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Trip Report Wanaka 2015

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Heinz, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sat Aug 08 - North Buchanans

    Some high cloud about this morning but expected to clear. Again pretty much the same team, just with a Wanaka local joining us as the Swedish guy had moved on to Queenstown. Whitney had earmarked Galactic Bypass in the North Buchanans the previous day and that was still the plan this morning. Was no rush on the ground at Cattle Flat while we waited for the cloud to clear on the Buchanans side of the valley.

    Eventually it did clear so we jumped into Eostre where we encountered about 20cm of light dry powder occasionally hitting a hard crust underneath on the upper slope. It got better as we got lower down. A very nice start, so we quickly headed back up for a repeat before Nigel went for the next group. As Whitney suggested it turned out that those runs would be te worst of the day.

    We then headed north and skied a run called Furballs and this was the goods. A shortist run but about as deep and light as you are likely to get in NZ. Probably 40-50cm and a nice pitch, fun terrain, so faceshots all the way down. Now we were talking. How to match that? We headed on to Dragons Head with a similar aspect and a bit longer and it also delivered. We had to repeat that one as well. From there we looked across to Galactic Bypass and that looked very good as well, but there was a little cloud about, so we pulled back slightly and stopped for lunch. It was a fairly quick stop as it was quite cold.

    Then got onto Stag saddle and skied down the fridge (as it is nearly always in the shade). More awesomenes, at the moment you could hardly go wrong. Hit Penstock then repeated Stag before heading back valley side to Moliefes. The trend continued there, we couldn't just leave that at one, so we did another 2 variations of that before finally heading home around 4;30pm.

    So we never quite got to Galactic but that is still there yet untouched for another day.

    Tried to think then of a better day that I have had in the past and really struggled. Heard a few reports back from some of the other guides out in different areas - sounded like everywhere was pretty good.
     
    #51 Heinz, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  2. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds awesome Heinz :)
     
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    From Saturday.in the North Buchanans.

    On Eostre
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Furballs

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looking towards Galactic Bypass
    [​IMG]

    Mt Aspiring
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    On Dragons head
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    On Stag
    [​IMG]

    looking towards 'the Fridge'
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Moliefes Relief
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice pics, man.
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sun Aug 09 - Triple Peak, Buchanans

    Was always going to be hard to match yesterday but we were still hopefull. Was a similar start in that we waited some time at Cattle flat for the cloud to start clearing. Had Frog guiding today and Tim flying. We also had our Swedish friend Ullrich join us again from Queenstown. He has now learnt the lesson that many before have learnt - for the best heliskiing options it is best to base in Wanaka.

    So when the cloud started to clear we headed up to Triple peak in the Buchanans south of where we were yesterday. Snow was still excellent just not quite as deep as yesterday. Had a shortish run and went for a quick relift in the same area. Then looked to see where to head next but unfortunately an easterly had dragged cloud cover back so limited our options, so stayed in the same area and had a couple of runs on Tonys in flat light. Air was also quite cold.

    After that about all we could do was to move to a valley facing run to get better light conditions for us and the pilot so headed around the corner to Peepees. Very good skiing there, but then next front was coming through and it started snowing on the third run there, so at that point everyone was happy to call it quits and head back to the valley for lunch.

    A good day but relatiely flat in comparisons to yesterdays epic conditions.
     
    #60 Heinz, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  11. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Light conditions not much good for pics today. Took this one when they were at their best.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    great stuff
     
  13. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fuk Heinz, awesome again.
     
  14. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Just stop it.
     
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  15. kaegee

    kaegee One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The usual top shelf TR Sir :thumbs:
     
  16. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I wanna go now! stunning!!
     
  17. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Nice, this weekend is one that anyone who was on the snow anywhere in the South Island will likely remember for a while...
     
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  18. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    What skis are you wrangling for the conditions Heinz?
     
  19. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    sure will.
     
  20. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just my old Mantras. But in these conditions I think I would still have been enjoying it on my 1980's skinny skis.
     
  21. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Saw a lot of dumb travel at remarks over the weekend. Sad news re the heliskier.
     
  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Another awesome day. Not quite the epic deep light fluff of Saturday but that was out of the ordinary. But clear skies, no wind, a good crew and loads of untracked lines in great powder. :D
     
  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Didn't hear that - had to look it up now. Sad indeed.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/70994861/heliskier-dies-in-avalanche-near-queenstown

    We haven't seen any such activity up our way. Quite often we see stuff going naturally on Fog peak but there was nothing today. We have been dealing with some surface sloughing of new snow on steeper aspects but that has been fine. Otherwise stability has been pretty good where we have been, but we have been wary of steep sided gullies.
     
