Trip Report Wanaka 2018

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Heinz, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Arrived back in town again today. The anticipation in getting here certainly hasn't diminished over the years. Always nice to land back in NZ and it was a nice flight in Queenstown today, but the excitement ramps up as I get closer to Wanaka.

    Did the usual rounds on arrival this afternoon, seeing what has or hasn't changed.
    Now just getting ready for tomorrow.
     
    Tanuki, Snowdayyy, craighelo and 9 others like this.
  2. hpsauce

    hpsauce One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,998
    Likes Received:
    2,202
    Any additional food vans this year?
     
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    A couple maybe. Saw one offering dumplings and another sushi rolls. Otherwise looks to be pretty much the same as last year with quite a collection by Bullock creek and a few along Dungarvon ave.
     
    hpsauce likes this.
  4. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Sunday August 5 - Treble Cone

    Very nice day at TC. Weather clear with just a bit cloud drifting by. Mountain in good shape with snow coverage and good winter snow conditions. Whole mountain was skiing well. Took it pretty cautiously especially early and kept it cruisy but enjoyable. Not too many people (most likely a reflection of the ticket price), so very short queues. The various natural halfpipes were all skiing very well. Fun times.

    Quite a few people heading out to the Mototapu chutes and the summit, though not me.
     
    skifree likes this.
  5. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Saddle area
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Summit
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    The views are always good.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Gunbarrell
    [​IMG]

    Powderbowl
    [​IMG]

    Looking towards Gotliebs
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Looking towards the Buchanans. Will hopefully get a closer look later in the week.
    [​IMG]
     
    hpsauce likes this.
  9. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Back on the food vans. Had another wander around and was thinking about trying the dumplings from one of the in the Bullock creek area, but then I saw the Okonomiyaki stall so went no further. The guy says they have been there a couple of months, he and his Japanese wife do Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki. The area is now pretty well set up with a half dozen stalls congregated together with seating. Pizzas, Burritos, Dumplings, Indian.. Will try the dumplings another night.

    [​IMG]
     
    #9 Heinz, Aug 5, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Unfortunately got news from old friend and local identity Muzza who ran the Pembroke in the 90's and who I regularly caught up with for a beer had now moved to Picton, so will miss him this year. And sadly Roger one of the regulars at Muzzas bar from back in those days had passed away.
     
  11. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Great day in the North Harris today once we were able to get above the inversion layer.
     
  12. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Monday August 6 - North Harris

    A blanket of low cloud in town in the morning but all reports from the skifields indicated it was all clear above. So we headed out to Cattle flat expecting it to clear enough to find a hole to fly through. We had to wait a while for this to happen though as it seemed reluctant to move. Eventually though around noon it did clear enough for us to get away.

    Headed first to Fog peak looking for extra altitude and found some very nice powder for most of the run. Towards the bottom though we ran into a bit of a crust formed as result of the warmer temperatures the previous day, so made a note to pick up above that elevation.

    Were originally planning on dropping into Sharkstooth next but opted to head directlyt to Craigroyston instead. Top section was a little wind affected, but was all good after that. Did another run there in the shady aspect on the right which was excellent. Then came back to Moonraker which looked great from the air and skied accordingly. Consistent powder and certainly much better filled in than same time last year - no rocks. Probably best run of the day.

    Then found a nice sunny bench near the top of Wishbone where we had lunch. The run there was very nice also with a glistening frost and a scenic Matuki valley backdrop.

    Then time to start our way back, returning to Fog peak and finally Niger for another couple of great runs before heading back to the valley.
     
    Froff Life likes this.
  13. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    View from Fog peak above the inversion layer.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Moonraker
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
  15. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Back on Fog peak and valley cloud still hanging around.
    [​IMG]

    From Niger looking towards Black peak.
    [​IMG]

    towards the valley
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Tuesday August 7 - Mototapu

    Some variable cloud about today, but clear enough. Forecast was for increasing wind later in the day, just not sure of timing. Were hoping to get over to the Buchanans but that had clouded over. Pilot reported that wind had already picked up in the North Harris, so we headed south instead to End peak but weren't able to land there so continued on to Motatapu ridge where it was still calm.

    Light was a bit flat but the skiing was great. Firm base with a consistent 10cm of powder on top, very cruisy. Headed back up and wind had started to pick up, so we kept it moving. Third time up it picked up again and fourth time when Tim had to work hard to get the machine down on the ridge we knew that is was time to get out. A pity as the skiing was great. We got down that run then flew back to base and had our lunch there before heading back to town.
     
  17. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Not really a picture taking day.

    From last run - light a bit flat.
    [​IMG]

    But terrain was pretty mellow and valley gave us a good contrast.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. yowiepowah

    yowiepowah Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi, I'll be in Queenstown this weekend for just a few short days, I'm thinking of visiting the Wanaka ski fields on Saturday and /or Sunday, however I am a little concerned about the weather on Sunday.

