KiwiNewZ Southern Lakez Snow Report

Thursday, 13 August 1998

Free and Independent

================ KiwiNewZ Snowcam

Check out Coronet Peak, Queenstown on our snowcam! Updated daily.

================= Bruce Grant

This issue is dedicated to Bruce Grant, a dear friend, snow fiend, son of Queenstown and man of the mountains. Bruce disappeared in a fierce storm descending from the top of K2 on the 13th of August.

================= Snow Reports

Friday, 7 August - a pretty good snowfall with Treble Cone, Cardrona and the Remarks picking up an average of 20 cm, and Coronet Peak with 5 - 10 cm. It was warm and the freezing level was pretty high, half way up Coronet Peak actually. A good freeze the next night and we had boiler plate Coronet Peak and a leg breaker crust at Treble Cone. Yummee.

About Monday we started to get reports of the "mother lode" coming through Wednesday / Thursday, 2 mother lodes actually with snow forecast by lots of experts down to sea level - yes Jim Hickey even said it. Well ... story of the season... the mother lode was an average of 2 - 3 cm. And the "second wave" looks like it will be just as puny. Back to the snow making.

Cardrona wins the naturally snow prize of the week with the best all round skiing in the Southern Lakez at the moment.

** Coronet Peak.

" Freshly renovated and tilled snow on the main trails " ?&@3^% Now theirs one to get you going. With the main trails getting a bit of a hammering and the phrases "ice patches" and "a hard base" coming up quite frequently in snow reports something had to be done. So the snow manufacturing team at the Peak have re built the snow, ground up the top layer of ice at the front of the groomer then tilled it all up at the back to produce that groom that we have learned to love.

Big race series with the Coronet Cup FIS series being held in classic race conditions, clear blue days and a hard track. Our own star Claudia Reigler fell in the first run of both Slaloms, oh well. Japanese teams in town for the training dominated the results with Angus Rose and Erika McLeod the leading Kiwi's. Angus has been selected along with Nigel Gardiner to compete in the 24 Hours of Aspen ski race in December. Go boys!

Bits and pieces of snow have added to the base at the field and another 10 - 15 cm would see it set up perfectly.

** The Remarkables

Shadow basin lift is still not open, which is the only real lift on the mountain. Pretty indicative of our lot this season. Needs a few big storms to crank up. Great spot for a nice sunny day with the family or if you need a break from the Coronet Express chair.

** Treble Cone.

The big dump on Friday was a bit wet and when it froze it created all sorts of interesting snow conditions and "variable riding off piste ". A few good frosts sorted this out and a few light skiffs of snow in the last two days has put a nice icing on the top. Good skiing at the saddle t-bar but it is still a bit thin at the bottom. The 6 seater chairlift continues to express train keen snowzers up the hill.

The Austrians are loving the conditions for their race training and gate smashing. These guys read like the who's who of World rankings in skiing and are cult back home, bit like the All Blacks in New Zealand I suppose.

** Cardrona.

Looking very nice and our pick of the week for your snow experience in the Southern Lakez. Their is a good cover of snow with all facilities open and you can slide just about anywhere, watch out at the bottom of the Arcadia Chutes as there are a few rocks and obstacles around.

Cardrona prides itself on being boarder friendly and when you see all three pipes going off you could easily say boarder frenzy. Without a doubt a fantastic array of terrain to play on, in, around and over. The work that is put in to these creations has to be seen to be believed.

Dave Burtenshaw and the Quicksilver work dog team have spent days building the Quiksilver Boardercross course. 200 man hours, 1800 cubic metres of snow and a whole heap of hard work has produced a great track including a rock garden ( wear your helmet William ), rollers, jumps, multiple waves and the infamous snow tube. Watch this spectacle on Friday and Saturday from the grandstand safety of the MacDougalls Quad which goes right over the top..... and when its all over the "Quikie" course is open for all for the rest of the season .... too much.

