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Trip Report Wanaka 2013

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Heinz, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, back in town once again - always a nice feeling. A very mild overcast day. Report in to the usual places then a quick scout around to check out what is new this year. A new ale house for a start. Not sure if Wanaka actually needed another, but will no doubt check it out at some stage. Also saw a guy selling hot roasted chestnuts on the street. First time I'd seen that outside of Austria, so had to sample some.
     
  2. weerab

    weerab One of Us

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    heading to Wanaka in October for a wedding. apparently the flight from Melbourne misses the last bus form Qtown to Wanaka. any suggestions on how to get there? There will be about 12 of us and was thinking either 3 hire cars or a limousine van, any other suggestions? any chance of snow in late October?
     
  3. mauricem

    mauricem Addicted

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    All the major resorts will be shut so it'll be touring gear or skiplane/heli . Usually plenty of base still around and there have been epic October dumps in some years whilst in others its just slush and ice by then.

    There was a TR/blog I saw of some dude who skied every month of the year for a year in NZ , cant find the link atm though.
     
    #3 mauricem, Aug 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  4. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

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    Enjoy Wanaka Heinz. Always enjoy your reports mate. Look forwards to the updates.

    Even tho I chose buying in Canada over the Southern Lakes, I know it is a special part of the world, and it's beauty equal of any location in the world. Great people too.

    And boy, don't they know how to utilise a helicopter !!!
     
  5. Julio

    Julio Hard Yards

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    Might have to sample some of these ale houses with you Heinz... In town from the 12th Aug
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not sure. Probably best looking at some charter service with a mini bus. I think there are a couple around - maybe try Yellowcabs?

    Always snow about in October, but resorts usually close early October, so maybe a touring or heli day.
     
    #6 Heinz, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  7. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Could be a plan.
     
    #7 Heinz, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  8. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Very nice day in the Saddle at TC today. A few very light snow flurries (rain lower down) but nothing significant. More later - time for an ale now.
     
  9. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The alehouse was good as was the new Italian restaurant next door.
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sun Aug 04 Treble Cone

    Very nice day at TC today. Weather still very mild - plus C temps on the mountain. Lower part like last year benefittng from snow making, so mostly just the trails. Had a few down there while it was still reasonable, then up to the Saddle. Coverage in Saddle is very good and snow was in good shape. A bit firm on the ridges early on but good in the gullies and higher traffic areas having been loosened up. Cloud was coming and going in the morning but visibilty was never an issue.

    Had a bit of very light snow early afternoon. Was going to head down for a bit of lunch but caught up one of the local guides and had a couple with his crew before heading down around 2pm. Then back up - drizzling lightly lower mountain, sleet/snow upper mountain. Then cleared up completely around 3pm, so a great last couple of runs for the day. Good to see a few familiar faces on the hill as well.
     
    #10 Heinz, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  11. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    One of indicators for me on the overall coverage at TC is Sundance. If Sundance is skiable then it is in excellent shape. Sadly the last time I skied Sundance was 2 years ago. This is what it looks like at the moment.

    [​IMG]

    Just for the record this is what the main basin looks like now. It is actually somewhat better than it looks here due to the snowmaking on a few of the main trails.
    [​IMG]
     
    #11 Heinz, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  12. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wasn't much worth taking pics in the Saddle with the cloud mving and out - fine for skiing, not so much for pics. Here is one though.
    [​IMG]
     
    #12 Heinz, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  13. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Late in the afternoon after it had cleared up and on the way back had a bit of look in Matuki bowl - coverage pretty thin as expected so ducked back again, but the valley was in good view.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    View including some of the terrain I expect to see more of later in the week.
    [​IMG]
     
    #13 Heinz, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  14. ScottGN

    ScottGN One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Heinz you've come in the middle of the warmest winter I've ever had down here. Hopefully it will be a bit better from the middle of next week.
     
  15. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    It was pretty warm this time last year as well, but it came good not long after.
     
  16. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Yeah, things have been a bit "scant" lately. I heard TC was horrifically bullet-proof late last week, sounds like you scored it in slightly better nick.
     
  17. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was actually surprised at the snow quality at Cardrona Saturday (was having fun until Captains chair broke down) and again at TC yesterday with some nice lines out of the Crags in the Saddle
    They said they'd had 3cm which I doubted until I skiid it
    Had fun which is what it's all about
    Snowed both days ...ran from sleety rain through sago to snow at TC...but nothing really settling
    Will give Ohau a go today, but it's not a place that does well with just main trail skiing
    As everyone has commented....it's warm but overnight temps and daily maxima have been a couple below forecast
    Something in the tea-leafs for this week maybe
     
  18. mauricem

    mauricem Addicted

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    Heading down from CHC on Wed morning, do you think there will be anything worth hitting up between there and Wanaka?
    Had planned on taking a few days to come down via the smaller fields but from what Ive heard everything off piste is a no go.
    Either way be keen to meet up for a few brews later in the week;)
     
  19. skidiva

    skidiva Addicted

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    oh no - I will be heading there on 10 Aug for two weeks. Hopefully some snow will fall while I am there - though every week I hope for a lotto win and that never happens either!!!! Last year it all fell after I left. I thought this year would be ok as last year we could only stay on the groomers as well - bugger. I think skiing in NZ will definitely not be in next year's plans if they don't get snow again this year while I am there. I will keep the money for the northern hemisphere skiing. Bugger.
     
