Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area will open for the 2011 winter season today thanks to snowmaking and grooming teams.
The ski area will open today at 9am with limited beginner, novice and intermediate terrain available.
Snow cover on the main open trails is thin with an average 15 to 20cm on the upper mountain and 10 to 15cm on the lower mountain.
Coronet Peak says runs open will include the main M1 Trail from top to bottom, the Big Easy trail and beginners area.
Photo / Coronet Peak ski area manager Hamish McCrostie throws a snowball at snowmaking head of department Pete Deuart.
Coronet Peak ski area manager Hamish McCrostie said it was a “huge relief” to get the season underway after opening was delayed due to unseasonably warm temperatures.
“Our traditional opening day bubbles have been on ice for quite some time, so finally welcoming skiers and boarders to the slopes deserves a bit of a celebration,” he said. “It’s great news for Queenstown and we’d really like to thank everyone for their patience and support.”
Mr McCrostie said the ski area’s 211 snowguns had been blazing as much as temperatures allowed since Monday evening.
“Our snowmaking and grooming teams, headed by Pete Deuart and Kate Nimmo, have done an absolutely amazing job considering conditions have been less than ideal at times,” he said.
“We’re well aware that our locals and visitors have been waiting for this day, so even though this isn’t what we’d usually offer on opening day, it’s a great start.
“Now that colder days and nights would seem to have finally arrived, we’re continuing snowmaking and grooming on all trails and will open those up just as soon as we can. We’re looking forward to conditions improving as we go further into winter.”