The usual question - comments appreciated

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by BillyKidd, May 6, 2017.

  1. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member

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    For those with the experience is it too much of a hassle to be driving up and down NZ hills? It's the one thing that seems to put people off, me included, so wondering what the general opinion is. Cheers.
     
  2. Dumph

    Dumph Active Member

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  3. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member
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    No. I find it easier - no faffing with the bus.
     
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  4. pedub

    pedub Active Member

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    It's easy. Be prepared to fit chains. Don't do it in your brand new ski gear...
     
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  5. Egbert

    Egbert Dedicated Member

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    What sort of vehicle. We did it (Cardrona, Treble Cone) in a 3 berth camper van with no hassles. It was a poor season so the roads were dirt all the way - moons ago. It was great having our own little dressing room in the car park.
     
  6. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member

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    Sure it can be bus or car but compared with on hill accommodation I'm not so sure. Happy to be convinced otherwise but wondering how often they close the roads, have limited access etc. And there is the phucking about with chains, easier to change or feed up with ski in ski out but clearly people persist with NZ hills. Or is it like Madam Tussaud's....crap but you've spent the money and everyone expects you to say it was good :D
     
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  7. pedub

    pedub Active Member

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    Is the question,
    Should I ski in ski out, or drive?
    Or
    Is it too much of a hassle to drive in NZ :)

    The answer to the second question is: no
    Roads are almost never closed and if they are, so are the lifts
     
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  8. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Which is a whole 'nother issue.
     
  9. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Or in your 'jandals' - ya feet get cold!

    Driving is fine.

    If you're like us and plan for worst case scenarios then hire a 4WD, take chains and things like old gloves and a towel to help when putting them on.
     
  10. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    1st world problems.

    Just remember ya concrete pills.
     
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  11. Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member
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    well, as a counterpoint, or as Murray from Flight of the Conchords might say, 'you derailed this thread with another obscure comment'. When I used to drive up the Remarks or Mt Hutt I was always prepared to open the door and jump out if necessary. The road up to the Remarks was pretty sketchy.
     
  12. GlenH

    GlenH Active Member
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    It depends what your alternative is.

    If you mean should you visit NZ or not, the answer is .......... most definitely, it is well worth skiing ......... and you just have to take care on the roads and ideally rent a suitbale 4WD.

    If you mean should you take the bus, there are convenient buses to the Queenstown and Wanaka fields from the respective towns, and from Methven to Mt Hutt too. Keep in mind that most often the return buses leave at 4pm so you can't necessarily go back early if you feel like it, or stay late, not that there is much to stay late for at the fields.

    If you mean should you stay on-snow, there is very little of such in NZ - some rooms at Cardona and lodges at Whakapapa. Far better to stay in the towns, more places to go at night and flexibility for closed days.

    Hope that helps. Ask more if you like.
     
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  13. Dumph

    Dumph Active Member

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    Canterbury club fields have ski in and ski out but if you're worried about driving on the access roads then you should probably pass on them too.
     
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  14. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    There is this option...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. chriscross

    chriscross Dedicated Member
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    Some NZ mountain roads are not much drama, others can be intimidating if you're not used to that sort of thing. Coronet Peak is a cruise and sealed all the way. Cardrona is unsealed but a pretty easy drive in a subie or similar and quickly accessed from Wanaka or Cardrona valley. Remarks and Treble Cone are more challenging and I would recommend the bus (would not want to be mucking about with chains on narrow, precipitous roads). Ohau was my first such drive and I still remember it (white knuckles) but a magic place and views. Olympus sounds interesting! Roundhill is an easy trip from Lake Tekapo and Dobson is a spectacular drive but quite approachable. Would love to get back to Sth island. Well worth the trip.
     
  16. GlenH

    GlenH Active Member
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  17. Gimp

    Gimp Dedicated Member
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    Do Mt Olympus first, will be all gravy from then on. Or drive up when cloudy.
     
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  18. iagreewithhim

    iagreewithhim Active Member

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    At the Remarkables there are (or were, last time I was there) people at the chain fitting bays who will fit your chains for you for $10.
     
  19. pedub

    pedub Active Member

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    Yeah. It's a good option if you want to leave your jandals on :)
    I don't think youll find that at TC tho...
     
  20. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here
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    Wow, lucky the character in blue ducked, could have lost a head!
     
  21. expatgm

    expatgm Active Member
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  22. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here
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  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    That is of course standard practice. On sloping landings in deep snow the clearance isn't nearly as much. And many years ago someone did actually lose their head after a lapse in concentration.
     
