New Zealand ski resorts begin their 2011 winter season after extended delays
After weeks of disappointment, the people seeking some skiing action in New Zealand can rejoice as the ski resorts are finally opening their gates and operating their chair-lifts for winter season.
The first ski resort to become operational this season is Canterbury’s Mt. Hutt. The resort was scheduled to open its gates by June 11th, but the low density of snow had kept it from successfully doing that.
However, the people at Mt. Hutt refused to succumb to the un-cooperating weather and were working on making their own snow since Friday. The effort bore fruit and allowed them to open up for visitors by June 27th.
According to the manager of the resort, David Wilson, “We don't yet have sufficient snow to open other trails, and there'll be no off-piste skiing, but the fact that we can open with what we have is due to our ability to make snow
consistently since last Friday.”
Queenstown’s Coronet Peak is another of the many resorts that has been facing difficulty in getting its season underway. Originally scheduled to open on June 4th, the resort is already way behind schedule. However, the
conditions have relatively improved, with almost seven inches of snow lying on the upper mountain. The resort has announced that it will be opening its gate on Thursday, June 30th, for the 2011 season.
According to the resort’s manager Hamish McCrostie, “Now that colder days and nights would seem to have finally arrived, we're continuing snowmaking and grooming on all trails and will open those up just as soon as we can. We're looking
forward to conditions improving as we go further into winter.”
The manager admits that it is not something that the resort usually offers on the opening day, but it still a pretty good start to the season, especially under the given circumstances. A lot of credit goes to the snowmaking machines
that the resort is currently using, though their use is heavily dependent on the cool weather.
Wanaka’s Snow Park NZ is also all set to become operational for the 2011 season by June 30th, though only with limited terrain. The rest of the terrain will open once there is a significant improvement in weather and the
resort receives some snow.
The ski areas in New Zealand are not having a dream season due to an extended warm weather and lack of snow. Despite the plan to open in the early days of June, the opening date for almost all major ski resorts was pushed further
as the wait for consistent cold temperature continued. The cold temperature is a pre-requisite for utilising machines to create snow.
While few of the ski resorts are finally open, even if just partially, there is still a handful of resorts that are still waiting for a more cooperating weather.