Ohau (Pt.3) – Ohau I Love To Ski!

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Ohau’s expert bonfire-making team

Ohau life is unique to me. The 40 of us here eat, work, ski, sleep, play and live together. Experiences are shared, and nothing is kept in the dark here!

But we all love one thing:

I think you can guess what it is.

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It’s riding on snow, not me… ha
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Hydro Cafe, Twizel

Ironically, I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Twizel writing this on a closed day.

We woke up to heavy pouring rain hitting the wooden roof of our beautiful shed this morning, and a message telling us that it was dumping hard up there on the field. If it’s sunny, tomorrow will be euphoric. And probably the busiest day for us so far this season!

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View of Ben Ohau and Lake Ohau from the Ridge

So lets talk about skiing.

Ohau has two long beautifully groomed runs, and, similar to the rest of New Zealand, the rest is an 309 acre off-piste haven. I have just started venturing out of my comfort zone and into the powder and rocks, and have to say I’m happy to have done so.

The snow fields is a challenging, intermediate snow-field, with a little bit for everyone. I have even managed to find some little moguls, making me feel right at home – coming from Japan!

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Hiking the Ridge – Credit: xmickflicksandpics

On good weather days you can hike 15-20 minutes up the ridge, and enjoy incredible views of Ben Ohau in Lake Ohau, and the other side of the ridge which is equally as stunning.

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George at the top of Ohau Ridge

There are two ridge runs down from here to the chairlift on the which collect good powder, however if you are an adventurous ski-tourer with the correct knowledge and equipment (avalanche gear is paramount) then this hike opens up a huge playground of steep powder runs, chutes, rocky cliffs and the back bowls.

The top of the ridge line is walkable in boots, and the boot pack along it looks fairly easy. The terrain outside of the ski field is un-patrolled however so please plan and prepare accordingly.

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Ohau Piste Map

Within resort there are 3 lifts. A platter, a chairlift and a snow mat. These provide access to 16 runs within resort. The beginner terrain is admittedly quite steep so I advise practicing your snowploughs at the base of the magic carpet before rocking on up.

Remember: If you french fry when you’re meant to pizza, you’re gonna have a baad tiime…

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Our Race Coach Carmen is actually having a really good time, honest 🙂 Credit: xmickflicksandpics

Whilst we are on the subject of baad tiimes…

If you put you or your kid in super retro straight-as-a-plank skis you bought for cheap on TradeMe to learn on – you’re gonna have a baad tiime! (We have good kids rentals too).

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Anyway, our aim is for you guys to really love skiing in Ohau. We hope you do.

 

Traveller’s Tips:

Photographs of Carmen and hiking the ridge taken by xmickflicksandpics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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