NEW WILLOW'S TERRAIN:
Previously this red highlighted area has been uncontrolled, backcountry terrain.This year it has been developed, a chairlift has been put in, and it is now within the Cardrona ski area boundary. This means the area is now considered ‘Closed, in-bounds terrain’ until we have finished control work/ set up and we are open to the public. Also please be aware that if you are coming back from SOHO you only enter somewhere on the GREEN line - if you decide to dip in to the new Willow's terrain and then skin back to Carpark B you could potentially be in closed terrain. We also do not allow uphill traffic anywhere but Thompson's track.
CARPARK B ACCESS:
We are asking that people wanting to access the backcountry from Cardrona use only one route to do so, which is highlighted in blue on the map. This corridor of safety starts at the bottom of Carpark B where the avalanche danger sign is located, and travels up ‘Thompson's Track’, which will be a trackpacked access route for staff vehicles that essentially follows the Skyline ski run on the Queenstown side of the wind fence. Please do not skin on Skyline as it is a very busy green run.
Whilst travelling on Thompson's (the blue line on the map), there are a few things you need to do/be aware of:
- This is an operational access road and will regularly have groomers, snowmobiles and Can-Ams running up and down it from both Cardrona and the Soho Cat Skiing operation.
- When the Willow’s terrain does open, this track will be in that area. Please be aware of guests who will be skiing downhill and try to stay visible at all times.
- This is the only area on the resort where we allow uphill traffic - if you are accessing Soho it can only be via Thompson's.
AVALANCHE CONTROL WORK:
This new terrain (red on the map) poses a few potential areas of concern for the Cardrona Ski Patrol team as there will be times where we will still be carrying out avalanche control work with explosives while people are wanting to access Soho Basin. There will be a flip sign posted at the entrance to Thompson's that will read OPEN or CLOSED. Access to Soho via Thompson's will be restricted until we have completed our control work, so please respect the signs and we will flip these either open or closed daily when control work has finished.
We ask that anyone using Thompson's after hours (before 8.30am and after 4pm) make themselves visible using hi-vis vests and a headtorch. There will be groomers and snowmobiles regularly using this track at all hours. If you are returning to your vehicle during opening hours (8.30am - 4pm) feel free to enter the resort and ski through if you have a valid Cardrona lift pass.
- If you are coming back after 4pm please only use Thompson's track to return to Carpark B. This is so our groomers, maintenance staff and Patrol are aware of where people might be and that no one is missed during our sweep of the resort.
- After 4pm there will be groomers using winch cables which are hard to see in the dark and most operational staff driving skidos and Can-Ams will not be expecting to see anyone skiing around the resort. These are significant and genuine hazards that have potential to cause serious injury. Thompson's will be your only safe corridor of travel back to your vehicles - there will be no exception to this rule.
The main back bowl, Soho Basin, is used by a commercial cat skiing operation and has certain requirements for public use of the land. Cardrona encourages the public to follow their rules to ensure continued public access to the land. More information can be found here: https://sohobasin.com/faq
You will need to complete a registration and assumption of risk /liability form and return to them before entering this terrain.
Thanks in advance for all your cooperation, we love catching up with everyone - feel free at any time to come in to Patrol for a yarn, or if you have any queries call and we can have a chat.
Here’s a link to the Federated Mountain Club's Backcountry touring access guidelines which is a document created by the FMC and the NZAC.
Happy touring from the Cardies Ski Patrol!