New Zealand Buried in Snow

Avalanche aftermath

Avalanche aftermath

I’ve often heard that we in the PNW can forecast our winters based on the previous season in New Zealand. I hope that’s true. Because if next winter in the northern hemisphere is anything like the winter currently raging in New Zealand, we snow lovers in the Cascades will be golden.

Clearing the access road

Clearing the access road

New Zealand’s Mt. Hutt ski area is currently closed. They have too much snow. In the past two days, they’ve been inundated. And it isn’t letting up. Their latest update on Facebook claims they gave up counting the new snow last night when they’d received 120cm from the latest storm. Wind drifts are 5+ meters deep. That’s over 15 feet of snow in drifts. It has snowed over 5 feet of snow in this one storm alone.

Crews have been using explosives to control avalanches, and one ripped out their race building and damaged the snowmaking building. Fortunately for them, they won’t be needed that snowmaking equipment anytime soon.

For now, the main goal is simply clearing the road. It looks like they have their work cut out for them. They are hoping to open Sunday. Snow depth is 240 cm at the summit. Good luck guys, and stay safe.


2 responses »

  1. Oh I hope that’s true about predicting our next winter, hadn’t heard that. I’m hearing rumblings of an El Nino, or least a neutral pattern after the two La Nina winters. And for the first time in YEARS I bought a season’s pass in May for next season, incentive to get up more.
    Years ago I strongly considered heading to NZ to teach skiing for the winter, at the invite of some other Crystal instructors (Gavin? can’t remember), but passed because ultimately the thought of no summer for two years didn’t fly. In retrospect I wish I had done. Bygones. Did make it there in their summer once though, wonderful place!

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