Snow Report 29 August 2014 - Australia & New Zealand


Howdy everyone! Spring is just around the corner, and it certainly feels like its already arrived here in Melbourne with this run of warm, sunny days. While its a treat for the sun to be warmer and out and about more in the city, the mountains really could have done with a few more weeks of winter to keep the great snow cover we've had this year.
Mt Hotham 23.08.14

There haven't been any significant snowfalls in Australia for quite some time now, and the warm days and sunshine over the past couple of weeks has definitely affected the snow cover on the lower slopes at all ski resorts.

The good news is that there is still plenty of snow sticking around up high, and a good chance of a return to colder weather next week with some cool changes and colder, snow-bearing fronts arriving. That should keep us skiing well into September.

We were up at Mount Hotham (108/96cms) on the weekend staying in pretty little Harrietville.

Saturday turned out mostly sunny with a few clouds passing across Mt Feathertop and Mt Loch and little wind. On the drive up on Saturday morning it was amazing to see all the snow gone right up to the mountain summits on the sun-exposed faces.

A light freeze overnight meant the groomed runs on the sunny slopes provided the best skiing early.

Mt Hotham 23.08.14
The loss of snow lower down at Hotham was noticeable, compared to three weeks earlier. Perhaps half a metre has gone from the slopes down low, opening up revealing rocks and bushes.

Blue Ribbon lift was closed, and Lower Playground was very bushy! Compare this to my earlier report from Hotham.

But Heavenly Valley still has plenty of snow cover. The Orchard is starting to look patchy at the bottom, but it was good fun both on and off-piste on the cloudier Sunday as the snow held up well.

Falls Creek (105/90cms) still has great cover except for the lower parts of the mountain, like down at lower Wombats Ramble and the bottom of The Maze. But The Summit and the Sun Valley slopes still look great.

Mt Buller (101/57cms) is going OK but some lower slopes have had to close, including around Boggy Creek and Federation.

At Perisher (154/65cms) there are 45 of 48 lifts in operation and all areas are still open. The snow cover is holding up really well. At Thredbo all lifts are running. You'd expect it to be thin on the bottom slopes but there is plenty of snow up high.


Sunshine has been the order of the day over much of New Zealand after the great early August snowfalls. New Zealand has been under the big high pressure system also.

Cardrona 27.08.14 [Source: Cardrona FB page]
While the sunshine is welcome for a time, its good to note that the weather is set to change in New Zealand as well and hopefully deliver the goods to set up some great spring skiing.

The challenging conditions continue in parts of Canterbury but there is some great skiing to be had down around Queenstown and Wanaka.

North Canterbury and Nelson

Hanmer Springs (10cms) looks unlikely to reopen unless there is a huge dump. Mt Lyford (25cms) was open today with a thin cover of spring snow. Although there hasn't been any snow for two weeks, Rainbow (70/50cms) is still looking pretty nice and its a place that really shines in the sun.


Porters (85/75cms) is open to the top of the mountain but skiing is mainly on groomed runs. Mt Hutt (85/70cms) has got great skiing on its groomed runs as usual and a little off-piste available on Towers.

The Remarkables 24.08.14 [Source: Remarks FB page]
The Mackenzie

Mt Dobson (45cms) has main runs open. Roundhill (40/20cms) has its beginners and intermediate areas open. Ohau (120/70cms) still looks pretty good but a little rocky off-piste. Could do with a top-up.


Cardrona (115/85cms) has all lifts open still and off-piste on the upper slopes. Similar deal at Treble Cone, where the Saddle Basin has off-piste skiing and Home Basin is more limited to trails the further down you go.


At Coronet Peak (75/55cms) the snowmaking has helped keep the trails fresh and all lifts are open. The Remarkables (180/110cms) looks like it is the place to be on the South Island!


Snow Report 14 August 2014 - Australia & New Zealand


G'day everyone. We are nice and deep into the peak ski season now and sliding and riding towards spring with almost two months of great snow behind us and hopefully more to come.

Falls Creek 09.08.14
It was a warm start to the weekend in Australia with high daytime temperatures and light winds, meaning pleasant conditions but a bit of melting snow in the Australian Alps.

Sunday saw a bit of snow fall in Victoria and New South Wales as a weather front just clipped the southeast of the continent. Temperatures then dropped considerably, making for good snowmaking conditions all this week.

