the following day. Different company, different area, but still extreme danger. We only skied low angle slopes and they had bombed the area the day before, but we had to still follow strict spacing on the slopes etc . Trip report with photos to come, I had an amazing day, gonna be hard for words to do justice.

We are having a stunning season here, you must come! Plenty of snow and it is staying around due to the cold temperatures.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

Just spent last Sunday at Treble Cone and the conditions are great. All runs are open, coverage is great. Can ski off-piste from top to bottom. But after looking at the date of your posting you are probably here!
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor View Post

I'm heading down in a week or so, not sure I'll make the gathering, although I will be around TC for some while. Very curious how the snow is though - from the webcams it looks pretty consistently covered, but not that deep?
post #14 of 26
I understand the man who was killed in the avalanche suffered a heart attack.  The run prior to his last he commented to the other man who was buried but made it out, "this is the closest to heaven I'll ever come."

Tragic loss, and the avalanche warnings were very high from what I have heard.

Matt Jones has not been out yet.  A bunch of students went this past weekend.  He plans to be at Treble Cone next weekend.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
What a fateful comment, and yes the avalanche warnings were as high as you could get. The company I went with did o fly on the Friday, they spent the whole day bombing the slopes for us. Matt should enjoy TC. It might be snowing this eekend, he shold get some powder but,  remember, we don't have trees on our slopes so whiteouts can make life very interesting.
post #16 of 26
Sounds like some snow on the way for this weekend.  Matt had planned to go but there isn't much interest from his potential rides.  Could get nasty up above.

Do you know if TC has a rental program with reasonably good skis?  I think he would do better renting there with a reservation than in town.  He pays the rental fee even if he can't ski.

Snow should help.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

yeah there is snow on the way. are usually spot on with their TC forecasts - might get about 40 to 50 cm over next 3 or 4 days. It is going to be real windy, so sometimes that can close the mountain. So renting up the hill might be a good idea. The on-mountain rental has 'Executive rental' which costs more of course but you get late model skis. I don't know if you can do a reservation though, neverheard of that here. You might be able to reserve for 'Executive rental' never tried, its not metnioned on thier website. I just looked at their web site and they have 'High Performance' sets, it is $50 a day. They have 'Carving skis' for $36. With 'High Performance' you can change them during the day and try out dfferent types, sorta like a demo day. Quite often the ski shops have demo days on the mountain, it is free to take them for a couple of runs, they just have them all at the base of the main chair.  But they might get suspcious if you tried one pair after another. And if the weather is bad they might not be there.

I am not heading up this weekend, going to spend a weekend with my 'non-sking' partner. We are going to Mt Cook Village for the weekend, do some walks, take some photos, check out the 400 or so icebergs that have fallen off the glaicer into the glacial lake, biggest collapse ever. But gonna be windy and possibly snow at valley level so might get snowed in - damn. I know I should take my skis out of my roofbox before we go, but just can't bring myself to do it. And worried I'll forget to put them back in next time I go to Wanaka - I just leave them in there for the season.

post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
so for those of you thinking about coming to NZ, more snow is on the way, is looking to continue as a great season.
post #19 of 26
Been a great season so far Julie, any updates.  Matt's been out twice and says there's plenty of snow, but he still hasn't had a powder day.  Treble Cone is beautiful.
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
There is going to be a group of us skiing at Treble Cone on

Saturday   August 29th
Sunday    August 30th

including a couple of Bears coming all the way from the US.

If you want to join us, drop me a PM, or else look out for me on the mountain. Unfortunately I don't have very distinctive clothing - black helmet and pants, grey jacket. I'll try and think of something a bit more distinctive before then that can be recognised on the slopes, maybe I should get some 'Bear' ears for my helmet, that would be approriate.
Roll call
Julie from NZ (plus a couple of local ring ins, and possibly a few family members)
post #21 of 26
Sorry, looks like I can't make it. Snow should be good, forecast is very promising next week. I'm trying to go cat skiing at Alpure on Saturday. Could be the day of the season.
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thats a shame, but I'm keen to find out what you think of Alpure peaks. I'm sure others would appreciate a TR.
post #23 of 26 

This is a facebook link, not sure if it will work.
post #24 of 26
Nice pics
post #25 of 26
Roll call
Julie from NZ (plus a couple of local ring ins, and possibly a few family members)
post #26 of 26

Just a little teaser/stoke...

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