WINTER DELIVERS IN NEW ZEALAND
16th July 2019 | Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Last modified on December 18th, 2019
There’s been a good dump across NZ’s resorts. North Island is experiencing high winds & blizzards, while South Island sees the sun. UPDATED
WEDNESDAY 7TH AUGUST
Mt Ruapehu on North Island this week has claimed half a metre.
With a lot of snow comes the ice, sticking up the lift systems.
The ski areas are open, however, if with limited lifts as teams de-ice.
South Island has had less snow recently, though more is expected this weekend.
The Remarkables took 15cm on Monday 5th August but it’s been clear since then.
Around 5cm of fresh is expected tomorrow, Thursday 8th.
Treble Cone is looking forward to a few centimetres here and there this week, with 15cm to come on the weekend early.
Treble Cone skiing today:
Mt Hutt today in South Island:
MONDAY 5TH AUGUST
More snow fell on NZ’s resorts over the weekend and Monday saw a mix of sunshine and stormy weather.
There’s been disruption in blizzard conditions at the big North Island’s ski areas of Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & TÅ«roa where it has been snowing across the whole region.
“MÅrena, both ski areas are CLOSED today due to blizzard conditions. ðŸ¥¶ Bruce Rd & Ohakune Mountain Rd are CLOSED due to snow drifts and icy conditions,” the resorts said….”the Desert Rd remains closed! Stay safe out thereðŸ™
“We’ve had the groomers out overnight, with de-icers & patrol on site during the day to try and keep on top of things but there’s a lot of SNOW and the storm continues”
Whakapapa is reported to have had 120cm of snow fall in the last seven days.
The weather forecast means the whole area may not reopen until Thursday this week but the big snowfall is good news for the rest of the winter.
“What this drop does mean is that we will be set for the season, for both winter and spring skiing,” Michelle Caldwell of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts said on Monday.
On the South Island there’s been a mix of wind, cold temperatures and sunshine.
Treble Cone has had 8cm of fresh snowfall in the last 24 hours but high winds forced the closure of some chairlifts on Monday.
Coronet Peak reported sunshine after the weekend storm.
And in Mt Hutt, it was sunshine all the way….
FRIDAY 2ND AUGUST
Mt Hutt on the south island was closed for riding.
High wind was the devil.
But the skiing and snowboarding looks beautiful for Saturday riding.
However there are warnings for snow slides off piste and caution is urged by the authorities.
1st August looked gorgeous after some fresh snow.
“It’s on like Donkey Kong’, wrote the resort.
Coronet Peak had stormy weather too but along with the snow came cold weather.
20cm of natural snow fell, cannons were switched on and teams were working hard, all in the name of skiing:
And after the storm…
THURSDAY 1st AUGUST
With the good news of snow finally arriving in New Zealand’s ski areas also comes something else:
A small avalanche occurred in an out-bounds area by Queenstown resort, The Remarkables.
The snowslide happened in an off-piste area known as Scarpa Run.
The avalanche was about 20m wide, 150m long and just under a metre deep.
Specialist avalanche rescue dogs were flown in to the avalanche site.
They found snowboard tracks leading in to and out of the avalanche area.
There was no evidence that people were caught in this avalanche.
Ski area manager Ross Lawrence commented:
“Whilst we are thankful no one has been affected … it’s a timely reminder for anyone who skis or snowboards outside of the ski area boundary, that they need to be aware of the risk of avalanches and to make sure they always take the right equipment with them, including a transponder,” he said.
We’ll be updating the snow news from around New Zealand here shortly.
WEDNESDAY 31ST JULY
FRESH SNOW ALERT!
They must be stoked down under in New Zealand.
The snow has finally arrived.
And in buckets.
Only 2 months late…
But it’s here, so without further ado let’s take a look at the snowfall and excitement in New Zealand ski resorts as they enjoy the first real snowfall of the season.
The storm has dropped over 35cm of new snow on Mt Hutt.
The snow has lead to the road being closed.
Mountain workers are taken to work by heli in order to do piste grooming and trail prep:
Thursday ski day looks to be prime conditions on main trails but varied off-piste in Canterbury resort Mt Hutt.
Wanaka resort Cardrona took some very good lines this Wednesday morning in the storm.
‘Welcome back Winter!’ the resort writes on its Facebook page.
‘It’s very good to see you.’
25cm has fallen with more of the same expected through Thursday and Friday this week.
Fellow Wanaka resort Treble Cone has taken 30cm.
Skiing on the 30cm of overnight fresh:
News from Treble Cone’s social media mouth:
Call in sick, ditch school, grab your board/skis and come on up.
With 15-20 cms at the base area and 30 cms in the upper part of the Home Basin, things are definitely looking good.
There’s a SW breeze blowing at the moment and the temperature is currently -7.9ºC.
North Island’s Mt Ruapehu and Whakapapa have had theirs too.
“Mother Nature is bringing the goods and we are stoked!
“We had 10cms overnight last night at TÅ«roa, 20cms at Whakapapa and it’s still snowing right now â›„ï¸
“F R O T H I N G!
MONDAY 29TH JULY
Monday’s ski day is done and dusted in New Zealand.
North Island’s Turoa on Mount Ruapehu was cruising today.
