Mt Hutt turns on snow-making guns

'Good base' of snow falls at Mt Hutt

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 10:03 17/05/2012
Mt Hutt
HERE WE GO: Head of snow-making Blair James gears up for the 2012 season at the Mt Hutt Ski Area.

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Sub-zero temperatures indicated it was time for Mt Hutt to turn on their snow-making guns in preparation for the 2012 season.

Mt Hutt Ski Area general manager operations James Urquhart said about 20 centimetres of fresh snow fell on Tuesday night, which gave the mountain a good base to start building on.

Yesterday, snow guns helped the process along near the mountain's base.

Urquhart said snow-making was a complex process that involved low humidity and low temperatures, while where the snow was made was dictated by various factors, including wind speed.

"It's a combination of high pressure air going through a pipe system ... it turns it to snow."

Mt Hutt has 76 snow guns, worth about $50,000 each.

Urquhart said it was the "best timing" as the mountain geared up for the season.

The chairlifts had been fitted and the snow-making team would be working around the clock if weather permitted.

He expected it to be a great season.

The season is likely to run from June 9 to October 7.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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