Twenty to 30cm of new snow has blanketed Mt Hutt over the past 24 hours – with good drifts of up to a metre in places.
With only eight days to go until scheduled opening on Friday June 12, the countdown is officially on for the first ski field to open this season. Snowmaking has fired up again and is expected to run for another 60 to 70 hours, meaning it’s “looking good” for the start of the New Zealand ski season.
Ski area manager James McKenzie took patroller Ronan MaGuire up to the Summit today by snowmobile.
“While snowmobiling’s been awesome fun, the skiing looks even better,” he said. “Ronan skied Fascination and Broadway, didn’t hit the ground once and had a grin from ear to ear when he got back to base.
“I don’t think he got a particularly warm response from his colleagues who lost out on ‘paper, scissors, rock’ for the chance to ski today!
“The snow storm came in two waves, the first a bit wet and sticky but perfect for locking down the rocks, and the second wave was light and dry but has bonded well to the first layer.
“The snow’s fallen pretty evenly across the field, and on trails where we’ve previously made snow and there was already some on the ground we can comfortably say we’ve got a base of 40 to 50cm.
“It’s looking awesome and provided it sticks around we’ve got plenty of snow to work with for next Friday’s opening.”
The mountain is a hive of activity right now with patrollers putting out pads, builders finishing off improvements to the base building café and the ski area’s maintenance crew completing checks on lifts and groomers.
The bulk of Mt Hutt’s seasonal staff sign-up tomorrow (Friday) and spend next week training.
“The snow timed its arrival perfectly. There’ll be a real hum of excitement in Methven tomorrow evening as seasonal staff head out for a few beers after our official welcome.”
Check out the snow and skiing conditions at Mt Hutt today with patroller Ronan McGuire and groomers in action here.
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