Coronet Peak, pictured late yesterday afternoon, is
scheduled to open on June 7. Photo by Christina McDonald.
More than 100 snowguns were fired up on Coronet Peak on
Wednesday, pumping snow across the trails for about 19 hours.
Mild temperatures in the resort recently have caused many to
question whether the skifield will open on time on June 7.
However, ski area manager Ross Copland said his team was
optimistic, particularly given a southerly front was forecast
to hit the region this weekend.
Mr Copland said the front was expected to deliver about 15cm
of snow on Saturday and Sunday and more could arrive on
''We've got a big weekend ahead.
''Once the weather's good we'll rip into [snow-making].''
The guns were turned on for the first time this year about
2.30pm on Wednesday, coinciding with a ''skiff'' of snow on
the ski area, and pumped snow until about 9am yesterday.
''We're in really good shape actually - we've [made] some big
changes over summer ... We have 19% more electricity
available this year, which is huge for us in terms of
''We've also moved some of our firepower; we've had
helicopters flying [snow] guns around, so the heavy hitters
are down lower on the mountain.''
Other developments at Coronet Peak included the installation
of 80 new lights on the mountain, adding more than 4km of
trails and doubling the accessible terrain for Friday and
Saturday night skiing; a new ''Park After Dark'' freestyle
run with boxes, rails and a giant airbag; and additions to
the base building, including the installation of two outdoor
Italian wood-smoke pizza ovens, new gas heaters, a new bar, a
''mega video screen'' and a DJ station.
Mr Copland said it was hoped after two average winter
seasons, 2014 would be one for the books.
The leadership and senior management teams had already begun
work, and a company induction day was scheduled for the
beginning of June, in preparation for the scheduled June 7
Cardrona is scheduled to open on June 20, the Remarkables on
June 21 and Treble Cone on June 26.