This week in Mountain Scene history


1976 Skyline promotes Tuesday movie nights – gondola ride, buffet dinner and a flick for $5. Feature movies include Ryan’s Daughter, Confessions of a Window Cleaner, Deliverance and The Exorcist. 

1986 Arrowtown is shocked when two local men, Doug Martin and Colin Hampton, drown while rafting the West Coast’s Landsborough River. Twenty young Wakatipu locals are on the three-day trip run by Kawarau Rafts and Value Tours. Kawarau Rafts owner Robert Eymann dived in when he saw Martin floating downriver. After swimming three kilometres, Eymann says he retrieved Martin’s body but couldn’t revive him despite conducting CPR. 

1996 Local rugby nuts are crying in their beer. Broadcasters Sky and Television New Zealand have scuppered plans by Queenstown’s Channel 5 and Telecom to beam live Test coverage to the Wakatipu. Queenstown is a Sky-less zone. 

2002 Cannabis dealers are supplying kids as young as 12, Queenstown detective senior sergeant Steve Wood says, announcing a major crackdown. About 1000 cannabis plants on 54 plots, with an estimated street value of $1 million, were destroyed in this year’s aerial swoop over the Wakatipu. A 12-year-old who’d been supplied with cannabis was passing it on to his friends, Wood says. The child’s been referred to Youth Aid.

2006 An American hang-gliding pilot and his Italian passenger hit power lines and plummet 10 to 15 metres on take-off at Coronet Peak. The pilot was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital in a serious condition with head injuries and multiple broken bones. The Italian woman came away with only grazes.