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
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
Treble Cone instructor Ian Morrison shows his pleasure at
the new snow as he sets up for the day yesterday. Photo
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
A southwesterly weather pattern expected to arrive today
meant the skifield's base would continue getting topped up
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.