POUNDED BY POWDER
7th September 2016
A huge snowstorm in New Zealand has left people trapped in resorts with roads closed and lifts shut. The weather has now cleared with great skiing to be had. Check out our latest report with new pictures & videos. NEW & UPDATED
The wintry blast has dumped more fresh powder at ski resorts in New Zealand as the end of the season approaches.
Over 50cm has fallen and there have been high winds.
80 people have been trapped in three lodges at the Tukino Ski Field as the blizzard hit.
40 student were snowed in for 48-hours at Mt Ruapehu.
The snow has eased off and the roads are being cleared and the people are expected to be able to leave shortly.
See here for further details in the NZ Herald.
Huge amounts of snow have falled across all the ski resorts.
On Thursday there was 55cm of fresh spring snow at The Remarkables.
And here is the car park on Saturday as the storm lifted.
Hundreds and hundreds of skiers and snowboarders have been heading for the slopes.
However it caused an 8km traffic jam on the road to Coronet Peak with people delayed for over an hour.
“We appreciate your frustration, but we’re working hard to get Coronet Peak open! We’ve had teams working all night on the mountain in an effort to open as soon as we can. Unfortunately, the storm has just kept coming at us and with massive amounts of drifting snow all the way down the road and into the carparks,” said a statement from the resort.
“Thanks for your patience . . . you will be rewarded when you make it up ‘cos the snow’s amazing!”
The clear up is taking place and this is what it looks like.
The Cardrona ski area was also affected by the recent storm hitting the region with “15cms of fresh snow with over 50cm wind drifts at Cardrona”.
Not as much snow as at The Remarkables or Coronet Peak, but still enough additional snow coverage to make a difference.
Over at Mount Ruapehu, 30cm of fresh snow overnight Wednesday/Thursday resulted in the Turoa ski area being closed, though Whakapapa was able to open first thing.
As darkness fell and on into the early hours of Friday morning, the clearance teams were out in force.
“While you’re sleeping, our night crew work hard on getting everything primo up here for your visit,” the resort team posted on Facebook.
“Step 1: road clearing! Will you be here when the storm clears?”
The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence said on Wednesday that snow had blanketed trails with wind-blown powder pockets off-piste.
“Visibility’s been variable and wind conditions are definitely wintry, but those up here are wrapping up warmly and enjoying some great powder,” he said.
“Friday’s looking likely to be a bluebird day with the best winter snow you’ll see in spring!
“It’s not unusual for September to lull us into enjoying spring conditions and warmer temperatures, then hit us with a reminder that winter’s still got a sting in its tail.”
Whilst on the 6th September at Treble Cone it was glorious powder heaven.
— Treble Cone (@treblecone) September 6, 2016
And today at Treble Cone #epicpow
— Sophie Luther (@sophluther) September 7, 2016
Cooler temperatures are forecast for the next 10 days so it looks as if there’s still some decent skiing and snowboarding to be had in the southern hemisphere.
Over in South America they’ve been having some great late season weather too.
Portillo Ski Resort in Chile posted this photo on its Facebook page.
And this was Las Lenas in Argentina at the weekend ….
And this was Las Lenas this week, after the storm passed….
Meanwhile, we’ve been getting some unseasonal summer snow in North America.
This is Sunshine Village near Banff in Canada earlier this week.
See here for our earlier report with more photos of recent snow.
And just in case you are wondering it is very warm in the Alps at the moment with limited summer skiing.
However it has been a good summer overall.
“I have been based in Cervinia in Italy over the summer months and have been skiing up on the Zermatt glacier with people from the Academy,” said the ski instructor Warren Smith.
The Warren Smith Ski Academy runs a series of courses over the summer and will be starting its autumn schedule in Cervinia shortly – see here for further details.
“It has been unbelievable with some of the best conditions I can remember in the past decade or so. We have had hard-packed snow up to early afternoon and there have been more and more people out enjoying summer skiing and snowboarding. What is encouraging is the growing number of recreational skiers and not just the pros on courses or doing race training,” added Warren.
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.
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