The last couple of weeks have flown by. Again the weather and snow conditions became critical. As the clear weather days passed and as the snow pack became more solid it was becoming more and more obvious that the Range seriously needed some new snow. Temps did remain cold on the shady slopes which meant where the snow guns were blazing the snow was holding, and where it was warm there was corn.
There were still good turns to be had and after a fresh 1-2cms on the 25th of July I headed up to Craigieburn for some good old dust on crust. There may well have been more fresh snow in the carpark than on the field but Craigies still had good coverage and Middle Basin was skiing top-to-bottom nicely and definitely was the run of the day. But it was back to the groomed slopes for me until there was new snow. I had a good day at Porters with Springfield School on the Thursday then headed to Cheeseman on Saturday for the postponed Gromfest. The Swiss instructors put up a ‘gromastic' dual slalom and the kids had a blast racing alongside each other. There was also a bit of facepainting, a yummy BBQ and prizes for all.
After the weekend it was back to the Moon Man. The Moon Man has his place, and I'm not one to judge but when he's predicting snow, I'm on his side. As it was, the end of July (as predicted by the MM) actually did result in a salvaging storm. In good old NZ style it rained, it snowed, it froze, it snowed.
There were freshies everywhere, you just couldn't see them. Every day I could, I headed up to Porters just to check out the storm. Each day I thought I'd be having a coffee and driving back home, but not one of those days I did. Visibility was definitely an issue but it's amazing how much terrain you can access from the top of T-1. Traversing over to Lower Bluff accessed freshies after freshies, you just had to pick the moments of clarity amongst the blinding white-out.
Once the cloud did disappear (4 days later) it was game-on along the range. Fresh tracks for everyone.
Even days after the snowfall there were still some great lines up at Craigieburn. For a 20min hike you could still be rewarded with untracked lines. Broken River also looked awesome, even from the road - great coverage over Main and Allan's Basin.
There've been quite a few other highlights over the last couple of weeks including a few milestones - young guys nailing 360's for the first time, old guys hucking the ‘massive one', a 10 year wedding anniversary, kegs been almost drunk dry at the BR Freeheel Fest, the Olympics, and most impressively fellow villager Grant Guise winning the Canadian Death Race, congrats Grant.
There's another massive milestone coming up for me on Monday. This year I've put in a super- sized order for pow. It's snowing up in the hills as I write and forecast to continue snowing on and off for the rest of the week so it's quite possible I may get the birthday present I'm asking for. I'll let you know how I get on............