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Trip Report Wanaka 2013

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

  1. Julio

    Julio Hard Yards

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    We hit up the Central Harris range first for 3 runs then flew over to the Buchanan's for the remainder of the day.

    Weather conditions were pretty variable but there was 10-20cms of fresh up high but lower down things were pretty slow/heavy. Half of our group went over to the staging location whilst the other half waited at ZQN whilst our guide/pilot deliberated whether to go. It was touch n go there for awhile and they didn't get in the air until 11am as there was a lot of low lying cloud still lingering with very little wind to clear it.

    Anyway we took the risk and it paid off. which was lucky as most of our group are only in Q-town for the weekend. Most other operators weren't flying due to the variable weather conditions and we only saw one other HMH chopper out there all day.

    Collecting vid footage from everyone and will edit and post in coming weeks

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #51 Julio, Aug 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2013
  2. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, yesterday was a very marginal call. We put it off till 11am before pulling the plug. In your case they may have pushed it as you suggested that was the only available day for some. Ok for 1 or 2 operations. The fact that you flew across the valley from the Harris to the Buchanans meant that HMH wouldn't have been making much/any profit that day.

    Bumped into some of the guides at lunch today - apparently there are 7 machines booked across Wanaka / Queenstown on Monday - so very busy - that cloud had better clear!
     
  3. Julio

    Julio Hard Yards

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    I am pretty sure the travel time between ranges was included in our allocated 2hr fly time. We managed to get in 9 runs which was a good effort considering the conditions.

    Any thoughts on what the next few days might offer condition wise? Been raining on and off but quite heavy at times over here in Q-town since 3pm today. I sense they will need a bit more to repair last night's freeze over. Fingers x
     
  4. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ah, so you were on a charter - that's a bit different then.

    Just got the call - they are looking at flying today. Seem confident that the clouds will clear.

    Was supposed to be 10cm yesterday at TC and another 5cm overnight. Even a new dusting on Mt Roy that I can see from my window. I'm guessing our plan depending on the cloud of course will be to try and push out towards the west - maybe Craig Royston or Isobel where more of the recent snow has fallen.

    But who knows - it could be a bit of a waiting game. And with 7 operations out there - not easy.
     
  5. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well it was a slow start and indeed a waiting game but eventually paid off. Awesome day!

    We weren't able to get to where we intended ie. Craig Roysten as suggested due to the cloud, but with the new snow where we were in the North Harris it was still awesome - back to what we normally expect to get this time of year.

    Fairly late finish after 10 runs, then a nice little session at the Alehouse so not really feeling like doing a proper report now. Probably need to wait for the next down day. No idea how the weather is panning out so not sure when that will be.

    After 9 or so days being here and not having seen Mt Aspiring properly - finally saw it late this afternoon on the drive back to Wanaka.
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Inversion layer this morning (fog in town). Hopefully we can find a hole through it or it burns off. Change forecast for later in the day also.
     
  7. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Very good day - almost as good as yesterday. Got clear of the fog out of town and headed to Mototapu station and skied along the Mototapu ridge. Nice that I can come here for 30 years and still continue to ski runs I haven't skied before. Got our runs in early anticipating the bad weather in the afternoon. It came later than expected there was no problem there. The snow was generally about as good as yesterday but we did have to deal with occasional flat light.Raining lightly in town now.
     
  8. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Generally clear this morning. There was more snow reported overnight but with galeforce winds and still windy this morning, so everything has changed again. Can't quite get everything right at the same time. Winds are meant to ease so still may get out.
     
  9. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well with all the talk in the morning about strong winds and resort chairlifts being on hold today was suprisingly good. Was windy early on but not nearly as bad as expected and it did ease during the day. And the expected change in the afternoon didn't really happen - only starting to cloud in again in the last hour or so.

    Had another day out of the Mototapu - snow was certainly wind affected but still good skiing. Surprisingly the best run were the one we did on the way home - not expecting much - but turned out to be completely sheltered from the wind effects - so we just had to do it again.

    Again no time for a proper report - now have three days to catch up on. Who knows what the weather will be doing tomorrow.
     
  10. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for the reports Heinz, very jealous. How close to Aspiring Hut and the Cascade saddle have you been?
     
  11. mauricem

    mauricem Addicted

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    for those of us who are landlocked the saddle at TC has been skiing fine most of the week, pretty well nightly falls totalling 50mm+ for the week and fresh tracks till at least mid morning.

    The bottom half of the home basin by the afternoon though is a diabolical gloopy quicksand which one run down does more damage to my legs than the whole morning in the saddle basin, no doubt highlighting the still significant flaws in my technique [​IMG]

    Heres a (crappy phone cam) shot I took on Wednesday halfway down cloud 9. You can compare this to the one Heinz took earlier in this thread and see how things have filled in.

