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Winter’s almost here: snowmaking begins at Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area

May 25, 2015 Ski No Comments Print Print Email Email

unnamed (26)Snowmaking guns have been fired up and are pumping out the white stuff at Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area.

As the first cold snap of winter hits the resort, with temperatures expected to drop well below freezing and snow showers in the forecast for the weekend, Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland is primed for action.

“The snowmaking system fired up nicely last night and continued production all day today (Friday May 22)with consistently low temperatures and light winds perfect for producing high quality snow,” he said.

“The system and crew have performed flawlessly which is very pleasing after a busy summer on the tools for our outstanding maintenance team. It’s all guns blazing as we build towards our scheduled opening onJune 13.

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(L to R) James Needham, Amy Mattis and Brent Hein.

“I’ve had a string of excited text messages from passionate locals who saw the sky lit up with the snow guns last night. It feels like Queenstown is really getting behind us, everyone is ready for a bumper winter season.”

Up to 240 litres of water per second flowed through the pumps in the past 24 hours, producing 24,000 cubic meters of snow concentrated around the core trails on the mountain.  As temperatures fell to minus 7oC, production expanded right across the mountain from Sarah Sue to Rocky Gully.

“We’ve had a helicopter on the mountain this morning moving the last of the snow guns into place, so we’re all good to go for the weekend,” said Mr Copland.

“The snowmaking team has started into shift work and it looks like some long days and nights ahead, with four days of consistently low temperatures in the forecast likely to give a continued period of snow making.

“We’ve made sufficient snow already on the key trails to get around on skidoos so we can access the guns for maintenance and fine tuning, although the system has automated functions and switches itself on the moment temperature and humidity conditions are right.

“The mountain’s rapidly turning white and with snow showers forecast over the next four days, things are looking promising for a fantastic start to winter.”

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

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