The forecast last week was looking good for weekend skiing but as longtime Canterbury skiers, we’ve learnt to not get too excited by a forecast and best to wait and see. The view of the incoming storm from Lyttelton on Friday night showed promise so ski gear was packed and ready to go for the next day. Skiing was on the cards regardless.

Waking up to snow on the ground in Christchurch was a good sign. After some deliberation over where to head, we were off in the general direction of Arthurs Pass (the discussion could continue in the car). Anywhere was going to be good.

It doesn’t happen very often in New Zealand, but the conditions were perfect. The fresh snow was deep, light and untouched. It was apparent that all of the essential ingredients had aligned to deliver the best snow in years... For the ultimate powder, heading backcountry is the way to go. The day consisted of several hours of skinning for two of the best runs of powder skiing in recent years.

It wasn’t going to end there. When conditions are this good you’ve got to make the most of it. Sunday and a day off work on Monday were essential. No explanation necessary when you work at Cactus.

Thanks for the photo (top right) Julian O'Neale.

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