Cantabrians are gearing up for their much anticipated first day on the slopes thanks to a snow dump that has blanketed Mt Hutt ski area.
Mt Hutt will officially open for the winter season tomorrow (Saturday June 9) with an average snow base of 65cm across the entire mountain.
Mt Hutt Ski Area Manager James McKenzie said the forecast for opening was fine and sunny with light winds.
“It should be an outstanding day to kick off the 2012 season,” he said.
“We’ll be opening with the Summit Six Chair, Exhibition Quad and of course our beginners Magic Carpet area all operating.
“We’re currently assessing Towers Triple Chair but are suggesting that only advanced to intermediate skiers head over there, as it is not currently groomed,” he said.
Mr McKenzie said visitors to Mt Hutt tomorrow were likely to require chains on 2WD from either the Info Booth at the bottom of the ski area access road, or Canterbury View just after the 5 km mark.
“People heading to the mountain tomorrow should check the snow report to make sure they’re well prepared and always carry snow chain equipment as conditions can change very quickly up here,” he said.
Facilities open from tomorrow include the retail shop, rentals, Snowsports, Sky High Café and Hutt Base which serves coffee and is a licensed bar. Hubers Hutt and the Skiwiland crèche will open soon.
Mr McKenzie said guests with gold mypass cards were encouraged to buy their lift pass online before they head up to avoid any delays.
“Similarly, 2012 season pass holders who have a pass from last year can go straight to the lifts tomorrow as we don’t need to update their photos this year,” he said.
Tomorrow’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