Skifield openings delayed

Warm weather has delayed the opening of the Remarkables and the Snow Farm skifields, but limited skiing will be available at the Cardrona Alpine Resort on its opening day today.

Marketing manager Nadia Ellis confirmed yesterday that Cardrona would open, but with only its learners slopes and the McDougall's quad lift operating.

Lift passes will be half-price.

Weather forecasts for the field are predicting a ''dusting'' of snow tonight but rising temperatures next week.

The Remarkables ski area announced yesterday it would delay its proposed Saturday opening ''until snow cover improves in the near future''.

Ski area manager Ross Lawrence said in an email he was determined to ensure conditions were right before unveiling the much-anticipated Curvey Basin six-seater chairlift, 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.

''Everything is all ready and waiting. We just have to wait for Mother Nature to deliver the goods.''

Mr Lawrence said recent weather had not ''topped up'' May snowfalls. The field's 89 snow guns were ''fired up'' at every opportunity, he said.

''We're expecting a good dump of natural snow over the next week and are anticipating opening soon after that.''

Queenstown's Coronet Peak, which opened on June 7, continues to operate and recent cold temperatures allowed ''top-to-bottom'' on-piste skiing and snowboarding.

The Snow Farm cross-country ski area on the Pisa Range was due to open tomorrow but ski operations manager Andy Pohl said warm, wet conditions forced a decision to delay opening until June 28.

''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 snowfall next week.''