Queenstown will officially open for winter from this weekend with the 2012 season getting underway at Coronet Peak ski area.
The lifts will open this Saturday (June 9) thanks to a wintry cold snap and Coronet Peak’s multi-million-dollar snowmaking system that has seen an extensive network of snow guns blazing day and night across the mountain.
“Our snowmaking and grooming teams have been pulling out all the stops to enable us to open as scheduled on Saturday,” said Coronet Peak Ski Area Manager Hamish McCrostie.
“The investment in our fully automated snowmaking system has proved its worth once again.
“We’ve had a few days of solid snow making, which is perfect because if we were relying on natural snow alone wouldn’t be opening this weekend. We’re all very excited to confirm that it’s ‘all systems go’ for 9am Saturday morning.
“It’s great news for Queenstown and I know there are many skiers and boarders out there who are just itching to get their first few runs under their belt.”
Coronet Peak will open with the Coronet Express Quad providing access to the main M1 and Express Way trails. The Meadows Express lift will enable skiers and boarders to access the Big Easy novice trail and carpet lifts to the main beginners’ area, and the Skiwiland lift will also be operating.
Base building services open will include rental, Snowsports school, the Coronet restaurant and café, coffee bar, guest services, the retail Snow Shop and Skiwiland daycare.
Earlier this week a wintry blast that swept the South Island dropped 10cm of natural snow on the mountain, and more snow and continued cold temperatures are in the current forecast.
Coronet Peak’s traditional ‘First On The Chair’ T-shirts will be handed out to earlybirds who are first in the queue for the Coronet Express Quad chair lift, and skiers and boarders will be rewarded with a celebratory glass of Amisfield bubbles.
Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area will also open this Saturday for the 2012 season. The Remarkables ski area in Queenstown is scheduled to open on June 16.
For up-to-date snow conditions and further information go to www.nzski.com
Coronet Peak Ski Area Manager Hamish McCrostie pictured with a snow gun blazing and groomer operating in preparation for opening this Saturday (June 9).
Story images / NZSki.com
– By NZSki.com / weather analyst Aaron Wilkinson, WeatherWatch.co.nz