Today was a big day for Canterbury, New Zealand, with the largest earthquake in 100 years in the country hit us near Christchurch, our second-largest city. It was 7.1 on the Richter scale, 10km deep and struck at about 4:30am (we're still getting aftershocks 20 hours later). It shook us all awake up on the ski area at Broken River Ski Area (http://www.brokenriver.co.nz/), about 70km from the epicentre. Check out http://www.3news.co.nz/ or http://tvnz.co.nz/ for more info and footage on the quake.
One bonus of the quake was that it kept most people home for the day and the great powder that had fallen the last couple of days was shared by less than 100 keen skiers. I'm not sure how much we had, not huge on north american or Japan scales, but having the fluff flying above the knees is something to celebrate here in NZ!! Some ski club members just stepped around the broken stuff on the floor and came skiing 'cos they knew it was a powder day - that's dedication for you!
After two days skiing the storm and going hard today, I was happy to head back to town this evening to check on the damage to the house (two brick chimneys collapsed and a few broken roof tiles but nothing too severe).
Here are a few photographs from the day.
The first few lines going in on the Main Tow...
Half of the ski area, Allans Basin, was opened up mid-morning. Here are a few pics of it, untouched, before the go... (the only tracks are those of ski patrol)
Once Allans Basin opened, I spotted that everyone was going straight past Margots Gulch, a chute on the way to the main part of Allans, so I just had to ski it until it was pretty much skiied out. Nice soft deep fluffy stuff at the bottom :o)
A lot of those tracks were mine! (Margots is the large chute down the middle)