Snow Report 18 July 2012 - Australia & New Zealand


This past week saw snowsports enthusiasts waiting (im)patiently for the rain across Australia to turn to snow. Wow, how the temperatures hovered tantalisingly (but ultimately disappointingly) around 0c or above - the colder air took longer than expected to arrive. Thankfully most of the Australian resorts had some fresh snow on Sunday and Monday after a wet week. This coming weekend  is looking fine with some sun, so a perfect time to learn or improve skills. Unfortunately, there's not much snow in the forecast for another few weeks which is a shame as continued storms would boost the ski season for a really good year rather than just maintaining the snow cover.

Mt Hotham
Snow Depth: 75-107cms
We skied Hotham on Friday 13th - our first day of the season for 2012! Perhaps because of this we managed to put up with the generally crappy, warm and wet conditions with the occasional lightning strike. However, I would say that the skiing in Heavenly Valley early in the day was pretty good. Soft snow meant that everywhere was skiable at Heavenly. The Twilight Zone run was very enjoyable, and perfect for Friday 13th! The Orchard was fairly patchy on Friday, but the 10cms or so on Sunday and Monday would have kept it open and brought Hotham out even after the rainy days.
Powder Day at Falls [Source: Falls Creek Facebook page]

Falls Creek
Snow Depth: 73-107cms
Falls Creek was pretty unpleasant on Saturday 14th, with pellets of frozen rain in the face when skiing and while on the lifts (free skincare treatment?). The visibilty was rubbish also, and lifts had to close focusing the people who did brave the weather on the Towers and Wombat's Ramble area. It began to snow on Saturday afternoon and by Sunday morning Falls claimed 20cms of fresh. The conditions were brilliant for skiing and boarding on Sunday morning with better visibility opening up the off-piste powder across Sun Valley and Ruined Castle. Lots of slightly heavy powder to be had for those in the know and we were all hooning around Quartz Ridge getting lots of powder goodness. No pics I'm afraid - far too busy skiing! The Maze still needs more snow, but cover is pretty much complete across the resort.

Mt Buller
Snow Depth: 12-71cms
Buller had another horror wet week, recovering with a little snowfall on Saturday/Sunday that was oh so desparately needed. Conditions are therefore pretty much the same, if maybe a little worse on the ground. Snowmaking areas like Bourke Street, Summit and Wombat will provide the best skiing for the foreseeable future.


Blimey ... from dry as a bone to soaking wet in one week! The warm tropical moisture that gave Australia problems late last week steamed across the Tasman drenching both islands over the weekend. The north of the South Island which, ironically had been doing the best this season, copped the worst of it but nowhere escaped entirely. A bit of snow at the end of the system provided some relief and some positivity, but some skifields are still to recover. New Zealand skifield marketing - from the commercial skifields at least - has been fairly crap in truthfully reporting snow conditions over the past week.

Porters [Source: Porters Website]
North Canterbury & Nelson

Rainbow (10-55cms) is now closed as the rain washed away part of their access road; while Hanmer Springs (5-100cms) lost too much cover at the bottom to be able to run its ski lifts for the timebeing. Mt Lyford (40-100cms) had a good enough cover to survive a tough weekend.


Porters (30-70cms) looks a bit patchy and skiing is limited to the groomed runs alongside the T-bars. Mt Hutt (75-80cms) also lost a good deal of snow, which has appeared to close the International area and the Triple Chair. Temple Basin, Craigieburn and Mt Olympus had to close and are waiting for new snowfalls.

The Mackenzie

Ohau (60-80cms) has little cover going by the webcams with limited off-trail skiing.

Coronet Peak [Source: Coronet Peak website]

Treble Cone (40-60cms) got some rain but then scored a nice 10cm top-up at the end. Most of this was in the Saddle Basin and the lower part of the Home Basin looks like it has little snow. Cardrona (50-55cms) doesn't need much snow to open a lot of runs, which is fortunate ... as it doesn't have much at all. The skifield nearly lost the wonderful Captains area in the rain, but has now reopened it. Valley View was not so lucky and remains closed.


Skiing is mostly limited to snowmaking runs at Coronet Peak (50-80cms). The Remarkables has a snow depth of 35-55cms.

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