    #23 Heinz, May 8, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  24. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Yes, I remember hearing about that. Jeff was very lucky and continued guiding many years after that. Not sure if he still is at least not with HMH, don't recall seeing him for a few years.

    The fatal incident was back in 1993 involving a very experienced client who in a lapse of concentration reached up to grab his baseball cap which had blown off. The safety brief was then updated to include a warning on loose bits of clothing.

    Anyway back to the thread topic.
     
    #24 Heinz, May 8, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  25. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member

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    Yes, all very amusing :D but the issue is not whether the roads are good, bad or indifferent, they are what they are, but whether it is worth the effort....as opposed to say ski in ski out in Oz or heading over to NorthAm. Am quite happy to drive provided it is worth it. Of course that is subjective and someone will say it's not apples with apples but people will have some sort of preference...even allowing for the driving!
     
  26. iagreewithhim

    iagreewithhim Active Member

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  27. Dumph

    Dumph Active Member

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    So this is the crux of the question, does NZ skiing suck? It's like everywhere else on the planet, when it's on it's sublime and when it's not it can be a bit ordinary. NZ does have proper alpine terrain if that's what you're after but will never rival Japan/N America for snowfall. There is such a variety from resort to club field to back country serious terrain that if you try hard enough you can't go wrong but if you're not bothered and would rather sit around the ski lodge waiting for it to be perfect, then forget it.
     
  28. pedub

    pedub Active Member

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    NZ skiing is for the most part all I know, except for a couple of trips in Japan and the USA.
    So, I have no reference for Australian skiing.
    However, I've met numerous Aussies skiing in NZ over the years, and yet I don't know a single NZer who's been to ski in Australia :D
     
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  29. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    Tis a pretty good point you make. Thousands of Aussies flock to NZ each for for a snow fix, but I don't think many NZer's are coming across the ditch to ski in Australia?

    I think as long as you factor in a down day or two because of weather in NZ you won't be disappointed. We are heading over for 8 days in August, and plan to hopefully ski 5 or 6. Having the expectation to ski everyday can let people down.
    Most ski towns (Wanaka, Queenstown, Methven) have more than enough things to do to keep you busy for a couple of down days. So no, I would definitely not say the skiing in NZ 'sucks'!
     
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  30. hpsauce

    hpsauce Dedicated Member

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    The fact that your are concerned about it being "worth the hassle", probably means you are right to be concerned.
    Some people are cool with it.....and, almost perversely, enjoy the rough n ready experience. Others not so much. Both are right.
    This southern lakes skiing experience is definitely more "agricultural". You HAVE to be prepared for that. You have to be comfortable with your kit getting dirty or dusty, mud on your boots, and potentially getting absolutely filthy at a chain bay on one of your 7 ski days. and if you want to kick start your ski day at 10am, be prepared for a hike up a dusty road from your car to the lifts in high season.
    Cruising up coronet peak or cardrona is generally no drama. Up TC is genuinely exposed....and Remarks too I guess. But quite safe.

    So it is a personal weigh up. If you are sort of person who is ready to go on the hill coffee in hand 15 mins before first lift....driving up is great. Or if you like an arvo ski, then it works well too. Returning down the hill to a warm and mostly dry town has big pluses too.
     
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  31. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Remarks is sealed for 10 of its 13.5Km.....
     
  32. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    I learnt to snowboard at Mt Buller at 21 and i grew up in taupo about an hour and a half from Mt Ruapehu ;)
     
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  33. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    Haha wow I know which mountain i would prefer to visit!
     
  34. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    My uncle owns kofflers, and its been a sort of family tradition that all my brothers and sisters have gone to work for him.
     
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  35. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy Active Member

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    For a kiwi , Australia has lovely adventurous ski touring , exotic trees , without any mega hazards,
    ... Great day out charlottes pass with the G in august gone

    New Zealand in world terms has very 'character building' all round skiing conditions where you need a bit of the htfu at times ;
    but no big international resort styles ;
    If you can ski most of nz you can probably ski most any field in the world.

    All the best
     
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  36. GlenH

    GlenH Active Member
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    Well 'effort' certainly is a very subjective thing, and I only have Australia to compare with, but for my money, yes it is absolutely worth it. Spectacular scenery, cruisy runs, challenging runs, friendly people, beautiful towns, great food, small quiet resorts if you know where to find them and Kea's that will eat your windscreen wipers. What more do you need? :)
     
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  37. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    What is it with NZers seriously underrating the difficulty of their ski runs?!
    Some of their green runs would be serious blue trails in Aus, Japan or the US. And some of the blue runs in NZ are freaking scary!
     
