Big crowds flock to skifields

The Remarkables skifield had about 45cm of snow at its base over the weekend. PHOTO: NZSKI
The Remarkables skifield had about 45cm of snow at its base over the weekend. PHOTO: NZSKI
With Kiwis unable to escape New Zealand for the winter, the masses have been flocking to Queenstown’s two skifields for the July school holidays.

More than 7000 showed up to both the Remarkables and Coronet Peak on Friday and Saturday with good snow on both mountains.

A further 2500 headed to Coronet Peak Night Ski on Friday.

NZSki spokeswoman Libby Baron said the soaring numbers of skiers had been totally unexpected.

"We thought it was going to be busier but we didn’t expect how busy [it’s been].

"Friday and Saturday was full both days ... we are seeing lots of out-of-towners which is awesome."

Despite cloudy conditions making for a quieter day on the mountains yesterday, snowfall had set up fantastic conditions for the week ahead, Ms Baron said. On Sunday afternoon, police had to stop a vehicle at the bottom of the Remarkables after it had been driven to the skifield car park without chains.

With ice on the road yesterday, all vehicles were required to have chains when proceeding up the mountain.

Ms Baron said Remarkables road crews repeatedly tried to get the vehicle to stop.

"We found it a bit frustrating and asked police to have a chat with them about the importance of chains and safety."

The Remarkables will be open all this week, however it will return to weekends only after the school holidays.

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