Treble Cone, August 26, 2006

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Treble Cone, August 26, 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:09 am

I knew from my previous trips that Treble Cone had New Zealand's best lift served steep terrain so I used the free day to go there on my own. Most of this is in southeast-facing Saddle Basin, which now has a conventional quad of 1,300 vertical. Saddle Basin spreads out and offers a tremendous variety of open bowls and chutes, about as interesting a 1,300 vert terrain pod as I've skied anywhere. So I was there from 10:45AM - 1:15PM and again for an hour before its 3:30PM closing. On my second run there I went through a gate far skier's right into Hollywood Bowl, which eventually drains into several precipitous chutes of close to 1,000 vertical. These end below the lift so even with the highest possible traverse out I had about a 10 minute hike. There are several shorter chutes within Saddle Basin, but of course the sidecountry ones had softer snow left over from Monday's storm.

Coming back from Saddle are a few 500 vert steep faces above the main chair, a high-speed six of 1,680 vertical. This chair serves some groomers and some Coronet-type rolling hills and gullies. The chair faces almost directly east, so on this sunny day about 2/3 of the front side was sun-affected vs. less than 20% of Saddle Basin. Far skier's right of the frontside wraps around to a big north-facing bowl, which had good spring conditions when it I hit it about 1:30 on the way to lunch. On the lower mountain shaded gullies often had hardpack, and in late afternoon the lower part of the groomers got fairly hard from skier traffic.

This was a Saturday so there were noticeable weekend skiers. Saddle Basin ran a lift line up to 8 minutes as it's not high speed and it had the best snow. Nonetheless I skied 23,200 (a record for August) between 10:15 and 3:45. The public bus from Queenstown takes about 2 hours each way, so independent advanced skiers should base in Wanaka, which is less than half as far from the ski area. In terrain quality Treble Cone belongs in the conversation with the better mid-size areas of western North America like Kirkwood, Taos, Crested Butte, Red Mt. However it almost certainly gets less snow than the 210 inches averaged by Mt. Hutt. Treble Cone keeps some stats, but they are not yet computerized and I'm not sure whether I will get them.
Last edited by Tony Crocker on Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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re: Treble Cone, August 26, 2006

Postby Geoff » Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:14 pm

I'm curious what impact that lift in the Saddle had on snow conditions. When I was there, it was fixed-double to T-bar to snowcat. I was there in late-September when they hadn't had much snow in a while and the surface was still great and pretty much mogul-free. With a quad, is it bumped up? Do they, shudder, groom it?
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re: Treble Cone, August 26, 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:01 pm

Saddle Basin was so wide open I wouldn't define anything as bumped up. Mine Shaft looked bumpy but the bumps were far apart and you could always ski the banked smooth sides of the run if you preferred. Very little groomed except trails coming from or going to the frontside.

If that old lift system had been in place on Saturday the lines would have been horrendous. Some people would like the quad to go high speed as the line was 8 minutes. There's a lot of terrain there to spread people out. Of course in leaner years like my previous visit in 1997 skiable lines are more constrained.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
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re: Treble Cone, August 26, 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:49 am

Pics:
082606_tc_front.JPG
Overview of Treble Cone's frontside as the bus approaches.
082606_tc_front.JPG (31.18 KiB) Viewed 4837 times

082606_saddle1.JPG
Lots of wide open lines in Saddle Basin this season.
082606_saddle1.JPG (22.21 KiB) Viewed 4837 times

082606_saddle3.JPG
Mine Shaft is the chute near the Saddle quad chair.
082606_saddle3.JPG (28.58 KiB) Viewed 4837 times

082606_saddle2.JPG
Only skier's right of Saddle Basin was sun affected on Saturday,
082606_saddle2.JPG (25.96 KiB) Viewed 4837 times

082606_hollywood.JPG
An exploratory foray into Hollywood Bowl gives little clue what lies below.
082606_hollywood.JPG (33.04 KiB) Viewed 4837 times

082606_motatupu.JPG
If you ski very far into Hollywood Bowl you are committed to the more serious Motatapu Chutes.
082606_motatupu.JPG (33.76 KiB) Viewed 4837 times

082606_groomer_lake.JPG
This view of Lake Wanaka while skiing frontside groomers is rivaled only by Heavenly in my experience.
082606_groomer_lake.JPG (30.57 KiB) Viewed 4837 times

082606_chair_ad.JPG
I don't think they would allow this ad on a chairlift in the U.S.
082606_chair_ad.JPG (11.4 KiB) Viewed 4837 times
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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