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  38. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Yes, like at TC when they opened up the terrain in the Mototapu chutes. In the US they would have marked them as double black, but TC just marked them black and re-rated some of the previously black runs in the Saddle basin as red.
     
  39. Dumph

    Dumph Active Member

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    TC trying to make it seem more accessible to the learner/intermediate market and Cardies going the other way making more of their runs red/black than they really are.

    I haven't been to Australia skiing but from all the photos I've seen it does look a bit more roly poly than most NZ fields. Which of course has its place.
     
  40. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    I've made the mistake of taking intermediates into the Saddle Basin and they all struggled down the 'blue' runs. That being said, after we got back onto the green runs they were all skiing those with much more confidence, so maybe its not all bad haha
     
  41. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    I learnt to finally link turns on a snowboard down little buller spur. at the time i thought it was the steepest run you could possibly imagine, i went back a few years ago to propose to my wife (we both learnt to ride at buller) and i rode LBS and laughed the whole way down cause i couldnt believe it, it was no steeper than alta green at remarks!
     
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  42. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    Proposing on the snow :thumbs: You legend, I hope she said yes!
     
  43. Toto Warmlet

    Toto Warmlet Dedicated Member

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    [​IMG]

    Most times I can drive up Old Man Ruapehu when ever I want.
    (Subject to real life priorities).
    RAL have done some enterprising stuff this year, so for some extra cost I can park up at the top in a gated area. Skip the 9am start on the nice new 4 seater lift from 8am and, rather perhaps dubiously, enjoy some night skiing on Friday and Saturday nights on the Lower Mountain.
    There is a North half of NZ, my fellow Australians you have never seemed to get this.
    The lure of Sth Island powder?
    Up to you really. Check your nut cracker fitness and hey, we drive on the left side of the road here too and we speek your language. Basically, compared to the Nth Hemi it is going to suck.
    You can risk dying in a very hot, then frigid, helicopter death.
    But why not?
     
    #43 Toto Warmlet, May 11, 2017
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
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  44. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    She certainly did! On the summit of buller close to the fire hut, while on the summit chair i was told "Im not walking up the summit you know..." Probably the closest ive ever coming to actually shitting myself....
     
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  45. pedub

    pedub Active Member

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    Look at that road. It's better than my street...

    Here was one of the more dicey days at TC
    Most 2WD's actually had to give up on this morning. 4WD + chains critical. Epic day! [​IMG]
     
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  46. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy Active Member

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    Toto knows im a diehard Rua skier as well

    I never underrate nz terrain And am happy its not a luxury destination

    Rua ~ best skifield /day touring Going in my exp ~
     
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  47. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 Dedicated Member
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    Have managed too get a two wheel drive camper up most South Island ski field roads.

    Like to fit chains earlier while it's still reasonably convenient & before one starts sliding off road. It can be a little bit of a stampede on powder days and sometime delays with avy control & road clearing works on some of the smaller fields.

    Personally, I really enjoy staying up at the club fields & waking on the mountain.

    RELATIVELY EASY & SAFE (Guard rails, broad switchbacks, good surfaces).

    * Remarks.
    * Concrete.
    * Treble Cone.
    * Cardona.
    * Round Hill.
    * Dobson.
    * Craigieburn.
    * Broken River.
    * Temple (highway).
    * Porters.

    A LITTLE DICEY AT TIMES (No guard rails, narrow, route in slide paths, rockfall etc).

    * Shutt.
    * Ohau.
    * Cheeseman.

    TENDING TO ARSE CLENCHING (Many geotechnical issues).

    * Olympus.
    * Fox Peak.
     
  48. Centago

    Centago Active Member

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    Great list. Probably a bit pedantic of me but I'd suggest Craigieburn should be in your "A little dicey at times" list - it traverses multiple slide paths and is single lane the entire way with no guard rails - although surrounding trees would stop you tumbling too far into the ravine.
     
  49. oreo

    oreo Dedicated Member
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    Lyford is the worst ski field road IMO, the middle part just before you get to the col is sketchy.
     
  50. GlenH

    GlenH Active Member
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    It's all relative.

    I used to think Cardrona was scary until I drove to Treble Cone.

    Then after that I used to think Treble Cone was scary until I drove to Ohau.:)
     
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