Three rogue sheep escaped a snowy fate after being buried alive in a massive snowfall at Treble Cone, near Wanaka.
Nick Noble, Treble Cone marketing and sales manager, said the sheep were found yesterday at the top of the Saddle Basin at an elevation of about 2000m.
The first sheep's head appeared out of the snow as patrollers Brian Newman and Rachel Stanford prepared to detonate small explosive charges as part of their snow control work.
On closer investigation, two more buried sheep were found in the same area, he said.
The sheep were dug out by the fresh snow by a team of patrollers, before being strapped to toboggans and skied down to the Treble Cone base.
The animals were transported back to a local farm.
Noble said the sheep appeared to be cousins of Shrek with long wool suggesting they may have spent at least 18 months in the mountains before yesterday's harrowing experience.
Treble Cone opens on June 27.
- © Fairfax NZ News