“We had that big dump, and then we went straight into lockdown, I’ve been looking on the webcams and see it slowly melt down. That’s been unfortunate, but it’s very first-world problems.”– Craig Smith, New Zealand Skier
Ski season is back in session in New Zealand, as the island country has moved from Level Four to Level Two restrictions. At the Level Four restrictions that the resorts have faced for the past couple of weeks, the resorts were completely shut down and were unable to spin the lifts. At Level Two restrictions, the ski resorts are open, but masks and social distancing are required, there is limited capacity and access to the lodges, and guests have to check into the “Covid Tracer app at gateways on the ski areas’ access roads.”
According to Stuff, some resorts were able to open, but variable weather kept other resorts shut down. Poor visibility and high winds kept resorts like Cardrona, Tūroa, and Whakapapa closed on Wednesday. Mt. Hutt was open on Wednesday but had to stay closed on Thursday due to high winds. According to the Otago Daily Times, The Remarkables welcomed back guests with 15cm of new snow, including 3cm overnight. The lockdown made skiers miss some good powder days, but it is looking like it will snow this weekend, so the prime ski days south of the equator aren’t over just yet. It’s great to see New Zealand shred again, and it is getting us extra hyped up for the upcoming ski season in the Northern Hemisphere.