    Mountainwatch indicates that a 30-37km/h N wind over Cardrona/Treble Cone. Do any of resident expert here know what this implies for windhold at the resort? Based on google maps it seems that Cardrona might be more exposed to a Northerly wind compared to TC on Sunday - is this correct? And as a bonus which of 4 resorts local to queenstown (Coronet, Remarkables, Cardrona, Treble Cone, Coronet) would make the best skiing on the Sunday. Thanks
     
  19. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    I wouldn't be too concerned at this stage regarding forecasts this far out. Check forecasts again on Saturday and make a decision then.
     
  20. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Wednesday August 8 - Triple peak (Buchanans)

    There was a bit of rain in town last night and skifields were reporting a few cms of new winblown snow. Weather was clear and calm. Whitneys plan was to ski a Triple peak/North Buchanans circuit.

    We started from Triple peak and snow was great for the most part, but down at around the 1600m elevation it quickly transitioned into rain sodden snow which was rather ugly. At least now we knew how low we should go.

    Did another couple of runs around there with higher pickups. Considered other options but they were a bit limited. Boil the Billy over the ridge was going to be too low, Alta was under cloud and reports over the radio from other groups weren't the best so we needed to stay where we were.

    We did a couple of runs into Tonys which were quite good. Did get into a bit of the rain affected snow lower down but was still quite reasonable. As we continued the cloud was slowly moving in.

    Went down Triple side again for a couple more runs and while the snow was great, the light was getting pretty flat, making the terrain hard to judge, so we were happy to call it a day and return to the valley.
     
  21. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Views from Triple peak

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tonys
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Thursday August 9 - North Buchanans

    Another weather shortened day. Another system was forecast to come through in the afternoon so wasn't sure if we were going to fly. But we did and plan was to move quickly and see what we could get in while it was still good. There had been a few cms of new snow overnight which freshened things up.

    Skied in the North Buchanans one ridge north of where we were yesterday. Back to an old reliable regular A-trails which just about always delivers. Then lapped in few in the region - Stag saddle, Penstock and back to Stag saddle snow all consistently good, only a few cms of fresh but fun. But once again we could see the weather closing in, so we opted to head valley side for a run on Moliefes before heading home. Was a good last run, snow was actually deeper and visibility with valley backdrop was good but run still shortened by the rain affected snow lower down.
    So back in the valley day done all before noon.
     
  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Friday August 10 - North Harris

    Awesome day today. This is what I come over here for. No weather issues today - perfect bluebird day.

    Skiing with 'Grom' again today. Plan was to ski region around Fog peak. Dropped in on Escapade on the way and found excellent powder, so noted that for later in the day on our way back. Then on to Fog peak which looked good but we found to be wind affected up high. It did get better lower down, but we thought we could do better elsewhere.

    So we headed over to Rollercoaster and found what we were after - a sheltered powderbowl. Only downside was that we encountered the old rain crust lower so we couldn't get to valley floor which is normally great fun on this run. Grom opted instead to pick up high and do extra laps. No arguments. Did several runs here before and after lunch - was good to have lunch on the hill for a change.

    Then back to Escapade where we also did several laps with a few steeper sections.

    Great to have a full day with such quality.
     
    skifree likes this.
  24. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    View from my room this morning. Black peak on the left, Fog peak on the right.
    [​IMG]

    Escapade
    [​IMG]

    View of Mt Aspiring
    [​IMG]
     
    chunky, LMB, skifree and 3 others like this.
  25. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Rollercoaster
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  26. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Back on Escapade
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    chunky, skifree, craighelo and 4 others like this.
  27. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Reached 1 million vertical metres with HMH today.
     
    craighelo, climberman, Donzah and 8 others like this.
  28. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    23,754
    Likes Received:
    16,170
    They give you a free helicopter.

    Congrats Heinz.
     
  29. N0frilz

    N0frilz Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    26
    What’s that 200 days heli?
     
  30. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    218 days (started in 1983).
     
  31. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Saturday August 11 - Triple peak (Buchanans)

    This day was all about finally reaching the million vertical metres milestone after 218 heli days over 35 years with HMH. I had worked out I needed another 8500 vert ft to reach the mark.
    Shaker had given me a pair of Salomon QST to rent for the day rather than my old Mantras, though there was a bit of confusion in the morning as we tried to locate my other boot.

    Was skiing with Stewart as usual and Phillip (Phoebe creek station owner) joined us again. Also had Grant flying again after a couple years absence.

    Early on Anna was trying different runs to see what aspects and elevations were going to work best - Triple, Never you mind, Boil the Billy & Tailbone and found quite a mixture of powder, corn and stuff in between. Got some very nice spring skiing conditions on lower elevations.

    But then went back to Triple looking for powder, stopped for lunch on Tonys with a bit of champagne, then went for some steeper lines in Tony's chutes and Phil's nose job. Reached the milestone on the 6th run.

