It was September 24, 2008. The storm came in from the south, bringing cold, crisp temperatures and dry, light snow by the bucketload. A day of subzero temperatures followed, sucking any extra moisture out of the snowflakes, and the next day was blue bird.
Then it happened: the best day of powder skiing I have had in New Zealand. Of course, the private helicopter helped, but it was still the best snow I have skied there to date, and it happened in spring.
Spring skiing can be the most fun of the season, with longer, sunny days and anything from soft corn snow to surprising powder storms. Traditionally, it is also cheaper towards the end of the season. What's not to love?
The good news for Aussies is that the winter that went AWOL earlier this year has made a belated appearance, and has done so with a bang. Australia and New Zealand are releasing spring deals to make the most of the new snow.
Stay at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel in September and ski free with one lift pass a person for every night booked. Rooms start at $165 a person a night midweek.
Visit Snowy Mountains has a three-night family special at Sequoia or Onyx Apartments at Thredbo in a self-contained luxe apartment for two adults and two children, including two days' ski hire for the family, for $1695 from September 7.
A Nanook two-bedroom apartment with 24-hour concierge in the luxury Squatters Run in Thredbo village comes with an extra night free for bookings in September with free Wi-Fi, Foxtel and Apple TV.
Five nights in a two-bedroom Hotham White Crystal apartment, including a five-day adult lift and lesson pass and a five-day child lift and lesson pass, costs from $876 an adult and $777 a child from September 8 to 29.
The lush Peppers Rundells Alpine Lodge at Dinner Plain has a Snowy Spring three-night deal from September9. A queen room with daily mountain breakfast and Wildbrumby Schnapps costs from $630.
Stay at QT Falls Creek hotel in September and receive free Wi-Fi, a bottle of sparkling wine and two-for-one meals at the Bazaar Restaurant.
Mount Buller offers three nights for the price of two for midweek lodge accommodation, including some lift tickets and equipment hire, from $556 an adult and $374 a child from September 1. Phone 1800 285 537 for details.
In New Zealand, The Rees Queenstown is offering three nights in an executive lake-view hotel room with daily breakfast, free Wi-Fi and parking, plus 18 holes of golf at Jacks Point, four lift passes at Cardrona and two one-hour ski/board lessons for $NZ235 ($206) a person per night from August 20 to September 20.
Mount Hutt offers a six-night deal staying in Methven, with two five-day NZ Superpass lift tickets valid at Mount Hutt and Porters Ski Area from $NZ875 a person until October 2.
What do you love about spring skiing? Post a comment on the blog below and join the discussion.
INSTAGRAM2WIN Skullcandy love and a VAIL RESORTS EPIC SEASON PASS
Tag your instagram #misssnowitall and share the snow love. We'll publish our favourites each week right here and our guest judge will choose a winner that will go into the final gallery at the end of the season when you get to choose the winner.
Each week's winner receives a Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 set of headphones (RRP$99.95) in a variety of colours and goes into the finalists gallery at the end of the season for readers to vote on who wins.
The final winner scores Skullcandy Mix Master Headphones (RRP$379.95) and an Epic Pass season pass valid at 18 mountains in the USA and Europe including Vail in Colorado, Heavenly in Lake Tahoe and Canyons in Utah, home to Skullcandy HQ (RRP US$689).
THIS WEEK'S WINNER
This week's finalists are @harrysboy1962 @bentsquare @nzsnowtours @sashhart @shannronn
The winner of last week's top five instagrams is @snaphappyem for her snow gum pic as judged by Victoria Beattie, professional skier and OWIA coach who said "snow gums are quintessential Australia, unique to our snow fields and I love this unique take on it". Congrats!
Follow Snow It All on twitter @misssnowitall, instagram @misssnowitall, facebook facebook.com/misssnowitall and visit the wordpress blog miss-snowitall.com for more. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org