Snow lovers are celebrating the start of the New Zealand ski season with a snow storm delivering more than half a metre of snow to Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area, providing the perfect base for its opening this weekend.
As at midday today, (Wednesday June 6) 60cm of the white stuff had dumped at Mt Hutt’s base and 70cms at the summit – and it was still snowing.
Mt Hutt Ski Area Manager James McKenzie said snowmaking was in full swing and groomers were flat out preparing trails.
“It doesn’t get much better than this,” he said.
“Mother Nature has certainly stepped up with a snowfall of epic proportions, and the timing simply couldn’t have been better.
“We’re absolutely ecstatic about this dump in the lead up to our opening.”
Mr McKenzie said the Summit Six Chair, Exhibition Quad Chair and the learners Magic Carpet would be opening on Saturday (June 9) and said the opening of the Towers Triple Chair was “a real possibility.”
The final stage of Mt Hutt staff training is underway in the resort town of Methven, as the access road is currently blocked with snow clearing in progress.
“Social media sites are going crazy with Cantabrians clearly amped about the snow arriving,” said Mr McKenzie.
“Our staff is also stoked knowing that it’s ‘all go’ from Saturday, it’s awesome.”
Saturday’s opening will be celebrated with the traditional ‘First On The Chair’ T-shirts up for grabs on the Summit Six Chair and Exhibition Quad, and the season’s first keen skiers and snowboarders will be celebrating with bubbles provided by Queenstown’s Amisfield winery.
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 kids 10 and under stay, eat and ski 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.
For up-to-date snow conditions and information on facilities open from June 9 go to www.nzski.com. For more information on the Kids 4 Free campaign, go to www.kids4free.co.nz