The first of the winter snows have blanketed New Zealand’s Southern Alps as skiers get a glimpse of the winter season to come.
An overnight snowstorm has delivered 35cm of snow to Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area – and there’s more to come.
The mountain’s grooming staff are “buzzing” about the snowfall, described by ski area manager James McKenzie as “ absolutely perfect for our initial base layer.”
Coronet Peak, above Queenstown, recently received around 20cm at the summit and up to 15cm at the base of the ski area. The snowstorm couldn’t have been more timely as the ski area is scheduled to open for the season on Saturday, 11 June.
Across the valley at The Remarkables ski area, up to a metre of snow fell near the summit last week and more than 70cm at the ski area base.
The Wanaka ski areas of Cardrona and Treble Cone have both received big snowfalls over the past week. Cardrona has reported a covering of 35-40cm across the entire mountain with drifts of over 2m deep in places. Both mountains are set to open in June with Cardrona already announcing that all trails will be open for the first day of the 2016 season.
The Remarkables is scheduled to open for the 2016 season on Saturday, 18 June. The trails are starting to take shape and the staff say it’s exciting to see the amount of snow already on the mountain.
The snowfalls have coincided with the first winter evening flights touching down at Queenstown Airport last week.
It’s not just skiers and snowboarders who will be excited by this news – those looking to enjoy “softer” snow activities such as snow-shoeing, husky-dog sledding and tobogganing can look forward the Snow Farm (near Wanaka) opening on 18 June.
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South Island ski field opening dates:
- Coronet Peak, Queenstown – 11 June, 2016
- Cardrona Alpine Resort, Wanaka – 11 June, 2016
- The Remarkables, Queenstown – 18 June, 2016
- Treble Cone, Wanaka – 23 June, 2016
- Mt Hutt Ski Area – 10 June, 2016
Article by : www.newzealand.com