Scores of skiers sent away

The World Cup final appears to have cost some football fans a day's skiing yesterday.

Only an hour or so after the game finished, scores of skiers were being turned away from the Cardrona Alpine Resort, despite good weather and excellent snow.

The problem was the skifield was full up.

Marketing manager Nadia Ellis said the decision was made to close the gates once the car parks were full.

Field management then looked at the size of lift queues and decided ''it wouldn't be respectful'' to skiers who were already on the field to allow more in.

That left skiers who had started their day a little later than usual - delayed perhaps by the World Cup final - in a long line of cars at the gate in the Cardrona Valley looking for other skiing options.

The ''spike'' in demand at Cardrona was triggered by Treble Cone, the only other skifield on the Wanaka side of the Crown Range, being closed.

The mother of two young children told the Otago Daily Times it took two and a-half hours to drive from Wanaka to the base building at Cardrona - a trip that normally takes 40-45 minutes.

She described the field as ''massively oversubscribed'' with traffic ''crawling'' up the mountain and ''horrendous'' lift queues.

However, the weather and snow was good, and she received a partial refund from ''very obliging'' staff.

While a cold southerly brought Cardrona 10cm of snow on Sunday night, Treble Cone got 8cm-15cm on higher parts, which was not enough to repair the damage done by four days of warm temperatures and rain.

Treble Cone marketing manager Nick Noble said yesterday the field was expected to open this morning, because colder temperatures had allowed plenty of snowmaking.

Meanwhile, in Queenstown, a group of Germans draped in their national flags took over the Shotover-Rees Sts roundabout, to celebrate their homeland's 1-0 victory over Argentina.

mark.price@odt.co.nz