Skiers and snowboarders made the most of fresh snow and social connection at the re-opening of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt ski areas today.
Hundreds of snow lovers ventured up the southern mountains to mark the first day of Alert Level 2 for all regions in New Zealand, outside of Auckland.
Coronet Peak was the first ski area in the country to re-open, with dozens of Queenstown locals heading up for First Tracks at 8am, making the most of 3cm of fresh snow overnight and more flurries during the morning. Coronet Peak will be the last to close tonight, with a special one-off Night Ski, from 4-9pm.
The Remarkables received 15cm of fresh snow overnight, while Mt Hutt in Canterbury received a dusting overnight, with snow falling throughout the morning.
“The snow arrived at the perfect time,” NZSki CEO Paul Anderson says. “While it was difficult to watch the biggest snowfall of the season arrive just as we went into lockdown, our crew have worked hard over the past few days to get the mountains ready for our guests again. The fresh snow has certainly helped.”
Anderson anticipates the next few days will see the mountains frequented by predominantly locals. More snow is also expected to arrive later this week, with a cold front coming through on Thursday and into the weekend.
“We’re really lucky to have such a loyal base of locals who love coming to our mountains. Making the most of the outdoors is what living in our community is all about. People will be happy to be doing what they love doing and seeing some of their friends up here.
“Today has been mostly a local crowd but with good snow conditions expected into this weekend we expect to see a few people travel to Queenstown.”
Under Level 2, all mountain visitors must sign in with the Covid tracer app. NZSki has set up a designated scanning ‘gateway’ for all vehicle occupants to sign in, as they drive up the mountain. In addition, masks or ski buffs must be always worn on lifts and in buildings, and guests are reminded to follow physical distancing guidelines in all areas.
“Everyone is just happy to be out and about,” Anderson adds.
All mountains comply with the public health guidelines stipulated by the Government and the guidelines developed by the Ski Areas Association of New Zealand. A FAQ web page has been set up for mountain guests explaining these in detail.
The links to these pages are: