Trip Report Wanaka 2018

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
I have been following & enjoying this thread. Great work Heinz! We were also at TC today and it was awful. Had a few good runs at Saddle Basin, but overall not the most enjoyable...
Cleared up nicely at 3pm.
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
Storm passing through this morning so not going anywhere. Time to catch up on last couple of days.
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
Tuesday August 14 - Treble Cone

Fait bit of cloud about and rain/snow showers predicted, but time to get out for a ski again. Headed up to TC and started in the Saddle, was ok initially and it snowed solidly for a short period, but visibility quickly deteriorated and I don't find the Saddle a fun place in poor vis. Headed down to Main basin where vis was ok. Matuki ridge was skiing pretty well, had a bit of fresh on upper part, contrast was good and hardly anyone was on it so did several laps there. Early afternoon though there was a sleety/rain mix so was a bit damp. Retreated to the café for a bit until it eased a bit. It cleared up around 3pm so had a few good runs before closing.
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
Wednesday August 15 - Triple Peak (Buchanans)

Was a fair bit of valley cloud in the morning but forecast to clear. Couldn't see much initially as we headed up the Matuki but as we continued the mountains started appearing. There were quite a few operations going today (around 90 people all up from Wanaka & Queenstown) due to the backlog from the last couple of days, so we staged from Aspiring station a little further up the valley with good views of Mt Aspiring and Rob Roy glacier.

Had Dean lead guiding today (shortly before he heads off again to Tibet to guide a climb up Cho Oyu). Took it slowly to start with while Dean dug a couple of pits to see what the weather had done to the snow pack over the last couple of days. Started on A-trails which was fine, there was a crust but was supportive so was easy skiing. Dean though wasn't happy with what he saw in Chamois basin so we traversed back around to Stag saddle and skied that. Got a bit of powder there up high and similar to A-trails lower down.

Idea then was to try and get a bit higher so we headed to Triple peak area. We stayed around there for the rest of the afternoon and skied various lines including a couple into Tonys chutes. Generally we were getting 10-20 cms on the upper sections, then transitioning into the heavier sun drenched snow from earlier in the week with the debris from snow balling which kept us on our toes, but then lower down again we were getting hardpack turning to corn which was very pleasant. Pretty cruisy all round with some steeper lines in the chutes.

The cloud and wind stay away from up all day which was great and made things easier for the pilot and we got our day in easily, but towards the end we could see the wins whipping up on Mt Aspiring signalling the start of the coming change.
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
Aspiring station (Mt Aspiring on the right)
148_Aspiring_station.jpg


150_Aspiring_station.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: skifree

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
Another rainy day in town, but a bit of fresh snow in the mountains.
Have booked a Mt Cook trip for my last day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fozzie Bear

GlenH

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 13, 2007
866
952
263
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.
I well remember Muzza running The Pembroke Inn. I stayed there twice in the late 90's when I used to travel with Bamford Tours.

Actually it was Roger Bamford's brochure, which I always kept, that many years later inspired me to explore Mackenzie Country, as that was a skiers tour he used to do.

Time sure goes quick.
 

N0frilz

Addicted
Jul 13, 2015
265
152
113
around
Been a long day - left Wanaka at 7:30am got back at 6:30pm but all worth it. Epic day up at Mt Cook. Report may have to wait until I get home though.

I was shattered when I had to cancel going to cook a few weeks back when I smoked my back.

More days up there and less in wanaka next year?
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
I bet, it was a stunner today.!

Sounds like it was a good day everywhere. The Wanaka guides last night all reported great skiing locally. My friend Stewart stayed in Wanaka and skied the North Harris and had 13 runs for around 23,000 vertical ft. I had 9 runs for a total a bit over 24,000 ft. Was more than happy with my choice of terrain on the day.
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
I was shattered when I had to cancel going to cook a few weeks back when I smoked my back.

More days up there and less in wanaka next year?

Ideally I'd like 1 or 2 days in Mt Cook region each trip. The terrain up there is bigger and more dramatic. Wanaka region though has better fine weather windows, more sheltered terrain and down day options. Queenstown guides have been trying to entice me to come down and ski terrain out of Glenorchy, so another thing to think about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fozzie Bear

Draizuh

One of Us
Jul 29, 2012
1,988
1,120
363
Wakatipu
www.splitboardnz.com
Sounds like it was a good day everywhere. The Wanaka guides last night all reported great skiing locally. My friend Stewart stayed in Wanaka and skied the North Harris and had 13 runs for around 23,000 vertical ft. I had 9 runs for a total a bit over 24,000 ft. Was more than happy with my choice of terrain on the day.
I had a pretty great day yesterday, snow was super stable and we tagged a few big lines.
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
Got home around 11:30pm last night. Delayed departure from Sydney due to strong winds forcing closure of one of the runways.
 

