Winter finally arrives in NZ
13th July 2016
Some much needed snow is falling at last after a poor start to winter but it has brought dangers of avalanche. Elsewhere in the southern hemisphere it’s looking rather good. UPDATED
Fresh snow has finally fallen across large parts of the ski areas in New Zealand.
It has been a poor start to winter, but at last the snow has arrived.
And very welcome it is too.
Coronet Peak is another resort celebrating.
“Get on up here, get some wax on your skis or board and get out and enjoy it. It’s shaping up to be a cracker of a few days’ skiing with more snow to come,” said the ski area manager, Ross Copland.
“We’re all very excited and people up here are absolutely fizzing about the conditions. It’s still snowing steadily and people are loving watching the snow fall, which is a highlight for those on holiday. It’s still looking really good for more snow over the next 24 to 36 hours,” said the ski area mananger of The Remarkables, Ross Lawrence.
The snow was accompanied by high winds and risk of avalanche.
The has been one large avalanche on Aoraki-Mt Cook in the past few days and there have been other smaller slides.
The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council has warned people to keep off some popular mountain ranges because of the risk of avalanches.
“Long period of fine weather have caused weak layers beneath the most recent snow and there was a danger it could trigger an avalanche,” said the Mountain Safety Council.
People planning on back country skiing and snowboarding are advised to exercise extreme caution or to avoid the areas altogether.
The snow has also menat thousands of people have wanted to ski and caused severe over-crowding in places.
Mt Hutt was forced to close its access road for a time as the car parks in the resort were full.
“Due to the number of people driving up Mt Hutt, today is one of those rare occasions when our carparks have become full. We have closed the access road until further notice and apologise if this has caused you any inconvenience!” said a statement from the resort at the weekend.
Many people were left angry and disappointed.
“Been waiting an hour in the queue at the info booth. Only one shuttle has come in that time. What’s happening Mt Hutt? When are these mystery shuttles coming?”said one person on social media.
Another said he had driven halfway up the road to the resort before being asked to turn round.
On the pistes and in the resorts the snow has brought smiles to the faces of those in New Zealand.
In New Zealand some resorts had delayed their opening or been forced to close.
See here as Coronet Peak opened earlier in July – pretty much all on artificial snow.
We will be updating this report as the snow falls, but in the meantime check out the videos from resorts in Australia, New Zealand and South America.
Las Lenas, Argentina:
The Remarkables, New Zealand:
Mt Hutt, New Zealand:
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