The official start of winter is just around the corner in New Zealand. Temperatures have plummeted to -5C and many resorts are reporting fresh powder. In fact, the South Island ski resorts of Craigieburn Valley and Temple Basin have more than a meter of powder already. The first ski resorts to open will be Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt – this Saturday – and the others will follow over the next couple of weeks.
Queenstown's Coronet Peak ski area to open this weekend, photo © Coronet Peak / nzski.com
OnTheSnow has all the latest snow conditions and opening dates for New Zealand:
Coronet Peak – opens June 9. Coronet Peak received 10cm of new snow last night, bringing the depth to 20cm on lower slopes and 30cm on upper slopes. The temperature is reaching a chilly -5C and the automated snowmaking system is working in full force.
Craigieburn Valley – opens June 30. There's no shortage of powder in Craigieburn Valley. The resort is reporting excellent conditions with a whopping 125cm of powder already. All roads are closed and temperatures have reached -5C.
Temple Basin – opens June 30. The resort is reporting one meter of fresh snow over the last couple of days. A spokesperson for the resort says the opening date is now certain, there are no fears of postponement.
Hanmer Springs – opens June 30. Hanmer Springs is still waiting for its first snowfall of the season. A new beginners tow (fixed grip) at Hanmer Springs Ski Area is up and running and ready for the 2012 season.
Mt. Cheeseman – opens June 30. 20-30cm of snow hit Cheeseman mid-May and the resort received another dump today, bringing the total depth to 50cm on the upper slopes and 40cm on the lower slopes.
Mt. Dobson – opens June 29. A substantial 40cm of snow has fallen on the resort today. The snow base is building and there is 30-50cm across the mountain.
Mt. Hutt – opens June 9. Powder conditions are already reported ahead of this Saturday's opening. Mt. Hutt received 50cm today, bringing the total snow depth to 70cm on the upper slopes and 60cm on the lower slopes.
Mt. Lyford – opens June 22. It's currently snowing heavily in Mt. Lyford with 30-40cm of new snow on the ground bringing the average depth to 75cm.
Ohau Snow Fields – June 23. There's currently 15-25cm of snow on the mountain and it's still snowing!
Porters – opens June 22. Porters has received a solid 40cm of fresh snow as of today. Temperatures have dropped to -5C and it's still snowing.
Rainbow – opens June 30. Rainbow received 10cm of snow today. Heavy snowfalls are predicted over the next week.
The Remarkables – June 16. The resort has a base of 8-10cm on upper and lower slopes.
Treble Cone – June 28. There's 10cm of snow at the base of the mountain, but forecasters are predicting heavier falls over the next week.
Cardrona – opens June 22. Cardrona has had a thin layer snow (5cm) overnight, allowing the snowmakers to do their thing.
Tukino – opens June 30. Snow is forecast for Tukino throughout this week.
Whakapapa – opens June 16-23. Turoa opens July 16 (weather permitting) while Whakapapa opens June 23. The first snow of the season is forecast later this week.
Broken River – opens June 30. Snow is yet to fall in Broken River.
Mt Olympus – opens July 1. Snow is yet to fall in Mt Olympus.
Manganui – opening TBA. The last snowfall was 4cm on May 17, but more light snow is forecast this week.
Jun 6, 2012 | Alicia Taylor
Queenstown's Coronet Peak ski area to open this weekend
The lifts will open this Saturday (June 9) thanks to a wintry cold snap and Coronet Peak’s multi-million-dollar snowmaking system that has seen an extensive network of snow guns blazing day and night across the mountain.
“Our snowmaking and grooming teams have been pulling out all the stops to enable us to open as scheduled on Saturday,” said Coronet Peak Ski Area Manager Hamish McCrostie.
“The investment in our fully automated snowmaking system has proved its worth once again.
“We’ve had a few days of solid snow making, which is perfect because if we were relying on natural snow alone wouldn’t be opening this weekend. We’re all very excited to confirm that it’s ‘all systems go’ for 9am Saturday morning.
“It’s great news for Queenstown and I know there are many skiers and boarders out there who are just itching to get their first few runs under their belt.”
Coronet Peak will open with the Coronet Express Quad providing access to the main M1 and Express Way trails. The Meadows Express lift will enable skiers and boarders to access the Big Easy novice trail and carpet lifts to the main beginners’ area, and the Skiwiland lift will also be operating.
Base building services open will include rental, Snowsports school, the Coronet restaurant and café, coffee bar, guest services, the retail Snow Shop and Skiwiland daycare.
Earlier this week a wintry blast that swept the South Island dropped 10cm of natural snow on the mountain, and more snow and continued cold temperatures are in the current forecast.
Coronet Peak’s traditional ‘First On The Chair’ T-shirts will be handed out to earlybirds who are first in the queue for the Coronet Express Quad chair lift, and skiers and boarders will be rewarded with a celebratory glass of Amisfield bubbles.
Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area will also open this Saturday for the 2012 season. The Remarkables ski area in Queenstown is scheduled to open on June 16.
June 08, 2012
Mt Hutt 'all systems go' for tomorrow
Mt Hutt will officially open for the winter season tomorrow (Saturday June 9) with an average snow base of 65cm across the entire mountain.
Mt Hutt ski area gets a big dump of the white stuff, photo © Mt Hutt / nzski.com
Mt Hutt Ski Area Manager James McKenzie said the forecast for opening was fine and sunny with light winds.
