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 Post subject: our nz mt ruapehu season ..so far..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:49 am
Posts: 107
Location: mt ruapehu new zealand
Here in Ohakune the rain is thundering on the roof, freezing levels are high and we are in the grip of another moisture laden depression with snow at low levels a forgotten dream.. the season in new zealand started well, two good storms set up a nice base with snow to low levels, happy days..all 10 of them..and then the first low, it had potential if it could draw cold air up from the antarctic but this storm had other ideas and became stationary and started to suck warm air down from the tropics, usually when this happens and the warm wet air hits the cold dry southerly we get dumped on..but not to be..no cold air arrived and the low tracked backwards east to west which doesnt normally happen and it rained and rained and rained...

we lost all the base below 2000 metres and the snow did not arrive, next up repeat storm same thing rain to 2000m , season going backwards but snowing above 2300m, rinse and repeat as the third storm hit..no snow in july which goes against the local saying

snow in may will not stay
snow in june is too soon
snow in july we can rely!

(our season runs from late june to /thru october)

things were getting desperate with early season snowpack ,no access, blue ice terrain..on one trip i managed to find soft sun/corn snow but had to crampon back as conditions were slide for life ..nothing like a 2km high traverse across bullet proof ice with a 500m vertical exposure below you..

finally the snow did come, last week i had some well earned turns of the highest mt ruapehu quality..what we call bottomless when the edges dont hit the ice ...two short storms dropped enough snow to save the skifield though two trails a field does not make..off trail snow cover was good but the snowpack was very unreliable with a day of 100kph winds creating a 60cm slab layer sitting on blue ice..avi ratings were at considerable and i had to really choose my lines and consider my approaches to stay on the safer aspects..

it is raining now with freezing levels at 2300 metres so all snow below 2000 will be getting rinsed away..here we go again..it is forecast to snow to 1400m in two days time...thats 3 days rain one day snow backwards we go....still having my splitboard means i will be able to access everything up top for the next 3 months and if predictions are true we are supposed to get the snow late this year...so we could be touring around Xmas...or not..


ice axe and crampons only
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looking north over Waihinoa Glacier
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a favorite Girdlestone Peak
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first up mt ruapehu ,summit ridge looking towards Tahurangi Peak
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steaming crater lake, nice spot for lunch though Mt Tongariro 20kms north erupted last week!
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known as the sharks tooth, my objective on this trip
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successfully ripped..had to lap it up again..
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 Post subject: Re: our nz mt ruapehu season ..so far..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm
Posts: 5105
Location: California
SICK!!! :thatrocks:

Someday I shall return to NZ!


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 Post subject: Re: our nz mt ruapehu season ..so far..
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:39 pm
Posts: 302
The last pic (seven turns) is my new desktop picture!


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 Post subject: Re: our nz mt ruapehu season ..so far..
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:49 am
Posts: 107
Location: mt ruapehu new zealand
well well we scored today with 20cm of very dry powder..fluffy in spots..stoked to be on the pc spruce cabin....and as you all Know..any splitters heading to nz we will certainly try to show you the best ruapehu we can..snow is forecast..feels a bit like winter is kicking in...


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