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Summer in the Southern Alps

The years pass faster as you get older. When you are well past your threescore years and ten, you have limited number of summers left to you. The Southern Hemisphere provides a fairly simple way of doubling them and there can be few better spot to spend them than Omarama. Omarama is a crossroads in the middle of New Zealand’s South Island, notable for little more than Gliding and Merino Sheep. It lies in a dry plain in the lee of the Southern Alps which are a chain of parallel mountains that run the length of South Island.

In theory, the winds howl round the Southern Hemisphere with no obstruction other than Tierra del Fuego, dump their moisture on the windward side of the Alps and develop classic wave conditions on the lee side.  In practice, Australia triggers set of depressions similar to those that assault Britain except for the fact that they go clockwise. Anything above fifteen knots will generally produce wave.

By David Rhys-Jones