Ohau Snowfields, New Zealand Report: Sassy Weather…And Pirate Smiles

Paulie | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Dan the pirate takes flight at Ohau Snowfields. Photo: P.M.Fadden

Report from September 11th thru 13th, 2023

Brilliant then windy, balmy but sudden squalls, a maelstrom yet unshakably chill; the days at Ohau Snowfields have been a confetti burst of eclectic weather.

Like the snow which brightens the Mackenzie’s majestic hills, a whole heap of rowdy smiles are holding fast above the shores of Lake Ohau–proving good vibes are indeed weather resistant.

Harvesting ridge turns is howling good fun. Photo: P.M.Fadden

Snowpack surface layer is straight-up zesty. Accepting the fact is a pivotal factor to an Ohau ski day.

The latest weather fronts have fulfilled their promise of precip, but it’s included the odd raindrop. This, book ended by periods of intense wind, has done an admirable job of firming then buffing the super surface into something akin to dragon scale.

It’s all-the-way skiable, make no mistake of that. And it’ll teach you a lot about yourself in a single line.

Intriguing signs of good times to come. Photo: P.M.Fadden
The author, all the way ‘in’ above Ohau. Photo: P.M.Fadden
Pirate smiles a plenty thanks to lines like these. Photo: P.M.Fadden

Aside from the views (which seem to change by the hour) an undisputed gem of the snow culture at Ohau is a woolly community. The crew up here is village-tight, small in number, and snap quick with a wide-smiled ‘yahoo!’ There’s a tangible sense that whatever’s happening within Ohau Snowfields that day–be it wondrous or wild–everybody’s in it together til last chair, and often longer.

Consider the above to be two very-big welcome signs. Photo: P.M.Fadden

This 2023 season at Ohau, the weather is undeniably sassy. And the plan is definitely to stuff as much backyard pirate-smiled fun as possible into every passing minute.

See ya out here!

Extended Outlook

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