First of region’s skifields open

Local Natalie Urbani was one of the first to take to the slopes at The Remarkables this morning....
Local Natalie Urbani was one of the first to take to the slopes at The Remarkables this morning. She has been going to each mountain opening every year for the past 10 years. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN
Skiers at The Remarkables this morning. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN
Skiers at The Remarkables this morning. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN
Learners areas at The Remarkables were just open today. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN
Learners areas at The Remarkables were just open today. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN

Snow in June may be too soon, but Otago’s skifields will certainly be hoping for more of it, as the 2024 ski season starts today.

While three of the region’s skifields had anticipated welcoming patrons this weekend, limited snowfall meant only The Remarkables and Cardrona Alpine Resort would be doing so.

About 60 people were at The Remarkables about 9am today for a "limited opening". 

Learners areas Tahi and Rua conveyors were open to patrons.

"We will look to open more terrain and lifts as snowmaking and weather allow."

Staff were working on a Snowplay area for Sunday. Hiking access to Lake Alta is available, according to its website.

Cardrona and Treble Cone general manager Laura Hedley said staff were "stoked" to be kicking off the winter season today, which would start with the opening of the learner conveyors and the McDougall’s Chondola.

"Our team has been working incredibly hard to make this happen, including the snowmaking and grooming team, supplementing the natural snowfall we’ve received in the last two weeks."

T-shirts would be given to individuals determined enough to nab a spot on the first chair ride this morning.

Hospitality venues including the cafe and bar would be open.

Snow Sports School instructors pose for a photo at Cardrona Alpine Resort on Thursday. PHOTO:...
Snow Sports School instructors pose for a photo at Cardrona Alpine Resort on Thursday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A statement on Coronet Peak’s website yesterday said although staff were winter-ready and optimistic about the level of snow building up, the field would not be ready for opening today.

A spokesperson for NZSki said the hope was Coronet Peak would open early next week.

Weather permitting, it will be another two weeks before Otago’s other skifields are likely to open.

The Pisa Alpine Charitable Trust’s Nordic skiing facility at the Snow Farm has set a June 28 opening date, while Treble Cone and Ohau skifields are expected to open on June 29.

regan.harris@odt.co.nz

- additional reporting ODT Online 

 

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