But weather warnings warn of intense cold to arrive, with nowhere in the country to escape the wintry spell.
It’s been calm weather at The Remarkables and Coronet Peak, too, Queenstown resorts on South Island.
We’ll keep an eye out for news of then the weather cold snap arrives and what it means for resorts.
Meteorologists have moderate confidence of heavy snow above 400m around Canterbury, so for resorts of Mt Hutt, Mt Dobson.
Perhaps 20cm in resorts Tuesday/Wednesday this week.
This could be the first of three blasts of sub-Antarctic air over the next week.
Later in the week there are 5cm here and there to dust above 200m in the forecst.
What the cold weather on the horizon brings in terms of real snow we can’t be sure, but it does mean the snow cannons can get pumping.
They’ve been crucial this season in New Zealand resorts as natural snowfall has been incredibly low.
Check out Coronet Peak’s informative video on its snow guns:
THURSDAY 25TH JULY
Blue skies, cold temps, ice and hard cord.
That about sums up New Zealand’s Mt Hutt this week.
It’s more of de-icing work than snow grooming work in Canterbury resort Mt Hutt.
It’s not been a good season anywhere, really, in New Zealand this winter.
Consensus from visiting skiers and snow boarders.
One skier comments on Facebook:
@Matt Cuthill It’s July and it rained on the fresh fall of snow, not a good season this year. Optimist @Rudy Rupp commented on Tuesday: Pretty hard pack on the groomers. Twas a good day for a carving board.
Cardrona has been above the clouds all week, so it’s been a sunny one, with freeze over night and warming throughout the day.
The snow in the foreground is looking pretty sugary in this beautiful shot posted on the Facebook page:
It seems that NZ resorts are all experiencing much the same thing.
A lack of fresh snowfall with hope of better stuff to come in the remainder of Winter ’19.
It has been a fine day up on the mountain at Mt Hutt in the south island.
It seems winter has finally arrived in New Zealand?
The forecast through Sunday is snow with around 30cm expected.
Further south from Mt Hutt on South Island of New Zealand, Treble Cone also had some snow – around 20cm over the past 72 hours.
We can’t be sure when this video below was exactly taken, but it was posted on Thursday 18th July and Treble Cone had a clear day after 4cm of snow overnight.
Just check out the beauty of this place…
Further south again towards Queenstown, The Remarkables ski resort has been drier.
Fingers are crossed for snow showers this weekend.
North Island earlier this week was ready for the big storm that swept South Island.
Mt Ruapehu even experienced earthquakes and the volcano’s eruption alarms rang as the storm blew in – read more below from 16th July.
But it was all safe and the snow has arrived.
More is needed to get the ski area to the standard it wants to be at for this stage of the season:
New Zealand kids are heading back to school so the slopes will be a little emptier for skiers and snowboarders.
Cardrona has cold enough temps to swtich on the snow cannons, and we’ll take a look at the natural conditions later in the weekend.
STORM IN NEW ZEALAND CAUSES HAVOC
New Zealand is finally seeing the snow after a warm, dry start to Winter ’19.
The mountains have been pretty patchy over there with not great snow cover.
However, places in New Zealand have experienced some extreme weather in the past few days.
As the storm moves to North Island, causing havoc in ski areas, South Island resorts have welcomed a bit of snow.
A few centimetres have fallen over the weekend, with more expected this week.
Read our previous article on the New Zealand ski season here:
Rain and wind lashed South Island over the weekend.
“Heavy rain, strong winds, and of course lightning all possible, if not likely,” reported the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
“When thunder roars, head indoors.”
But as the storm moves on bringing some of the biggest snowfall this season to the southern alps, and with warmer-than-usual-weather, the risk of avalanches increases.
But as it eases in the south, the storm heads north.
Thunderstorm, avalanche and lightning warnings have been issued.
On North Island, severe weather included earthquakes, and, with high winds, triggered eruption alarms on the Mount Ruapehu ski fields.
Mt Ruapehu is an active volcano.
“Nature is testing the Ski Area eruption alarms on Mt Ruapehu this morning,” the resort wrote on its Facebook page Sunday morning.
There was no cause for concern, but the storm closed nearby TÅ«roa and Whakapapa ski areas on the weekend.
Monday riding was icy and today, Tuesday 16th July, skiing is restricted with high winds causing lift closures or – in Whakapapa’s case – complete closure.
At least the snow is in…?!
Back down to South Island and the ski resorts’ status:
Otago skiers and riders might have had a few good runs after Coronet Peak and The Remarkables received a dusting of snow on the weekend.
It’s not a lot, but it’s a start.
And more is forecast for these Queenstown resorts this week.
Cardrona Alpine Resort reported 15cm overnight on Saturday and its first real powder day on 14th July.
Wanaka ski resort Treble Cone received 15cm at the top of the home basin overnight on Saturday.
There’s been 4cm here and there since, with another 15cm expected Thursday 18th July.
Skiers have managed to enjoy the fresh, with this posted on Treble Cone’s Facebook from today’s skiing – Tuesday 16th July:
Meanwhile in Australia, skiing has had a more positive winter.
It’s been an excellent winter, in fact.
Read more of the skiing and riding in the Australian Alps here:
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