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Wanaka 2012

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Heinz, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Back in town today. [​IMG]

    Had a wander around, caught up with a few people. A few changes around town.

    Feels very mild though.
     
    #1 Heinz, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  2. Telestrom

    Telestrom A Local

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    Been very mild for the last couple of weeks. Hopefully the heli guides can find some good terrain for you.
     
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Very foggy at Treble Cone this morning, limited visibility on upper mountain, then a brief period of light r#$% - not looking good at all. But cleared up somewhat at around 12:30 so was quite a good afternoon in the Saddle where the conditions are actually very good. The main basin though looks a bit sad - only saved by snowmaking on the main trails. A couple of brief snow flurrie in the afternoon - nothing significant.

    They have updated the status of their runs to allow for the runs in the Mototapu bowl. Could have gone one of two ways. Kept them as they were and made the Mototapu ones 'double blsck' American style, but they went Euro style and made the advanced runs red, and the expert runs in the Mototapu black.

    Not a day for photos.
     
  4. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Did the Central Harris with HMH last Friday
    2 cm crust and ice everwhere else
    It was much better off the Heritage at Tekapo!!
    Still nice to be in the Mountains
     
    #4 MisterMxyzptlk, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  5. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Bummer. Coronet was super fun yesterday afternoon, got something like 15 runs in 3.5 hours. Had a good day at remarks on Sat, but the light came and went which made it tricky to ride hard on some of the bigger lines. Park is in top form...

    Heinz, I'm sure the guides will find some good snow for you. Plenty of it up high, and especially to the west. Bummer that you got skunked s-p, how was roundhill? They'll be relieved to finally have the tow open, hopefully they can keep it that way for a while.
     
  6. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah Red ..Roundhill was surprisingly good at the top of the nutcracker...heavy and cut up at the bottom...so my heli legs got wobbly
    They ...like most of the fields had r*in at the lower levels, but very nice overall

    Tekapo on the weekend

    [​IMG]
     
    #6 MisterMxyzptlk, Aug 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  7. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Big day yesterday. Excellent skiing on around 20cm of fresh in the North Harris, then a big birthday celebration for one of the guides.
     
  8. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice
     
    #8 MisterMxyzptlk, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  9. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Monday was in the North Harris with a circuit in the vicinity of Fog Peak. Was about 20cms of fresh, a bit of which had slid on Fog. Good quality snow. Was planning a different line on the second line to get a longer run, but Fog lived up to it's same so we did much the same, then jumped over to Moonraker to get better vis and snow was still very good. Had a few there and Bojangles before lunch. After that headed to Rollercoaster for probably the best runs of the day, good light powder at least until we hit the rain crust at the bottom, longer runs, good vis. Finished the day with a short run on Escapade on the way out.
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    From Monday in the North Harris.

    Staging area at Phoebe Creek in the Matuki valley.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fog peak
    [​IMG]

    Rollercoaster
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #10 Heinz, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  11. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Today was clear early but forecast for increasing cloud. So plan was to get what we could early. Headed into North Buchanans starting just off Stag peak. Had a few runs in that vicinity, somewhat more wind affected than yesterday but still good. Light was a bit flat though.

    Cloud moving in so we jumped south a bit to Triple peak. Encountered some wind slab there - one aspect had a small release so we took a different line.

    Cloud continued to move south so we did the same and jumped over to Mt Alta - was a bit of a tricky landing for our pilot Nigel but got there eventually. Some nice skiing though.

    Finally squeezed in an extra couple of runs on Matuki face - this time mostly dust on crust but cruisy and good visibility. After that there was nowhere to go but back to the valley for a latish lunch.

    Raining in town now as I type this.

    Again not much of a day for photos.
    [​IMG]
     
    #11 Heinz, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  12. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

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    Great photos as usual Heinz.

    Very cool paint job on the chopper.
     
  13. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hmmm...slidy.

    Great pics as always Heinz.
     
    #13 CarveMan, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  14. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, HMH & the Helicopter line have new owners this year. So some new helis, new vans but same old guides - on that front all good.
     
    #14 Heinz, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  15. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Those ones were naturals from the new snow that night.
     
    #15 Heinz, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  16. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Our chopper from last week
    Apparently an older airframe but fully upgraded early this year
    Super quiet and comfy compared to the Iroquois CMH had my first time in 1999

    [​IMG]
     
    #16 MisterMxyzptlk, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  17. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

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    That's news Heinz, presume up until now they were still owned by Tourism Holdings.
    Do you know who the new owners are ?
     
