Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

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Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:24 pm

The whole NASJA group was here today, but skiing only from 10:30 - 3:00. Even though I'd been here Saturday I still skipped lunch. I had a pair of demo K2 Apache Recons 174cm and since they seemed to agree with me I pushed hard (18,900 total) and tried to cover a wide range of terrain and snow conditions.

It was spotless blue sky again, and nearly all of the frontside and close to half of Saddle Basin now have spring conditions. After a couple of warmup runs I was with guide Paula and a few NASJA people in Saddle Basin. Coming back to the frontside for lunch Paula led us down Gunbarrel, which is a smooth steep chute at the top and a long twisting natural halfpipe below. I stayed in Paula's tracks in the halfpipe as a demonstration exercise of the Recons' maneuverability. As my 1999-vintage Volants are 188cm this aspect is an improvement.

When they went into lunch I skied a sun affected bowl with narrow entry between Magnum and Powder Bowl, then headed back to Saddle Basin. I went out Hollywood Bowl again to try the precipitous chutes below. These had firmed up some since Saturday and were even more an area where falling should be avoided. I lost an edge once (shorter length than I'm used to?) but recovered and also had the 12 minute and 250 vertical hike back to the quad chair.

The Recons just ripped through the sun-affected and chunky off-piste and are definitely on the short list for my next skis.

NASJA was greeted by area management who was promoting the new access gondola, which will open for the 2008 season if all goes to plan. If it attracts more bodies I asked if other new lifts would be added to handle that. They are considering eventually putting a lift into Gottlieb's, a Saddle-like basin beyond Hollywood Bowl.
Last edited by Tony Crocker on Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby CWHappyRN » Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:58 am

Tony I cannot locate the photos. It is August 31, 2006. Did you post them yet?

I imagine you are in your glory enjoying heli-skiing and NZ and NASJA. It is funny your little picture on Mt. Baldy as your icon is misleading!

Carol in hot Big Bear, with plenty of forest fires! 8)
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re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:47 pm

No pics until I get back to L.A. next week. Andrew and I are currently enjoying fantastic scuba diving at Wananavu Resort in Fiji.

But judz' August 15 pics from Harris Mt. Heliski can give you an idea.
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re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby jasoncapecod » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:43 am

When you go on vacation. You really go on Vacation. This sure beats Niagra Falls and Cape Cod. :lol:
Can't wait for the pics
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Re: re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby CWHappyRN » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:29 pm

CWHappyRN wrote:Tony I cannot locate the photos. It is August 31, 2006. Did you post them yet?

I imagine you are in your glory enjoying heli-skiing and NZ and NASJA. It is funny your little picture on Mt. Baldy as your icon is misleading!

Carol in hot Big Bear, with plenty of forest fires! 8)


OK, just checked the Judz photos. Nice, no trees, not very steep, private peaceful. !!! This is a good tourist attraction if only they could get the volume from the U.S. With the airlines the way they are, less likely now, keeping the runs for folks like our type of skiers. Sweet! Carol
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re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:13 am

I suspect this trip will generate all kinds of favorable press items from the NASJA members. For those of us who are used to travel, it's hard to understand why New Zealand isn't overrun with North Americans. It's safe as can be, English speaking, very friendly people and spectacular scenery, much of which was massively publicized by the Lord of the Rings movies.

But only 20% of Americans even have a passport and NZ looks like the ends of the earth on a map to most Americans, particularly to those on the East Coast.
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Re: re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby Geoff » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:16 am

Tony Crocker wrote:But only 20% of Americans even have a passport and NZ looks like the ends of the earth on a map to most Americans, particularly to those on the East Coast.


*Cough*

It is the ends of the earth on a map if you're on the east coast.

6 hour flight from Boston to LAX and most of the time you'll connect in some hub to lengthen it to more like 8 hours. A pathetically long layover where you change terminals and enjoy the LA smog. A 14 hour flight to Aukland. A brief layover. Another short hop to the south island. I wouldn't consider it without a business class seat.

Miami to Santiago, Chile is 8 hours and it's in the same timezone. The mountains are much bigger. The snow is usually much better. Chile is ski-in/ski-out rather than sleeping 25 minutes down the hill in some sleepy town like Wanaka or Methven. Crystal is about as good as Canterbury Draught. NZ and Chilean wines are both excellent. All Chile is missing are Keas (alpine parrots) and meat pies. Instead, you get Brazilian chicas wearing thongs at the pool and pisco sours.

Every year, I say, "Next year, I want to go back to New Zealand." Somehow, I end up in Chile. The travel time is very off-putting. United is bumping up the number of miles it takes to get to NZ on business class in mid-October. Before the cutoff, I'm going to see if I can get some Air New Zealand seats for an early September spring skiing trip next year.
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re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby tirolerpeter » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:23 am

A passport is no issue for me. I've kept mine current for over thiry-five years. The travel time is definitely daunting. I have crossed the Pacific all the way to SE Asia four times. It is a killer from the East Coast. Still, like the man said about the mountain and why he climbed it: "Because it's there." NZ is definitely on my list before I they "cancel my reservation" for my current incarnation.
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re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:13 pm

Geoff is correct about the scale of the ski areas and snow conditions. From L.A. the travel time is about the same. New Zealand is actually the antipodes of Spain, but I do get the point from east coasters. I recall the travel from L.A. to South Africa in 2002.

