Wintry blast drops welcome cover

21:48, Aug 29 2013
The Remarkables
The Remarkables.

Southern ski fields awoke to one of the best powder days of the season yesterday after a wintry blast swept across the country.

Up to 10cm of fresh powder accumulated at NZSki's Coronet Peak and The Remarkables while Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone basked in clear blue skies and a new layer of snow.

Treble Cone had 15cm of dry snow, bringing the depth in the Saddle basin to more than three metres.

The Motatapu chutes were loaded with new snow, too, but were on hold while ski patrol teams completed control work yesterday.

Skiers enjoying the powder yesterday included World Freeride Tour winner Nadine Wallner and World Heli Challenge 2013 winner Sam Smoothy.

In Queenstown, cold overnight temperatures triggered the automated snow-making system at Coronet Peak, adding to 8cm of natural snowfall.

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Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland said it was magnificent.

"The snow's soft and fresh, the guns have been blasting and the place is buzzing with a steady stream of very stoked skiers and riders." At The Remarkables, ski area manager Ross Lawrence said there was 15cm of new snow.

"There are plenty of people out there hiking and seeking out their favourite stashes, and our freshly groomed trails are providing that winter silk feel on new snow."

At Mt Hutt, another 25cm of dry snow covered the field, which benefited from a huge snow dump at the start of the season.

The Southland Times