Snow, snow and more snow – Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area has confirmed its “good to go” for opening for the 2015 season on Saturday June 13.
As happy as a ski area manager can be, standing half way up the mountain in pockets of deep powder following good snowfalls and continued snowmaking, Ross Copland said the mountain was “looking great”.
Coronet Peak has received 15cm of natural snow over the last two days, and with a drop in temperature and more snow in the forecast he is “delighted” to see it bounce back so quickly enabling confirmation of Saturday’s opening.
“Early snowfalls created a great foundation for us to build on this year. We’re currently making snow right to the base and anticipate having snow guns blazing right through to Sunday at least,” he said.
“This year we’ve made 76% more snow than the previous two seasons, extra production that’s made a real difference to our trails with good coverage and depth across the core mountain.
“Preparations are going really well and we have a fantastic team in place with all systems tested and working well.
“We’re really looking forward to a bumper season.”
The mountain will open with Coronet Express and Meadows high-speed chairlifts operating, as well as conveyor lifts in the beginners’ area.
There will be largely on-piste skiing on groomed corduroy, with powder pockets in some places. There is still plenty of tussock poking through off-piste so Mr Copland advised taking care if venturing off groomed trails.
Groomed trails will include the M1, Million Dollar, Wall Street and Shirtfront, and the ski area hopes to open Pro-Am.
“The Big Easy and beginner areas will be operating and we’re hoping to install some small park features on the Big Easy.”
All base lodge facilities including the café, restaurant, ticketing, rentals, Skiwiland, ski school and retail outlet will be open.
“For the earlybirds who want to enjoy the atmosphere of opening day morning we’ll be serving coffees from 7.30 and breakfasts from 8am,” said Ross.
“We are expecting it to be windy on Saturday so our advice is to dress warmly. We know Queenstown locals are super keen to get up here and they’ve got all that energy to burn, so it should be a fantastic day.”
The first four skiers or boarders lined up for the Coronet Express lift when it cranks into action at 9am will receive coveted ‘First On The Lift’ 2015 T-shirts, and Amisfield is serving celebratory bubbles.
For information on passes, rentals and lessons and to keep track of conditions in the lead up to season opening, go to www.nzski.com