The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

Is Soho Basin the best place to ride you’ve never heard of?

Posted by on Aug 10, 2017

Soho Basin

Craig Tansley laying out a sweet arc at Soho Basin, NZ.

It’s the size of a resort but doesn’t have a chairlift.

There’s untracked powder as far as the eye can see. There’s cruisey wide-open bowls, chutes or hits for the adventurous. There’s an extraordinary lunch served in amazing surrounds. There’s a dozen of you but probably less. There’s no pressure.

It’s Soho Basin in New Zealand, and I suggest you get there before the word gets out.

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Five things I learned at Perisher

Posted by on Jul 14, 2017

Perisher

Guthega – a sneaky good option at this time of the season. Pic: Perisher Facebook

From passes, to good lifties and getting skis stolen (err mistakenly taken), this is what I learnt on my first trip to the snow this season.

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Could this solve the snow-commodation problem?

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017

sleep capsule

Sleeping pods have long been the rage in Japan, where accommodation, particularly of the affordable variety in Tokyo, can be at a premium. With The Capsule Hotel just opened up in Sydney and one getting constructed in Whistler, would this be a good solution to some of Australia’s snow-commodation problems?

We’ve all been there.

A cracking weekend in the middle of August and it’s just dropped a couple of feet midweek.

You frantically hit the computer to look for an available place. Computer says no.

No on snow, no 30km up the road. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Things are so desperate you would probably sleep in a room little bigger than a single bed that looks like something from the Alien franchise. I know I would. And perhaps one day you may be able to …

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All the dumb things I’ve done at the snow

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017

Dumb and dumber

With the opening weekend of the ski season upon us (well, for the slow coaches catching up to Mt Buller and Perisher anyway) I figured it was time for a rewrite of the Alpine Responsibility Code.

I’m sure you’re well familiar with the ARC sign at your ski school or perhaps the individual ‘rules’ stuck to lift stanchions that you summarily ignore as you ride to the top of the mountain.

Well, this ain’t it.

After 20-odd years in this industry I have done a life time worth of stupid and I simply don’t won’t you to repeat my dumb errors. Don’t judge me, just thank me. Ok, maybe judge me too.

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Why you should ski Portillo, Chile this winter

Posted by on May 11, 2017

Portillo Lake Run

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

When discussion turns to which ski resort you’ll visit this southern hemisphere winter the arguments will invariably be of the Noah’s Ark variety.

That is, depending on where you live and your peccadilloes, it will be in a two-by-two format.

Australia vs New Zealand. Victoria vs NSW. Perisher vs Thredbo. Hotham/Falls v Mt Buller.

But for a host of reasons I’d like to throw a third animal into the mix: Portillo, Chile.

I visited the South American giant in August last year and, while far from perfect, it’s a place every skier should head to at least once in their life.

Here’s why.

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