Canterbury ski field snowed under by school holiday traffic

Canterbury ski field Mt Dobson had to turn visitors away by 10am yesterday. Photo: Supplied
Canterbury ski field Mt Dobson had to turn visitors away by 10am yesterday. Photo: Supplied
School holidays, low temperatures and some fresh snow has led to busy South Island ski fields overflowing, with some forced to turn holidaymakers away.

Mt Dobson Ski Field was full by 10 am on Tuesday morning, the second day in a row where the family-owned snow area had to turn away some skiers.

With over 1m of snow in the last three days, the fine weather reports also brought the school crowds.

"We hadn't anticipated the numbers," said James Oazon, business manager for the mountain.

Even in school holidays the field doesn't normally get this busy, but Burkes Pass slopes attracted crowds from far beyond Fairlie.

"Patience is key," he said. Despite the queues there were plenty of happy skiers who made it to the mountain.

In Methven, Mount Hutt reported more wild and windy conditions over the weekend. However, this didn't put off crowds there for the July break.

The Canterbury ski field has been advising guests to look at car-pooling options or public transport from Christchurch.

As expected Cardrona and Treble Cone in Wanaka were extremely busy over the weekend. Despite the lack of snow fall, cold weather and sunny conditions had allowed the snow machines to prepare the mountain for near capacity.

All three lifts in operation were reporting long queues.

The mountain encourages visitors to time their breaks carefully and be considerate to other families on the mountain.

"Ski early, have an early lunch and ski through the midday break," said a spokesperson for Cardrona Alpine resort.

In the North Island Ruapehu was able to open in time for the school holidays on the Whakapapa ski field.

Snowmakers were able to open Happy Valley learner slopes and Ruapehu is expecting around 30 centimetres just in time the end of the Auckland Holidays.













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