Snow forecast for Treble Cone opening

Treble Cone Skifield operations manager Rosco Davies (left) points out a feature at the top of...
Treble Cone Skifield operations manager Rosco Davies (left) points out a feature at the top of the Treble Cone six-seater chairlift during a staff induction day yesterday. Photo by Matthew Haggart.
Treble Cone staff are busy putting the final preparations in place for the skifield's season opening tomorrow, with a southerly front forecast to provide a timely boost for off-piste snow conditions.

Treble Cone operations manager Rosco Davies said excitement among the skifield's workers was building yesterday, as customer service teams practised their on-site routines for the first of the season's visitors.

Treble Cone is timed to be the first of Wanaka's alpine skifields to open.

Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Park NZ are scheduled to open on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Treble Cone's Home Basin is scheduled to open, although variable weather patterns during the past week had affected snow conditions in the Saddle Basin, Mr Davies said.

A forecast southerly front was forecast to arrive yesterday afternoon and was predicted to bring a snowfall of about 10cm to boost levels across the mountain.

Snowmakers have busied themselves during the past week preparing the mountain's main Home Basin trails in readiness for skiers and snowboarders, while ski patrollers have monitored off-piste conditions.

Significant snowfalls early this month had laid down a good base across the entire skifield, although warm winds and rain in the weekend had affected the off-piste conditions, Mr Davies said.

"TC" has several initiatives for its 2010 season.

One is a huge inflatable airbag, installed to let skiers and snowboarders show off their aerial prowess, and provide them with a soft landing.

A free shuttle service to ferry mountain visitors up and down the skifield's access road will also run throughout the season.

Visitors based in the Wakatipu Basin will have the option of a $209 charter flight by Glenorchy Air from Queenstown Airport to a Matukituki Valley airstrip, before a shuttle transfer up the mountain.

The first 150 visitors to ride Treble Cone's six-seater chairlift up the Home Basin will toast the skifield's season opening with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine.


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