Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Goggle tan - whoops

I feel kinda bad for not writing anything last week as the last weekend of the school holidays was spent nice and dry indoors - but this weekend just gone was bluebirds and more than made up for it... especially for a weekend warrior like myself.

The weather immediately before the weekend was rather ick to say the least, but by Sat 25th it was clear blue skies and predicted to be that way for a few days. Both sides had a some freshies, it was cool and clear and the snow was nice off trail - so plenty of room for the weekend masses to spread around. (good spots of stash if you knew where to look too) Of note, there were obvious mini avo triggers close to the trails. Eg: Sisters, Amphitheatre, Hamiltons... some self triggered and some patrol triggered. Impressive booms of avalanche work continued in the morning.

The Spy/Elan Jib Nat's were on in the terrain park and I spent a couple of hours here, peeled back to a Tshirt and thermal under sunny skies. I was there to support an extended family member and a few other mates who had entered. I tell ya there is a hot new generation of skiers and boarders coming through, keep an eye out for them in the months years to come.

Into Sunday - cool clear and blue skies once again - stoked. Did anyone notice the crazy cloud over Taranaki way in the morning? It was weird - I wish I got a picture! Bit firmer than the day before and still plenty of people to negotiate round. But we spent another full day at Turoa pausing at the Giant cafe right before the lifts closed admiring the sun over the water on the west coast and soaking it all in before the last run of the day.

Monday - Groundhog day! I had booked this day off work ages ago, not expecting to get 3 bluebird days in. Another firm day at Turoa, and another big day. Goggle tan starting to take full effect... whoops, I hope the new sunscreen works a bit better than the old one...

Retro GS at Turoa next weekend - see you there.

Monday, July 13, 2009

a day at Turoa

Whoever put this sign up is a genius!

It’s been a good week for the first week of the school holidays – open all week with some freshies to boot. Being stuck at work you end up watching it all happen from afar – checking out the webcams, see the piccies on facebook, read the stories on snowco, and even here in the AK you can hear familiar Ohakune voices doing the snow reports on the radio.

But it wasn’t all sloppy leftovers at Turoa on Saturday. Yes chopped up, and shaved off to ice in some places, but people still stoked to be out on the snow which was still dry and lovely to ride up high where the crowds spread out. The weather was still good too before the gale force winds closed the mountain on Sunday.

Hiking to the summit at Turoa

For those more adventurous, hiking was on. Many people took the early season hike up to the summit (including my lovely boyfriend), and some also ventured out west with a little hike out depending where they went.

Skiers at Turoa

I did not mention that last weekend I tweaked my knee in a fall on the Saturday. For a moment there I thought it was all over and another trip off to the hospital. But it’s been holding up ok, and the week of rest did it good. No swelling or bruising, so it appears to be rather minor – whew! It was not 100% back on the slopes, so I had a cruisy day staying in nice and close spending most of my day in the vicinity of the Jumbo T.

Next weekend is Retro Day at Turoa! Saturday the 18th. Bust out the one piece, the old board or straights - see you there.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

3 out of 3

On the drive down we heard on the radio that the severe storm alert/warning (or whatever it was) had lifted just as quickly as it was put in place - gotta love NZ weather!

If ever there was a day to say "if you weren't here you missed it" - it was Sunday at Whakapapa. I thought winter08 had some pretty epic powder days for our wee rock, but Sunday had to be the driest, softest, freshest I have ever been in. It was dumping while we were there too, and there's nothing quite like a big fresh layer of snow loading up your lap as you ride the chair.

Sunday on the Waterfall Express Chair

As hoped the upper mountain was all go for the first weekend of the holidays. On Sunday the Rock Garden was going off, Staircase was full, bypass round the Waterfall was all go, as was down the Waterfalls. Vis during the snowstorm was not the greatest, with soft landings all over that didn't matter. From the chair the only way we could tell the difference between skiers and boarders was the way their body was facing, as you couldn't see anything from their knees down.

RAL Snow School Instructor gets amongst it

The Waterfall T was open and this was where we stayed. There was no on or off trail, just snow! Even the trail markers were near buried. My friend did a flying squirrel at one point and her skis shot through the soft snow out of sight. Digging them out, we were up to our thighs in what can best be described as 'air' - and this was right by the T Bar line.

Monday we returned to Whakapapa, but unfortunately it had crusted over like vogels toast off trail. The sun was out and all the families had arrived for the school holidays. Te Heu Heu Valley was open so there more more groomed trails to spread around on. Add in our first day at Turoa and we got 3 out of 3 days, yay.

Monday - view up the Staircase

Monday - Valley T, ready to go

Saturday morning at Turoa

Friday, July 3, 2009

July School Holidays...

...start tonight! (end Sunday July 19th for those who want to know) Good news, there's been a heap of new snow this week. North and South. MORE due this weekend too. A storm warning has been issued by the met service, so the next few days might not be that pleasant, but then there will be freshies!

This morning we woke to the news that the Desert Road closed overnight. Volcano Watch gives us a peek of the view and what is to come. Enjoy.