Snow surge for Queenstown/Wanaka ski season


Skiers and boarders have been enjoying fresh powder at Queenstown ski fields after a day of freezing temperatures and snow dumps.

Coronet Peak’s (top picture) snow area boss Ross Copland says it’s like opening day all over again after an eight centimetre snowfall overnight topped by snowmaking.

“It’s just magnificent out there,” he says.

“The snow’s soft and fresh, the guns have been blasting and the place is buzzing with a steady stream of very stoked skiers and riders.

“Coronet Peak is the local’s favourite, especially for first tracks before going to work, so we’re delighted to have fresh winter snow on offer just a few days before we officially head into spring.”

The weather forecast for the coming days is favourable for snowmaking, and the longer-term forecast is for great daytime weather over the weekend and freezing temperatures again early next week.

Copland says Coronet’s extensive snowmaking system combined with cold temperatures means it didn’t take long to coat the slopes with snow.

“With the outlook for next week it looks like we can continue to top up well into early spring.”

Over at sister Queenstown snow field The Remarkables (above, left), ski area manager Ross Lawrence is just as excited.

“It continues to be a fantastic season, with 15cm of new snow overnight and cold temperatures remaining for the next few days it’s a reminder winter isn’t over yet,” he said.

“There are plenty of people out there hiking and seeking out their favourite stashes, and our freshly groomed trails are providing that winter silk feel on new snow.

“We’re looking forward to a brilliant weekend too.”

Treble Cone (above, right) near Wanaka, having received a further 15cm of new cold and dry snow, enjoyed an epic bluebird powder day.

Following an overnight temperature of minus 5 degrees Celsius the quality of the new snow and the existing base is fantastic, Treble Cone marketing boss Nick Noble says.

The snow depth in the Saddle Basin as measured at Tim’s Table at 1960m remains well over three metres deep.

The Saddle Basin offers wall-to-wall skiing and snowboarding both on long and wide groomed trails and wide walls and gullies of off-piste powder to enjoy.

The Home Basin snow depth sits around one metre and the main groomed trails including Main Street and Easy Rider in the Home Basin are in good shape top-to-bottom.

The Motatapu Chutes, some of NZ’s most revered expert only terrain have loaded up nicely with the new snow, and are on hold whilst Ski Patrol complete control work.

Treble Cone has continued to make snow during the past three days on the lower trails of the Home Basin to ensure top-to-bottom skiing for later in the season.