A wintry blast that swept the South Island of New Zealand has brought excellent snow making conditions for Queenstown ski areas in the lead up to opening weekend.
Coronet Peak and The Remarkables have had snow guns blasting since temperatures plummeted yesterday afternoon (Tuesday June 5) and their snow base is growing by the minute.
Coronet Peak recorded 10cm of natural snow overnight (June 5/6) and The Remarkables received 8cm.
With temperatures expected to drop further this week, snowmaking and snow grooming teams are in full swing at both ski areas meaning they are on track to open as scheduled – Coronet Peak this Saturday (June 9) and The Remarkables the following weekend (June 16).
During last night’s snow storm, Coronet Peak had 116 snow guns blazing across the mountain, pumping over 42000 cubic metres of water.
Coronet Peak Ski Area Manager Hamish McCrostie said the cold snap was “just what was needed”.
“It’s hugely encouraging to see the slopes looking white thanks to the overnight snowfall and to know that we can pump out more of this ‘white gold’ throughout the remainder of the week,” he said.
“We just can’t wait to welcome our first skiers and snowboarders on Saturday for the start of the 2012 season, and I know the whole town is as excited about that as we are.
“We’ll have our traditional ‘First On The Chair’ T-shirts available to the hardy souls who arrive in the early hours of the morning to queue up at the Coronet Express Quad chair lift, and all skiers and boarders will be rewarded with a celebratory glass of Amisfield bubbles.”
Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area is also scheduled to open this Saturday for the 2012 season.
For up-to-date snow conditions and information on facilities open from June 9 go to www.nzski.com