Two ''big ticket'' items of skifield equipment being trucked
to Treble Cone, near Wanaka, are the latest sign the ski
season is not far off.
The $450,000 PistenBully 400 grooming machines are expected
to be in action preparing ski trails well before the
skifield's opening day on June 26.
Marketing and sales manager Nick Noble said yesterday the
machines would mean more terrain could be groomed more often.
The other big project at the skifield over the summer has
been the creation of a 400m extension to the ''high street''
intermediate trail to make it easier for skiers to get from
the saddle to the main basin.
''A lot of the best intermediate skiing is out in the
saddle,'' Mr Noble said.
''The hardest bit was coming back to the main basin.''
Mr Noble said applications for jobs on the mountain were now
''mostly closed'' and interviews were under way.
''There's been an absolutely huge response.''
At the peak of the season, in the July school holidays,
Treble Cone employs about 180 people.
The field has had two snowfalls so far this year, including a
''particularly big'' fall two weeks ago.
At the Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds on the Pisa Range,
a new 450m ice-driving ''lane'' complete with snow-making
equipment has just been completed and will open at the end of
The facility will cater for members of the public wanting to
drive an Audi Quattro on groomed ice and snow.
Manager Steve Gould said yesterday the facility would be the
only ice-driving experience available in the southern
At NZSki's Remarkables ski area, major developments are on
track to be completed in the next six weeks.
Manager Ross Lawrence said yesterday cable was being run out
for the new six-seat detachable chairlift, the central
feature of the field's $45 million development.
The chairlift should be commissioned at the end of this
month, increasing the terrain available at the field by 20%.
The number of snow-making guns at Remarkables has been
doubled to 81 and the system has been automated.
Half of the 4km of sealing work planned for the bottom of the
access road has been completed, leaving 9km of gravel.
And work is well advanced on adding about 150 car parks at
the base building, lifting the field's parking capacity to
about 750 vehicles.
Work had been affected by recent snowfalls and rain but Mr
Lawrence said while the work programme had been ''tight from
start to finish'' and was not quite finished yet, he was
quite happy with progress and the field would open on June
At Cardrona Ski Resort, the main project has been development
of an ''intermediate jump line'' in the terrain park.
Field manager Gary Husband said he expected it to provide
''some pretty good entertainment'' for mid-level terrain park
Several small adjustments to trails had been made over the
summer and more wind- and snow-fencing added.
This season, which begins on June 20, will be the first for
Cardrona since the field was bought by Queenstown-based Real
Mr Husband said it would be ''business as usual'' and the new
owners were ''proving great to work with''.