Every winter sees a fair bit of snow up on the Kepler mountains. The town itself, not so much. The occasional cm at most. So imagine our surprise earlier this year when Te Anau had a whopping 8 inches in town (or even 15 inches depending on which news story you might have read). Just think how much more would have fallen high up in the mountains.
That kind of snow gets quite heavy (witness the Invercargill velodrome) and tends to topple the occasional tree. Each spring the guys down at DOC get out the chainsaws and go head to head with the mighty fallen, clearing the track ready for early some race in early December. (Oh, and the odd tramper too!)
At the moment parts of the upper track are closed due to deep snow. It's still over waist-high in some areas. But take heart - much, if not all of it, will have melted by the time the race begins. Although you never can tell what the weather might bring...
As long as the guys in green can get in, all will be well.
The Kepler Track status as at 15 November 2011, 12pm.
Damage to the track around the Luxmore Bluffs from the winter months has been assessed by DOC staff, broken structures have been removed and gravel spread onto the track to ensure your safe journey through this section. Small blocks of decaying hard slab ice are sliding across the track in places particularly between Forest Burn and Hanging Valley Shelters. Please take note of the 'No Stopping' Signs and don't linger in these areas, of course you won't because you'll be running….right???