The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

Top five places to ride RIGHT NOW

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016

Portillo Lake Run

Anthony Sharwood doing some spring preparation on the Lake Run, Portillo. Pic: Glenn Cullen

September and October don’t have to be no-man’s (or woman’s) land for skiers and snowboarders looking for somewhere to ride.

These are my top five resorts to ride around the globe that will be rocking for another three to seven weeks so there’s plenty of time to get you fill before the northern hemisphere winter starts.

All resorts listed are based on current conditions and my first hand experience, well except for one place I haven’t got to quite yet …

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Why Australia is kicking NZ arse

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016


Coronet Peak

Coronet Peaked? A lovely shot @backpackingmatt / Matt Kyhnn from Instagram. Pity about the snow, bro …

Sure they’ve won the last 239 Bledisloe Cups, have a government instead of a transit lounge and even enjoy cheaper beer.

But have you noticed just how quiet things have got in New Zealand when talk turns to snow right now?

Why, pray tell, I hear you ask? Because they’ve got none! And as Australians revel in a season that’s expected to just get better and better the word from the experts is that things may even get worse for our Kiwi cousins …

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Is this the best ski area you haven’t been to?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016


Porters resort near Christchurch. Criminally underrated – but for much longer?

Been skiing or snowboarding in Porters, New Zealand? Even heard of Porters?

About 80km from downturn Christchurch, this place has plenty going for it already but its master plan is an absolute ball-tearer that would make it the best destination resort in New Zealand.

An expansion with chairlift into the Crystal Valley (to more than double the terrain) is earmarked as the next development.

Then there’s a gondola from the valley floor,¬†accommodation in a year-round village for up to 3400 people, shops, restaurants and hot pools and new chairlifts for the expansion area and existing ski basin.

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The future of Perisher

Posted by on May 25, 2016


Perisher – big changes are in the offing. Pic: Perisher Facebook

On a whistlestop tour of Australia, The Snow Gauge caught up with Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz (with a little help from local chief Peter Brulisauer) to talk all things Perisher:

Key points:

  • Expect some significant announcements ahead of next season
  • Snowmaking and new chairs the priorities; refurbed village after that
  • Approval still being sought for Superpipe build – won’t happen this season
  • Not shying away from the season pass philosophy over day visitors
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NZ snow season prediction: don’t pack yet

Posted by on May 13, 2016

Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson getting the goods in the Thompsons Range near Queenstown, NZ. Pic: Dan Himbrechts.


Booked to go across the ditch this season or considering heading to the Shaky Isles? Well then, you better read The Snow Gauge interview with the NZ Metservice and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) about what’s in store for the snow season.

Key points:

  • It’s bloody warm over there at the moment folks!
  • Like Australia, don’t expect too much early
  • Treble Cone could ultimately benefit most from the prevailing conditions
  • Snow levels could be a bit dicey this year
  • Ruapehu might struggle early¬†

Last season was an absolute cracker in New Zealand. The snow started coming in May, there were consistent storms and there was plenty of the white stuff around well into spring.

I fondly recall skiing top to bottom at Mt Ruapehu, second week of October, thanks very much.

The thing is this year it has been very warm and while the Metservice and NIWA don’t like to go nuts with their predictions this far out, let’s just say the suggestions are this may not exactly be a repeat of 2015.

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