Porter's, New Zealand, July 18, 2010, midwinter corn!, pics

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Porter's, New Zealand, July 18, 2010, midwinter corn!, pics

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:30 pm

With rental car I set off at 9AM for 3 days on my own, looking at a mostly overcast view like the previous 2 days.
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But I arrived at Porters 11AM to clear blue skies above the clouds.
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Porter's is a public area but the ambience is rather like Mt. Hutt in 1982, even though much modern equipment (this pic is for icelantic) has made it to NZ.
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The lifts are 3 consecutive T-bars ascending a total of 2,100 vertical feet and they ran ~5 minute lift lines most of the day due to the fine weather on the Sunday at the end of a school holiday week. The upper 2 T-bars are exactly east facing, climbing out of the lower bowl. The lower T-bar serving the easier terrain is SE oriented and was shaded all day long by the steep ridge to the north. You can traverse skier's left out that ridge, gaining longer fall lines (the Bluffs are the longest) the farther you go.
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Since Porters had had the mist and rain after the mid-June dump most of that terrain was off limits, and the shorter ungroomed sectors I sampled were smooth but very firm.

However, there is also a ridge skier's right which was in the sun all day long. At the end of that ridge is Porter's signature run, Big Mama, a sustained bowl with a continuous NE facing fall line of 1,600 vertical. Think Eric's at Baldy if Eric's were more open and directly accessible at the very top of chair 4. End of the traverse and top of Big Mama:
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With the previous cold and overcast weather Big Mama had probably not been open for over a week, so when they announced it open around noon I tested a shorter face with the same exposure off the top T-bar and knew I was in for a treat. Big Mama's snow was smooth corn over a firm subsurface and you could just rip GS turns down the whole 1,600 (I can visualize Adam or BobbyD in warp drive mode!).
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I ran 6 laps on Big Mama, not stopping for lunch in case wind, cloud or shade would return the slope to hardpack. The weather held and I had my last run there about 3PM with the shade creeping not quite halfway up then.
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The opposite side Bluff slopes have comparable pitch and would be epic on a powder day. While NZ's snow conditions are notoriously fickle, these Canterbury areas do have great advanced/expert terrain so I think Patrick-type skiers would love it here.
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Re: Porter's, New Zealand, July 18, 2010, midwinter corn!?!

Postby Patrick » Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:36 pm

Tony Crocker wrote: these Canterbury areas do have great advanced/expert terrain so I think Patrick-type skiers would love it here.

I like it pretty much anywhere. :mrgreen: Place noted, I'm running out of major ski areas to try in SA . 8)
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Re: Porter's, New Zealand, July 18, 2010, midwinter corn!?!

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:15 pm

I think the Canterbury region of NZ is a near perfect fit for Patrick. Low density ski areas with old funky lifts and not a lot of grooming. Lots of cheap hostels and backpacker lodges to hang out with the locals (and not get ripped off :stir: ). My car rental from Methven has 240,000km on it and is only $45NZ/day even though it has AWD. As noted above, interesting terrain with variable snow conditions. Those of you who have seen Patrick ski understand why he would be dismissive of us peons who complain about tough snow conditions. As in most places with steep terrain, it's best to be there when coverage is maximum. That would on average be the late August/early September time frame to keep The Streak going.
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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
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Porter's, New Zealand, July 18, 2010, midwinter corn!, p

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:21 pm

During my stay at The Burn B&B at Castle Hill, I saw plans for an ambitious expansion of Porters.
http://www.skiporters.co.nz/mountain/project
Image
The existing area is served by the lifts in the upper left of the map. The basin at upper right, Crystal Valley, would be developed and would about double lift accessible terrain. A base village with lodging would be at the bottom of the valley, a short paved road drive from the Arthur's Pass road, and a gondola would go up from there to the skiing, bypassing the typical NZ gravel access road.

I asked at the B&B if there was any local environmental opposition, and they said no. However, these ambitious projects still have to make economic sense for the owners/investors. Some of you may recall the gondola proposed in 2006 to bypass Treble Cone's access road. This has now been put on indefinite hold for economic reasons. http://www.odt.co.nz/your-town/queensto ... d-skifield
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
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