Family sleeps their way to victory

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One snow-mad Queenstown family went to extreme lengths to be first on the slopes at The Remarkables on Saturday.

The Gaboda family arrived at 11.30pm on Friday determined to secure spots on the first chair of the season for the third year in a row.

Paul Gaboda said they had planned to camp by the base building, like last year, complete with bivvy bags, a gas cooker and a stereo.

But they dropped that plan as the wind rose, and ended up being rocked to sleep in their car by the wind gusts.

“It’s someone else’s turn next year”, Gaboda says.

Sharing the first chair at 9am with the Gabodas were brothers Jesse and Kahn Johnston and their friend Jenny Parkes, all of Queenstown.

It was the second year in a row for the Johnston brothers, who arrived at the car park at 7.30am on Saturday.

Ski area manager Ross Lawrence says he and his team were “pretty rapt” with opening weekend, as the field attracted more than 1000 visitors on both days, the weather was fine and the snow crisp.

He had seen a lot of locals on the field as well as holidaymakers from outside the district.

Cooler temperatures from tomorrow will allow snowmaking to continue throughout the week, and bring a good chance of more natural snow, Lawrence says.

Otago Daily Times