Thursday 22 May 2008

'White Gold' falls at NZ ski resorts


Bitterly cold southerly weather has dumped up to 25 cm of snow on the southern ski resort areas which bode well for the opening of the New Zealand season in just a few weeks.

Cardrona Alpine Resort, located on the Crown Range road between Queenstown and Wanaka, reports 25 cms of snow.  The new high speed detachable quad chairlift, known as the Captain's Express, was recently installed, just before the snow fell.

The two ski resorts nearest to Queenstown, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak, this afternoon reported over 15 cm of snow, and snow continues to fall.  

Coronet Peak is scheduled to be the first ski area open in New Zealand, on Saturday 7 June. The snow falls create a good start to snow making, due to start next week.  "Snow making will depend on temperatures and how much snow we get out of this storm over the next few days, but it's looking good" says Ski Area Manager Hamish McCrostie.

Coronet Peak have installed 148 new automated snow guns and completely rebuilt their base facility.  This development represents the largest single investment by a ski resort this season - $NZD 30 million.

Treble Cone ski area, located near Wanaka received similar falls.  "With less than six weeks until opening day (June 30th), and summer developments all complete it is great timing and an exciting start for the upcoming season", says Area Manager, Jackie van der Voort.

The Snow Making team started work on the mountain this week and have all thirty snow guns ready to start making snow as early as next week, weather conditions permitting.

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