This week in Mountain Scene history


1975 Several Queenstown establishments promote special functions celebrating Swiss National Day on August 1 – Ramada Inn features Peter Canziani on alpenhorn.

1985 Queenstown Airport Authority secretary Warren McKnight says jets won’t be able to land here – the runway is not long enough or strong enough. 

1995 The third Shotover River rafting fatality in 19 months spurs Queenstown’s council into ramming through emergency legislation. The new council bylaws will be identical to upcoming national rafting regulations to be enacted by the Maritime Safety Authority. However, the MSA laws won’t take effect for another six months and the council can’t wait that long, its boss Keith Grantham says. 

2001 The paragliding industry scrambles to beef up safety checks after a horrific accident involving a 12-year-old Christchurch client. Young Nicola Collins somehow survived after plummeting more than 10 metres on to rocks on Bob’s Peak after coming adrift from the harness that was attached to her tandem pilot Brendon Sinclair. 

2005 Duncan Smith, boss of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables skifields, blames taxi drivers and other tourism frontliners for bagging Queenstown’s snow. “Too many of our frontliners are rubbishing the snow and putting a dampener on the holidays of visitors,” Smith complains. “Snow quality is in the eye of the beholder,” Smith says.