Saturday, December 22, 2007

Zermatt Has A Sensational Start To Winter

Vehicle free Zermatt, which has Europe's highest ski lift (at a lofty 3,899 metres) has just had the highest amount of snow, about 100cm, of any ski resort on the planet.

It is currently minus 11 C and there's 24 of 34 ski lifts and mountain transport (including the very effective quintessential Swiss cog railways) open at Zermatt which is a very good early season scenario.

The mountain is gigantic with skiing on both the Swiss and Italian sides. With such a good start you will rarely ski the same pistes and the off-piste powder skiing is limitless. There's a gigantic array of glaciers, bowls and chutes to choose from.

Zermatt is one of those rare ski resorts that has it all! Particularly when you add the most photographed snow-capped mountain in the world into the equation, the Matterhorn.

Skiers and boarders from around the world relish the opportunity to ride the world's second biggest lift-served vertical terrain and having their picture taken with the Matterhorn in the background.

...... oh and i was getting excited about our Christmas Tree ....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

don't you just wish you were in Europe ?

Here's a report from our mates at

European Alps
November 2006 may have been the warmest on record in the Alps, but November 2007 has provided Austria, Germany and parts of Switzerland with the best early season conditions for at least 30 years.

Even before last week's snow storms a number of Austrian ski resorts had already opened as much as six weeks ahead of schedule - Schladming-Dachstein opened its doors on 26 October and Kitzbuehel on 2 November. On Thursday night, heavy snow falls saw thousands of drivers left stranded on a highway outside Vienna - up to 50cm of snow fell and about 5,000 cars were involved in a 21km jam along the highway. This low altitude snow followed two days of heavy snow at higher elevations and overall accumulations at ski resorts were much higher.

120cm of snow fell around Davos and Klosters, and as much as 2.5m has accumulated on the glacier at Kaprun. Low temperatures ensured that the fresh snow stayed dry and powdery through the sunny weekend and several more resorts opened early to take advantage including Badgastein, Zell am See, Saalbach-Hinterglemm and Mayrhofen. The German part of the Alps also saw very heavy snow - deep fresh powder conditions where enjoyed by huge crowds at Garmisch-Partenkirchen last weekend.

Bitterly cold temperatures at high altitude (below minus 15C at 3000m) rendered the snow on higher pistes sticky but off piste conditions were excellent from top to bottom. In Switzerland, The Jungfrau resorts of Grindelwald (45/115cm), Wengen (40/80cm) and Muerren (40/80cm) have impressive snow depths for the time of year too.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tane Taunting and Tantalising

so you see. better snow than any time during the season. but tantalising out of touch. Why you ask? well the season pass has run out, the lifts are closed and damned if i am going to join the hundreds of other desperate die hards that walk up and down within a snow flake of a purfectly operational lift - especially when we use to rattle off 10 runs an hour instead of one .... oh me oh my how tane taunts us.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

pete's post - excellent conditions on the peak

hereeeeeeeeeeeeeeee''ssssss pete

Excellent conditions over the weekend with some of the best snow of the
Winter. There has been a frost each night and there has been a continuation
of snow making.The cold nights have kept the snow in primo condition.
This weekend will be the last catered weekend of the season but please let
me know if you are coming up whether it be a weekend or week day.
The season is slowly drawing to a close so get on up here for some great
Spring skiing.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

the end as we knew it ?

Coronet Peak Snow Report
Sat, 11 Aug 07, 6:26 AM
Status Closed

Coronet Peak is closed for the day due to the current weather conditions. All Masters events are cancelled for the day today.

