Roundhill tow to set world record

Plans to build the world's longest, steepest rope tow are being drawn up at Roundhill ski field.

Roundhill ski area spokesman Christian Burtscher said the 1.4 kilometre tow would rise 600 metres, far outstripping the ski field's T-bar lift which already gives users 250 metres of vertical rise.

"It's going to be a fantastic example of a rope tow," Mr Burtscher said.

The tow will be located on the right-hand side of Roundhill and would target advanced or extreme skiers and snowboarders.

A draft plan of the rope tow should be completed by the end of the week, in preparation for drawing up the final plans which will be used to apply for resource consent, Mr Burtscher said.

If consent for the rope tow is granted, work will start in February, in the ski field's off-season, in time for winter 2010.

Mr Burtscher said Roundhill ski field staff, Grant Horner of Doppelmayr Lifts and designer Arthur Tindall were developing the rope tow plans. The design would have minimal effect on the environment.

With great snow conditions and record numbers of visitors, 2009 has been the ski field's biggest year since it was redeveloped and re-opened in 2001.

The Timaru Herald