    [​IMG]
     
    #61 mauricem, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2013
  12. Telestrom

    Telestrom A Local

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    Looks very juicy.

    Know what you mean with the bottom of TC suffering from elephant snot once it warms up.
     
  13. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    They are in the national park beyond the North Harris towards the glaciers. This year haven't really got anywhere near those - closest would have been around Fog peak. Have just always had cloud blocking our way further west. So far I've only seen Mt Aspiring on two days for the whole trip due to the cloud - quite unusual.
     
    #63 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  14. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Down day today. Reports of more wet snowfall overnight - still way too warm. Hoping for colder temps tonight for some proper snowfall for my last day tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, a chance to finally catch up on reports for the last few days.
     
  15. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Were getting similiar conditions very close to Treble Cone yesterday. New snow getting continuosly denser the lower we got. At least while it is still untracked it is not too bad.
     
    #65 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  16. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mon Aug 12 North Harris

    Best day of the trip. Was quite cloudy everywhere in the morning but forecast to clear so we headed out to Cattle Flat again and waited and watched the clouds, then waited a bit more. Eventually got enough clearance to think it was worth getting out and around 11:30 headed up to Fog peak. James was flying today and Whitney back from his ski tour was lead guiding.

    There we found 20-30cm of quality powder on the upper slopes. New snow got shallower lower down but still enough so that we weren't hitting the old hard crust underneath. Had a couple of runs there.

    The plan as suggested earlier was to try and get out further west to Craig Royston, but the cloud that way was blocking our way so we jumped over to Moonraker for another couple and then to Bojangles for a sunny aspect which were all just as good. Stopped there for lunch.

    Craig Royston was still under cloud so we then headed again to Rollercoaster. Rollercoaster is a really fun run with the rolling terrain as the name suggests when it is 'on' and it certainly was today. Great snow top to bottom, decent powder up top, and even though quite low down there was just a 2 cm dusting of new snow amongst the tussock it was skiing very well and quite enjoyable - very few rocks to worry about. Plenty of different lines in there - shady & sunny aspects - so ended up doing 5 runs there before lifting out around 4:50pm. Certainly made up for the late start.
     
    #66 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  17. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A dusting of new snow from that weekend on Mt Roy from my window.

    [​IMG]

    Fog peak
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #67 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  18. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Moonraker

    [​IMG]


    Craig Royston is in the middle background - was just about clear enough at this point - but didn't last. Sharkstooth peak is on the right.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #68 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  19. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bojangles

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #69 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  20. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rollercoaster

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    were able to get fairly low through the tussock (though not on this line).
    [​IMG]
     
    #70 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  21. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    When we got back to Cattle flat could hear sirens - it was Charlie herding sheep off the hill in one of his other helis.

    [​IMG]
     
    #71 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tue Aug 13 Mototapu

    An earlier start today with a forecast of a change in the afternoon. Was a little sceptical with thick fog in town but it had been reported clear at Mototapu station which was where we were heading. This is south of Treble Cone. Part of the reasoning for staging from the Mototapu was to allow for an easier valley exit in case the weather did close in quickly. Mototapu station is owned by Shania Twain and we flew over her house and stables on the way.

    Flying today with Pete with Whitney guiding again. Moved reasonably quickly to get our 7 runs in. All were great powder runs ood as yesterday, although light was often a bit flat, so we elected to grab the opportunities whenever the sun appeared to ski. Hence I didn't take any skiing shots. One run was Tutu, can't remember the others. I'm pretty sure I had never skied these before - mostly new terrain for me.

    Flew down the valley a bit outside some hut for lunch. Went back up for another couple of runs on Arrowhead but by 2:30pm the light was getting pretty bad, so headed back home.
     
    #72 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Outside Mototapu station
    [​IMG]

    Looking north towards Treble Cone - you can see the goomed run Pete's treat in the Saddle in the middle.
    [​IMG]

    Lunch stop
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    [​IMG]

    Mototapu gorge
    [​IMG]
     
    #73 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  24. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wed Aug 14 Mototapu

    Hadn't been expecting to ski today and waking up hearing reports on the radio from the ski fields of strong winds and lifts being on hold seem to confirm that. But winds were forecast to ease and it was actually reasonably clear for a change.

    So we headed out once again to the Mototapu with Whitney again, with James flying. Started on one of the runs we did yesterday (Tutu?). It was still somewhat windy but not nearly as bad as I thought. The winds overnight though had affected the snow so it was a now bit scratchy. Did one more run there while the other groups were flown in.

