These woolly wonders had prime position on Coronet Peak last Sunday, but skifield bosses promise they won’t be near the slopes for Saturday’s planned opening.
The mob of merino sheep was snapped by local mountaineering and ski touring guide Chris Prudden while skinning up the mountain towards the back country.
“I ran into them at the top of Greengates,” Prudden says.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen them up there … there isn’t really a lot of food for them up there in the snow.”
Coronet Peak ski area manager Hamish McCrostie says often there’s “the odd straggler” from stock belonging to Coronet Peak Station that ends up on the back of the ski area.
When told they were photographed beside a snow gun near the boundary fence, McCrostie says: “I better give
the farmer a call and get him to shift them.”
Prudden reckons last week’s snowfall has ensured there’s great base coverage for backcountry and piste skiing on Coronet Peak.
McCrostie says he’ll decide today whether the skifield will open on Saturday but after making snow on Tuesday night, he’s hopeful.
Coronet Peak’s scheduled Saturday opening would mark the start of the 2010 New Zealand ski season. All going to plan, chairlifts should whir into action at 8.30am.