Coronet Peak skiers to be first in action

Coronet Peak's ski area manager, Ross Copland, throws snowballs  as opening day looms. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Coronet Peak's ski area manager, Ross Copland, throws snowballs as opening day looms. Photo by Christina McDonald.

Warmer weather has followed the cold snap which left Queenstown coated in ice last week.

But luckily for skiers, there was ''a huge amount of snow making'' done while the temperatures were low at Coronet Peak, the skifield's ski area manager, Ross Copland, said.

Today, the skifield will be the first in Australasia to open for the season.

During that pre-winter polar blast ''the snow-making system ran solid for four days'', building up the skifield's base.

Now, it boasts a 30cm base on its groomed runs but ''there's very little off-piste [snow] left with all the warm weather,'' Mr Copland said.

''It's very springy,'' he said of the conditions.

Rain which had been forecast seemed to have ''gone around us''. Mr Copland said fine days with cold nights were now hoped for - ''perfect'' conditions for enjoying the slopes during the day and having either natural snow falling or the snow guns blasting the white stuff at night.

MetService is expecting the freezing level to drop from yesterday's 2100m to 1800m today and 1700m from tomorrow.