Winter in Wanaka

I arrived back in Wanaka on June 16th, arriving at Craig’s house which I have been building for the last three year’s. They moved into the house 18 months ago. They have an apartment on the end of their house which you can see at the back of the bus below. A few days after I arrived I moved into the bus and will be living in it till we have completed the apartment.

The bus is very comfortable and roomy as you can see by the photo’s below. It was fitted out by Craig over a 10 year period, there is a nice small fire on the left and the Kitchen area with a fridge beyond the fire. The windows have made to fit foil insulation panels and curtains. Beyond the fridge you can just see the end of the double bed which is in one of the picture’s below.

On the other side of the wall by the fridge there is a shower/toilet room which is out of action because the acrilic wall lining all cracked when he drove the bus to where it is now which it wasn’t supposed to so he got refunded for the materilas damaged and hasn’t had the time to refit it.

The apartment in the house has a operational toilet and nice tiled floor to cieling shower room which I’m using. The house build has been a slow process with work only done as Craig earns and saves enough for another push and it should be completed while I’m here thi s winter. I’m only working two days a week for rent and power.

Another reason I’m back in Wanaka is of course for the ski season, skiing mainly Treble Cone and Cardrona when TC is closed or after the TC season is finished.

Opening day was on the 24th June, above were waiting for the lifts to open, we opened with a meter at the base and two meter’s on the upper mountain after a 4 day storm which dumped 3 meter’s on the upper mountainand a meter at the base.

Its the best start for the 24th June for as long as I have been skiing since 1994. Unfortunately it fell on a warm mountain and there have been several closed area’s in the first two weeks due to avalanche danger.

The next storm was four days later with 40cm which was when I took the photo of the rain/fog/snow bow from the top of the six seater lift, the back ground ridge line has a few slides created by ski patrol checking the slope before opening the upper mountain.

The Photo below was yesterday after another 40cm storm which came through 3 days ago closing the mountain for two days, first day we had 30cm and then it rained on the lower half of the mountain the next day, then we had a freeze which was good for the pack as it froze and consolidated the pack, then we got 5cm on top which made yesterday a very good day with one of my lines in the center of the photo taken on the upper mountain.

Today I went for my first hike back country and the two photo’s below are on the same run, after a long traverse from the top lift to outside the ski area it was a nice long run from 1950 meters to the valley floor at 1380 meters.

Overall its been a GR8 start to the season, today it was good to ski back country to the valley floor with a good solid base down there, all we need now is for more snow to fall onto, we have’nt been able to ski down there for a few season’s for the lack of snow due to the high freezing level’s during the storm’s. So hopefully the snow keeps coming to build up our base.