Coronet ends disrupted season

The manager of Coronet Peak is looking forward to next winter with optimism, after another season disrupted by Covid-19.

The Queenstown ski area closed yesterday after a season marked by a delayed opening, the popping of the transtasman travel bubble, turbulent weather and the nationwide lockdown.

Ski area manager Nigel Kerr said despite a later-than-expected opening, on June 30, the season began with a lot of promise.

"As we got into it, that promise became less and less.

"First the Australians, then we were a bit late to start the season, and there was definitely a bit of a drought on snowfall," Mr Kerr said.

The school holidays in July were a bright spot, helped by the ski area’s snowmaking system.

Clayton Yaxley, of Springfield, successfully negotiates the pond skim during the last day of the...
Clayton Yaxley, of Springfield, successfully negotiates the pond skim during the last day of the season at Coronet Peak yesterday. PHOTO: GUY WILLIAMS
"Snowmaking ... has worked miracles in turning us on time after time as these westerly storms have come through and stripped away the base," he said.

The season was gathering some momentum when the Delta outbreak brought everything to a grinding halt last month.

The ski area was closed for three weeks until the South Island moved to Alert Level 2 earlier this month.

In total, it was open for about 65 days this season, compared with the usual target of 100, he said.

Coronet Peak’s sister skifield, The Remarkables, is expected to close on October 18, after the school holidays.

guy.williams@odt.co.nz

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