    We watched one of the other guide Peter lay down an outrageously set of non stop tight turns down nose job. The good part was that as a result he left plenty of space beside his line. So we went up to the same landingand skied beside his line. I thought I might try matching his line old school Canadian heliski style but failed miserably. Snow was sloughing quite a bit at the start and I could probably only do one turn to his two, then ran out of puff halfway down and had to pause briefly. Great snow and plenty of fun though.

    Finished a great day with a cruisier powder run.
     
    #31 Heinz, Aug 12, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
    Froff Life and skifree like this.
  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Tony's
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    skifree likes this.
  33. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Phil's nose job
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Kletterer and skifree like this.
  34. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Back in the HMH Ops room.

    Broni's awesome cake for the occasion.
    [​IMG]

    with Stewart
    [​IMG]
     
    Froff Life, hpsauce and skifree like this.
  35. kaegee

    kaegee One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Messages:
    2,207
    Likes Received:
    2,518
  36. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Rest day today. Feeling a little sore.
     
  37. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    1,062
  38. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Yes indeed.
     
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  39. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    1,062
    Awesome woman :thumbs: got me out of a tricky situation a few years ago on Von Buelow Pass when touring from Centennial; to Pioneer Huts.
     
  40. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    She is great to ski with. She got herself a new pair of Völkl BTM skis this week and seems to be enjoying them.
     
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  41. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Down day. Cloudy, windy and showers forecast.
     
  42. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    The big change this season has been the strict enforcement of weight limits in the helicopter. This is presumably following the release earlier this year of the final report into the Mt Alta incident in 2014.

    Previously they had been recording everyones weight at registration and adding allowances for ski gear as well as weighing the lunches.

    This year though everything going on board gets weighed at the helipad each morning. Firstly people in their ski gear, then everything going into the pod - skis, boards, packs. Then there is the front seat limit which they even reduced by 1 kg to allow for the headset the guide uses to talk to the pilot. Groups then need to be juggled according to ensure they are within the various weight limits.

    It all makes for a fairly chaotic scene at the heli base at Cattle Flat each morning as gear is unloaded from vans, grouped, weighed and reloaded for those driving further up the valley as well as the regular helicopter and transceiver safety briefings. Quite a bit of work for the guides to do before we get to the actual skiing bit.
     
    skifree likes this.
  43. Red_switch

    Red_switch Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - 30 Day

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    19,922
    Likes Received:
    5,795
    Have you read the report? I'm all for working within machine limits, but I find it a bit mind boggling that being 2-3 cm off the machine center of gravity could have such an impact. I actually think that report has some serious shortcomings in other areas, particularly on the meteorological front. But that is another discussion.

    That said, nothing wrong with doing things right. As a fairly regular (not quite as much as yourself!) helicopter passenger in the Southern Alps, I have noticed an element of complacency creeping in in areas.

    Anyway, looks like you're having a great time as usual. Be interested to hear your thoughts on the snowpack? It's been a very mild winter, my feeling is that snowfall is tracking about average on and near the divide, but somewhat below further east (more noticeable in Canterbury than Otago). I suspect that with these warm temps the springification will happen pretty quickly this year.
     
  44. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    32,192
    Likes Received:
    14,817
    Well done Heinz, awesome milestone!
     
  45. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Yes, I had read the full report when it came out last December as per my 2014 thread.
    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/wanaka-2014-edition.67268/page-4#post-3455394
    I doubt that the slight overload and imbalance was a real factor at all, but it was presumably enough for the bureaucrats to get hold of and push their regulations. Not much room for complacency at the moment. We joke now wondering whether the chocolate cake we might have at lunch might affect the fore/aft weight balance.
     
    skifree and Red_switch like this.
  46. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    As for the snow pack - overall around these parts the coverage is very good, better than similar time for the last couple of years. The guides here say that through July even though there haven't been any big dumps there have been regular top ups of 10cm or so and winter conditions.t

    One issue though last week was an earlier warm (rain) event which made the lower elevations not worth skiing, so picking up high and shorter runs. These lower elevations are then somewhat out of the equation until either a decent snowfall with a low freeze level or warmer days when it starts to corn up which we got a bit of on Saturday.

    I feel this that this has been occurring more frequently in recent years than I recall in the 80's & 90's when we would regularly ski powder to valley floor. I'll always remember the time in 1985 when there was 20-30cm of fresh snow in the west Matuki so the landcruisers we were in at the time could go no further. Not seen anything like that since.
     
  47. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    I do though recall Anna saying that back in May they had a big dump of snow and that she was ski touring in great powder virtually straight off the Crown range road.
     
    hpsauce likes this.
  48. Old School Mike

    Old School Mike Addicted

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    395
    A few pics from an easy day at Lake Ohau Ski Field today.
     
    skifree and snowgum like this.
  49. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,225
    Likes Received:
    2,610
  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    A bit damp up here at TC.