Red_switch

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Jun 5, 2006
26,079
12,278
1,063
Dunedin, NZ
Sounds like it was a good day everywhere. The Wanaka guides last night all reported great skiing locally. My friend Stewart stayed in Wanaka and skied the North Harris and had 13 runs for around 23,000 vertical ft. I had 9 runs for a total a bit over 24,000 ft. Was more than happy with my choice of terrain on the day.
Didn't manage quite your vert but it was a good day way out in the maniototo too.
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
Saturday August 18 - Ben Ohaus

It had been several years since I had last skied in the Mt Cook region so was keen to make it happen this time. Heard a day was being planned to booked in. Dropped into to the guides ops room the night before to confirm details. Roger was on the phone as usual organising the next day. Said it was all good to go. Was going to be a busy day - HMH would have 9 machines on the go between Queenstown, Wanaka & Mt Cook.

So back at the Ops room around 7:15, Wanaka & Queenstown guides had a telephone hookup to go over the recent weather observations in Mt Cook area. Didn't sound that encouraging - strong winds, rain and no one had skied the region in the last 3 days, so we were not entirely sure what we would find.

But on we went. I departed around 7:30 by road with guides Chris & Adrian. Roger would leave later by plane from Wanaka and another group would fly from Queenstown all planning for arrival at Glentanner station around 9:30. Was a pleasant enough road trip over the Lindis with a brief coffee stop at Omarama. Mark and the Queenstown crew touched down almost at the same time we arrived, but Roger was held up with some weight issues on the plane, so was delayed 15-20 mins.

Then there was the usual process of getting everything weighed for the helicopters as well as the normal safety briefings. It was quite a busy scene at Glentanner with 3 machines - ours flying into the Ben Ohaus, Mark's into the Gammacks and another one doing scenic flights for the multitude of Chinese tourists.

Finally in the air around 11am and as usual for a Ben Ohaus circuit we dropped in on Mt Mary - the closest peak to Glentanner. Roger had a bit of dig and was happy with what he saw. The snow look good, probably around 40cm fresh, light and no wind affect and the skiing was great. The Ben Ohaus terrain is quite dramatic, big glacial carved valleys and the runs tend to dog leg around some rock bands.Once past the first lot of rocks which we carefully negotiated we had a nice long pitch with the same quality powder all the way down - close to around 3000 vertical ft - plenty of turns.

On other occasions we may have done just the one run on Mt Mary and continued elsewhere but with the snow as good as it was and plenty of different lines we ended up skiing it 3 times - awesome.

But then it got even better. Went to a run called CPR which I had first skied back in 1985 when Alpine Guides had the permit. Thought it was well named at the time, a run with a very long continuous pitch which after skiing nonstop on the skinny skis we had back then, you would almost need CPR.

This time we had to skip the very top part because of the avalanche risk, but there was still plenty of skiing to be done. A relatively short couple of hundred meters until we had to carefully work around another band of rocks and regroup. But then it was a very long fall line run down the valley. Snow was that good and consistent it was just a matter of a few turns to establish turn shape and rhythm then virtually engaging autopilot and repeating for probably a hundred plus turns - amazing. We quickly went back and reran than before stopping for lunch at the bottom.

Got the pilot to then drop us on the western side to have a look at a run called Shady side before he had to go back to refuel. This run wasn't quite as good, there was a slight wind affect and we did bottom out on some of the turns onto some old crust under the powder. The cover on the lower part of the run was a bit thin and we had to work our way around the rocks. Was still great skiing and most other days we would have been more than happy with it, but after the quality of previous runs we weren't going to settle for that.

Of course we knew where to go. There were still plenty of lines in CPR so back we went and hit the shady bowl skiers left of where we skied before. Snow was even a little deeper and lighter there, so we had to hit it 3 times before heading back just before 4pm so we could meet the deadline for the flights for those flying, while we hit the road again, getting back to Wanaka around 6:30pm very happy.

A brilliant day.
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
27,649
12,843
1,063
Adelaide
View of Mt Cook from Glentanner station.
162_Mt_Cook.jpg


Looking towards Mt Cook, the Tasman glacier and the Tasman lake. Quite disturbing how quickly that has grown from virtually nothing when I saw it 30+ years ago the size it is now with the retreat of the glacier.
165_Mt_Cook_Tasman.jpg
 
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass

Log in

or Log in using
Learn how membership works on these forums
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass