Monday, May 25, 2009

autumn weekend in the AK

Sunday morning kite flying at North Head

The weekend was pretty cold, and while Wellington was getting nailed by huge winds and waves we barely noticed it up here - Sunday morning was even shorts weather. On Saturday afternoon we got all the gear out in the garage for a wax and tune. All ready to go now! Just need the Ruapehu season to open.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Woop Woop - Snow in Ohakune town, Desert Road, and National Park, Raetihi, all the places in between - and more! This happens a few times each winter, but in May? Well... no one's complaining :)

Was very hard to concentrate at work yesterday. I was constantly checking the 'net for pictures and updates from down there.... people snowboarding in their back yards and on the roadsides, kids learning to ski on the lawn...

So I don't have my own pictures to post, but I do have a picture scraping ice off my car for the second day in a row... This doesn't happen very often at my house either - not bad for the "winterless north"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

first ski field opened today

T-Bar webcam image from

Yes, Manganui (up Mt Taranaki) got clearance from DOC to open early! There is snow in the forecast for Wednesday/Thursday and they have good coverage on the T-bar. Manganui is on my list of places to go this winter.
The next field that looks set to open is Mt Hutt in the South Island on the 30th May.

now THIS is crazy

The crazy weather continues... Yesterday there was a massive hail storm at Papamoa, near Tauranga. The streets were blanketed with hail and "snow". And as one does in this summery region renowned for beaches and sun, you take to the beach for a spot of.... snowboarding.

Here is the link to the NZ Herald reader photo's. Not sure how long the links stays live, so have taken a screen dump below (photo credit goes to Marc McAllister, whoever you are!)

And here is a movie from Youtube, so you can see it in action. (Click the link, haven't worked out how to embed it yet)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

a walk in the park

Today we went to visit a friend in Taupo, but drove the long way from Auckland via Whakapapa (to drive up to the ski field and take a look at the snow.) When we arrived we discovered the road up the mountain was closed, so decided to take a walk to the Silica Rapids while we were there. Felt like a bit of a dork wearing full snowboarding kit (minus boots), but the weather forecast was for it to clag in and we knew good warm gear would be needed as we gained a bit of altitude.

At the rapids, we could see there had been a lot of snow down low that was furiously melting and filling the streams. The last part of the track is out in the open amongst tussock and low lying sub-alpine shrubs. Here we got hit by a passing snow cloud, and as we met the Bruce Road and walked down the to the gate it absolutley puked! We still couldn't see the mountain, but it was sure to be dumping up there. Woop Woop

There is still more snow forecast for the next few days. When it clears I have a feeling there will be people hiking for some turns.

Bruce Road Barrier, Whakapapa Village

found some

Mt Tongariro peeking through - view from the new house in Taupo.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

the calm in between storms

All eyes are on the weather maps and webcams. There's been some serious weather brewing below NZ and is set to start crossing over the South Island today. It's still looking like snow well into the weekend. Down south people are hiking and getting in first turns of the season too. Pictures below are from this link: volcano watch

Whakapapa side of Ruapehu

volcano vista and the Desert Road - view from the east

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Autumn Storm...

A dirty looking sequence of weather is about to hit and more snow is on the way. The Met Service predictions for the next few days till the weekend say the freezing level is set to drop to 1400-1800m. Could be just the autumn storm we need to continue to cool things down.

Here's how things looked last night - watch this space...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Crazy Weather

The past few days have been quite humid here in Auckland, temps in the late teens, some days the high got to the early 20's... Yesterday it rained solidly all day, it was grey, and the temperature barely broke 10 degrees C. No other way to describe it - it was cold! Last night the cloud broke revealing stars and a promise of the sunny day to come. I checked the volcano cam and the cloud had lifted at Ruapehu too. Ooooo, is that a dusting of fresh snow I see? :)

Today was shorts weather again. There was some swell on the East Coast, so we ventured as far north as Orewa where there were some very clean and tidy waves in the morning. Everyone was out: short and long boarders, SUP's (stand up paddlers), outriggers, surf club members out on the surf skis, and someone out the back 'skurfing'. Although it was crowded, everyone had smiles in the sun after the horrible day yesterday.

The best part for me was the view from the surf club as we had a beer afterwards. I think I even got sunburnt today, whoops. Oh well, it's an early start to the goggle tan...