Monthly Archives: June 2012

All systems go!

Our first day out for the season was reserved for guides only! We do this so we can check the conditions and also to get some baseline data on the snowpack so we can track changes throughout the season as part of a process that allows us to determine which terrain is safe to ski. This season our guides are sporting new uniforms supplied by “Cloudveil”. They are a combination of a soft shell jacket with a gortex hardshell and in red so we can get great pictures. The conditions were fantastic for early season with over 2 meters of snow at 2000 meters and good coverage on at lower elevations. July is looking very good!

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Almost ready to open for 2012!

Looking at the mountains with a thick coating of new snow everyone is asking why aren’t we operating. The truth is that while we have had great snow falls to date it does take time to get a professionally run heliski business into operation. As well as going over all the necessary safety plans , equipment and operational procedures the guides and pilots need to refresh skills at our annual guides training! Part of this training involves guides getting out in our terrain and digging pits in the snow to give us baseline information for our in-depth avalanche forecasting program.  We are expecting to have approx 1.5 meters of new snow at 2000 meters to start the season and some dense snowfalls recently should have filled the crevasses on our glaciers. We use avalanche probes to check the average depth of snow and to check for crevasses on our main ski runs. Once we have our baseline information it is continual process of recording weather and  snowpack information which is utilised to form a daily hazard forecast that helps us determine terrain that is safe for skiing. We don’t only do this for our operations but have a contract through the New Zealand mountain safety council to write a public avalanche bulletin. Guides also refresh on rescue techniques , evacuation of injured guests, lst aid and general client care! It is also a good time to catch up as team and sneak a few fun turns in just to make sure we can still all remember how do it! July is looking great! we are offering specials for the first two weeks so get in contact with us if you want some fantastic early season skiing or riding!

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