  20. mauricem

    mauricem Addicted

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    ^^^
    my thoughts exactly, we got a bit lucky last season but compared to Japan...., well there is no comparison
     
  21. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mon Aug 05 Triple Peak

    Got the call that we were flying today. Good to catch up with some of the regular crew in the morning. Made our way out from Cattle Flat and headed up to Triple peak in the Buchanans. Was a bit windier than expected but managable. Looked for some windblown powder on the first run which was ok up top, a bit scratchy though lower down. Then went to a sunny aspect looking for some spring corn and hit it good - had to remind myself that this is August!

    With that success we thought we would head over to Mt Alta and look for more of the same. Were hoping to land up top, but our pilot Nigel wasn't happy with that and we landed on a lower shoulder instead. Once we stepped out of the machine we understood why - the wind was quite fierce, so he had done a great job getting us there. Dropped down another few metres and got out of the wind. The run then was brilliant and well worth the effort, excellent corn on a nice pitch. Only pity was that this was a oncer due to the wind.

    Headed back to Triple and tried a steeper windblown powder run which wasn't bad. With the wind continuig to pick up we had to make the call to do one more on a sunny aspect for more cornbefore bailing out back to the valley and having our lunch down there.

    In the end a nice day if not outstanding. A good start leaving room for improvement. Have had corn days a few times before in August but not normally this early.
     
    #21 Heinz, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    On Triple peak. They bombed this run earlier in the season to trigger this. Sort of messes up the run a bit.. We skied a quite different line.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #22 Heinz, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Today though was all about the corn.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #23 Heinz, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  24. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wed/Thu is looking more promising from what I am hearing. Ohau would be a reasonable option - no idea of conditions there at the moment though.
     
    #24 Heinz, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  25. Telestrom

    Telestrom A Local

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    Heinz.

    Are you able to fix up your pics? Would love to see them.
     
  26. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG] you can't see them?
     
    #26 Heinz, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  27. JeffW

    JeffW Hard Yards

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    Looking really good Heinz!

    Be sure to have a Speights or three for me ;-)

    ...no wayward Swedish lasses on this adventure yet?
     
  28. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    hard corduroy on trail
    hard off piste early softening through the day
    not really sure it's worth the drive at the moment TBH
    Maybe Thursday if they got 5-10cm on the excellent base
    Snow quality was nowhere near the Wanaka fields
     
    #28 MisterMxyzptlk, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  29. mauricem

    mauricem Addicted

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    That's what I was thinking, I'll head straight to Wanaka and wait for more snow to explore afield, looks like we'll have enough forum crew around Wanaka for a trans tasman SIC;)
     
    #29 mauricem, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  30. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    There's a fair selection of ales & lagers at the Speights Alehouse - will try and work my way through. If I need a variation I can always head to the Monteith Alehouse

    [​IMG] Not so far.
     
    #30 Heinz, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  31. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tue Aug 06 North Buchanans

    There's still powder out there!

    Flying into the Buchanans again today unfortunately without my friend Stewart who reported not faring so well after last nights curry. Same as yesterday Nigel was flying and Mark was guiding.

    Initial plan was to head further north to Dragonfly peak, but wind was too severe so we pulled back one ridge to Stag peak. Here we got some of the 10-15cms of fresh that fell a couple of nights ago which was very nice, especially on the top pitch. Lower down we were hitting the old hard rain crust base. There it was a matter of spotting the right lines, avoiding the ice
    patches and getting the wind drifted snow. A few similiar sort of runs then in Chamois basin till lunch.

    In the meantime the wind had abated somewhat so we went back to Dragons tail for a couple and got slightly deeper powder and more consistent. Then a final run on the way back to the valley on Eostre which turned out to the be the best of the day. Boot top powder off the top and nice all the way. Some interesting effects with the swirling wind blowing snow around, backlit by the afternoon sun.
     
    #31 Heinz, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Stag peak
    [​IMG]

    Chamois basin
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #32 Heinz, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  33. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Eostre
    [​IMG]

    Another Matuki view
    [​IMG]

    A selection of Charlies toys outside his hangar.
    [​IMG]
     
    #33 Heinz, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  34. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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  35. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Birthday dinner last night for chief guide Roger - enjoyable evening.

    He's go to be guiding a private charter this coming week for some Russian client. He hasn't arrived yet but his private guide and physio are here and were at the dinner also. His ski coach was meant to be there as well but couldn't make it. Russians with money!! Talked briefly with his guide who is Swedish and also happens to guide in La Grave.

