Queenstown’s Coronet Peak delays start to ski season


Snow revellers won’t be hitting the Queenstown slopes this weekend – Coronet Peak has delayed the start of the 2011 season. 

Record warm temperatures over May mean the snowmaking machines – which started pumping out powder last Friday – have been out of action for most of the week. 

Coronet Peak ski area boss Hamish McCrostie says it’s “hugely disappointing” the season won’t get underway on Saturday as scheduled. 

“We know full well there are a lot of keen locals and loyal supporters who are itching to get up here for first tracks of the season, and believe me that’s what we all want too. 

“Mother Nature has decided to hang on to autumn for as long as she can, so we have to be philosophical about the fact that this happens every once in a while but as always it will get colder and it will snow.” 

McCrostie adds: “Our fully automated snow making system has 211 snow guns positioned all over the mountain and they’re switched on ready to blast out the white stuff. “ 

Coronet Peak needs at least 72 hours of continuous cold air temperatures and low humidity levels to make enough snow to open.