Coronet Peak heralded the start of winter in Queenstown this
morning, opening the skifield on schedule with a healthy
average base of about 30cm across the mountain and about 600
people there to enjoy the first runs.
Eager friends Finn Duffy, Tiarn Collins, Jacob
O'Donoghue-Price and Cooper Neilson (all 14), of Queenstown,
had the honour of being first on the chairlift for the 2014
season, having arrived at the ski area at 7pm on Friday
Finn told the ODT the friends spent the night "chilling
around a fire'' and keeping their energy levels up with
brownies and lasagne made for them by their mothers.
After his first run Finn gave the snow conditions a thumbs
"It was great to have the run to ourselves, it was hard and
Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland declared the ski
area open just before 9am with the chairlifts firing up for
the first time in the 2014 season.
"Today is all about Queenstown locals dusting off the gear
and having a ski.
"We've got the best snow in the southern hemisphere at this
early stage of the season thanks largely to the great
investment in snowmaking and the reliability that gives us.
"It's great for Queenstown to get the season underway, and
looking ahead we're excited about Winter Festival and the
re-launch of night skiing with doubling of the terrain.
"Overall we've got some really promising signs for the season