Jackie van der Voort
Claiming the best snow in the South Island and possibly
the entire country, Treble Cone skifield management is upset at
negative perceptions circulating around New Zealand and across
General manager Jackie van der Voort said yesterday recent
media reports that visitors were leaving Queenstown because
of a lack of snow had a "really negative effect " on Wanaka's
Ms van der Voort said the effect was brought home to her at a
function in Auckland on Tuesday where "everybody" she spoke
to told her there was no snow in the Southern Lakes.
"That's all they know. There's no snow. It's just viral.
Social media has caused that."
Mrs van der Voort said contrary to that perception, Treble
Cone's Saddle Basin was skiing better than at any stage last
Groomed corduroy piste at the Cardrona ski area. Photos
"The snow surface is better, it's been really cold, the
humidity's been really low, so the snow we've made has been
really good and the snow conditions are really good."
Ms van der Voort, who has been at Treble Cone since the late
1980s, said off-trail conditions in the Home Basin were not
as good as last year, but on-trail was "superior to last
And because it was cold, the snow was "not going anywhere".
Since a big fall of snow at the start of the season, there
had been 20cm across the saddle at the very end of the school
holidays and 5cm a few days ago.
"When the rain hit the region [two weeks ago], everyone got
rain; we actually got snow. We were lucky."
Skiers celebrate winter at Treble Cone yesterday after a
run down the Saddle Basin.
Ms van der Voort said a low number of injuries this year
- 10 until Monday, or 2 per 1000 skiers - was a reflection of
the good snow conditions and lack of ice.
As well, she said, skiers and snowboarders were speeding less
and taking more care - resulting in fewer collisions.
Over at Cardrona, the field's marketing manager, Nadia Ellis,
said the rain had been "quite high profile" and there was
some "negative press".
However, the field's on-piste conditions were now
"fantastic", particularly in the morning, although trails
could become icy later in the day.
"We haven't got off-piste riding available but what we do
have on the groomed trails is just awesome."
NZski chief executive James Coddington said colder
temperatures had arrived, bringing good news for Coronet Peak
and the Remarkables.
"It's now cold enough to make snow and most [New Zealand
skifields] are making snow all night when the temperatures
allowed and that's been the last two nights, which has
significantly improved the snow pack."
He said natural snow was expected to "grace us with its
presence" this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and NZski was
"hopeful that it will bring some coverage".