NZ ski areas delay opening
10th June 2016
Some were due to open today, but strong winds have delayed things until Saturday. It is though looking rather good as we look at the season ahead in the southern hemisphere. NEW
There have been winds of up to 180kph in Mt Hutt in New Zealand.
“We have lost some snow over the past four days, but on our main trails the snow is holding up reasonably ok. The forecast for opening day tomorrow (Saturday) is looking better by the hour, with winds decreasing overnight. We can’t wait for skiers and boarders to come up to celebrate opening with us, enjoying the first day of the season to come,” said the area ski area mananger for Mt Hutt, James McKenzie.
Mt Hutt will open with main trails operating from the top of the mountain to the base area, although with limited terrain.
Lifts operating will include the Summit Six and Quad chair, and the Magic Carpet for the beginners’ area.
McKenzie said weather for the weekend was “looking positive” with snow forecast from mid-afternoon on Sunday through to late evening.
“That might deliver a good covering of snow, but the best news will be cooler temperatures so we can fire up our snowmaking guns again.”
Opening day celebrations will include ‘First on the Chair’ T-shirts for lucky skiers and boarders aiming for those first tracks.
We reported on the openings in New Zealand and the snow conditions in Australia and South America earlier this week on PlanetSKI.
The nearby resort of Coronet Peak has also put things on hold for 24-hours.
Chairlifts will take skiers and snowboarders onto the groomed M1 and Big Easy trails, while Million Dollar and Wall Street trails may possibly open but won’t be groomed.
Keen skiers will queue early, possibly even camp out overnight, to secure the first chair of the season. Their reward will be first turns down the M1 and an exclusive ‘First on the Chair 2016’ T-shirt.
“Dust off those skis and boards and come and help us celebrate the start of winter,” says Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland.
“We’ve had some of the best pre-season snowfall we’ve seen in years, however Mother Nature hasn’t been particularly kind to us these past couple of days. However it’s still early days and the weather looks like it’s going to cool down over the weekend.
“We’re sending snowmakers up the mountain tonight and hoping to make some more snow ahead of tomorrow’s opening. Winter’s definitely here and the forecast shows a cold week ahead and some light snow.
“It’s great as always to get the season underway and I know there’s plenty of locals out there keen to get on the snow, especially those who’ve got back into skiing with the great deals available on our 3 Peak Pass.
“We’re looking forward to a fantastic season.”
Here on PlanetSKI we will be updating this article as the season gets underway in New Zealand.
It is also kicking off in South America and Australia this weekend and we will be bringing you reports and images from there shortly, so do check back.
— Tripin Argentina (@TripinArgentina) June 9, 2016
Meanwhile in Lesotho in Southern Africa there has been some skiing on the beginners slopes.
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