Ohau Snowfields, New Zealand, Report: Fresh And Playful With Promise Of More

Paulie | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
This latest storm cycle has Ohau faithful growing younger by the turn. Photo: P.M.Fadden

Report from August 16, 2023

A delectable dollopĀ of mighty fine fresh snow has put a jig in the step of those staunchly skillful skiers & riders cruising Ohau Snowfields and the surrounding Mackenzie District.

The region enjoyed as much as 40 centimeters of much-celebrated white stuff, 10 of those blanketing Ohau, specifically.

Swarthy and spectacular; welcome to Ohau Snowfields. Photo: P.M.Fadden

One small part of what makes a New Zealand winter experience so special is the nature of the snow itself. It’s usually moisture-rich and as a result, kinda heavy–meaning it sticks around, coats the challenging terrain, and can flip a skin-bare slope to skiable with just a dash.

This recent storm was the weather equivalent of a sweetheart kiss, and fun as hell.


The beckoning of stoney fingers high at skier’s left within the Ohau Snowfields boundary. Photo: P.M.Fadden


Dream lines from the ridge line at Ohau. Photo: P.M.Fadden

The tactically minded made a beeline for the wide, high zones directly at the feet of Ohau’s rock-walled ski boundary but there was (and is) ample accumulation throughout the skifield proper. In fact, the famously crowdless slopes at Ohau Snowfields meant there were fresh lines even among the most-traveled trails well past lunch hour.

But wait, there’s more…

“For the faithful” charmingly sums up the boot pack ascending Ohau’s ridge. Photo: P.M.Fadden

The opening of Ohau’s hallowed ‘ridge hike’ usually follows any good ol’ meteorological rowdy-up. From the ridge (and pending visibility, naturally) the splendor of Ohau Snowfields may be appreciated in wide-eyed detail. It’s the proverbial icing on a mountain-sized snow cake.

And while the gift of new snow is certainly appreciated there is an added eagerness to the air. As this report is typed, another low-pressure front is teasingly swirling this way.

…this weekend could be a goodie. And we’re crossing our fingers!


Extended Forecast



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