CHILL FEATURE: OPEN SEASON BY OLLIE AND BEN
Chillers Oliver Hunt and Ben Hume are back with their second blog for the season.
After a massive snowstorm Ollie and Ben spend the season opening with their crew in the Craigieburn range. Read up on (and look at all the great shots of) an epic week in fresh and untouched snow.
With one of the “most significant snowstorms in recent years” lining up the south island, we set our sights on the Craigieburn range for our first day in the clubbies. With snowfall deviating away from north of Rakaia, and Fox peak yet to open, Ben opted for a Friday mission to Mt Dobson’s opening day, I joined him with a full car on Saturday - after his Friday night report that conditions were “epic”.
After escaping shark attacks all day and with the skis a little worse for wear we left with the hope for another dump over the next week.
Epic view looking south from the second get-off point on the Dobson T bar - not enough snow to ski above here at the time:
Luck was on our side, and by the following Thursday the ski report said the whole field would be open for “the best day in 5 years” on Friday as one of the locals put it.
Ben getting amongst Dobson’s freshly filled landings:
Arriving to the field at 10.30 we found the chair yet to be skied and plenty of fresh left on the T bar, the skiing to follow did not disappoint. After an awesome day and car park BBQ we turned back north with noses pointing towards the prospect of Broken River’s opening day.
Tantalizing roadside snow en route to Broken River // Photo by: Lucy Hannon:
Having kept an eye on the snow reports and Facebook pages of the fields closer to home, we found out that Broken River was having an opening day for members only (to help out with getting the field working).
The boys earning their keep // Photo by: Claire Newell:
With some of us members, we got in contact with the club and organized to get up there and do a bit of digging. It was great to see some of the on field work done over summer making an access platform so people could easily get onto the rugby tow.
The field looking good for opening day ft Blake Marshall:
After helping out with some tasks we headed up for some skiing, thanking for the tussock surface under the snow. Wind had affected the snowfall and some areas were more exposed.
Kenji Boekholt boosting a gap on Sunny’s face, looking back onto the highway. // Photo by: Alex Bowater:
While the weather wasn’t so great on Sunday, the storm that is brewing for Friday is set to deliver enough snow for the remaining clubbies to open, we look forward to getting up there.
Assuming Mt Olympus opens, there will be a free coaching weekend on for the groms.
MFC athletes including Craig Murray (just qualified for the freeride world tour and new to the Chill crew) will be coaching.
All the info can be found here.
Thanks to Lucy Hannon, Hugo McDougall and Alex Bowater letting us use your photos.