Cool – it’s snow time in New Zealand
28 May 2010
Only days from the first ski field opening, a cold blast over New Zealand’s South Island is bringing snow to low levels and dumping snow on key resorts.
The wintry blast has brought a sudden end to a long Indian summer, and ski areas are now in a flurry of activity as they make preparations for the winter 2010 ski season.
Coronet Peak - Queenstown
Snow sport staff at Coronet Peak, Queenstown, are celebrating snow falling on the popular ski area.
Ski area manager Hamish McCrostie says it is fantastic to see winter arrive right on cue.
"Our automated snowmaking system is ready to go and will run whenever it is cold enough and we’re looking forward to a fantastic opening day on June 5," said McCrostie.
"Summer works are all complete including the brand new, state-of-the-art Meadows Express chairlift complete with upgraded beginner and novice trails, and we’re ready to welcome our guests."
Coronet Peak is due to open on 5 June.
Mount Hutt - Canterbury
After 48 hours of severe weather that delivered 230mm of near-freezing rain, temperatures at Mt Hutt plummeted and rain turned to snow - adding another 20cm of the white stuff to the existing 15cm base.
Mount Hutt is due to open on 12 June.
The Remarkables - Queenstown
New snow blankets The Remarkables with 15cm on the lower mountain slopes, and 20cm on the upper slopes.
The Remarkables Ski Area manager Ross Lawrence said more snow is forecast for the next two days.
"We’re really excited at the arrival of the snow - great wet snow and going to make a fantastic start to the base. It’s great to see winter really starting to set in."
Night-time temperatures are expected to drop as low as minus seven over the next few days. Anyone deciding to drive up the access road are warned to be ready to fit snow chains.
The Remarkables ski area is due to open on 19 June.
Cardrona Alpine Resort - Wanaka
Cardrona has a good 30cm of snow on the ground that is consolidating well. There are massive snow drifts in places.
Cardrona is due to open on 26 June.
Treble Cone - Wanaka
Treble Cone received a further 5cm of light dry snow overnight,
adding to the 30cm in the Saddle area and 25cm at the top of the
six-seater that arrived earlier this week.
Snowmakers are crawling all over the mountain getting the guns up
and running, taking advantage of the freezing conditions and the light
flurries flirting across the basin area.
Treble Cone is due to open on 27 June.
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|Staff embrace the wintry weather on the deck at The Remarkables.