** Waiorau Snow Farm

Long poles, skinny skis, running shoes. Have you tried it?

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Prize valid for two years. Spa bath, SKY TV, 1 minute to town, lake front, sleeps 6. Have you entered? It's easy to enter.

================ OK, how about a feathery Kiwi keyring?

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================ The BEST deal in the history of heli skiing

And that's no bull. The infamous Dan Kelly has done it again. Finalist in the Benson and Hedges with a bit of home knitting, master metal worker with the biggest gun in the west to his credit ( upstairs in the Lone Star ), designer of the stunning oilskin Bomber jackets and other AJ Hackett apparel AND prime mover of the Invincible ski area and Cozy Little Heli Hut in uptown Glenorchy Dan needs no introduction ....

So what's he up to know? Mt Larkins that's what. On Saturday, 29 August ( Sunday is the bad weather day ) Dan will whisk you from Glenorchy up to some serious mountain scenery and the chance to carve your way through a bit of avgas. Pay $95 for access in and out then pay $25 a run. Keen on the steep? Cool, just upgrade to a $50 run with some radical chutes and terrain. Now I bet you can't name one other place in the world where you can do a four run heli ski day for NZ$195! Make sure you don't miss out on this totally unique form of heli skiing ( first developed by Dan and now being widely adopted by other operators ) with all proceeds going to the Bruce Grant Memorial Trust.

To pre register send $45 with your name and phone number to Box 29, Glenorchy or contact Dan directly on ph 03 442 7939, fx 03 441 8346. Don't forget to tell him you heard about it in the KiwiNewZ Southern Lakez Snow Report!

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================ Events

School holidays are over and the event season is in full swing.

The big one without a doubt is the Quicksilver Boardriderz. This is part of an international circuit with some serious time media and big names from the international surfing and snowboarding fraternity. The mob were in Dunedin at St Clair beach for Tuesday and Wednesday and the surfing section of the competition with a good 3 - 4 foot swell, keen cool conditions and some of the local boys kicking up their heels. The boardercross will be held at Cardrona on Friday and Saturday.

The World Heli Challenge concluded on Friday. This event which is open to skiers and snowboarders acts as a qualifier for the finals to be held in Alaska this summer. Points are aggregated over three events - free ride ( i.e. extreme ski ), half pipe and Chinese downhill ( no holds barred first to the bottom ). In addition the KGB Streetstyle Big Air was held on Saturday night in downtown Wanaka. 6 000 people, 4 bands, 30 truck loads of snow, a massive scaffolding structure and 33 hard arse big air blokes and blow me down if you don't have a big party. It is BIG Air and Kiwi's took the top three places.

Somewhat more sedately ( oops, don't tell them I said that ) across the range in Queenstown we have the NZ Ski Masters. 160 competitors are in town for a week to tussle it out in the slalom, giant slalom, downhill and on the golf course .... The 1968 NZ Olympic Ski Team are having a bit of a get together, the oldest competitor is 77 and the top shelf in Queenstown will get a hammering.

>================ North Island Woes

Whakapapa. The Magic Mountain, and boy can it be magic. Live volcano, and boy can she blow.

But not this year. Due to open two months ago Whakapapa have made the bold and honest move to refund over 1 000 season pass holders their $750 ( $650 if you bought it early ). Now isn't that curious, a mountain with the cheapest season pass in New Zealand yet it has far and away the most extensive facilities - its even got the shortest chairlift in the world ( Happy Valley ). We digress .....

Good on you Whakapapa! Over the hill at Turoa they are hanging out for some snow, and hanging on to their customers money.

================ That's all folks

Thanks for joining us see ya next month. Remember we welcome any feedback, suggestions, requests, comments etc. Just email these to mailto:[email protected]. This snow report is assembled from our own observations and reports from others and while every effort is made to get it right we can not attest to the accuracy or otherwise. Happy tripping.

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