Thanks to good snow management after a week of topsy-turvey weather, the Canterbury mountain’s now back on track for opening.
Ski area manager James McKenzie said he and mountain staff were hugely looking forward to welcoming their first skiers and boarders, locals and visitors.
“We’ve seen some pretty crazy weather this week, but we’ve had a bit of respite and our groomers have done a great job of packing down snow on trails where it matters most,” he said.
“There’s a good 30 to 40cms on the trails and both Broadway and Highway 72 are looking particularly fantastic, with some top-quality snow up there.
“We’ve also made a really good amount of snow after our snow guns were pumping it out for 18 hours yesterday.
“We’re keeping a close eye on the weather as it’s still looking a bit windy for tomorrow, but its changing direction which means we’ll be more sheltered from the worst of it, and by Sunday it should have calmed down.”
The Exhibition Quad chair opens tomorrow, accessing intermediate and advanced terrain as well as limited off-piste. The Magic Carpet will also be open in the beginners’ area for learners to get their first taste of fun on the snow.
With strong and gusty winds still in the forecast at the top of the mountain for Saturday, the Summit Six chairlift will remain closed.
“The main trails off Summit Six are in good shape so that gives us another day to groom over some areas and we’re hopeful it’ll open on Sunday.”
All base building services will be open for business including the Snowsports School and Skiwiland Early Childhood Centre, rentals, ticketing and retail shop.
The Sky High café and licensed bar and Hubers Hut restaurant will also open as well as the new ‘Sixteen 10’ coffee bar serving barista-made coffee and great muffins.
Back on the snow, some fun terrain park features are being set up for people to enjoy at the base area.
“The word on the street is that people just can’t wait to get up the mountain, and by opening a day later than scheduled we’ve done the local schools a favour!
“Principals were pretty relieved that we’re opening over the weekend as I’ve been told more than once that heaps of local school children were planning a ‘sick day’ today because they were desperate to be on the mountain for opening.”
As always, ‘First on the Lift’ T-shirts and Amisfield bubbles will be the reward for the most eager people in line for the Quad lift, and T-shirts will also go to those first on the Summit Six lift when it opens.
“The extra day’s wait to get the season underway at Mt Hutt has built up even more excitement and anticipation! We’re set for a top-notch opening day with plenty of snow.”
Latest opening conditions will be posted online from 6am
Saturday morning here.