A Treble Cone employee checks the depth of new snow on the field yesterday . Photo by Rebecca Trethowen.
As some operators in the Southern Lakes ski industry
celebrated up to 40cm of snow on the district's mountains
yesterday, the coverage at Wanaka's Cardrona Alpine Resort
remained unconfirmed after staff's access to the skifield was
blocked ... by snow.
Cardrona's sales and marketing manager Nadia Ellis said the
operations team was forced to turn back on its up way to the
skifield yesterday morning after discovering the access road
blanketed in snow at least 50cm deep.
''There were snowdrifts of 1m to 2m on Speed Straight
[section of access road],'' Ms Ellis said.
A grader worked throughout the day to clear the road so staff
could travel up the mountain safely this morning.
"It's hard to know exactly what we'll find when we get up the
mountain but if the road is any indication then we've had a
lot of snow.''
The snow had arrived ''right on schedule'' for Cardrona's
June 20 opening, although it was ''quite unusual'' to have
snow to such low levels the access road became impassable.
Treble Cone marketing manager Nick Noble reported an average
40cm snow depth from the ''36-hour'' winter storm in Wanaka,
with drifts of up to 60cm.
It was the fourth significant pre-season snowfall for 2014
and another positive sign for the winter ahead, Mr Noble
''There seems to just be generally great excitement for the
New Zealand season this year.''
NZSki's chief executive Paul Anderson said the recent snow
was ''fantastic'' and with Coronet Peak scheduled to open
next week, he expected the snow to form a base layer at the
Speaking yesterday at noon, Mr Anderson said at least half a
metre had fallen at the Remarkables skifield, while Coronet
Peak received 20-30cm of wind-affected snow.
With cold temperatures forecast for last night he expected
''a lot of snow'' to be made at Coronet Peak by the
skifield's snow guns.
''We will be making the most of this.''