The New Zealand ski season will officially kickoff this Saturday with the opening of Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt.
Coronet Peak has received 15cm (6 inches) of natural snow over the last two days. Clod temperatures have allowed the resort’s snow guns to producing artificial snow adding to the base.
“Early snowfalls created a great foundation for us to build on this year. We’re currently making snow right to the base and anticipate having snow guns blazing right through to Sunday at least,” said the ski area manager, Ross Copeland.
“This year we’ve made 76% more snow than the previous two seasons, extra production that’s made a real difference to our trails with good coverage and depth across the core mountain,” he added.
The mountain will open with Coronet Express and Meadows high-speed chairlifts operating, as well as conveyor lifts in the beginners’ area.
Mt Hutt was set to open on Friday but forecasts of high winds has postponed its opening until Saturday. The resort has a base of 40cm on one of the main runs but much of the snow at the top of the resort has been blown away in the wind event.