    #17 TropicalPow, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  18. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don't know who the new owners are. It was previously all under Totally Tourism run by Mark Quickfall who had several other tourism activities. It sounds like the new group have bought the whole package.

    Talking to the guides it seems the new owners have as yet little understanding of heliski operations but have been hands off (so far at least) and letting the local guys run the daily operations unhindered.
     
  19. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

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    Right, I am totally out of the loop nowdays, hope it all goes well for them.

    It's an iconic company.

     
  20. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Nice as350 porn

    Does anyone still use H500?
     
    #20 Donza, Aug 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  21. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think Charlie Ewing still has his, but I don't see it used for heliskiing anymore. Pretty much all Squirrels.
     
  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Very good day again today in the North Harris. The only issue at the start of the day was finding a hole in the cloud to get up where we knew it was clear. Found it ok and a great sight it wss.

    First 3 runs on Fog peak - new snow had partially filled in the slide path from Monday. Was surprisingly windy though up there and snow was somewhat wind affected so stiffer than on Monday. Still quite good though.

    Headed over to Rollercoaster to see if we could get away from the wind and it was indeed almost calm and the snow was likewise less wind affected. Had a couple there, then one nearby after lunch on Wintersweet - all good esp up high, a bit heavy low.

    Finish with 3 variations off Niger peak which were the best of the day. First on a sunny aspect, top section great, but a bit too much sun for bottom section. Other two on shady aspects which where pretty good all the way - one was even over rain runnelled snow but with a couple of cms of powder on top so surprisingly nice.

    Bit tired at the end. Only took a few pics again - can't be bothered sorting them out yet though.
     
  24. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    another good day yesterday - details later.
     
  25. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy One of Us

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    Nice one Heinz. TC had 5 - 10 cm of dry every night this week. All the off piste opened up monday, summit was epic !
     
  26. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    New owners are Skyline enterprises. They have a fair list of companies.
    http://www.skyline.co.nz/newzealand/operations

    Taking the opportunity today with overcast conditions and rain forecast to have a day or two off. Feeling pretty tired after yesterday. So should be able to do a catch up today.
     
    #26 Heinz, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  27. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Couple of pics from the marina in town.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #27 Heinz, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  28. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pics from Thurday in the North Harris.

    Fog peak
    [​IMG]

    Some guys were flying in that afternoon to climb these.
    [​IMG]

    Leaping burn off Niger peak. Top was great, got a little heavy from the sun low down.
    [​IMG]

    View of Wanaka from Niger.
    [​IMG]

    view of Black peak
    [​IMG]

    tracks on Niger
    [​IMG]
     
    #28 Heinz, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  29. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Friday Aug 10

    Was mostly clear and the plan was to jump into the North Buchanans and work our way out to Galactic bypass. Start was great on A-trails and Stag with powder completely unaffected by wind. At a very rough guess I would have been out on A-trails maybe 40 days or more but can barely remember a bad one - it is a very reliable sheltered spot.

    [​IMG]

    pick the skier vs boarder tracks.
    [​IMG]
     
    #29 Heinz, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  30. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Chamois basin though is not quite as sheltered so there was some wind affect, so it wss about reading the snow texture and skiing the dappled lines, though more of an issue for the skiers rather than the boarders.

    Then finally north again to Galactic. Unfortunately the cloud was arriving at the same time, so we just did the one run there and changed plans to have lunch there. The top section was superb, but lower down was a little wind affected. Possibly some sort of catabatic wind?

    Pulled back to Million dollar run for lunch where we then saw Galactic disapper completely in the cloud.


    Then a few more runs off Stag saddle.

    View of Galactic before the cloud arrived.
    [​IMG]

    view of Aspiring
    [​IMG]

    Taxi
    [​IMG]

    Off Stag saddle
    [​IMG]
     
    #30 Heinz, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  31. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Then a perfect way to finish the day. A run on Moliefes relief facing the Matuki valley. Beautiful late afternoon light and nice powder on rolling terrain.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #31 Heinz, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Saturday Aug 11

    More cloud about today so no plans to head out too far. Stayed mostly around Triple peak skiing various lines there including some steeper chutes. Snow was still very good, a little wind affected in parts, but light was flat so was a bit tricky reading it at times.