“It should be an outstanding day to kick off the 2012 season,” he said.
“We’ll be opening with the Summit Six Chair, Exhibition Quad and of course our beginners Magic Carpet area all operating.
“We’re currently assessing Towers Triple Chair but are suggesting that only advanced to intermediate skiers head over there, as it is not currently groomed,” he said.
Mr McKenzie said visitors to Mt Hutt tomorrow were likely to require chains on 2WD from either the Info Booth at the bottom of the ski area access road, or Canterbury View just after the 5 km mark.
“People heading to the mountain tomorrow should check the snow report to make sure they’re well prepared and always carry snow chain equipment as conditions can change very quickly up here,” he said.
Facilities open from tomorrow include the retail shop, rentals, Snowsports, Sky High Café and Hutt Base which serves coffee and is a licensed bar. Hubers Hutt and the Skiwiland crèche will open soon.
Mr McKenzie said guests with gold mypass cards were encouraged to buy their lift pass online before they head up to avoid any delays.
“Similarly, 2012 season pass holders who have a pass from last year can go straight to the lifts tomorrow as we don’t need to update their photos this year,” he said.
Tomorrow’s opening will be celebrated with the traditional ‘First On The Chair’ T-shirts up for grabs on the Summit Six Chair and Exhibition Quad, and the season’s first keen skiers and snowboarders will be celebrating with bubbles provided by Queenstown’s Amisfield winery.
This year Mt Hutt is looking forward to getting families up the mountain as part of the Methven ‘Kids 4 Free’ campaign. They’re delighted to offer a ’10 and under’ ski free deal for youngsters, part of a resort-wide community promotion that will see kids 10 and under stay, eat and ski for free for the entire winter season.
Mt Hutt is an all-round adventure playground for kids and their families, with highlights including Dinner With The Stars on Saturday nights, complete with huskies and snow groomer rides.
For up-to-date snow conditions and information on facilities open from June 9 go to click here. For more information on the Kids 4 Free campaign, go to www.kids4free.co.nz
June 08, 2012
Australia Kicks Off Ski Season; Perisher Opens a Week Early
Ski resorts Down Under are kicking off the 2012 winter season. OnTheSnow has the latest snow conditions, opening dates, and news from the otherside of the world.
Perisher – opened June 2.
The country's largest ski resort was also the first to kick off the 2012 ski season. Skiing opened June 2, one week ahead of schedule, thanks to cold weather and early snowfalls. All proceeds from the opening weekend are being donated to the local community. With temperatures reaching a chilly -5C, Perisher has up to 30 snowmakers operating in full force, enhancing the natural falls across the resort. Currently the Front Valley is open for skiing.
"We are really excited for a great 2012 winter season and we can't wait to share all of the improvements we've made to the resort with our guests. We're also really happy to be supporting the local community by, once again, donating Saturday and Sunday's ticket proceeds," says Perisher's CEO Peter Brulisauer.
New for 2012: New automated snowmaking at Blue Cow; three additional snow groomers; and a new Demo Store to enable guests to try before they buy.
Charlotte Pass – opens June 22.
New for 2012: An all-day kids' program (3-8yrs); a new Rotondo Carousel Lift has been purchased specifically for the all-day kids' program; weekly kids' flare run; and a Bombardier Oversnow Vehicle to increase capacity during peak periods.
Dinner Plain – opens June 9.
New for 2012: People travelling to Dinner Plain-Mount Hotham will no long need to stop at the resort entry gate to purchase their resort entry. Hotham visitors will be able to pre-purchase resort entry via internet or Smartphone access. The customised technology utilises infrared cameras to photograph guests' vehicle number plates when they enter the resort. Also new this year is a ski valet service.
Falls Creek – opens June 9.
An excess of 35cm of snow arrived May 26, providing an excellent base. New for 2012: Cheaper lift passes for guests staying 3+ days; a new two-day weekend pass.
Mt. Baw Baw – opens June 9.
The resort has been blanketed in 20cm of fresh snow over the last couple of days, positive signs for a great season ahead at Baw Baw.
Mt. Hotham – opens June 9.
Three lifts will open this Saturday – Big D Quad Chairlift, Summit Trainer Poma and Upper Playground Double Chairlift. There's now 25cm of snow on the ground in Mt Hotham, and more on the way.
New for 2012: People travelling to Mount Hotham will no long need to stop at the resort entry gate to purchase their resort entry. Hotham visitors will be able to pre-purchase resort entry via internet or Smartphone access. The customised technology utilises infrared cameras to photograph guests' vehicle number plates when they enter the resort. Also new this year is a ski valet service.
Selwyn Snowfields – opens June 9.
New for 2012: Full- and half-day children's lessons and construction of picnic and toboggan facilities.
Thredbo – opens June 9.
Thredbo has received 10cm of snow this week and conditions are perfect for snowmaking. New for 2012: Buy-early-and-save-more deals; easy-access lift gates across entire mountain; an additional snow groomer; three-hour children's group lessons; new Thredbo Sports Retail store; and the Mother Bagjump is back and ready to ride.
Mt Buller – opens June 9.
New for 2012: New Bonza chairlift, additional snowmaking, new carpet lifts, and a renovated Howqua Chairlift.
Jun 6, 2012 | Alicia Taylor