Weather Windy, 4°C
Snow/Rain showers

Oh dear. Warm rain. Wakatipu Skie Club have cancelled leesons for tomorrow Sunday. Do they know something we don't? Is this the end of the season as we knew it?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Hi Everyone,

We continue to get some quite strange weather for this time of the year. We have had a couple of falls of snow over the past week which has freshened the mountain up a bit. It has also become a little colder the past few days and the snow machines have been making quite a bit of snow.
Yesterday I had a run with a few Treble Cone guys and we were able to ski
from the Top of Greengates to the 6 seater chair off piste and it was
surprisingly good skiing.
With the strange weather it is hard to predict what snow we might get this
week but at the moment Coronet Peak is certainly skiing really well.
Come on up,


Otago Ski Club - Joel Lodge
Coronet Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lament the lack

The Press reports on the lack of snow

Canterbury ski fields are struggling with one of the worst starts to a ski season.

Staff are languishing and bookings have been cancelled due to the lack of snow.

Despite being two-thirds of the way through winter, none of the smaller Canterbury club fields are open and the two main commercial fields, Mount Hutt and Porters Ski Area, are getting by on artificial snow.

Compounding the problem, the three days of warm nor'west conditions at the end of last week "defrosted" what little base the Craigieburn range club fields had, and opening-day projections are being moved further into August.

The situation could change, however, if heavy rain forecast for today falls as snow in the ski areas.

Queenstown and North Island ski fields are reported to be having a reasonable season and Australia is having one of its best seasons.....

For the full report see

Monday, July 30, 2007

Quite the weirdest weather

Hi Everyone,

After a week of quite the weirdest weather, overnight snow has fallen with more forecast for the day. 5 to 10 cm's overnight will have freshened up the snow heaps and the cooler temperatures will bring us back to Winter.............hopefully.

Cheers, Pete

Otago Ski Club - Joel Lodge
Coronet Peak, Queenstown

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Somewhat Scratchy - Pete's Post

Hi Everyone,

Conditions are somewhat warmer than they have been with a northerly
drift over the area. The snow is still in good condition and there is great
skiing especially on the main trails. Off piste is scratchy but fun with
care. Cheers, Pete

Otago Ski Club - Joel Lodge

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pete's Snow Post

Here's Pete's report from Coronet Peak

Hi Everyone,
WOW what a week. Very very cold and nearly as much snow in Queenstown as on
the Peak. Yes we had about 25-30 cm's but we still need more snow to be
able to ski off piste. The Mail trails are very good and nearly all are now
open. Rocky Gully opens Friday and Night skiing starts Friday night.
Think snow... Pete

Otago Ski Club, Coronet Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand

Friday, June 22, 2007


Got to love that. Looking from Coronet Peak down the Gorge in to Queenstown ( in the shadey cold bit )

Thursday, June 21, 2007

its hanking down :)

its snowing :)

outside my office

Coronet Peak Webcam

go baby

snow forecast not predicting much today but lets hope they are wrong

Snow forecast for Coronet Peak

mind you a few centimetres at Coronet can make all the difference

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pete's Powder Post

Here is Pete's update from Coronet Peak. Not a member of Otago ski Club? No worry they are a friendly bunch..

Hi Everyone,
Another week of cold snow making weather at Coronet Peak.
All main trail have an excellent cover of snow and there is quite a range
of terrain open. Members staying at the lodge are very impressed with the
conditions. There is snow forecast during this week and we hope that a good
snow fall will fill in all the gaps on the mountain. Please let me know if
you are joining us this weekend. AND of course it is the start of WINTER
FESTIVAL !! Cheers and think natural (snow) Pete

Otago Ski Club - Joel Lodge
Coronet Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand

Saturday, June 16, 2007

the devil fence

" And whats with the devil fence ? "

actually i figured it out it is actually a terrain park feature you can bank off it and do jumps off the end all they need to do is put a rail on top and jibbers will be jibbing on it!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Outrageously Good Snow

Hats off to the snow making and grooming team at the Peak.

Yesterday we skied some supreme spin drift and for this time of year with this amount of natural snow it is an absolute credit to the people putting it together ... oh and of course to Southern Lakes Recreation for spending all the money on the funky snow making kit .... oh and of course to the water diviner dude that found the water source for them....