    On the last run to lunch though got caught up in a bit of crust and lost a ski, fell and ragdolled quite some distance. Had some trouble trying to stop myself. Hard to recall ever having ragdolled that far before other than the time in the avalanche. Eventually stopped ok, but as I was the last in the group to ski that slope I had to boot pack up around 100m to get my ski. That took a fair bit out of me.

    After lunch we did another run in that area, then were planning on heading to Stag and repeating yesterdays run on Moliefes but the cloud took that option away so we headed to one closer to Alta. This had good powder but not much of a base - had the odd crunchy sound. 2 runs here to finish - my legs were done.

    View north from Triple peak
    [​IMG]

    Triple peak run - flat light
    [​IMG]

    Tonys
    [​IMG]

    Back in the valley
    [​IMG]
     
    #32 Heinz, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  33. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Late afternoon view of Fog peak (centre) and Niger (right) from town.

    [​IMG]
     
    #33 Heinz, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  34. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    TC today. Was a bit hard to get too enthusiatic about it. Went up to the Saddle for a couple of runs but vis was extremely limited. Saddle basically sucks in poor vis.

    Didn't really change through the day - no 2 o'clock clearing today. So stayed mainly in main basin - cover still not fantastic but certainly better than last week. Visibility there was generally ok, so in the end had a reasonable afternoon skiing.

    Was quite warm and damp in the morning = these easterly systems are a pain - virtually no wind, cloud just sat there all day. Was a misty sort of fog in the morning - somewhat better in the afternoon.

    Later catch up with an old friend at the pub planning the annual fishing trip to Stewart island.
     
  35. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cloud hanging around again this morning.

    Talking to Roger from HMH earlier about the season so far. He says the snow has been ok, but the biggest problem has been the annoying lingering cloud from all these easterly systems.
     
  36. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Fishing at Stewart Island sounds good Heinz!
     
  37. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not really my thing, but those guys have been doing it for years, enjoy it, and always come back with heaps of Oysters, mussels ..
     
    #37 Heinz, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  38. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wasn't sure if today was going to happen due to the nuisance cloud as suggested but there was some clear sky about so they had a go. Drove up to Cattle flat and the North Buchanans were largely clear so we went there. Hit A-trails first up, great up top but then hitting the quite heavy wet snow lower down. Cloud started coming back again so did a couple of valley facing runs on Moliefes - similar conditions. Found the going lower down literally quite heavy - the guys on the boards were coping much better.

    Vis improved again so went back to A-trails & Stag, then further in to Chamois basin which was great up top but again heavy below but at least without having to negotiate the undergrowth that we had low on A-trails. Made sure to get these in before stopping for lunch in case thing deteriorted.

    Was quite happy to call it quits after the regulation 7 runs after lunch and let the other guys so an extra. Turned out to be a good call - the run down Triple was done in very flat light.
     
  39. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A-trails
    [​IMG]

    Moliefes
    [​IMG]

    Chamois basin
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We flew to lunch down here so we had a viable escape route in case the cloud moved in again.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #39 Heinz, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  40. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

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    Great shots and words.

    thanks for sharing mate.

    Dull's the pain of my time in the NW Queeensland dirt and dust.
     
  41. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Long day, too tired to do a full report. Suffice to say that today was AWESOME - best day of the trip. Was a day skiing the Ben Ohaus in the Mt Cook region (about 2 hours by road from Wanaka). They got a bit of fresh yesterday after the warm spell. Was warm again today - spring skiing.

    Got a call from the guys that they are hoping to do another one up there tomorrow, this time in the Gammacks, couldn't say no, so another early start.

    2 days to go - will try and make the most of it.
     
  42. Heliskivirgin

    Heliskivirgin First Runs

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    Thanks Heinz for the posts and great photos.

    I am arriving in Wanaka on Sunday night 19 August and staying until Sunday morning 26th.
    I am excited about the Heli-skiing out of Wanaka. I did this once two years ago based in Queenstown and had a great Spring Corn day.

    Can anyone comment on the Heli-skiing trips to Mt Cook?
    Do the different operators vary in terrain options too?

    Having a look at the weather this weekend I see the Australian ski fields are getting unusually good snow falls..a late winter for Australia. I am hoping this same weather system moves over to NZ and adds fresh snow for early next week.

    Anyone got any comments on events/gigs/night-time activities, non-ski day activities?

    Thanks in advance
     
  43. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    There is meant to be another storm cycle on Sunday so things will change again.

