Monday, May 31, 2010


Well I forgot to set my alarm for this morning, and slept half an hour over. Not a good way to start a Monday! I heard the sunrise this morning was pretty awesome. I checked my favourite VolcanoCams on the Geonet website, and here are a selection of moody shots from this morning, enjoy.

There's also been some pretty cool shots on the recent full moon. It has been clear at times at night which has made for some interesting webcam images.

The snow level has been dropping, dustings on the high points above Happy Valley at Whakapapa, and now cold enough to make snow and top up the Alpine Meadow at Turoa. More of the same please! Lets hope it doesn't melt toooooo much before opening weekend in a few weeks.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

autumn snow update

Last week in Auckland we had some rain of all rains over 2 days which well and truly broke the drought. This was followed by another weather system bringing more rain and flooding to part of the South and North Islands. Along with that there has been snow falling on all mountains and with the rain now moving off we have more snow now. This is today's weather map at 7am this morning....

Reports coming in today show Ruapehu cleared with a glorious sunrise this morning showing off her new skirt of snow. A decent dusting of 15cm down around the level of the Giant Chair at Turoa, and the Knoll Webam at Whakapapa is all white. There are flurries of snow falling and trying to nestle in Wanaka's streets, which sounds good for up high. Both Treble Cone and Cardrona nearby are reporting snow falling at their base area's, as is Porters on Facebook just now. On the news this morning they were reporting chains required at Lindis Pass, and one will also need to watch out for Porters Pass. Basically autumn/winter has hit all over, so we finally have some decent feeling snow action!!

Geonet volcano cam - Whakapapa, Ruapehu

an Ohakune Cam - Turoa, Ruapehu

Weather Watch:

  • in Ruapehu Region, Met Service says there should be snow falling to 1000m - and below - over the weekend. (that's below ski area level)
  • Met Service says the heaviest snowfalls are expected overnight for inland parts of Canterbury and North Otago overnight.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yup... we have snow at last

A nice snow cap after a few days of miserable weather
- almost down to the level of Knoll Ridge.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Whakapapa from the airport on SH47

 looking over the Desert Road (SH1, approx where the fog is)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

from the air

Yesterday I flew from Hokitika to Christchurch over the Southern Alps

Suddenly I could see a building perched on a ridge 
- and realised it was the Day Lodge at Craigeburn Valley Ski Area

Here is the accommodation at CV, nestled in the tree line.
We stayed here 2x nights last year.

Flying over the edge of Castle Hill Station, I could see Porters in the distance. The oval shape of orange amongst the brown landscape near the middle to top left of the image is the quarry on the Porters road, the road zigzags to the peak on the right, and Big Mama.

Finally, I flew from Christchurch back to Auckland, and we took a path close to Ruapehu

Sunday, May 2, 2010

clear autumn day

Today was absolutely stunning! Great day to be out on the harbour with rod and reel, unfortunately the boys didn't bring home any fish.

On the Whakapapa side, Ruapehu looks like this, a nice little snow cap on. Here is the Geonet Volcano Camera view this morning.

I have seen some awesome pics of Turoa taken from Ohakune this evening. I don't want to steal someone else images so you'll have to take my word for it... It looks like the dusting down low has stayed relatively frosty all day and while it's melted a bit, you can see it's icing sugar like to a low level. The ground is getting colder!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

webcam watch

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts webcam link

Today, the first of May, my friend and I trawled around the city's snow stores checking out the pre-season weekend sales. I left the house with a merino t shirt and jeans and summer sandals on, half wondering if I should take another layer with me. Mostly because there were sporadic rain showers more than anything else. It was still reasonably warm here in Auckland. About half way through the morning we could feel the cool wind change, and suddenly the t shirt was just a tad on the cool side.

Remember that weather forecast earlier in the week? Well the freezing level has been lifting as the time drew nearer and this morning it looked like this for Ruapehu.

Today 1 May Issued at: 11:40am 1 May 2010
Cloudy periods with a few showers, especially this evening.
Wind at 1500 metres: Southerly 40 km/h developing this afternoon and rising to 60 km/h this evening.
Wind at 3000 metres: Westerly 60 km/h becoming southwest 40 km/h this afternoon.
Free air freezing Level: Lowering to 2000 metres this afternoon

So with the day cooling down up here I was curious to see what was actually happening down there!

Quote from a friend in Ohakune on the snowco forum.
"dusting of snow down to the bottom of the giant at turoa...out the window cam....may1"

... Woop Woop

Looking at the webcams, there were snow showers mid this afternoon. On the Turoa side it settled as low down as the Alpine Meadow (1600m) but then melted. The level of snow dusting my friend could see, from his kitchen in Ohakune, is about the same as the image below taken from the Wintergarden looking up the Boneyard run on Turoa. (so approx 1700m)

On the Whakapapa side there was a snow dusting round the level of the new Knoll Ridge Cafe (approx 2000m). Then it looked like it was dumping cos you could see snow falling on the chairlift terminal roof... so lets see what's on the ground tomorrow eh?

Anyway, this is all a bit OTT. It's just a mere start, and it's wishful thinking that we'll get a crazy storms and early openings like we did last May. (see my blog archive for May 2009 posts)... but I will wish anyway!

PS: The shopping today was a success too. After trying on many many pairs of gloves last year I finally found some that fit nicely over my wrist guards without having 2 or more cm of excess space in the fingertips. They are the Marmot "Work Glove", gortex with leather palms. Looks like I will be stealthing it with black hands this winter. The old blue and grey ones must retire.