    Then headed out to the next ridge to a run called Salt mine (another new one for me) which was pretty nice - just a little variable wind effect so you couldn't quite relax. The wind had certainly died down by then so was not an issue. Quite wide open down the bottom and more like spring conditions. Did a couple there, then another couple on Siberia on the other side in similiar conditions. Stopped for lunch at the bottom of that.

    Bit of a delay after lunch with someone injured, a group flying out and a refuel but eventually got going again to another ridge and a run called Magical mystery tour. Similiar conditions there also with somewhat wind affected snow.

    Then on the way back had a look at a run called Destiny in the Central Harris - closer to the south of Treble Cone and with view down onto Glendhu bay. There though much to everyones surprise we found perfect powder in the shade completely unaffected by the wind! Was great all the way down and with a nice pitch as well. It was a quick and unanimous decision at the bottom that we just had to do it again, so we did and it was just as good. A great finish to the day.
     
    #74 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  25. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mototapu ridge

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looking towards Towers ridge where I had my first day with Paul Scaife and HMH 30 years ago. Southern Lakes now have the permit to that ridge and ski it appears to be one of their more regular areas.
    [​IMG]
     
    #75 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  26. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Salt mine
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Siberia
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #76 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  27. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Destiny
    [​IMG]

    view towards Glendhu bay
    [​IMG]
     
    #77 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  28. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thu Aug 15 Central Harris

    Again the expectation from the forecasts was that they wouldn't be flying. There had also been a few more cms of snow overnight but it was quite warm (8C in town). They eventually opted for a late start after clouds had cleared somewhat and we were in the air just after noon. Was again with Whitney but flying with Tim today.

    First run was significant for other reasons. I recognised it as Twin Falls just south of Treble Cone - the run where I had been buried 9 years ago. This happened to be the first time I had been back to this run since then, so there was an odd feeling as those memories came back. So even though the run was now quite safe - wind compressed up top and spring like lower down, there were a few butterflies until I reached the bottom. Fitting that it was with Whitney guiding again and Stewart along again as well. Was good to have now gotten that out of the way. Second time down was then fine again.

    Tried Skyhawk after that which was a run in about 4 parts - crusty windblown snow up top, nice powder in the middle, heavy new snow after that and a horrible section of sun crusted snow before we decided that was enough of that. Tried another variation of that with better snow up top still good in the middle getting heavier the lower we got (from the warm temps overnight) but without the sun crust so not too bad.

    We were going to try another but the cloud was comimg back so went back to Twin Falls for another run and a late lunch. Went for another look up after lunch but cloud had again closed in (the story of the trip) so we called it a day.
     
    #78 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  29. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Twin Falls
    [​IMG]

    Looking towards Treble Cone Saddle and Mototapu chutes.
    [​IMG]

    Looking towards Glendhu bay
    [​IMG]
     
    #79 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  30. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Skyhawk (probably not a run you would want to do in poor visibility)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #80 Heinz, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  31. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bit of a flat finish to the trip. Cloud again being the issue. The thick cloud in the morning was forecast to clear. It did clear eventually in town but not in the mountains.

    So a quiet day settling account, saying goodbyes, a walk around to waterfall creek and catching up with an old friend in the afteroon.

    Warmer than normal temps and cloud shaped this trip. In the end not quite an epic trip but still very good. Will be back again next year.
     
  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lake Wanaka
    [​IMG]

    Ruby island
    [​IMG]
     
    #82 Heinz, Aug 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  33. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Now back home [​IMG]
     
    #83 Heinz, Aug 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2013
  34. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

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    Great stuff as usual Heinz, you deserve an award, or at least a pat on the back.
    Thanks mate.
     
  35. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Indeed.

    Best I can offer is to buy a beer or two if I were to ever run into him at a pub.

    [​IMG]
     
    #85 JoeKing, Aug 19, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  36. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'll be there the same 2 weeks in 2014.
     
  37. Julio

    Julio Hard Yards

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    Love the pics Heinz. Good to catch up the other night for a few ales/feed/chat.

    Hopefully see you there again next year...
     
  38. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, was good to catch up. Happy to do it again next year.
     
    #88 Heinz, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  39. kylep

    kylep Cage rattler Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great reading. I'm heading to Wanaka on Sunday but haven't had a chance to properly check conditions. Looks like it should be a fun trip though probably won't yet get in the air. Definitely looking better than my trip to Thredbo earlier in the season.
     
  40. webberchoked

    webberchoked Hard Yards

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    will be in wanaka sept 5-11. looking for a touring partner.
    will be coming off a 4 day backcountry awareness course on black peak.