Queenstown ski season to continue big dump possible

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NZSki boss James Coddington has confirmed Queenstown ski fields will remain open throughout the whole season.

The ski firm will continue to create usable runs at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables through the expensive practice of snow making.

Several weeks without heavy snow and continuing clear blue skies have left the mountains relatively bare.

Coddington says: “There is no thought at all to stopping our commitment to making snow.

“Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s more important to us to provide the very best product and service we can on a daily basis.

“They are set on automatic and whenever the ambient temperature hits -2 degrees, the guns start.”

Met Service meteorologists say snow is expected on Sunday or Monday – and signs of El Nino forming in the Pacific could bring proper winter conditions within weeks.

Until then, the snow guns will blast.

Coddington says: “We’ve invested a significant infrastructure in snow making and we’re committed to have the snow guns blazing whenever the temperatures allow.

“And we are committed to ensuring that all the way to the end of the season.”

Coronet Peak has 116 snow guns, which can pump more than 42,000 cubic metres of water in 12 hours. Scores of guns also service The Remarkables and NZSki-managed Mt Hutt.

Warm temperatures forced NZSki to cancel night skiing last week but the popular sessions will reopen this weekend.

“Without snow making we wouldn’t have had a season this year.

“We’re hopeful the weather gods will smile on us again but we don’t have control over those things. There’s no point in worrying about the things outside our control,” Coddington says.