Fine conditions have continued through the week, with cold temperatures keeping the snow in good nick. Some rain is forecast for the end of the weekend, and into next week this may turn to snow. Hopefully the temperatures stay cool so there's more snow than rain.

We were lucky to be up at the wonderful Falls Creek (160/121cms) on the weekend. After a couple of years since our last visit, I'd forgotten how incredibly beautiful it is up there on the Bogong High Plains of Victoria. It is, in my opinion, certainly the best setting of any Alpine resort in Australia or New Zealand. The views to the High Plains, across the lake, and up to Mt Bogong ... stunning.

Falls Creek 10.08.14
On Saturday morning there was a light fog which had settled a few metres above the herds of cows in the Kiewa Valley. It quickly dispersed as the temperatures weren't really that cold.

The long, winding drive up from Mount Beauty to Falls Creek was well worth it as we arrived as the sun came up across the village, lighting up the lines of well-groomed runs above the International lift.

A light freeze overnight was never going to last as the sun moved across the resort on Saturday. The Summit and International groomed runs were great first off. Fantastic cover. Through the day the off-piste softened up quickly making for some great fun skiing, mainly off the Summit and International lifts.

It was raining heavily at dawn on Sunday in Mount Beauty, which meant a surprise 5cm dusting of snow up at Falls Creek. It was brilliant timing as it meant a fresh coat on top of the already groomed runs first off. This time, the first runs of the day were on Lakeside, then the Summit runs, and then over to Ruined Castle which had improved considerably over Saturday.

Falls Creek 10.08.14
The freeze overnight wasn't that cold, so the new snow was binding to the surface, making it nice and dry and conditions were good across the back of Falls Creek (think about from Sundown to Quartz Ridge) all day as temperatures dropped compared to Saturday and the cloud came in.

All lifts and runs open at Perisher and Thredbo, as well as at the Victorian resorts of Mt Hotham (129/112cms) and Mt Buller (120/92cms) where the snowdepths have not changed significantly from last week, reflecting the cool air that is still around helping to maintain the snowdepth.


It is extremely pleasing to say that there has been heaps, and in some places absolutely masses, more snow in New Zealand! It is the perfect time to be skiing and riding on both islands, mid-winter at its best, although just lately it has been very windy.

Last weekend started off beautiful and sunny as predicted. Sun and some fresh snow from the week before was a great combination!

Sunday started off nice too, but the high cloud rolled in with the Northwesterly. That brought lots of snow in the Southern Lakes overnight into Monday, continuing and spreading north into the Mackenzie and Canterbury into Tuesday.

It became very cold on Wednesday with snow continuing. An increase in winds caused most lifts to go on hold across the South Island on Thursday.

The new snow in Canterbury has finally helped some of the club fields up there open, like Craigieburn which will be open before this weekend. However, conditions are still not that great in Canterbury which has certainly struggled though the early season this year.

Rainbow 13.08.14 [Source: Rainbow FB page]
The wind and weather should clear into the weekend for some amazing skiing and boarding, especially around Queenstown and Wanaka. Enjoy!

North Canterbury and Nelson

Hanmer Springs (15cms) is still yet to open and looks unlikely to have much of the season left to get going. Mt Lyford got 30cms this week, but was closed on Thursday due to strong winds. Pretty Rainbow (65/50cms) got the T-bar open all the way to the top this week and is looking great for the weekend.


Porters (80/40cms) got snow early in the week and a dusting Wednesday, but the good news is it is now open to the top albeit with limited off-piste due to rocks. Mt Hutt (85/70cms) got windy with the Northwesterly on Monday, then scored 15cms snow into Tuesday and another 5cms into
Wednesday. A total of 30cms this week and the best its been looking this year. The Triple Chair is not operating.

The Mackenzie

Mt Dobson got 35cms of new snow this week, and is closed today but due to open on the weekend. Roundhill (40/20cms) has been open, as has Ohau (120/70cms) which has fantastic conditions across the mountain.


Treble Cone 12.08.14 [Source. TC FB page]
Great snow around Wanaka. Cardrona (105/80cms) received 10cms of fresh into Monday, and 40cms total this week. Gale force winds Thursday caused Cardrona to close but it will reopen soon. Treble Cone (83/20cms) scored 20cms of fresh snow into Monday, then 10cms into Tuesday. Cover to the base now and fantastic snow across the Saddle Basin. The time to hit Treble Cone is now!


