Queenstown cries ‘For Pete’s sake, snow!’

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Meet Queenstown man of the moment – Coronet Peak’s chief snowmaker Pete Deuart. 

During last weekend’s cold snap, Deuart, 36, pulled an all-nighter to ensure Coronet’s 211 fully-automated snowguns were pointing in the right direction while pumping out precious powder. 

“In the first six weeks, everyone’s partners know they won’t see them much,” the 14-year veteran says. 

Mild temperatures since have halted snowmaking, prompting Coronet operator NZSki to delay Saturday’s scheduled opening day. 

The snow-making system texts Deuart when temperatures drop enough for the guns to activate. Staff then “hoof it” up the hill, switching shifts at midnight. 

“We just need to be there to make sure things are pointing in the right direction.” 

Despite the unsocial hours, Deuart isn’t planning a career change anytime soon. 

“Some people ask ‘When are you going to get a real job?’ Well, I say this is it.”