Kiwi Snow Reports.
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|I really enjoy looking at the cams in New Zealand and yours are one of the best that I have seen. So keep them on. Tina in Grantsville, MD|
Kiwi Snow Reports, New Zealand
21 June, 2002 - Free and Independent
Wow. What a wild whack of weather we've just had. A graveyard of low pressure systems flooding through the furious fifties with one at 960 HPa. The South Island has been turned white coast to coast and the North Island got struck by a lovely named "weather bomb" ... hmmm "snow bomb" sounds pretty good too. Snow bunnies popped up all over the place and a mad rush to get open and up there in the south. The north island fields thought they were in for the hell start to the season but then it went and rained .... heaps.
Tuesday 18 June on Coronet Peak was supreme. Snow texture was really bloody nice with 20cm over pretty much the whole mountain and a chorus of whoops, hollers and hrumphs echoing around the hills. Off piste was entirely OK, on piste was sweet as. Early season muscles were tested to their limits as the lucky few threw themselves around the hill with gay abandon.
Words like "epic" and "all time" flowed freely ... but let us be realistic. Not much base meant there are still quite a few holes to hit, tussocks that tug and rocks on ridges. The triple chair did another of its whammy's and is expected to be OS ( out of service ) for a few days and the t-bar wasn't open. So you see, you didn't really miss much ... not.
Epic .... no, but i still had a wide cheshire grin on the dial at the end of the day.
Evan " gosh that was good " Bloomfield
** snow takes
<Thanks> for signing up. We have trimmed the dross and settling in to the serious stuff. Over 1 840 keen snowfers have signed on including 46 David's, 16 Helen's, 64 John's and 4 Evan's. Oh OK I signed up a few times. Fascinating array of enthusiasts involved in all sorts of projects. Onya's.
< Mountain Film Festival > The Queenstown Mountainfilm Festival is New Zealand's premiere selection of stunning mountain, adventure, environmental and cultural films - designed to inspire, thrill and amaze its viewers. Thirty fantastic films over nine days (15-23 June) held at Dorothy Brown's, feature the best films from Telluride Mountainfilm Festival as well as some local/NZ masterpieces. For more information visit; http://www.queenstownmountainfilm.co.nz/
< Jam for Cash > Primo Halfpipe Jam for Cash comp on Saturday 29 June at Coronet Peak. $1500 is up for grabs with $500 going to the best senior male and female. The juniors get to fight it out for $250 each.
< Cold as ice wine > the heavy frosts followed by snow has got one Alexandra winemaker shaking in his boots. -6 deg C, an early morning picking session followed straight away with pressing and John Currie of Briarvale state is set to bottle about 800 bottles of the sweet dessert ice wine.
< DC3 slides in to > one of New Zealand's earlier passenger planes the old NAC ( National Airways Corporation ) DC3 slid of a snowy Glentanner runway just out of Mt Cook recently. Operated by Pionair for American visitors these charters have become popular since Air New Zealand stopped flying in to the Mt Cook airfield. Anyone who has landed there will know the treat flying down the Mueller glacier with mountains lining each wingtip and swooping in to land on the river. Now did I ever tell you about the heli skiing and boarding at Mt Cook?
All over the place. Know what I mean? In the words of one patroller at Coronet Peak - "we deserve it!" - I agree.
Snow areas scrambling to bring forward there opening dates and get up to speed. Rumours have it getting caught with their proverbial pants down. Eft Pos machines not available, staff training not completed and summer projects not quite finished, pity if anything changed I suppose.
And what did it all come from? Well one of those low pressure systems heading straight for Milford Sound. Here are two nice little maps from one of my favourite New Zealand weather sites www.metvuw.com. This site is run by Jim McGregor at the Victoria University Earth Sciences Department. They were issued on Thursday 13 June at 6pm.
Here's a nice little table showing reported new snow falls from four of the local fields. Most give a mid mountain reading and quote the amount of snow in the last 24 hours ... roughly. A few gaps coz getting some of this information is like trying to find snow in the Sahara ..... but you get the picture.
Looks like Coronet and a few other southern peaks are due
some more snow on Sunday as well :-)
Many of you will know we run a competition to guess when snow will fall on the trees in our Coronet Cam shot.
All bets are on again. This Sunday is looking pretty big again. Hoon on over to enter again.
Here's the official version on the $3.5 million spent this summer on the big chief;
"The summer has seen tremendous activity at both Whakapapa and Turoa. "Happy Valley" beginners area has undergone a real transformation. It's now a third larger and has seen the addition of a new 320 metre double chairlift and the relocation of two platter lifts. Generations of beginners to come will also rejoice in the news that all the rope tows have been removed.
"Final consent has just been received for a major expansion of snowmaking at Whakapapa. This is the first stage of taking snowmaking capabilities to the upper mountain and includes trails on the Rockgarden and Hut Flat areas. Fifteen new snow guns will arrive in May taking the total at Whakapapa to 25.
"Turoa sees an increase in snowmaking capacity on Clary's Track. We've also completed a re-fit of the High Noon T-bar and a major project to refurbish and double seating capacity at the Giant Cafe.
No rope tows in happy valley? Eeek. Wots the world coming to? Next they will be trying to take the nutcrackers away from Craigeburn!
Treble Cone - Was opening 20 June but settled back to Saturday 22 June. 50cm snow depth. 30cm of new snow has fallen at base over the past week. 50cm fell at T2 and 80cm in the Saddle.