Coronet Peak (75/55cms) saw 10-15cms into Monday and then 15-20cms into Tuesday. Good skiing and riding now on and off-piste, but wind-affected at the end of the week. The Remarkables (155/85cms) is looking brilliant despite closing on Thursday. It has seen 75cms of snow fall in the last week and looks great for the weekend.


Snow Report 7 August 2014 - Australia & New Zealand

Mt Buller 03.08.14

A very cold blast hit the Australian Alps at the end of last week, bringing with it some much-needed new snowfalls to top up the ski slopes.

Up to 30cms of dry, fluffy white stuff fell across most ski resorts, and on the lower areas of the Great Dividing Range, with even some hilly parts of Victoria and New South Wales seeing snow on Friday.

The weather cleared somewhat on Saturday, and on Sunday it became clear and sunny.

The fine weather has continued through the week until today, when the cloud has started to come in from the west. This cloud has brought a small chance of snow before the weekend, but the best bet for new snow is not until Sunday.

We skied at Mt Buller last Sunday for the first time this season. As we drove up from Melbourne on the Saturday there was snow on Mt Donna Buang visible from Kangaroo Ground in outer Melbourne, and snow all across the Cathedral Ranges. A fantastic and fairly rare sight.

Mt Buller 03.08.14
It was a frosty start to the day in Mansfield with temperatures of around -3c overnight. Ice scrapers were required for the car windscreen, but at daybreak it was already beautifully sunny.

The mountain was very busy and you needed to get going early to beat the queues at the gate. we heard later that there were some major delays for people on the way up.

The snow from Friday had settled almost to the start of the climb at Mirimbah, but the roads were clear all the way to the car park.

All the lifts at Buller were running, and all runs open for great skiing and riding across the resort.

It was still a little patchy at the bottom of Federation and on the north side. But there was very good snow all day on the south side, staying dry all day despite the sun. Lots of people were heading for the chutes off the summit. The snow softened significantly on the north side, but it didn't get heavy as it remained cold (top of -3c) throughout the day.

This weekend we are up at Falls.

Mt Buller 03.08.14
All lifts and runs open at Perisher and Thredbo, as well as at the Victorian resorts of Mt Hotham (129/112cms), Falls (160/122cms) and Mt Buller (122/85cms).


Relief first then happy days for some areas in New Zealand as the same weather system that hit Australia brought a good snowfall over the weekend. Then more snow during the week.

Dropping temperatures on Sunday turned things white and erased the memory of the rains that dampened the snow at the end of the week.

The weather then cleared for a couple of beautiful sunny days across the South Island on Monday and Tuesday with visitors enjoying the fresh snow from the weekend.

The snow fell again into Wednesday, with up to 15cms at some skifields, replacing some of what has been lost. A storm then brewed up into Thursday with very strong winds putting lifts on hold in Canterbury and Otago.

Mt Hutt 06.08.14 [Source: Mt Hutt FB page]
The snow got very heavy today, and the wind affected lifts, but it will clear tomorrow. Saturday looks like a great day with freshies, before another storm arrives on Sunday ... and maybe even more next week!

Winter has finally arrived in New Zealand and the skiing and life is good in the Southern Lakes and at least somewhat better in the Mackenzie and Canterbury.

North Canterbury and Nelson

North Canterbury is still a bit of a mixed bag. Hanmer Springs (11cms) has not quite had the joy yet and is still closed. Mt Lyford (28cms) was closed today. Rainbow (45cms) survived the horrible rain and worked very hard to open Sunday, when it snowed 15cm in the base area and about 20cm on the upper mountain. Rainbow has now opened the T-bar to the top.


Porters (50/30cms) received 17cm of snow since the weekend and but says it needs another 20-30cms to give access to the upper mountain. Mt Hutt (70/55cms) is looking better. After a shocker last week it got 30cms on the weekend. Then another 11cms and snow down to the Canterbury Plains into Wednesday.
Treble Cone 07.08.14 [Source: Treble Cone FB page]

The Mackenzie

Mt Dobson (30cms) and Roundhill (40cms) have lifts open, while Ohau (100/55cms) has the best conditions in the area.


Cardrona (75/50cms) received 4cms into Wednesday and it is snowing again today. Treble Cone (75cms) had some good snow this week and the Saddle Basin has full cover now. Its still snowing today.


Coronet Peak (70/45cms) is looking a lot whiter, and The Remarkables (110/60cms) recovered well after the warm and windy wet and is looking great.