Coronet Peak brings excess snow to Queenstown central
Coronet Peak has snow to spare so on Monday the crew built a surprise kicker for snowboarding and tubing in central Queenstown.
On the Lake Wakatipu lakefront a crowd gathered to watch snow-lovers sliding down the hill, with a "few brave ones" landing into the water.
Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland said about 700 passers by participated in the event.
"It was a great community event for getting people excited about winter," he said.
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It's only a few days until Coronet Peak opens on Saturday and skiers and snowboarders are as excited as staff.
Copland said the mountain was ready for Saturday with 2m of groomed snow ready to go."
"Hopefully it'll be with a bang," he said.
First time Coronet Peak worker Michael Martelli who was responsible for snow-making said he wasn't nervous about the opening.
"More excited than anything," he said.
Martelli said skiers and snowboarders started coming up the mountain as soon as there was enough snow to do so, even though the chairlifts were not operating yet.
One of them was food and beverage worker at the ski field and snowboarder Craig Vernon who did his first hike up the mountains with friends two weeks ago.
"I'm very much looking forward to it [opening]. The amount of snow looks phenomenal," Vernon said.
Surfer and new snowboarder Travis Perkins said he wanted to get used to the board before the official season opening.
He said a hike up the Coronet Peak was "well worth it" for the views.