    If HMH are running their Mt Cook option, go for it. The last 2 days up there have been awesome.
    The advantage of doing it from Wanaka is that you can wait for it to be good and go, otherwise the local optiond will also be great.
    HMH have the permit for the terrain in the Ben Ohaus or the Gammacks. You can fly up (extra cost) or elect to go by road (2 hours).
     
    #43 Heinz, Aug 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  44. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was up in the Ben Ohaus again today - different areas - more shady aspects avoiding the wet snow avalanches that were about yesterday. Today was even better than yesterday - stunning - best run of the trip was late afternoon on Darkies 20cms frost dried and close to 1000m vert. Had to do it again. Another long day though - leaving Wanaka 7:30am and getting back around 7pm. So no time for full report and pics - that will have to wait until I'm back home next week as they are running another Mt Cook day tomorrow and I opted in again and hope to struggle through.
     
  45. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    3rd consecutive day up at Mt Cook - this time in the Gammacks and another awesome day of frost dried powder - probably only edged out by the 2nd of the Ben Ohau days for the pick of the trip. 3 straight days up there with the 2 hr road trip each way takes it toll - feeling pretty knackered now - but very content.
     
  46. sara777

    sara777 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    What a trip - a pleasure to read your reports [​IMG]
     
    #46 sara777, Aug 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  47. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    That was the last day, flying home tomorrow. Will do more of a report on the Mt Cook days with pics after I get home.

    Will probably crash soon - not sure I'm going to bother staying up for the Rugby.
     
  48. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    At ZQN now. Overcast today so would be flat light skiing. So worked out very well. If I was still staying on In would have taken a day or two off in any case - feeling exhausted.
     
  49. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Back at work now after getting home last night.

    Got to have another airport whinge. The processes just seem to be getting worse and worse in recent years.

    I remember it used to be easy transferring from an international flight to a domestic flight especially in Melbourne. You picked up your bags, cleared customs, then the domestic airline had a desk right there where they would put your bags through - no probs.

    Later you still had to take them through to the domestic terminal and checkin but they still had service counters (with people behind them) - still fine.

    Now though you have these stupid bag drops which I suppose would be fine for regular luggage but can't handle ski bags. So you have to search out the ONE remaining service desk - hope that someone is there, so they can process it - or one bag at least. You still of course need to take your skis to the oversize counter.

    Then they try to hit you with the excess baggage because of their new stupid one piece only rule - even though my bag and ski bag together come to onbly 23kg and I bought my ticket before they changed the rule.

    All this of course not for our convenience but for the airline to be able to staff.

    Eventually all sorted ok, but it is getting increasingly difficult to travel with skis even though I probably still pack lighter that many people who don't ski.

    Having said that though, I have to admit that the Smartgate bit has worked well for me the few times I have used it. Doesn't help much in the long run though when you are stuffed around with the baggage stuff.
     
  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thursday Aug 16 - Ben Ohaus

    Bit of good fortune for this one. Happened to pop up to the guides office tyhe night before and turns out that Roger was planning a Mt Cook day and had a spare seat. Decision was a no brainer.

    Got the call at 7am to say it was all go, so headed down for the 2 hour drive up to Glentanner shortly afterwards. Had a bit of low valley fog passing through Twizel but all clear at Glentanner.

    HMH have two permit areas in the Mt Cook region - the Ben Ohaus and the Gammacks. We were skiing the Ben Ohaus today. I first skied here in 1983 when it was run by Alpine Guides including Zodiac that we skied today. Back then though Zodiac was breakable crust all the way which with skinny skis was challenging to say the least.

    I quite like the terrain in the Ben Ohaus - it is bigger and more dramatic than some of the other terrain. The downside is that it cops more bad weather.

    View of Mt Cook itself from Glentanner station.

    [​IMG]

    First couple of runs were on Mt Mary. From there you get another good view of Mt Cook, the Tasman glacier and now the glacier lake at the bottom. Amazed at how big it is now and how quickly it has grown. I certainly don't recall it in the 80's nor in 1992 when I walked out of it. Clear sign of the glacier receding.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also a good view of lake Pukaki.
    [​IMG]

    First thing we noticed on landing was the complete lack of wind which was a very good start. Had maybe 10cm of new snow on top of the previous crust, so made for somewhat fast powder. The other thing was that it was consistent all the way down without the transistion to the heavy snow we had then day before. They had snow here after the warm spell which we didn't get in Wanaka.
     
    #50 Heinz, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013