Winter made a late return to Southern Lakes mountains yesterday (Wednesday) with fresh snow providing a much needed boost for Queenstown’s skifields.
NZSki reported the new snow added to the already good coverage on Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.
Heavy snow began falling in the mountains late yesterday afternoon.
Coronet Peak, which last week hosted Winter Games races, had visible bare patches in some areas before the snowfall and the skifield’s ski area manager, Ross Copland, says the new snow is a good morale booster.
“There’s a lot of celebrating going on,” Copland says. “It’s been pretty tough, especially for the staff.”
The skifield is hosting the NZ Nationals today and tomorrow and the fresh snow means “some extra work for the groomers” and it is unlikely world record times will be broken due to softer snow.
“I’d take the soft stuff any day to be honest,” Copland says.
Copland says a solid three days of snow making is on the cards as the cold weather was expected to continue until Saturday – allowing the snow guns to operate.
Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence said around 10-12cm of snow fell on the skifield yesterday, creating a “good blanket across the hill”.
Snow was also accumulating at Wanaka’s Treble Cone at a rate of 2cm an hour and by 4.30pm, there was an additional 8cm in the Saddle and 5cm in the Home Basin.
About 5cm of snow had fallen at Wanaka’s Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Farm by about 4.30pm yesterday and more was expected overnight.
Coronet Peak is due to close on October 6 and The Remarkables on September 29.
– Otago Daily Times