Thursday, August 26, 2004

Mt Cargill

Well, it's been snowing or raining for most of the last week or so. On Monday 23rd we had another snowfall right down to sea-level and snow kept falling through Tuesday - there's still snow falling on the hills. It's ridiculously scenic, but cold, so we didn't keep taking photos.

Last Sunday, however, Kieran nipped off for a hike with the Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club up nearby Mt Cargill. The OTMC have been building a track up Mt Cargill from the northern motorway - the Skyline Track - so we followed that. It's a bit of a swamp, with some fairly solid mud patches. The views from the top are pretty reasonable, but we could see the snow clouds approaching, so we legged it off the summit at speed.

Here are a few more happy snaps...

A panorama of the Otago Peninusla, stretching from Tairoa Heads on the left, right across to Dunedin city at the far right. We live in Macandrew Bay, the village about 2/3rds of the way along from the left.

Kieran at the summit - Macandrew Bay (and our house) across the harbour behind.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Snow on the hills - Updated

After some weather described as "the mother of all snowballs" hitting the NZ South Island last night, we've copped a bit of snow around the hills again. The forecast was snow to sea-level, but fortunately (or unfortunately) we only got a few wet flurries this morning as we watched last night's Olympic highlights.


Monday was snowy again in Dunedin. There was snow down to the harbour in the morning and the roads were "interesting". Most of the town didn't open up for work today - the hill suburbs are still impassable apparently. Drove home on Monday afternoon via the Peninsula high road. Snapped off a few more pictures, just coz it's scenic.

Early Monday morning, South Dunedin - Looking up to Flagstaff Hill

Panorama from above Vauxhall, looking to Flagstaff Hill, past Mt Cargill, right around the Otago Harbour to Macandrew Bay.

Stone wall in snow - Otago Peninsula

Macandrew Bay (our suburb) from the Peninsula high road.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Ohau I love to ski... (31/7 - 1/8 2004)

During the last few weeks of July Bec Thomson and Helen Bostock came over to go skiing - we met up with them at Ohau Ski Field, near Twizel in the McKenzie Country.

Ohau is a small field, just a single bowl in the Ben Ohau Range, with an old double chairlift running up the centre of the field. There's not a lot of grooming, and the skier's left side of the field stays in shadow all day, but if you hike 15 minutes up above the field there are massive possibilites opened up by traversing around the top of the view. The views are outstanding too, in typical New Zealand style.

Looking down the field to Lake Ohau and the McKenzie basin.

Kieran and Bec Thomson, looking north to Mt Cook on the horizon. (Note the specially chosen New Zealander-annoying clothing.)

Bec cutting nice turns through good snow, 5 days after the previous storm.

I've got some nice video from this weekend and the next weekend at Mt Hutt. If I can ever find a place to host it, I'll post a link. There's a great one of Helen... ;-)

Friday the 13th - Snow!

Friday the 13th of August we got a dusting of snow on the hills around Dunedin. It looked nice from our place overlooking the harbour, so I snapped a few shots to share.

Dawn from our balcony, looking back to Dunedin city.

Mount Cargill from Macandrew Bay

I drove up the hill behind our house on the Otago Peninsula to take this shot looking back down the harbour. The hills visible are Flagstaff Hill behind Dunedin and the Maungatuas in the background near Dunedin airport.

More snow expected tonight, possibly to sea-level, so hopefully we might have a white morning tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Ski Orienteering 24-25 July - Waiorau Snow Farm

We finally have decent internet at home, so I can start loading up photos and updating this site with what we've been up to.

A few weeks ago we went to the NZ Ski Orienteering Champs at the Waiorau Snow Farm XC Ski Area, on the Pisa Range, between Wanaka and Queenstown. The event was being run by the Dunedin Orienteering Club, so we went up with the club and arrived a day early to have a ski. This is the only ski orienteering event in NZ (hence the "championship") and it's pretty much entered by orienteers, rather than skiers, so there were lots of people learning to ski on the Saturday.

We took the opportunity to get used to being on skis again and went for a cruise around one of the trails on Saturday morning.

The Startlingly Large Lodge at SnowFarm

Snow Farm trails...

Rochelle admiring her native land.

After lunch on Saturday we skied about 8km out to Bob Lee Hut to spend the night. It's a nice hut, bit ratty inside, but lots of beds and a great fire. It was damn warm in there. Oh, and the view was OK.

Rochelle at Bob Lee Hut, Snow Farm

Neil and Francis (Ski Orienteers) admiring the sunset view to Mt Aspiring from Bob Lee Hut

After a warm night of food, cards and listening to some Christchurch engineers explain how they made their industrial strength headlamps, we awoke to a great sunrise.

Sunrise at Bob Lee Hut, 25 July 2004.

Dawn alpenglow over the Cardrona Range.

In the morning we skied back into the lodge for the ski orienteering. We don't have any photos of the actual event, except this one:

of the Grant sisters on tandem skis (they did alright too). Anyway, the event itself was a 90 minute score-O event (for those who know or care what that is) and we did OK. Results are at

The prize giving was almost the most interesting part of the event. No prizes for the placegetters, just a lucky door prize for all entrants. Fortunately there were more prizes than entrants, so it was an absolute bonanza - some great prizes in there too. We ended up with a bike service voucher and some bath crystals, but other people scored outdoors gear, accomodation vouchers, skydive vouchers... it went on forever!! Huge kudos to Annie Grant and co for running a seriously fun event - we'll be back next year!