Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area is revelling in the white stuff – with a one-metre pre-season snow base being described as “the best in years”.
Two snowstorms in the past four days have delivered “wall-to-wall” snow across the mountain, leading ski area manager James McKenzie to declare that Mt Hutt is expected to open with all lifts operating on opening day (Friday June 10).
“A one-metre snow base is simply stunning and the best we’ve had pre-season since 2011,” he says.
“We’re so far ahead of where we usually are at this stage of the season, we’re planning to open with all lifts operating including the Triple Chair.
“We’re well ahead with plans for snowmaking on the lower mountain, our new magic carpet’s been installed, and all our chairs are ‘in the air’ and ready to go.
“We’ve got so much snow on the ground we’ve started grooming work early, packing trails top to bottom, and right now we’re starting to think about what Terrain Park features we can open with.”
Looking at the forecast nine days out from opening, the weather is looking very favourable but McKenzie is philosophical about the fact that conditions could change.
“We’ve all seen before what can happen in an alpine environment, but there’s very little wind in the forecast which is always good news for Mt Hutt.”
Describing himself as “one happy ski area manager” he says staff “can’t wait” for opening.
“If we do get all our lifts open on day one, it will be the first time that’s happened this millennium!”
Passes, lessons and rentals can all be booked at www.nzski.com which also features detailed daily updates and live webcams showing snow and weather conditions.