We were joking in the bar on Tuesday night that the deluge raging outside was payback for five stunning bluebird days in a row. Wednesday to Sunday were beautiful conditions all across the alps, and I was fortunate to ski for three of those five (Reports in the Snow Reports section).
I wasn’t planning on skiing during this week due to the poor forecast and also School Holiday crowds, but unfortunately my Sister in Law injured her ACL on Sunday so I stayed up to help her with my niece and nephew. While it was nice to be able to help out it was pretty miserable up on the mountain – Monday was high cloud and warm, all the fun firm snow from the previous days softened & the light was pretty flat, and around midnight the rain set in.
Tuesday was one of those classic revolting Australian skiing days. Torrential rain, high winds, and the occasional flurry of sleet to taunt us that the temperature was ever so close to freezing, but not quite. The rainfall intensified through the day and when I picked my nephew up from ski school in the afternoon I was drenched walking the 300m in each direction. I couldn’t even get any work done as the school holiday hordes were all inside on their iPhones clogging the Telstra 3G network.
Wednesday was wet but not as foul, I thought about a quick trip up to Koflers but instead headed off the hill & had a lovely lunch at the The Produce Store in Mansfield on the way home. Other resorts were reporting up to 10cm up high but I would have loved to see their lower elevations.
Today (Thursday) has again been far from ideal – while again not torrential the temperatures have been well on the wrong side of the ledger with rain on & off through the day.
Ski.com.au forum user ‘skidown’ has again updated his snow depth chart – according to this 6cm has been lost at Buller, which surprises me, thought it would have been in excess of 10cm so pleasantly surprised there.
But the silver lining to the very large, dark, rainy clouds of this week is that the temperatures will drop for the weekend and we will see a few days of snow.
So, what can we expect?
Jane’s Weather is calling for 10-20cm from Friday night until Monday morning, down to a comfortable 1200m. Similarly, The Frog believes 11-22cm will fall by Monday, with the extended outlook on Weatherzone calling for similar amounts over that time period, plus further snowfalls for an extended period through next week. Mountainwatch’s Grasshopper is in rough agreeance but hasn’t listed any snow totals. Of concern with his forecast is the mention of Westerlies – we all know how badly Buller does in a Westerly, exactly one year ago it was raining at Buller at -4C.
I also like his commentary on yesterday’s snow reports:
How did we go yesterday? About as well as we could have expected. If you just went by reports in the twittersphere you’d think that we got 10cm of perfect powder across the slopes. The reality was more sobering, with the freezing level hovering around 1750m, and a lot of sleety muck and some very strong north-westerly winds to go with that 10cm of fresh.
So I think we all just need to close our eyes for the next 24 hours, go watch some old ski movies or scour Youtube & Vimeo for some ski pr0n, and wait for the snowfall to happen. I’ll be back at Buller from about 8pm tomorrow so I will report on happenings there, I’m also going to bring a backup Optus prepaid 3G device.
Keep an eye out on the blog and also our Facebook Page for the latest updates.
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