More water, more white stuff

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Coronet Peak has a new comfort blanket that’s expected to ensure an extra half-metre of snow covers the mountain.

The Sarah Sue reservoir (right) is the biggest and newest water pool fuelling the 203 snow-guns making white stuff at the skifield, which opens on Saturday.

Holding 92 million litres of water, the reservoir adds to Coronet’s total water capacity of 400m litres, says NZSki boss James Coddington.

“It all depends on weather temperatures and that kind of thing but generally 92m litres is a significant amount of water which could put half a metre of snow across 100 per cent of terrain.”

The reservoir, on the Greengates Express chair run, took about five weeks to fill at 50 litres a second.

Snow = Greengates

With plenty of natural snow and snow-making on track, will Greengates – traditionally opened later in the season – be operating on opening day?

“We’re certainly hopeful … but we still need to make some snow in the lower areas,” Coddington says.

Hola! Mexico

Also new at Coronet Peak is the Mexican Cantina food outlet at the base building. Plus there’s now gluten-free and other healthy options, Coddington says.

“We’ve really gone all out to try to cater to all budgets in our food and beverage.”

Aussie invasion

Our neighbours from across the Tasman are expected to flood into the resort this winter, with the first Australian package tours arriving “any time from opening”, Coddington says.

With little or no snow on Aussie skifields, and with extra kids’ facilities at Coronet this year, he’s hoping to lure plenty of Ockers over the ditch.