No more ski patrols for veteran NZSki manager

NZSki Coronet Peak manager Hamish McCrostie is leaving the company after 32 years.

Mr McCrostie, who will finish on December 21, said while he had mixed emotions, he felt it was the right time to leave. He was looking at what he would do now, but he would be staying in Queenstown.

His first role in the ski industry was as a patroller at the Tekapo skifield in 1979. After that, he was employed by the Mt Cook Company, which formerly owned the Coronet Peak and Remarkables skifields, as a patroller.

Throughout his ski career he has been head of the patrol department at the Remarkables Ski Area, patrol manager for both Coronet Peak and the Remarkables, ski area manager at both the Remarkables and Coronet Peak and has held roles with the Mountain Safety Council and Snow Sports New Zealand.

He remembers his first year as a patroller: "my backpack was my radio".

"There's been some tremendous changes; the biggest one has been the technology. Now the radio fits like a glove in my pocket."

Despite all the continual ski area improvements and new technology, the aim has remained the same - to get from the top of the slope to the bottom.

Mr McCrostie lists some of his top memories as the powder (fresh snow) days, but another highlight was the people.

"There's so many great moments it's hard to pinpoint one."

NZSki chief executive James Coddington said the news of McCrostie's departure was "still very fresh" and a search for a new Coronet Peak manager had not yet begun.