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Discussion in 'Alpine & Snow' started by ScottGN, May 18, 2017.
Even in reasonable snow the start of that rope has us 190cm guys hunched over like Quasimodo
Mt Hutt Road. You can see why it took them a while to dig it out.
Spring will be sweet at Hutt.........as long as the rain stays away.
Hmm...my opinion is that rain does less damage to a mature snowpack than most people seem to think it does....and that strong wind on a hot day will melt way more snow and ruin a spring quicker. But that is based on Australian observations.
Broken River reckons they had a record 300 people today. No doubt Shutt and Porters being closed contributed to that.
lured by the morning update that predicted an after lunch opening i headed to Hutt. Everything else was closed and they sent a 11am update saying 1-2 hours and the road should be clear. Cars were backed up to the main rd when I arrived at 12. Hung around for a bit but it was obviously not going to happen as they initially thought. Think it was about 3pm when they started heading up.
We arrive August 26th These amazing snow totals should set Canterbury up for a great season now.
In snow news, Thursday and Friday looks good for both islands, and there looks to be something a bit further out early next week
It's not called Mt Shutt for nothing.
We have done many trips over the years in August / September. Great time to go.
I think it was admirable (perhaps overly ambitious) for Hutt to attempt to open at all on Sunday given the huge snowfall they had received. It sounds like they stayed open to 5.30pm.
10-20cm for Canterbury on Thursday I reckon.
I mean...when the resorts are shut due to too much snow...it's not a bad problem to have. A problem, sure - but better than no snow! Unfortunately wind hold is the problem today.
Now snowing on the divide, at TC, Ohau, and Temple Basin.
Awesome pics crew.. Tough one for the overseas traveler having to deal with closures and wind holds.. Local knowledge is key by the looks.. Whish I had time myself to find the POW but I'm limited with time so going to pop up Remarks tomorrow see if I can find some unridden lines..
From the Roundhill Facebook, conditions look incredible after 1.1m of snow last Friday
Hutt now recording an average snow base of 2.2 meters
Off to NZ on Haka Tours 12 day South Island Odyssey, on August 12, plus tacked on a few extra days on the backend.
Conditions looking mint, keep sending down the White Gold!!
We're getting to the sharp end for my trip, I get into Christchurch on saturday. Firstly, great little system for Canterbury at the end of this week. Secondly, there's an interesting difference between EC and GFS that's popped up for next week.
GFS has a weak NW front early next week, then a strong Tasman low forming that will slowly move over at the end of next week.
Whereas EC has the front early next week being a bit stronger, delivering around 5cm, and the Tasman low has almost completely disappeared so showing more settled conditions for the end of next week.
I'm going to try and keep my nerve and wait another day or two before booking any more accommodation.
To inject some reality, it was okay, long queues on the ropetow, didn't open till 11:45am, snow quality was variable due to wind during storm and sun on the Sunday prior to opening and some green housing early Monday.
It was okay. Might be better this weekend.
I reckon any slope that faces even a smidgin north towards the sun, is basically a write-off for true quality freshies, unless you can ski it in the teeth of the storm, which obviously isn't an option in NZ.
Looking at the map, I reckon the back bowls off into the Opuha river headwaters must offer up way better snow (when avalanche conditions allow, obviously)
Yes, I am aware the main face of roundhill faces predominantly west. Am also aware its important to get on the main face as soon as possible after a storm to pre-empt the warming and subsequent crust.
Have skied many times at roundhill.
I'm just saying, it wasn't as good as it could have been compared to historic SE storms.
The back bowls do generally offer good skiing, but from what I saw off the back on Monday, it seemed to be heavily wind affected.
But hey, the conditions from Monday are all over now, believe what you wish.
There's more to it than that. Last storm was relatively warm and humid, so rime crusts happen on windward slopes too. Pisa Range at the weekend had everything from bullet proof rain crust to unpleasant rime to light and dry pow to reactive windslab to ridiculous drifts across the range of aspect and elevation. A 1.8 m deep pit on a nw slope at 1500 m in central Otago isn't normal, but what's normal in an NZ snowpack? 20 m away on the same aspect snow depth was ~30 cm.
