Queenstown ski fields upgraded

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Upgrades to Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski areas have been completed ahead of the 2012 season.

At Coronet Peak, the giant slalom race course has been extended at the Rocky Gully race arena to be fully compliant with international standards.

Race events and training will no longer be held on the popular The Hurdle or Eighth Basin, which were often roped off to leisure skiers.

New features have been added to the kids’ fun zone beneath the Meadows chairlift.

At The Remarkables, work completed over the summer months includes new groomed trails alongside the Shadow Basin chairlift and a new trail alongside Fall Line in Sugar Bowl.

NZski’s Coronet Peak ski area manager Hamish McCrostie says: “Over the years our reputation as a Southern Hemisphere training destination has grown, meaning we literally attract some of the best male and female alpine ski racers on the planet.

“These are all highly-tuned athletes at the very top of their game, including members of the USA, Canadian, Japanese and other European teams.

“Now all their training can be concentrated in the one area, which frees up other runs for our daily visitors.

“We’ve listened to the feedback from those visitors, and I’m sure they will be delighted that some of the most popular runs on the ski area will no longer be roped off for training or racing from time to time.”

The GS race and training course now extends 250 vertical metres from above the top of the T-bar.

Two small boxes will be added to the kids’ fun zone, along with some more berms.

The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence says novice and intermediate skiers and boarders would benefit most this year with new groomed trails alongside the Shadow chairlift.

Upper intermediate and advanced skiers have also been catered for in Sugar Bowl where the new trail alongside Fall Line will provide more challenging terrain.

“Overall we’ve expanded the groom-able area of the ski field to improve flow and accessibility,” Lawrence says.

The Remarkables is also trialling two new state-of-the-art snow groomers and new snowmaking machines this year.
The new groomers will be used all over the mountain, but will come into their own in The Remarks’ dedicated terrain parks this winter.

Hitting the slopes from early in the season will be an Italian Prinoth Bison X snow groomer, renowned for a high degree of flexibility and a relatively lightweight model.

“It lends itself perfectly to terrain parks in particular because of its manoeuvrability and precision grooming,” Lawrence says.

A new Pisten Bully Kassbohrer will also be shipped in from Europe for a two-week trial, enabling ski area management and the terrain park team to analyse what each groomer offers.

Three TechnoAlpin snow gun demos will be set up in the learners’ area for the season and an SMI snow gun will be trailed for a time too.

Coronet Peak is scheduled to open for the 2012 season on June 9 and The Remarkables from June 16, subject to conditions.