The Remarkables is looking way whiter, blanketed with snow in the first major snowfall for 2016. Up up to a metre of snow has fallen near the summit in the past 24 hours and more than 70 cm at the ski area base. Coronet Peak didn’t miss out, with around 20cm at the summit and up to 15cm at the base of the ski area. The snowstorm couldn’t have been more timely, as the ski area’s scheduled to open for the season on Saturday June 11.
“Winter’s arrived with a bang,” declared Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland.
The snowfalls are just in time for winter evening flights scheduled to touch down at Queenstown Airport this week.
Temperatures dropped to minus 8 degrees during the night but were accompanied by strong winds, resulting in wind drifts on the mountain as high as 1.5m.
This morning, ski area staff battled to get access to the mountain with a grader operating from the 8km mark where there is 40cm of snow on the road.
“The snow will settle out in time but this is an excellent beginning to our winter as it’s blanketed the ski area and establishes a good base on all main trails,” said The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence.
The Remarkables is scheduled to open for the 2016 season on June 18.
More snow is forecast, and continuing cold weather great for snowmaking.
The snow line in the pictures is down to around 400 – 500m, not far above Queenstown itself.