HEAVY SNOW HITS NZ AGAIN
31st July 2016
After a poor start winter is back with a vengeance. Roads are closed, some people have been trapped on the mountain & a group in Coronet Peak survived an avalanche. UPDATED
The group of off piste skiers was in an ‘out of bounds’ section of the Hidden Valley area.
It was up to half a metre deep and was measured by the authorities as a Size Two slide.
The four managed to ski to safety and the resort flew in two avalanche patrollers with their dogs by helicopter to ensure no-one else was caught in the slide.
It illustrates the state of the snow and the temptations to enjoy fresh powder after a poor start to the ski season in New Zealand as we reported earlier.
Conditions now are described as the best of the winter with up to 30 cm of fresh snow in the past 24 hours at some resorts and Coronet Peak claims 65cm over the past 4 days.
The heavy snow has also caused some closures.
Coronet Peak and Mt Ruapehu both closed their access roads at times due to heavy snow and high winds.
There were full car parks as thousands headed to the fresh powder on Sunday.
“We’ve reached capacity in our car parks today and we’ve had to temporarily close the access road. The chain bays have been filled and we have squeezed as many cars onto the hard shoulder as is safely possible,” said a statement from Coronet Peaks.
“The Remarkables still have plenty of spare capacity today otherwise, we expect some of our car parking spaces to become free after lunchtime today as people start to depart. Sorry for the inconvenience!!” it added.
And here is what it looks like in the neighbouring resort of The Remarkables:
At Mt Ruapehu up to 30 people had to stay overnight after the access road was closed. They have now been escorted down.
Cardrona had to shut down parts of the lift system due to high winds.
Some vehicles left in the car parks needed to be dug out.
Elsewhere conditions in the southern hemisphere remain good with heavy snow in Southern Africa.
For an earlier PlanetSKI story looking at conditions in Australia, New Zealand, South America and Southern Africa then see here.
The resort of Afriski in Leotho reports 80cm of fresh snow in the last week.
And over in South America Portillo in Chile also claims 80cm of fresh snow:
While below are a few more images of the snow in the southern hemisphere.
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