    Drizzled a bit in town this afternoon. There was a report of 8cms of new snow in the Saddle at TC. Hopefully more to come. 10-15cm forecast at higher levels in the backcountry. Not much but anything welcome at this stage. Hopefully the freeze level comes down at bit as well.
     
  36. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    No time just now for a full report. Was a very nice day though in the North Harris with a some new snow though somewhat wind afftected.
     
  37. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

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    Enjoying the reports as usual Heinz.

    Thanks very much. I am currently working out Mt Isa way, bloody dry and dusty, so any photos of snowy mountains , very much appreciated.

    One of the afore mentioned ales sounds alright also !!
     
  38. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Got out again yesterday, but cloud restricted our movements and chased us out. There had been a bit more wind overnight as well.

    Was expecting to have a day off today but the cloud about now is meant to clear and there was another 5-10cms overnight.
     
  39. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    As it turned out the original thought was correct. The weather teased a little with a clearance and holes appeared periodically but closed in again and just hung around at various levels so it was a no go.

    Every season has it's different quirks and this one is certainly providing another variation. Been here a week and still haven't had a clear view of Mt Aspiring.

    Time now for some washing and a catch up.
     
  40. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thu Aug 08 North Harris

    Usual routine this morning. We flew directly from the heli base at Cattle flat while the other groups drove further up the valley. Grant flying the machine today and Chris came over from Queenstown to lead guide.

    Opened with Escapade - a short run just valley side of Black peak. Snow looked like it might be a bit slabby at the top but it actually skied extremely well - boot top powder. As it turned out it was probably the best run of the day.

    Plan then was to jump over to Rollercoaster and work further west. Rollercoaster though turned out to be a noisy affair. The wind had stripped most of the new snow away so it was mostly the old hard base. We worked it to the tussock level, then reconsidered options. West was clouded over so Chris opted to head over to Fog peak.

    Fog was skiing reasonably well although the wind had affected the snow here more than on Escapade so was a bit stiffer and you had to work the turns a bit more. Was consistent though so still quite good. A couple of runs here before the cloud pushed us back to Niger for a couple more where we had similiar conditions.

    Finally time to work back to Escapade for a couple more as the cloud continued to chase us. These were still as good as the first although the light got a bit flat on the second one.
     
    #40 Heinz, Aug 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  41. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Escapade
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #41 Heinz, Aug 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  42. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fog peak
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    View of Black peak from Niger
    [​IMG]
     
    #42 Heinz, Aug 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  43. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fri Aug 09 North Harris

    Similar start back with Mark guiding and James flying today. Headed to one of the same landings on Fog peak as yesterday. Noticed though that there must have been a bit more wind overnight as there was now a bit more of a skin on the snow making it a little trickier. Moonraker next was a similar story.

    The plans to head west were again thwarted by the cloud - it was looking quite dark that way. Had a couple instead on the sunny aspect of Bojangles - also somewhat variable - good in places, a little crusty in others, transitioning into hardpack lower down.

    Even then the cloud was again limiting our options. We weren't all that keen on heading to Rollercoaster after yesterdays experience but in the end had little choice. Fortunately Mark opted to go to a different aspect just around the corner and there we found where some of that now had been deposited so it was considerably better than yesterday. So had our two best runs of the day there.

    Then we were trying to decide whether to push on with the day or risk stopping for lunch. We opted to try and keep skiing and planned to head back to Escapade. On the way there though James looking at the weather had other ideas and dropped down and left us amongst the tussocks in Leaping burn. Then went back to pull out all the other groups. Had lunch there with the thought of maybe getting back up, but with increasing cloud and light rain the only option was to head down to the valley proper and home.
     
    #43 Heinz, Aug 10, 2013
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  44. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rollercoaster (the nicer part)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #44 Heinz, Aug 10, 2013
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  45. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Leaping Burn

    In amongst some knee deep tussock and our improvised lunch bench. Turned out reasonbly well.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #45 Heinz, Aug 10, 2013
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  46. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looking towards the mountains and watching othe clouds from the lakefront this morning. They teased us with a clearance but never really eventuated.

    [​IMG]
     
    #46 Heinz, Aug 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  47. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy One of Us

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    Heinz have a good trip;
    i did a Wanaka/ Mackenzie roadie 26/7 to 3/8; did 7 fields in 9 days, all pretty rough off piste so we kept moving; but i see they had some snow last night;

    tips : the chef at Ohau Lodge, Meadow Hut overhighter, coffee at Tarras, avoid the Qt fields, Roundhill ropetow ...

    now for freshies at allmighty Ruapehu ...

    best
     
  48. Julio

    Julio Hard Yards

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    Hey Heinz, we flew today (Sat) with HMH... do you mind if I hijack your thread with a few pics etc ?
     
  49. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sure, no probs. Where were you flying - further south presumably?
     
  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Location:
    Adelaide
    Cloudy today, some snow forecast for later today down to 1100m which would be good. Hopefully without too much wind. Just need the cloud to piss off tomorrow so we can finally head out towards the west where most of the recent snow has fallen.

    Just watched the replay of the last session of the cricket. Looking a bit better also.