There were ‘miles of smiles’ at Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area today as it opened for the start of the 2015 ski season.
First on the chair (L to R) Simon Yornston, Henry Penny, Ben Yornston and Andy Herron
A group of diehard local young riders and a visitor from Ruapehu were first on the Exhibition Quad chair, picking up ‘First on the Lift’ T-shirts as they did so.
Christchurch brothers fifteen-year-old Simon Yornston and Ben Yornston (18) were joined by friend Henry Penny (19), also from Christchurch and Andy Herron from Ruapehu.
All four stayed the night up at the ski area to bag the best seats in the house and it wasn’t first time for the brothers, who have made the annual trek multiple times.
They were joined by around 500 other guests, mainly loyal Cantabrians, who flooded on to the ski area from 8.30 onwards.
Samantha and Julia Blakely with Spike and Shred
All were treated to bubbly from Amisfield to celebrate opening as they got on the lift.
Snow conditions were good with 15 to 25cm of snow on trails including Highway 72 and Broadway, and the beginners area also operating.
Five features on a mini-terrain park set up near the base building were also a big hit on day one.
Ski area manager James Mackenzie was delighted to be open after weather setbacks earlier in the week.
“There are just miles of smiles up here,” he said.
“We’re very happy with how opening day has run and with the conditions, especially considering winds caused us to close yesterday.
“The forecast’s improving, we’re snow making up the top and we hope to have the Summit Six chair open tomorrow.”
All snow conditions and updates are available here.