The place to be right now is probably the Hawkduns, if you can get there. Friends of mine backed off the rock and pillars on Sunday.
I'm obviously not a local, but it seems to me NZ is definitely exceptional in heavy weather coming off the ocean from all sides. A lot of coastal ranges (Aus, Japan, north american coastal ranges) mostly just get weather from the west fairly predictably.
Interior ranges (the Rockies, Alps) seem more similar to NZ, in that you get low pressure systems moving in from different directions and over the top, pushing in snow from different directions, but of course NZ has the roaring Southern Ocean influence all around.
Looks like 20cms of snow on Thursday for Canterbury. Then early next week a monster low sets up to push toward the west coast:
In a "typical" season precipitation delivery is absolutely dominated by westerly airflow. This is far from a typical season.
So far this season has largely favoured the Tekapo/Canterbury regions. Is there anything in the forseeable future that is likely to favour the Southern Lakes?
Checked out Dobson today and Roundhill yesterday. Roundhill groomed was good but the jewel the 1 km plus rope tow was ordinary with freeze melt and unfavourable aspect until about 2pm when there was some stunning corn to ski for about 400m at the top. The bottom of the run was pretty ordinary. I used a mountaineering harness and regretted it bitterly... Forgot how taxing the nutcracker are too. I wanted the tow runs to be steeper but I would come again for descent snow.
Dobson I didn't pay and toured up groomed but patrol said there was big avalanche over other side of chair. Terrain was pretty boring but good to say I've been. The staff there were awesome.
Yeah key word from Canterbury sure seems to be variable at best
With some luck Friday's storm will be colder and not quite as windy, and could improve the conditions for this weekend.
With the current GFS run, Tues-Thurs next week is looking pretty solid.
GFS does look good for next week. AXS-G however has potential for the high ridging in somewhat which could see us in the same sou-easterly flow we've had recently.
Snowing hard in Canterbury. Dobson should be good tomorrow with +20cm or so.
Looking to next week, the Tasman low has reappeared on EC and looking solid on GFS.
EC at 144 hours
Tekapo is cut off again as snow falls in inland Canterbury and The Mackenzie.
Mt Hutt reporting 20cm now. Most mountains in Canterbury should end up with about 30cm by the time it clears up.
monster low! I'm a little worried about the freezing level though
Yeah tuesday, wednesday, thursday look pretty wet 'n wild. Could turn mint just in time for next weekend though.
I'm not very good at interpreting the uppers temps, but it doesn't seem too warm at 500hpa, which could be why some computer generated forecasts are still predicting snow though it looks like positive temps at resort base level.
Got a report today from mate in Ohau today 60cms of powder, deep and hard work with low visibility. His 86cm Line s
Supernaturals struggled to stay afloat.
Road must have been almost as exciting as the skiing!
Looks like that big Tasman low forming next week, will get pushed north by a high pressure ridge, leading to very "meh" conditions next week.
My fault, my ski trip luck ran out last year, and is still no good apparently.
I'm leaving now also. But I'm more hopeful. You can never tell this far out experience has taught me that
Looking great at Broken River (from their FB page)
Mind surf that all day
No first tracks at Porters today, but that field has some quality vertical when there's top to bottom cover! Big Mama was sun affected, but the Bluff face had as much chopped fresh as my legs could handle.
Where to next?
Probs a down day tomorrow doing sightseeing. (Gale nowester). Maybe another day at Porters and then booked in at Cheeseman for a few nights.
More of a family trip this year, so no tows. Already talking about coming back next year for a Craigieburn range haute route tour, with a few of my BC mates.
What do people think about skiing Cragieburn tomorrow ? .... Cheers.
Any thoughts on 7-10 July for the Southern Lakes?