So main trails only ( two of them ) but pick your line and you could almost call it powder ... well maybe thats going a bit OTT but you know the glow you get after a good session on the snow? Well I got it.

Off piste is still brown and a turn-around bay for the snow groomers shows a base in that spot of around 10 - 15 cm so the margins these boys are playing with is super slim. Here is a grab a friend took from one of the webcams up the mountain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

Opening Day - it's Traditional

Lovely smile lovely chaps but this is one person you don't want to see too much of in a season. He's the wheel clamp man. No excuses. No credit cards. Cash only and no change.

The Remarkables looking a like it needs plenty of precipitation yet.

"I know there was some snow around here somewhere....."

Treeless ...yep every tree on the hill has been cut down. Pity they didn't clear up the mess ..... hazzzzzzzzzard.

Dumbest thing without a doubt is this new fence cutting the M1 in half. It seems every summer that all the big wigs have a big pow wow and think up the most ridiculous, out of place hazardous structure that will ruin a perfectly good line...and this fence has won the award. Strainers solid enough to stop a rampaging bison with no protective padding you don't want to be tangling with this beasty....

Nice smile and good pose with the rake. Lifty enjoying open day along with the rest of us.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Greetings from Otago Ski Club

Here is an email from resident ski instructor Pete in residence on Coronet Peak. Can't get more hot off the press than that!

Greetings Skiers and Boarders,

Coronet Peak will open for the 2007 tomorrow 11th June

The Coronet Peak Express, Meadows Chair (M1 and Big Easy) and Beginner areas will be open. There are many other trails where Snowmaking is also underway and they must be very close to opening too. Conditions are clear but very cold and there is both clear and cold weather and more snow forecast for the week. The road at this time (Sunday evening) is snow free.

Catering will begin the weekend of nights 29/30th June. Anyone intending to
stay at Joel Lodge during this week or this coming weekend please call me
so I can put on appropriate heating. Looking forward to a big weekend and
season. Pete

Otago Ski Club - Joel Lodge
Coronet Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand

Friday, June 08, 2007

Open Day delayed

Snows guns blazing. Open Day delayed. I've got the rock hoppers out....

Oh I know tvnz weather has had snow flakes on Queenstown for the last two days morning and night but sorry folks don't believe the hype. We got missed big time by all the fronts. Light spattering on the hills but not the lotto like motherload all snowfers really hang for.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

It Snowed !!

Yep all over Coronet Peak and I am sure many other mountains around these parts. A light dusting enough to bring joy to snow bums Aotearoa wide. So keep on praying .... yes this is one time when it is OK to give Brian Tamaki a ring and ask for his spiritual assistance ... we need more snow ... bucket loads.

While we were all glued to our TV watching Team NZ put away the Italians ( wot you weren't watching? sacre bleu ! ) it snowed. about 3am is my estimate.

photo from webcam

Saturday, May 19, 2007

snow guns are firing

Coronet Peak Webcam
Snow guns are firing, 5 weeks to winter festival so says the Mountain Scene, ski retail guru Ivan is back in town and is predicting snow for next thursday. Ski season must be around the corner.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

waiting for us

Well just under a month to go until Coronet Peak opens and waddya going to do? Twiddle your thumbs? Course not when the Peak is looking this slim.

Blue blue may days and buzz, marianne and i took of across the Lake to scale Walter Peak - all 1500 metres of it.

Brill jetboat trip across the Lake (thanks Henry) , fantastic hike across some classic high country terrain (thanks Lloyd the Walter Peak Station recreation manager for giving us permission) and a critical little 200 metre final crux pitch just to get the heart beat really going (coming down even more exciting) and this is the result.

my foot and walter peak station 1200 metres below

Queenstown from walter peak

The top.

And whats that all got to do with skiing? Well the long steep downhill munched up the thighs and all I could think was ....... "that's going to help on opening day !"

