Opening day flurry

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Telemark skier Tony Moore, 41, climbed Coronet Peak in the dark to carve the first tracks of the season – only to be pipped by old mate and fellow local Jef Desbecker, who’d also hiked up the mountain.
Moore set out about 7am last Saturday and light was just breaking as he summited around 7.30am.
This is his second season of telemarking after 14 years snowboarding: “I just needed something fresh.”

Johnny’s seat of honour

Five-year-old Johnny ffiske can consider himself the catalyst for Coronet Peak’s flash new chairlift. 

The grandson of NZSki owner John Davies used to struggle getting on to the old Meadows double chair as a three-year-old learning to ski. 

“I remember his mother turned round to pull the safety bar down and the lift stopped and the chair rocked back and he fell about two to three metres into the snow,” Davies recalls at a special opening of the Meadows Express quad last Friday. 

“It was then I wanted a better chair system.” 

Johnny with sister Georgie, 7, Olivia Coddington, 7, and Keir Roberts, 7, got to ride the $5 million super-safe chairlift before the ski field opened on Saturday. 

Johnny prefers to let his skiing do the talking, saying his first experience of the new lift was “good”. 

The quad, with a special platform for novice skiers to get on the lift, can move up to 2000 passengers per hour.