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AVALANCHE WARNINGS ACROSS NZ - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Monday August 14, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Back to avalanche warnings after intense 24hrs snowfall in New Zealand. Resorts closed & many mountain areas high risk. UPDATED


Thursday 17th August

Monday, many resorts were battered with snow.

Heavy duty dig outs for most resorts lead to the most perfect of ski days early in the week.

Then snow came back and the Thursday ski day saw many resorts closed as access roads were unpassable and the hills unsafe.

My Hutt was closed Thursday as were the Queenstown resort of Coronet Peak:

The Remarkables remained open with rain at the base but snow half way up the mountain.

Cardrona also was open, but the FIS Continental Cup has been postponed until Friday.


Image taken from car hit by avalanche on Mt Hutt access road, 16th August

Stay safe out there riders.

Tuesday 15th August


Some visual updates following the snow-sends and dig-outs in New Zealand resorts.

Mt Dobson after several days closed:

Mount Hutt is rebuilding its terrain parks after huge, huge amounts of new snow:

Mt Hutt this weekMt Hutt this week

Mount Hutt Tuesday 15thMount Hutt Tuesday 15th

Live on a bluebird day in Cardrona - Wednesday 16th August:

Snow flurries expected this evening after a clear day in Cardrona.

In The Remarkables:

The Remarkables"Best snow of season" in The Remarkables

Winter has struck big with bumper snowfall & bluebird days.

We've never been more jealous of ski days Down Under...

Monday 14th August

It's stepped up a gear in New Zealand.

Many resorts have been forced to close due to the hefty snow dump that started over the weekend through Monday.

Heavy snow and clouds lead to the closure of the South Canterbury ski fields of Mt Dobson, Lake Ohau and Roundhill.

Mt Dobson on Saturday 12th was experiencing blizzard conditions and so closed over the weekend.

And early Tuesday 14th morning the resort's marketing manager, Mike Smith, gave comments to a local news outlet:

"The road is 15kms of snow constantly falling on it, with the snow and the low cloud it reduces the visibility to next to nothing.

"We are taking it hour by hour at the moment, as the snow clears we can get up there and get things moving."

Things are looking up for later in the day.

And tomorrow, well...

Mt DobsonMt Dobson

Mount Hutt has had 1.2m of snow, with the depth still rising.

There are delays to open today - Tuesday ski day - due to snow clearing.

The resort is heli-bombing to help with avalanche control.

Sporadic snow is expected this week.

Facebook reports these ski conditions:

A thin breakable rime layer formed right at the end of the storm but we have been reliably informed by staff on the mountain that there is some damn good skiing and riding out there.  

Monday ski day snow:

But down in Canterbury, residents are suffering from the torrential rain.

Severe weather warnings are in place after slips, flooding and closed roads plague the city and plains.

The rain looks to be easing, finally.

The coastal town of Akaroa near Christchurch was underwater on Monday after near to 12cm of rain fell between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon.

Flooding in Akaroa. Photo taken from in Akaroa. Photo taken from

And just weeks before the Winter Games NZ kick off, Queenstown local resorts also had a big snow weekend.

Falling more modestly, the resorts were open and skiing looked sublime...

Cardrona on Saturday:

Cardrona Tues 15th morningCardrona Tues 15th morning

However the area ran into problems over the weekend.

The police had rescued more than a dozen motorists stuck in snow late Saturday evening.

On Sunday Coronet Peak received 20cm of snow and over the basin in The Remarkables the best part of half-a-metre was dropped over night, Sunday.

"The last couple of days have made a big difference," NZSki area manager of The Remarkables, Ross Lawrence, said.

"It's dry snow but pretty dense, so people are skiing and boarding out everywhere and anywhere today.

"We've got a good crowd up here; about 3000, even though the weather's pretty claggy with the cloud.

"The next three days are looking good."

The Remarkables will host the Games' big mountain event The 2017 North Face Frontier Freeride World Qualifier in early September.

"We definitely want more snow even, because those guys are in off-piste terrain, doing big drops," Mr Lawrence said to the Otago Daily Times.

The Remarkables patrol team at work to make the mountain safe on Monday:

And Tuesday 15th morning conditions:

The Remarkables Tues 15th'Packed powder and fresh silk'


Sunday 13th August

New Zealand has enjoyed its weekend of powder.

Here's  an update of snow conditions over the weekend:

Mt Hutt is feeling the frustrations of winter.

The ski area is open for business with a nice overnight dump of snow on Saturday night but skiers were not able to get there.

The access road was closed as the grit they were using had no effect in places and sections were considered dangerous.

You can see the ice gleaming on the road in the video below, as they made their announcement.

On Sunday morning, skiers for Mt Hutt  got this message in a facebook post along with the above video.

Mt Hutt said, "We're really sorry folks - as much as we hate to do this to you - we have to close the mountain. Our grit is not sticking to the severe black ice that has worsened through the middle section of our access road since 6am and we can not make the road safe for vehicles."

"Mt Hutt is open - starting off with the Quad chair and conveyor carpets at 9am and then looking to open the Summit 6 and Triple later this morning if winds decrease as forecast."

How frustrating!

Over in Mt Ruapehu, there has been some overnight snow on Sunday  - "Absolutely dumping at Whakapapa" - see video below:

We are looking forward to seeing the photos later.

And this is what it looked like earlier on Sunday at Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa and Turoa ski area.. nice!

There's fresh snow at Treble Cone too - with more falling on Sunday night below:

Judging by the photos below Coronet Peak had a great Sunday too.

They commented on facebook  "What a great day with 15+ cm mountain wide! Clouds were present through the morning but lifted for a fantastic afternoon of skiing and riding. Tomorrow will be another great one!

Coronet Peak - Sunday 13th August 2017Coronet Peak - Sunday 13th August 2017

Coronet Peak - Sunday 13th August 2017Coronet Peak - Sunday 13th August 2017

A Happy Sunday evening at Coronet Peak:

Thursday 10th August

As Oz gets its long-awaited snow session, New Zealand is also experiencing some new action.

But it's a serious note...


Yesterday warnings were given to hikers to steer clear of five of New Zealand's most popular peaks due to the risk.

The New Zealand Herald reported the no go mountain zones to be:

  • Tongariro
  • Ruapehu
  • Ngauruhoe
  • Taranaki
  • Aoraki Mt Cook

But the forecast rain turned to snow in popular ski resorts:

And there is snow forecast this weekend in many.

And in Treble Cone they're expecting heavy snow over the weekend.

Mt Ruapehu on the Thursday ski day:

Cardrona FacebookCardrona on 8th August














Cardrona today, Friday 11th ski dayCardrona today, Friday 11th ski day
















Coronet Peak wrote this on Facebook, dispelling the rumours and worries of rain:

'If you heard rain last night don't be fooled!

There's a couple of cm's of fresh snow on the mountain with more forecast over the weekend! "

Treble Cone ThursdayTreble Cone Thursday














Treble Cone on Friday 11th ski morningTreble Cone on Friday 11th ski morning















And there has also been some recent heavy snow in Australia.

And with it the increased and real danger of avalanches.

A closer look at the back country Mount Hotham, Australia snow slide on 8th August:


It's been snowing since Thursday in Australia's New South Wales and Victoria resorts.

Over 1 metre has been recorded in some resorts, such as Hotham and Perisher.

The Thundersnow storms that hit Sunday and Monday has been dubbed The Blizzard of Oz.

However, an increase in temperature and strong winds are creating a high risk of avalanche in many areas.

There have been some slides already and warnings are out there.

Read more here about the storm that has swept through Australia:

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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