Monday, September 1, 2008


Firstly a huge amount of thanks to Emma and her team from Black Diamond, and Mike and Craig at Ohau Snowfields and Lodge. It made my job a lot easier with the support of these people.

Secondly the weather. It made everything easier that the sun was shining, though the inversion layer on Saturday morning did have me sweating when I first woke up.

Lastly thank you to all who turned up and participated. The participants make this event. If you have any feedback, suggestions for improvement etc, likes/dislikes, please let me know at

The event itself saw all competitors head up the main groomed run, Broadway, until they cut left up a steeper groomed trail towards the snow making facilities. From there they broke up towards the ridge stopping to take their skins off for a small ski downhill. Dropping about 100m vertical they came to halt at the bottom of the Powder Bowl to put their skins on and head back up towards the ridge. Nearer the top they stopped to strap skis on their packs for a hike to the ridge. From there they dropped back down to the bottom of the Powder Bowl. Here the recreational class called it a day and the race class put their skins back on to make it to the top of Mt Sutton. The breeze kept everyone from overheating and the snow was nice and soft by the time most competitors were descending.

The recreational class was about 580m vertical and the race class about 900m vertical.

The race itself saw a predictably fast pace from the start as Grant tore up the first slope. Jane and Gena chased hard and another group of about 6 racers followed. By the second uphill Grant had a big lead with most of the other competitors bunched more closely. By the climb up Mt Sutton some gaps started appearing with Jane easing clear of Gena and Rupert burning off the rest of the pack to be the third male. Theo and Alexis, explaining the pros and cons of the course in French were next. In the female race class Kath was behind the main pack and behind here Sheena and Gillian followed with Sheena edging Gillian on the last climb.



1. Grant Guise – 50m

2. Gena Sibaev – 1h 1m

3. Rupert Gardiner – 1h 6m

4. Theo Camus – 1h 6m

5. Alexis Poilvert – 1h 6m

6. Nigel Sutherland – 1h 8m

7. Tim Ensor – 1h 11m

8. Gary MacPherson – 1h 13m

9. Sean Waters – 1h 15m

10. Ian Dee – 1h 15m

11. Jules Lowndes – 1h 22m

12. Terry Simpson – 1h 38m

13. Mael Baguet - DNF

14. James Orr – DNF


1. Jane Harper – 1h

2. Kath Conlan – 1h 18m

3. Sheena Denmead – 1h 22m

4. Gillian Ensor – 1h 24m

5. Christina Bauer – 1h 32m


1. Richard Raynes – 45m

2. Russell Braddock – 46m

3. Jamie Owens – 48m

4. Tomas O’Shea – 59m

5. David Dolan – 1h 27m

6. Dean McNulty - 1h 58m


1. Kim Fuller – 1h 3m

2. Aviette Musin – 1h 14m

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Just a few quick notes about next weekend.

Prizes - All prizes are spot prizes and there is some good booty to be dished out. All those who attended last year will know what I mean.

Entry Fees - Cash. Yep like ya grandparents bring cash. SKIMONZ has not yet invested in the portable EFTPOS machine.

Conditions - Maybe a bit of red and black bias but what a season. The team at Ohau have talked up conditions (with good reason) so I think we can look forward to a great event.

Weather - Pray

See you all Saturday.


Thursday, August 7, 2008


-Date- 30th August 2008
-Venue- Ohau Snow Field, Ohau, NZ
-Entry Fee- $10 per person (Racers must purchase a pass for a discounted rate of $40 from Ohau Snow Field)
-Divisions- Race Male & Female, Recreational Male and Female
-Course- TBC, around 1000-1200 metres of vertical, made up of 3-5 ascents and descents.
-Required Equipment- Skis (or Split board), skins, boots, poles, helmet, gloves, light weight shell jacket, race number, transceiver, shovel, probe, pack (able to carry skis and fit required gear in it) required.
-Registration/Race number bib pick up- 8:30am-9am Ohau Day Lodge
-Pre- race meeting- 9am Ohau Day Lodge
-Race Start- 10am
-Cut Off Time- 12.30pm
-Prize Giving- 5.00pm in Ohau Lodge Game Room - Top 3 Male & Female Prizes, Major Prizes are all SPOT PRIZES
-Series Points- 1st-30 points, 2nd-25, 3rd-22, 4th-20 and so on....
-Sponsors- Black Diamond/Southern Approach, Ohau Snow Field and Lodge, Wilderness Magazine, The climber Magazine, Buff Head Wear, New Zealand Alpine Club, Protector Safety

- If you have any questions regarding the Black Diamond Backcountry Blast Race please ask them via a comment, or e-mail

Sunday, August 3, 2008


So if you are thinking of coming and wondering what equipment you will need here goes
- Skis or Split Board
- Skins
- Boots
- Poles
- Gloves
- Light Weight Shell Jacket
- Avalanche Transceiver
- Shovel
- Probe
- Pack (and you need to be able to carry your skis or board on this)

Some water and food would be very handy, at the very least for after the race. I also think a warm jacket for afterwards is a must. On the basis you might do the race then have a bite to eat prior to some laps on the tows or elsewhere in the afternoon it is amazing how quickly you cool down. If you get too cold it could ruin your afternoon.



Hi all,

If you are struggling to get accommodation at the Ohau Lodge or in the village then have a look at High Country Lodge and Backpackers in Twizel. They have a range of options and are reasonably priced. Their website is

Twizel is only about 30 minutes from the lodge. No further than Wanaka from Treble Cone or Cardrona, or Methven to Mt Hutt.


Monday, July 28, 2008


Not much more to add really. Winter is good.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Hi all

The Black Diamond Backcountry Blast ski mountaineering race (part of a greater Black Diamond Backcountry Weekend) is happening on the 30th and 31st of August 2008. We have hugely supportive sponsors (Black Diamond/Southern Approach and Ohau Skifield and Lodge) so things are looking good. Fingers crossed for the weather.

The first priority for many might be accomodation. This is limited at the Lodge itself and some has been reserved for us (10 rooms). It is there on a first in, first serve basis. So if you want to attend the weekend please ring Ohau and make a booking.

I'll try to get more details up on the event in the next week or so.