Coronet Peak - for all you dis believers
here are reports from two days a pole apart
Cardrona - Was opening 22 June. Still opening 22 June. All facilities, all lifts. 25cm packed base on main trails. Grooming and snow clearing underway. 40cm average off piste and wind affected.
This year Cardrona has taken responsibility for its own snow camera the goal being to "improve the image quality, reliability and offer a wider range of services". Refreshed every hour from 8am - 4pm daily. The image is larger and clearer than many I have seen, apparently they have a reasonably swish camera with "superior white balance and metering functions."
Check out there brand new Cardona Cam at;
Snow Park and Snow Farm - As soon as there is enough snow to set tracks the Snow Farm will open for Cross Country Skiing. Current Situation on 18 June - there has been enough snow to pack track Main St, Merino Glen & Mary’s Trail . New for the 2002 season is a cafe area for families with their own lunches and a children's play ground. The Snow Park is looking to open in late June.
Don't you love those government URL's.
This is a U.S. Historical Snow Data Base from Rutgers University with digital data set containing daily information on snowfall and snow depth for approximately 1000 NOAA observing stations in 47 of the 48 conterminous U.S. with data from 1910 or earlier to 1986.
Or if we stick with the Eastern Bloc check out the Historical Soviet Daily Snow Depth Version 2 (HSDSD) CD-ROM available at US$50, which includes shipping and handling.This little gem has an HTML interface and Java tool for data browsing and extraction with data spanning from 1881 to 1995. Parameters include snow cover percent, snow characteristics, site characterization, and quality flags. Data is based on observations from 284 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stations throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union. The area covered is 35 to 75 degrees north latitude and 20 to 180 east longitude.
Got to be a bargain. I'll have two.
Here is the official version;
"AIR New Zealand has sold its three ski areas to a group of New Zealand-based operators for $27 million. New owner of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mount Hutt - nzski.com - is Southern Alpine Resort Recreation (SARR).
"This is a joint venture including: Australasian Alpine, formed by the senior management team of nzski.com and Millbrook Resort founder Graham Smolenski; Tourism Milford, owner/operator of the Milford Track Guided Walk and the Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook; Queenstown-based Trojan Holdings."
Now SARR is a bit close to SAR ( Search and Rescue) for my liking but what's in a name anyway? What's more important is what's it mean for skiing and riding on some of the southern hemispheres best snow areas?
Local gossip rag and fountain of insider knowledge the Mountain Scene named the stake holders as "John Davies and family controlling 50%, Graham Smolenski 20%, senior managers from nzski.com 20% and Andrew Brinsley 10%.
That's all good for you and me is my pick. A nice little mix of local business people with families who are all into skiing and riding themselves. A cornerstone shareholder with deep pockets, a couple of local lads made good and the management at the coal face. Great to see such a big fun park owned and operated by kiwis.
John Davies came to town as a sheppard but now has a wide range of businesses including Northern Southland Transport, The Milford Track and Routeburn Guided Walks and The Hermitage Hotel at Mount Cook. He has been Mayor of Queenstown and is currently chairman of the Queenstown Airport. Getting the picture? He can almost moves mountains ( more on that later ) isn't scared of direct action ( early morning bulldozer ride anyone? ) and puts out quality products ( stayed at the new Hermitage?).
Graham Smolenski has been involved in the development of both Nugget Point and Millbrook ( heard of them?). Andy Brinsley managed AJ Hackett Bungy in the early days ( jumped off that? ), set up then sold Pipeline Bungy and is currently co owner of Kawarau Jet. Andy's mum Barbs is as close to royalty that we have in Queenstown.
So what's with all the personal stuff? Well these are the people that are going to help steer nzski.com in to the future along with existing CEO Duncan Smith and the rest of the senior managers. So it's good to know who is in charge. And what can we expect from this new team? Well more about that in the next issue, but here are three little projects I think they should get started on;
1. New lifts for the peak - well rumour has it that the triple chair is going to the Rocky Gully T-Bar and being replaced by a new chair and the t-bar is going to Greengates. Not a bad start.
2. Lets have another thousand - invite John Lee of Cardrona over with his earth moving machines and add another thousand feet to the peak. That will deal to that global warming thing. Were not greedy. Lets have a thousand metres.
3. NZ$27 million? Pah. - get serious and spend NZ$270 million. A 120 person cable car at Mt Cook that takes you in 8 minutes up 3,000 metres to a 500 person Alpine Hotel with 240 km of groom and 3,000 hectares of off piste serviced by 10 detachable quads ...... oh la la.
Those in the know may have visited snowreports.co.nz last season. Well they are back online with this seasons offerings, a fresh simple look and easy to use snow report that at a glance will tell conditions at major areas.
A key strength of the site is that it is uncluttered with no advertising ... well there is one Dopplemayer banner.
The site is the brainchild of Peter Foote of Mount Dobson Ski Area in Fairlie and he has helped coordinate and find sponsors for the site on behalf of the snow industry. Mr Foote says the site is industry driven and is completely independent with no commercial advertising. Skiers and snow boarders can gain fast, easy access to snow reports - without all the clutter.
Although the site is focused on providing snow reports it also contains links to all the ski areas web sites, trail maps for many of the areas, and snow cams for several areas as well.
Technology plays a major part in the site with the information being distributed to many other sites automatically, using a process called "syndication". Sites such as nzoom.com, boarderzone.com, and Vodafone's mobile services gain access to the reports via XML. These sites can then display the reports in real time in the format they wish - whether it be on a mobile phone or another web site.
The site has been developed by Christchurch web developers Cabbage Tree Creative and Lawrence Smith, the "Chief Cabbage". Onya Lawrence and other cabbages
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