Powder hounds get ready
JOHN EDENS IN QUEENSTOWN
NZSki-run Coronet Peak opens tomorrow with some of the best early-June conditions for years.
The skifield is the first to open in Australasia and has an excellent base, with 30cm on the lower slopes and 40cm at the top.
More snow is forecast for Sunday, according to the MetService.
For MetService updates on the slopes click here
Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland said there was a sense of excitement and anticipation as staff and skifield crew worked furiously to get everything ready.
"The buildup to opening day has been incredible, as we finish training our front line staff while our maintenance team, snowmaking team and groomer operators make the all-important finishing touches.''
The team relished the natural snow fall and snow making had boosted the base to ensure excellent cover on the main trails and great pockets of snow off-trail.
Mr Copland, in his first season as ski area manager, said it was one of the most anticipated opening days for a long time.
Coronet Express chairlift starts at 9am, with the first four people up the hill receiving T-shirts, while skiers and boarders get a glass of bubbles to mark the opening.
Access is open to the M1 trail, Upper and Lower Wall Street, Mid Gully, Shirtfront and Million Dollar.
The Meadows Express lift will also open.
Around the district, The Remarkables is scheduled to open on June 22, Treble Cone on June 27 and Cardrona Alpine Resort on June 21.
Tourism New Zealand expect at least 100,000 people to visit the country this winter to ski and board.
- The Southland Times