Return from NZ

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So sad – back to Oz today…

Heli boarding day

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Al, Brett & Owen will be out of the office today.

Instead, we will be here.

Owen edited this awesome video of our days heli-skiing in the Arrowhead ranges.

Al Ferg rippin the line of his life

off to NZ

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Al, Cath, Brett, Suz, Owen & Emma are off to NZ!! woohoo!!

Derek Chan & posse also heading over.

Sarah Mac & Katie are already there.

Looks like we’ll be racing each other for first tracks kids!

NZ – highest snow levels in 5 years!

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From the snow.co.nz newsletter. Rather good news for those of us heading over there TOMORROW!!! :)

Yeeha! After a week and a half of the blowing and the snowing, this weekend is all on.

Pretty much a metre plus of snow has been dumped over the country. St Clair beach in Dunedin was reporting 10cm of fresh powder on trail with wind blown hard pack off piste.

Most fields are recording their highest snow level for the last five years!

Broken River looking very noiiiice

Surf n snow

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Heading to NZ this winter? dont forget the wettie… but make sure its extra thuck!

Snow to the water’s edge in Christchurch with a clean 4ft swell. What more do you need?
From Owen Lansbury.

Derek’s Downhill Damage Report

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Derek Chan – the Evel Knievel of the ski hills… Reporting for Thredbo, 14-15/08/04

HEADS UP: This story had been edited to protect certain “secret” spots… Remember, riding out-of-bounds can be dangerous, so dont do it unless you know what you are doing… The guys in this story have been in this sort of terrain before, & knew what was involved… If you want to ride these areas, go with someone who has been before, bring mobiles or radios, water & food, tell someone else where you are going & when you expect to get back… Safety first!…

I have known about this run for a few years from Paul Appleby, a Thredbo local who showed me his favourite runs, but have not attempted it until this season as he said you could only do it when there is a 2m base, you have fresh snow on top and that the cover at Friday Flat is solid. Thankyou Paul, you are a champ!

Yesterday Tom and I did the hike above the track that goes from ***** to ***** so we could go out wide and then drop into the gully off Stanleys, first time we have done this (after hearing your report that you got through to the carpark OK). I have to say that it must rate as the best run we have done in Oz – Sunday arvo, sun shining, 60cm of fresh, and no-one around (although there were several tracks, it’s big enough for everyone who had made the effort). As good as heliboarding in NZ (although there was a lot of hiking involved plus the walk out….)

To get out at the bottom, I followed some paths that ended up splitting in different tracks and must have chosen the wrong one as I had a lot of fun falling into tree holes up to my armpits etc on the way out, had to cross the creek on foot, then found what must have been the right track (I say must have been right cos I ran into Mouse from Board The World on it, followed him for a bit but he was with a girl who kept getting stuck so I eventually got a bit impatient and made my own way – mistake!

Nearing the end of it, I was too buggered and missed turns/bumps etc which resulted in more walking to pay for these small mistakes – eventually came out near the far end of the carpark (ie. the entrance to the day carpark)

A great weekend, but I managed to hit a wooden fence on a “warm up run” for the top to bottom (warm up means scoring fresh tracks while serious racers actually pace out the track, tom and I were more interested in scoring freshies, he did tree runs, I at least hung around near the race track!), so am nursing some kind of injury, looks like either fractured rib or torn ligaments on ribcage, will find out tomorrow with visit to doc’s. no hucks, jumps or 360s for me! Just freeriding in NZ with a bunch of painkillers…

Derek Chan

Cornices Galore

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Mt Feathertop looking incredible

Photos reposted from ski.com.au, taken by Heli.

Low-level snow in NZ

Also from ski.com.au, taken by Kieran (who I hope wasnt worrying those sheep…)
A few minutes drive above our place on the Otago Peninsula – looking east along the Harbour to the Pacific Ocean. We had a few flurries early this morning, but nothing substantial. Very pretty though.

Black Forest Movie

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A great little video by Owen Lansbury, from 08/08/04. The final shot is a ripper, misleading as it may be! Be sure to see the Stanleys video too, a few items below in Blue Sky Weekend.

MP4 Movie – 5.5 Mb
The Black Forest
The Black Forest

Low Level Falls

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This weekend saw some serious low-level snowfalls in Aus & even more so in NZ – we’re talking snow at SEA LEVEL in the South Island! The Aussie Alps are looking like Canada, & NZ is just off the dial – as quoted from snow.co.nz “We haven’t seen a storm like this for about 10 years. It’s going to be EPIC when it all clears.”

More Snow Coming!

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Good snowfalls down to 1000m this weekend will make this the best powder weekend of the season so far.

Check The Frogs site for more details. It has been snowing almost every day for over a week now – conditions are truly superb for Oz right now!

The Thredbo Top to Bottom race is on this Saturday 14 August – its Australia’s Longest Ski Race with 3.7km and 672 vertical metres to cover… BYO helmet & body armour.

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