Ski season 'reset' with fresh snow

Ross Lawrence.
Ross Lawrence.
Proper winter conditions have finally struck the Queenstown-Lakes region's skifields.

The South Island's largest skifield, Treble Cone, has had a lean start to the season compared with other southern fields, but yesterday reported that 1.5m of new snow had fallen over 10 days at the top of its 1760m home basin.

General manager Jackie van der Voort said the fresh snow had ''reset'' the field's season with ''fantastic winter powder''.

Cardrona Alpine Resort reported 10cm of new snow yesterday and an average snow depth of 67cm.

The Snow Farm on the Pisa Range also has a solid base just five days out from its major competitive event of the year, the Merino Muster.

About 150 cross-country skiers, mainly from New Zealand and Australia, are expected for the three events on Saturday - the 42km Merino Muster, the 21km ''snow rake'' and the 7km ''straggle muster''.

Treble Cone instructor Ian Morrison shows his pleasure at the new snow as he sets up for the day yesterday. Photo supplied.
Treble Cone instructor Ian Morrison shows his pleasure at the new snow as he sets up for the day yesterday. Photo supplied.
A team of five Russians is also planning to compete.

The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence said the field had received about 60cm of ''very dry'' snow in the past four days.

A southwesterly weather pattern expected to arrive today meant the skifield's base would continue getting topped up until Thursday.

The latest falls had brought the skifield's base up to a depth he would normally have expected in mid-July.

''It looks like August is the new July.''

Coronet Peak has also benefited from the wintry conditions, reporting on its website yesterday that up to 15cm of fresh snow had fallen on the skifield overnight.