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Epic powder day at Broken River (New Zealand) today after being shaken awake by Christchurch earthquake

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

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)

margots lines.jpg



post #2 of 14

That's incredible.  Sorry it had to come with an earthquake!  Now I know what to do if one hits here: go skiing!



post #3 of 14



excellent choice given your season is nearing an end - yes?  and good too no deaths with the quake.  my spouse lived in Dunedin for a yr as an exchange student in high school so we're both interested upon hearing of the quake.  thanks for the links.


so, how much longer is the season?  checked the site out and looks to be decent size, far bigger than my Midwest hills but the tow ropes to me sound brutal, never got used to them but suppose it'd be old hat after a day of learning!  looks too you had a fabulous blue bird (Bluebirds in NZ or would it be a Kakapo?) day!  : )



post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


we still call it bluebird even tho we don't have them here.  Hopefully we'll go through to mid October, the only thing that usually stops us then is that the staff finish and the skiers starting dusting off the mountain bikes and other toys once the weather warms up and we go into summer time. Some years we've continued during weekends into November, especially when it keeps dumping!  August was pretty lean for snow with two big rain storms so hopefully we'll get into spring storm cycles and get more pow over the next few weeks.  If we do I'll post more stories :o)




post #5 of 14

Hope everyone is safe & moving forward after the quake & things are settling down.  Having grown up in California I understand how big a 7.1 is! 

Great stoke with your pictures, looks like some nice snowfields, bowls & chutes.



post #6 of 14

Thanks for the pictures - anticipation grows even in September.

post #7 of 14

 great stoke!

post #8 of 14

great day!  Glad all are safe ,,, ahhhh powdah.... a universal thing....

post #9 of 14

We're in California -- we can deal with earthquakes.


But powder like that?  Drool....

post #10 of 14

Why am I in Wanaka?


I was gonna head up there but heard they got rain to the top....sigh.

post #11 of 14

Nice TR, Thanks for sharing!

post #12 of 14

Congratulations on getting upper Allan's on a new snow day.  I was not so lucky on July 21: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9005


I also skied Margot's.  It was steep enough to hit the subsurface under the new snow on most turns.  The very high water content kept me above that base on most of the other open runs.

post #13 of 14

Really nice! Have fun rebuilding chimneys!

post #14 of 14

Stayed in the cabins on the property in 2003.  Wondering if all of my Sundance Saloon Vail,CO bumperstickers were still there?

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