Winter has arrived at Mt Hutt, with snowfall overnight (May 10/11) heralding the start of the countdown to the 2012 snow season.
Snow making is set to start next week as temperatures drop and Mother Nature helps out with the first delivery of snow cover.
The mountain received 5cm of snow at the base and 20cm on the top overnight.
“The buzz of winter is definitely in the air,” said Mt Hutt General Manager Operations James Urquhart. “It’s a real thrill for all of us when the temperature drops because we know the countdown is on to opening day.”
Mr Urquhart said snow making guns would fire up for the first time next week if temperatures allowed.
“Our snowmaking team is currently doing its final training and checks for the snowmaking system,” he said.
“Our groomers have finished with summer maintenance and are ready to start grooming once conditions allow.
“We’re all already looking forward to opening day.”
Mt Hutt’s senior staff members have been flocking back to the resort town of Methven to finalise the process of employing the 200 staff needed to open the mountain.
Mr Urquhart said the first real pre-winter snowfall always got everyone “pumped” and thinking about the season ahead.
This year Mt Hutt is looking forward to getting families up the mountain as part of the Methven ‘Kids 4 Free’ campaign. They’re delighted to offer a ’10 and under’ ski free deal for youngsters, part of a resort-wide community promotion that will see under-10s ski, eat, sleep and be transported for free for the entire winter season.
Mt Hutt is an all-round adventure playground for kids and their families, with highlights including Dinner With The Stars on Saturday nights, complete with huskies and snow groomer rides.
Mt Hutt ski area is scheduled to open on June 9, subject to conditions. For more information go to www.nzski.com. For more information on the Kids 4 Free campaign, go to www.kids4free.co.nz