Winter arrives in Queenstown and Methven!

Thu 17 May 12

Cold temperatures and a significant dose of the white stuff has Queenstown and Methven ‘pumped’ today (May 16) as ski areas welcome an early start to winter.

Winter arrives in Queenstown and Methven!

Winter arrives in Queenstown and Methven! © The Remarkables Majy17th May

 

Queenstown’s Coronet Peak and The Remarkables both recorded 13cm of new snow overnight at base level, and snow making and grooming teams are getting ready to crank up for the 2012 season.

At Canterbury’s Mt Hutt, things are also ramping up with over 20cm of new snow at the top of the mountain.

The welcome cold snap means Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt have both been able to start snowmaking today (Wednesday May 16).

Coronet Peak Ski Area Manager Hamish McCrostie said the new snow gave them a fantastic pre-season boost and set them up perfectly to get snowmaking underway.

“We received up to 8cm of snow in last week’s storm and this additional 13cm in the last 24 hours is an ideal start to the season.

“We’ve starting snowmaking this afternoon on the lower mountain and are running during the day as conditions permit,” he said.

“We plan to bring the rest of the snowmaking system online by the end of this weekend. The grooming and snowmaking teams are all itching to crank things up. It’s just fantastic to see it looking so white. ”

Over at The Remarkables, Ski Area Manager Ross Lawrence said it was a good sign when chains had to be fitted to all vehicles on The Remarks access road as was the case today.

“We’re less than a month out from opening now and this latest snow-laden storm has brought the total snow received over the last week to 23cm. It’s magic stuff.

“Snowmaking operations start next week,” he said. “All the boxes have been ticked to push the button on production and we just can’t wait.”

Mt Hutt General Manager Operations James Urquhart said people should start planning early for a season of winter fun.

“We’ve got the chairlifts fitted, our lift system is ready to go, and snowmaking has started today,” he said.

“The ski area is looking great with this most recent snowfall. People who were waiting for the right sign to make winter holiday plans should wait no more – it’s time.”

All three ski areas are finalising recruitment for their ‘A’ teams for winter, with department heads in place and front line staff coming on board from early June.

Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt are scheduled to open on June 9 and The Remarkables on June 16 subject to conditions. For more information on booking your winter holiday visit www.nzski.com

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