Avalanche Rips Through Mt. Hutt, NZ Building After Getting 60” in 24 Hours

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Mt. Hutt avalanche hits snowmaking building
Mt. Hutt avalanche hits snowmaking building

Mt. Hutt, New Zealand got over 60 inches in 24 hours two days ago.  There was a brief break, they tried to dig out, and now it’s snowing and blowing again.  Mt. Hutt has been closed since the the day the storm rolled in 3 days ago.  Once it clears, the only way they can make the resort safe is via using Helicopters and heli bombing the ski resort (read statement below).

Yesterday, when trying to dig out they discovered that their snowmaking building had received some modifications.  An avalanche came down and ripped holes into the building:

“So the snow keeps falling! Another 40 cms is forecast over the next 24 hours. The avalanche risk is extremely high right now – this pic shows the aftermath of an avalanche that hit our snowmaking building at about 4pm yesterday. Our patrol team have started using expolisives to trigger avalanches at both ends of the road. We also have snow clearing machinery working from both ends. Progress at the top is slow due to 5m + deep drifts but we have reached Scotts Saddle from the bottom, It goes without saying, the road is closed to all traffic as the avalanche hazard, even at lower altitudes, is still very high and we don’t want anybody to get in the way of the road crew.” – Mt. Hutt yesterday

Mt. Hutt snowsports school on Wednesday...it'sa snowed
Mt. Hutt snowsports school on Wednesday…it’s snowed a lot since wednesday…

The avalanche danger is extreme at Hutt right now, the storm keeps coming, and they can’t even keep up with how much new snow has fallen:

“So far it’s been one huge storm not just for us but for NZ. We gave up on how much we have received as at 6pm last night it was 120cm and still snowing. From last night in came the wind and it continued to snow with strong winds into this afternoon. 

As you can see from our FB posts we had an avalanche which hit our snowmaking building and took out our race hutt shed. 

Tomorrow is looking like more snow until around lunch time. 

Mt. Hutt buried Wednesday
Mt. Hutt buried Wednesday

If and when its safe we will be sending our storm crew up the mtn to start the long process of clearing so we can get our mtn open. We have heavy equipment on the access road clearing as we speak and will continue through the night until we have access. 

Once we have a clearing in the weather we will be sending in helicopters to start the process of heli bombing the ski area. Control work needs to be carried out before we can let anyone on the slopes. 

Please understand that the safety of our staff is paramount first and we will not rush the snow clearing until all is safe for our crews to carry out snow clearing. 

If the weather plays ball and we get the window we need, we think that this Sunday will be the day for some fresh POW POW!” – Mt. Hutt today

Mt. Hutt burial on Wednesday
Mt. Hutt burial on Wednesday

You know it’s serious when they are going to be heli bombing at a ski resort.  Good luck Mt. Hutt.  Looks like it’ll be epic once it clears.


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5 thoughts on “Avalanche Rips Through Mt. Hutt, NZ Building After Getting 60” in 24 Hours

    1. Darkest time of the year down there right now, so they have more time than they would later in the season.

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