A cold-snap closing roads and making life difficult today is cheering up skifield owners, as they look forward to the school holidays starting on Friday.
In the central North Island dumpings of snow closed a 90km section of State Highway 1 from Turangi to Taihape, including the Desert Road, which has since reopened.
Mount Ruapehu's Turoa and Whakapapa skifields were both closed today by blizzard-like conditions.
Over the past 24 hours, both have had dumpings of snow with Turoa getting 30cm and Whakapapa 41cm.
Heavy snow and strong winds keeping it dry would set up very good skiing from Friday on, Ruapehu ski area general manager Dave Mazey said.
"The school holidays are coming up in the next few weeks, and it's looking good for a strong 2012 winter."
Turoa mountain manager Chris Thrupp said the new snow on the upper mountain meant tomorrow's skiing was looking good.
"We're working 24 hours to build trails and make snow. Tomorrow the beginners' area should be open, and by Friday we should have more facilities.
"More snow is great, but difficult, because right now you can't see two-three metres in front of you," Thrupp said.
Although snow has closed roads around the South Island, skifields at Mt Hutt, Cardrona, and Coronet Peak could still be reached.
Mt Hutt ski area manager James Mackenzie said it was very cold at the Canterbury field, but westerly winds were keeping the 95cm of base snow dry for the 300 school kids skiing there today.
He said they were expecting over 2000 skiers on Sunday - which has been dubbed "powder day".
"We weren't even open this time last year - we're very pleased with the snow, it's setting us up well."
Treble Cone, near Queenstown, will be opening tomorrow, as scheduled. There is 40cm of snow on the base and 50cm on the upper mountain.
"We are all ready for school holidays. We have a lot of action around the mountain today and we are really excited for tomorrow," Treble Cone sales and marketing coordinator Julia Atkinson said.
Nearby, The Remarkables are closed today due to strong winds, making the road and lift operations dangerous.
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