But all of these Southern Hemisphere mountains are above tree line and you won't be skiing when the weather is bad. If you're not skiing you're much better off in New Zealand with the myriad of alternate activities. And you won't be waiting a whole week after the storm for management to get around to opening their lifts.

Queenstown is definitely not sleepy. Though I will admit expert skiers will prefer to be in Wanaka or Methven at least some of the time.

My comments about North Americans and New Zealand were more directed at general tourism than skiing. Lots of North Americans hate cold weather and want to travel someplace warmer in the winter. If they are the type who enjoy our national parks in summer they would surely be impressed by a NZ summer in our winter.
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Re: re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby Geoff » Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:23 am

Tony Crocker wrote:Geoff is correct about the scale of the ski areas and snow conditions. From L.A. the travel time is about the same. New Zealand is actually the antipodes of Spain, but I do get the point from east coasters. I recall the travel from L.A. to South Africa in 2002.


Ain't gonna do it in a coach seat. 8 hours from Miami to Santiago once a year is my absolute limit. I even take the morning flight from Boston to London Heathrow to avoid having to do an overnight in an airplane.

Tony Crocker wrote:But all of these Southern Hemisphere mountains are above tree line and you won't be skiing when the weather is bad. If you're not skiing you're much better off in New Zealand with the myriad of alternate activities. And you won't be waiting a whole week after the storm for management to get around to opening their lifts.


Yeah. I've been trapped in my hotel room in Chile for days at a time. We bring a 17" PowerBook, external speakers, and a stack of DVDs. You can plow through a couple linear feet of books in those conditions. 2 of our trips, we had nothing but sunny spring days. The other 2 trips, we got 10 foot dumpings durning the trip where the hotel room turned into a jail cell. Of course, the sunny days afterwards were pretty epic. As long as you have a rental car, there are indeed tons of alternatives in New Zealand.

Tony Crocker wrote:Queenstown is definitely not sleepy. Though I will admit expert skiers will prefer to be in Wanaka or Methven at least some of the time.


Queenstown even has Indian and Thai food. Queenstown is a pretty good destination resort town. Australians are professional partiers.

I had a week in sleepy Methven being called "The Seppo". It was late September and there weren't any other Americans in the pubs. I think Seppo is one of those Kiwi Cockney rhyming things... "Stupid Yanks" => "Septic Tanks" => "Seppos". They call expat Brits "Pomms". "Immigrant" => "Pommigranite" => "Pommes". I kept having to stop people to have them explain the slang.

Tony Crocker wrote:My comments about North Americans and New Zealand were more directed at general tourism than skiing. Lots of North Americans hate cold weather and want to travel someplace warmer in the winter. If they are the type who enjoy our national parks in summer they would surely be impressed by a NZ summer in our winter.


Image
Those sheep are a real tourist attraction. :lol:
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Re: re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby Judz » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:31 pm

Geoff wrote: They call expat Brits "Pomms". "Immigrant" => "Pommigranite" => "Pommes". I kept having to stop people to have them explain the slang.


actually its pohm = prisoner of her magisty, at least thats what an australian told me
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re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:25 pm

I would also point out that some of the South Pacific tropical destinations are on many people's wish lists. And a New Zealand ski trip can be combined with one of those for minimal extra airfare at the optimal weather season (tropical winter, think inverse of Caribbean).

In my case:
1982: Tahiti + Moorea
1997: Cairns + Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef
2006: Fiji

Nonetheless, the next time I go south for skiing it will almost certainly be to Chile, mainly because I haven't been there yet.
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re: Treble Cone, August 29, 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:21 am

Pics from last day:
082906_nasja.JPG
NASJA members group up at top of frontside 6-pack chair.
082906_nasja.JPG (36.84 KiB) Viewed 11924 times

082906_saddle_cloud.JPG
Cross section of Saddle Bowl with interesting clouds in background.
082906_saddle_cloud.JPG (21.48 KiB) Viewed 11924 times

082906_saddle_upper.JPG
Saddle Bowl's upper terrain.
082906_saddle_upper.JPG (29.55 KiB) Viewed 11923 times

082906_hollywood.JPG
Far skier's right of Hollywood Bowl. JSpin can compare to its namesake in Montana.
082906_hollywood.JPG (40.51 KiB) Viewed 11923 times

082906_motatupu_chute.JPG
Fortunately I did not lose that edge in this chute.
082906_motatupu_chute.JPG (38.17 KiB) Viewed 11922 times

082906_motatupu_up.JPG
Looking up a couple of the Motatapu Chutes.
082906_motatupu_up.JPG (27.3 KiB) Viewed 11921 times

082906_buchanans.JPG
Treble Cone view across the valley to the North Buchanan Mts. where I had been heliskiing.
082906_buchanans.JPG (41.83 KiB) Viewed 11922 times

082906_matukituki.JPG
Matukituki Basin is at far skier's left of the frontside with heavy spring conditions but quite a view.
082906_matukituki.JPG (35.42 KiB) Viewed 11924 times
http://bestsnow.net
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Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
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