Sparse snow cover stymies skifields

The Remarkables ski area base building.
The Remarkables ski area base building.
A lack of snow on southern slopes has prompted two ski areas to delay their opening for the season.

The Remarkables ski area and the Snow Farm both announced today they would delay opening until snow cover improved.

Remarkables Ski area manager Ross Lawrence said he was "determined" to ensure conditions were right before unveiling the new Curvey Basin Chair, terrain improvements and sealed access road to guests.

"We're making good progress towards achieving sufficient snow cover, and that's being assessed daily so the ski area can open as soon as possible," Mr Lawrence said.

"Everything is all ready and waiting, and our hard-working team is excited to get things going. We just have to wait for Mother Nature to deliver the goods.

"We had some superb early-season snow dumps in May, but the recent weather system over the South Island hasn't yet topped up that early snow enough for us to open.''

Snow Farm Ski Operations Manager Andy Pohl said warm and wet conditions had forced them to delay their opening until June 28. The opening had been scheduled for this Saturday.

"While our snow fence system has managed to capture and maintain a moderate amount of snow, we are all doing our snow dance and are optimistic for a snow fall next week. This will allow our internationally renowned groomer driver, Karl Johnson to prepare the trails and allow us to open," Mr Pohl said.

"We'll be looking forward to welcoming skiers and snowshoers next weekend to celebrate Snow Farm's opening day!" he said.

Coronet Peak opened on June 7 and is operating with top-to-bottom skiing and riding available.