    #73 Heinz, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  24. expatgm

    expatgm Addicted

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    Yeah. Sad indeed. Hate to imagine what's going through the guides head tonight wondering if he made the right call choosing that run.
     
  25. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

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    Glad you're OK Heinz. Your pics look awesome.
     
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  26. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  27. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    @smackies I can take credit thanks ....
     
  28. smackies

    smackies A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Really? You're serious?
     
  29. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    brosef
    dat weather forecast was sah right
     
  30. Tanuki

    Tanuki Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    What made those tracks in the image 'looking towards the fridge'?
     
  31. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mon Aug 10 - North Harris

    A bit of cloud hanging around early, but soon cleared to be a perfectly clear and calm day. Had Roger guiding today and plan was to check out Fog peak in the North Harris. Started off on Niger and it partiularly nice after yesterday to have clear views in all directions and so have all options open. The snow had settled somewhat from Saturday so was no longer as deep but was still great quality. And with the good July snowfalls we were able to get down lower than in the previous couple of years meaning longer runs. Did a couple on Niger while the other groups were being flown in.

    Then jumped onto Fog peak. Have skied Fog quite a bit in the past and when it is good there is plenty of skiing to be done there. First run established that it was indeed very good so we saw no need to go elsewhere and worked several variations there. Very clear today, could see through to Mt Cook in the north. As we looked down towards Wanaka Roger radioed Broni in the office to update on conditions and we all waved. :)

    Did one variation where we did a very long high traverse (fine because we didn't have any boarders) which then gave us a very nice long open line to the valley floor where we were able to arc some bigger turns which was fun.

    A couple more variations then finally a run on the leaping burn side of Niger on the way back to the Matuki. That was slightly more variable but still excellent skiing.

    A pretty amazing day and even with so many groups out today still plenty of terrain that hasn't been touched yet.
     
    #81 Heinz, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Niger
    [​IMG]
     
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  33. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  34. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    *doesn't look foggy
     
  35. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    More Fog peak

    [​IMG]

    This was what we had after the long traverse - it was worth it - all the way to te stream.
    [​IMG]

    The ice fall
    [​IMG]
     
    #85 Heinz, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  36. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    It certainly wasn't today, but it does quite often live up to its name.
     
  37. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    View from Niger looking across the Matuki to the North Buchanans where we skied on Saturday.
    Left - Eostre, Center - Dragons head, Right - Moliefes
    [​IMG]

    Another view of Aspiring
    [​IMG]
     
  38. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Didn't really take much notice of that. Assumed it was just some loose snow, but it does look an odd track.
     
  39. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cold morning and another fine day forecast.
     
  40. ScottGN

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

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    Minus 7 at my place Heinz. A beautiful, beautiful day on the cards though I'm waiting at home for the stupid broadband man to arrive. Police have released details of the heliskier who died yesterday, a 58 year old Sydney man. What a terrible business.
     
  41. Pow_Hunter

    Pow_Hunter Hard Yards

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    Thoughts/Predictions Wanaka 22nd-29th?
     
  42. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    No time right now for a proper report, but suffice to say it was another awesome bluebird day in good snow, this time mostly on Galactic Bypass in the North Buchanans.
     
  43. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Video on telly here of the slide.
    It was a lot of snow.
    Not good
     
  44. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Missed the news tonight. Heard a little bit about it. We were making sure today to keep good distance between us on steeper aspects.
     
  45. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    One guy actually skied into it....
    looked real slabby and thick...but not really that big
    the guy had a CA by the sound of it, so the burial may not have been super extreme
     
  46. expatgm

    expatgm Addicted

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    The facts: sl heliski conducted stability tests that morning with results indicating good stability.
    As is the usuall practice the guide skied the slope first before bringing the group back down.
    The slope was lee to the north on low angled terrain<30 deg. There was a small rollover on the slope which fractured when the victim skied it. The crown was app 80 cm high and 40 m wide. Size of Avalanche class 3.
     
  47. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    What I had heard was that 2 of skiers were close together on that slope rather than keeping a separation resulting in extra weight on that snowpack which was enough to trigger on that weak layer.
     
  48. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Another very good day today although the run of fine weather has come to an end with cloud and wind increasing through the day. Looks like another front moving through for the next 2 days.
     
  49. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Spotted any folks climbing icefalls @Heinz ? A friend is over there ATM. Hopefully he will get some good Photos
     
  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Haven't seen any myself but saw Whitney this afternoon after he had come back from guiding some people ice climbing.
     
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