Summer snow draws visitors to skifield

Summer snow drew plenty of sightseers to Mt Hutt Ski Area today.

While there was nothing unusual about January snow on the mountain, what was special about this snowfall was the amount, said Mt Hutt Ski Area manager James McKenzie.

He said about 10cm fell at the top of the mountain on Wednesday night.

"It's snowed every January since I've been here but this was quite a reasonable one really; it wasn't just a skiff," he said.

While it looked like perfect for a spot of skiing, those who made the trip up the mountain to see it were purely there to look and touch.

While cloud hampered views of the snow-capped mountains today, Mr McKenzie was expecting a pretty landscape tomorrow morning.

"I can imagine if it's clear everyone will be able to see beautiful, white mountains."

Warm summer temperatures meant that view wasn't likely to last for long, so people were making the most of it.

Among the many visitors up the mountain today were a swag of kea "making a nuisance of themselves".

"The keas have definitely come out with the snow. We haven't seen them for ages," Mr McKenzie said.

He said he didn't know why the cheeky parrots had suddenly reappeared, but one theory was that they knew snow attracted people, who would probably drop scraps of food.

- Erin Tasker at the Ashburton Guardian

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