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

direct to queenstown

thinking of crossing the ditch to play in the snow? my advice is fly direct to Queenstown. when it comes down to it why waste time flopping between planes in christchurch. we are here to ski and ride!

qantas are doing two flights a week from sydney, and 1 a week from melbourne and brisbane. air new zealand have something on the go as well this winter. ho hum.

coolest itinerary i would imagine for a mountainless sydnesider would be to fly friday morning direct to queenstown arriving about 3pm in time for some night skiing ( starts late july ) on coronet peak . party hard through the weekend then zip back Sunday night to be back at work for the new week. think it's going to happen? not unless you hire a corporate jet.

and thats not such a silly idea if you have a few spare readies. a quick chat to our friends at Jetcorp

tell us that for a measly AUD$28,900 we can charter a BeechJet 400A and for AUD$53,000 you can travel in style on a Cessna Citation VII. Split that amongst 7 people and it's game on.

Monday, March 19, 2007

too early for most birds at TC

TC fanatics were up in arms with early bird season passes doubling this year to $1500. Wots more thats double any other equivalent season pass for Southern Lakes snow areas.

We know Treble Cone has the best vertical and some of the bigger powder falls for your hot show snow boarders and skiers but boy are the locals paying for it. Now if that Gondola was installed and we could all enjoy a top to bottom enclosed seat to relax in between mammoth vert runs then maybe....

don't miss the opening !

Wanna know when all the Southern Lakes snow fields are opening (and closing) in 2007? Put a date in your diary and make sure you are there. Heck how about trying to be at all 5 ?

Coronet Peak open June 9 and close on October 7

The Remarkables open on June 23 and close on October 7.

Cardrona Alpine Resort open on June 22 and close on October 7.

Treble Cone (hopes to) open on June 26 and close on September 30

Snow Park open (subject to weather) on June 22 and close on September 30.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

new groomerzzzzzzzz

Coronet Peak's trails will be better groomed this winter after the arrival of two new snow groomers, ski area boss Duncan Smith said.

Two new Kassbohrer PB600 series snow groomers – the latest in snow-grooming technology from Europe – would ensure surfaces were groomed in a wider variety of snow and weather conditions, he said.

"The new groomers will enable us to maintain higher quality skiing and snowboarding terrain for our guests."

Mr Smith said Coronet Peak understood how important well-groomed slopes and varied and undulating terrain were to the skiing experience.

Coronet Peak had also invested in a new pump station including two new pumps that would boost snowmaking capacity by 20 percent.

"We recognise how important consistent, reliable and good-quality snow conditions are to our customers and to the Queenstown winter visitor industry." ..........

Full report in southland times

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jump in ski pass costs

"A $70 increase in the Queenstown early bird ski season pass - to $649 - is regrettable but unavoidable, according to Southern Alpine Recreation boss Duncan Smith. Last year it rose $30 and the year before $50. The pass rises to $749. Mr Smith blames 18-20 percent increases in energy costs, higher compliance, capital infrastructure and labour costs."

Hmmm wonder if it has anything to with shareholder returns? Certainly nothing to do with long time loyal customer satisfaction.......

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Skifield to extend beginners' slope

Skifield to extend beginners' slope
By SUE FEA - The Southland Times | Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Coronet Peak will double its existing on-slope beginner section...

Blah blah blah

...Coronet Peak is scheduled to open on June 9.


Monday, February 12, 2007

season passes on sail

yep it's the annual rush to your favourite fields website to lay down your hard won cash for the good old season pass. suck you dry spit you out and make you beg for more. easier than selling candy to a baby and more addictive than a packet of drum. season passes ....

they know the mortal snow addict is strung in to a lifelong obsession so really we should campaign for government intervention. or something.

bad news is? it ain't going to get cheaper :(

my advice. dont miss out. deals finish in march.

how to ease the pain? in the words of the great WIF Hunt - Te Kuiti farmer and dynamo of a man - "the first chairlift ride of the season costs the full price of the season pass and the rest are free"