Snowfall Continues As Opening Day Looms

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Wed 20/May/09 1:49pm

More fresh snow on Queenstown’s premier ski areas over the last four days, on top of consistent snowfall throughout May, is delivering spectacular pre-season conditions.

Coronet Peak ski area, scheduled to open in less than three weeks (Saturday 6 June), has received 50 - 100cm of snow in the last four days resulting in an 80cm base at the top of the mountain and a 50cm base at the bottom.

Hamish McCrostie, Coronet Peak Ski Area Manager, said they couldn’t have asked for a better build up to season opening.

“It’s just fantastic. We’ve had consistent snow falls since early May which is unusual but very welcome,” he said. “We’ve started packing the snow already which bodes well for a really good base for the season to come.”

Mr McCrostie said the Peak’s state-of-the-art snowmaking system was set up and nearly ready to go with final commissioning of the new pump-house almost complete.

“We intend to start snowmaking on 25 May but we could hit the button sooner if temperatures remain consistently cold,” he said. “The system is designed so that without any natural snow the central core of the mountain can be opened within three days of continuous snowmaking conditions. Under optimum conditions, all trails, including those on Rocky Gully, could open within 10 days.”

Across the valley at The Remarkables, the ski area has received 45cm of fresh snow in the last 48 hours and has received 150cm over the last two weeks, resulting in a solid 120cm base across the mountain.

The Remarkables Ski Area Manager Ross Lawrence said he was excited about current conditions stating “it is the best start to the season anybody can remember for many years.”

“These are magic conditions for this time of year so we’re all hyped up for some superb skiing and riding from opening day,” he said.

More snow showers are forecast for Queenstown over the next few days with the weather expected to clear but be cold over the weekend.
Groomer on road 200509 med.jpg
John Power, Head of Grooming, works to clear The Remarkables access road at the 11.5km mark, in one of two of the ski area’s new state-of-the-art snow groomers.
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