Skifields get early snow boost

The Remarkables ski area yesterday after three days of snow. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The Remarkables ski area yesterday after three days of snow. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Three days of snow have given the Queenstown Lakes district's skifields an early shot in the arm.

Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland said 15cm settled on the mountain this week, with more expected on Monday.

Staff would begin making snow on Sunday or Monday when temperatures allowed.

The skifield had snow-making ''firepower'' to build on natural snowfall between now and opening day on June 13.

''We can go from grass to skiing with two full days and nights of snow-making.''

The El Nino weather system tipped for the country from this winter meant more moisture, and southerlies which brought cooler air.

''We're hoping for a bumper year for snow.''

The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence said 35cm had fallen on the skifield in the past few days, including 5cm on Thursday night.

Snow tended to come in small doses at this time of year, so it had been unusual to get it over an extended period.

Although changeable weather meant there was ''every likelihood'' the snow would disappear, it set up the skifield for its scheduled opening on June 20 by cooling down ground temperatures.

The Treble Cone ski area, near Wanaka, had what marketing and sales manager Nick Noble described as a ''major pre-season snowfall'' this week.

By Wednesday, the field had 55cm of new snow at the top of the Home Basin Express (1760m) and around 25cm of new snow at the Base Building (1260m), with another 15cm falling on Thursday night.

Cardrona Alpine Resort had 25cm of snow by Thursday but a spokeswoman was uncertain yesterday how much more had fallen overnight.


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