Big dump hits South Island

snow action team 26.05.2014

Queenstown and Wanaka residents awoke this morning (Mon 26 May) to ankle deep snow around their homes and offices as a vicious southerly snow storm passed through the region overnight.

The storm was welcomed by snow-lovers who are eagerly awaiting the opening of the New Zealand ski season on 7th June.  It has provided an excellent base of snow on the mountains around Queenstown and Wanaka.  The significant snowfalls on the ski areas, along with cold temperatures, bode well for the ski season ahead. Additionally the chilly temperatures are providing an ideal environment for the snow-guns to fire into action to complement the natural snowfalls.

At Cardrona staff got stuck at the 12km mark on their access road, according to Marketing Manager, Nadia Ellis.  She advises that there were 2 metre snow drifts on the road at the bottom of Valley View.

Treble Cone is reporting conditions of minus 5 degrees with 30 cm of snow at the Base Building.  Marketing Manager Nick Noble advises there is currently a ski patroller skinning up the mountain to assess snow depth and conditions.

Around 20 cm has been recorded at Coronet Peak’s base building as intrepid Queenstown Resort College students trekked up the Meadow Express Chair for their first run of the season.    At sister ski area The Remarkables, conditions have so far prevented staff from getting on the mountain.

Further north, in Canterbury Mt Hutt ski area reported 5cm of snow overnight. The southern storm system appears to be heading for Canterbury as it moves up the island.

Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt are scheduled to be the first ski areas in NZ to open, on 7th June.  Thereafter the openings are: Cardrona and Porters (20 June), The Remarkables (21 June), Treble Cone (26 June), Ohau and Roundhill (28 June) and Mt Dobson (1 July).