Coronet Peak: More lights for night skiers

Electrician Wesley Sayer, of Queenstown, does some early morning testing of the new  metal halide lights at Coronet Peak yesterday. Photo by Ross Copland.
Electrician Wesley Sayer, of Queenstown, does some early morning testing of the new metal halide lights at Coronet Peak yesterday. Photo by Ross Copland.

Night skiing at Coronet Peak is to improve this year, with twice the area under lights and the addition of new night freestyle features.

Work is under way to install about 80 new lights on the mountain, which will add more than 4km of trails and double the accessible terrain for Friday and Saturday nights.

Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland said a new ''Park after Dark'' freestyle run with boxes, rails and a giant air bag was also being installed to cater for those who liked to ski the terrain parks.

''Lights are going in to cover Million Dollar, Wall Street, The Hurdle and Eighth Basin, while still lighting up the main M1 trail and the beginners' area.

''We've modified our extensive snowmaking network to add some large metal halide lights which give a higher light output and more uniform coverage than we've ever had for night skiing.''

Eighth Basin would comprise a series of freestyle features and the Elephant Pit would host the freestyle air bag, designed for riders to try out new tricks safely, and will operate during night ski hours.

''A big focus of the design has been around safety and ensuring we provide different routes down the mountain for beginners, families and the pros.''

Other additions had been made to the base building, which included the installation of two outdoor Italian wood-smoke pizza ovens, new gas heaters, a new bar, ''mega video screen'' and DJ station which would bring a ''high quality audio-visual experience while skiers and boarders chill out between runs''.

Coronet Peak is scheduled to open on June 7.