Queenstown’s snow season that was


Jun 5: Coronet Peak opens with NZSki’s new online ticketing system Mypass. The credit card-sized pass is micro-chipped and uses radio frequency technology storing information for every skier and boarder – including how many times they’ve accessed slopes.

Jun 5: Coronet Peak unveils new $5 million Meadows Express chairlift, aimed at providing a super-safe ride for novice skiers and boarders.

Jun 17: Queenstown mum Janine Learmonth (right) almost breaks her neck when trapped by the mechanical safety bar while riding the Meadows chair. NZSki later releases tension on the bar. A Department of Labour investigation continues.

Jun 19: The Remarkables opens with a massive dump of snow which sets the season up

Jun 26: Cardrona opens with new $3m Valley View project, opening up more lower mountain terrain – plus there’s a new tunnel.

Jun 26: Local skiing stalwart Nigel Brown is “volunteer of the year” at Snow Sports NZ’s awards dinner for countless hours helping with alpine ski racing. Young Arrowtown snowboarder Hamish Bagley is “emerging talent of the year”.

Jun 29: NZSki boss James Coddington makes no apologies for controversial decisions – like axing agent commissions and free-of-charge season and day passes – in recent years. Speaking to businesses, he explains the savings were ploughed into snow-making and other major projects.

Jul 8: Queenstown Winter Olympian Tim Cafe (right) joined by locals Adam Barwood, Andrew Wylie, Harrison Steedman and Taylor Rapley on the NZ Ski Team. Cafe’s selection comes after a drink-driving conviction in May.

Jul 29: NZSki hires Craig Douglas as sales and marketing boss after long-serving predecessor David Ovendale resigns in April for unstated “personal reasons”. Fellow marketing team members Anna Wright and Nicola Grigg also resign this winter.

Aug 1: The Remarkables turns 25. Bad weather hampers festivities – few turn out for an on-mountain Jordan Luck gig.

Aug 5: American golden girl Lindsey Vonn returns to Queenstown for training – one of many famous skiers to grace local slopes this winter.

Aug 6: Queenstown teen Alec Savery (right) stars at the Parklife Invitational Rail Jam when a ski move goes wrong and he painfully lands astride the rail. A hospital groin check gives him the all-clear. 

Aug 12: An elderly Japanese man dies after falling in Coronet Peak’s racing area. The advanced ski racer, wearing a helmet, caught a gate and fell. The 80-year-old’s death is the fifth for NZSki this year – four others die at Mt Hutt from skiing off-trail, being outside the boundary, driving off the road and falling on ice.

Aug 12: Bus full of skiers and boarders spend nailbiting five hours inching and sliding down The Remarkables’ road in a white-out. A similar incident on the road gets 3500 YouTube hits.

Aug 19: Swedish freeski star Jon Olsson trains at Coronet. 

Sep 23: Arrowtown’s own Red Bull snowboarder Jake Koia says he won’t ride Queenstown slopes because NZSki doesn’t give free or discounted passes. Koia – 18th on the Ticket To Ride international snowboard rankings – prefers Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Park instead, as they support him. NZSki says Koia’s not on their “elite athlete’s pass programme”, put forward by the NZ Academy of Sport and Snow Sports NZ.

Sep24-25: Skifields celebrate huge late snow dump. Coronet extends its season, closing on October 6. The Remarkables shuts October 10. Cardrona and Treble Cone close on October 3.

Oct 7: Japan’s Tomo Imada, 60, (right) is the biggest ski nut in Queenstown. He clocks up a whopping 700km – 707,579 vertical metres – during 115 days.