Winter has come early to New Zealand with snow on the ground in march. we look at what’s new across the ditch for the 2014 snow season.
While we sweat it out on the eastern seaboard of Australia our Kiwi comrades across the ditch are already counting snow dumps by the half metre.
This is what residents of Methven in Canterbury woke up to on the first day of Autumn, March 1 with snow covering Mt Hutt.
If you think that’s early, check out this skiing video from mid summer on January 27 at Mt Hutt. They are claiming first turns of the season. Let’s give it to them.
Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area is on track for the re-instatement of a new-look Triple Chair, the introduction of a new terrain park further up the mountain and trail improvements. The Triple Chair was out of action at the ski area last winter after an avalanche damaged the bottom station following record snowfall in late June.
Other developments planned for Mt Hutt for the 2014 season include a new terrain park near the top of the mountain between Morning Glory and Wiley’s Way with 120 metre long mix of jumps, rails and boxes. Improvements have also been carried out to the beginning of the advanced run Virgin Mile to minimise congestion.
Meanwhile at The Remarkables, half a metre of fresh dry pow blanketed the lodge deck on March 4.
If we didn’t know any better we’d say it was a promotional stunt from NZ Ski. The Remarkables has some major improvements launching this coming season as part of a $45million redevelopment of the ski area
The formidable and at times knee trembling road to The Remarks will be completely sealed within a few years and drivers will be pleased to know that it will be fully sealed to the 4km mark past Windy Point in time for this season.
Just in time for the new high speed six seater 1.2km Curvey Basin chair lift which will go from the bottom of the learners slopes at 1600m and rise to a top terminal at 1900kms. The resort is also adding fifty two new snow guns and opening up 1.6kms of new trails.
Coronet Peak in Queenstown has doubled the amount of terrain under lights for nighttime skiing in 2014. Eighty new lights will add over four kilometres of trails for Friday and Saturday night skiing and boarding.
Along with the additional night ski trails, a new ‘Park after Dark’ freestyle run with boxes, rails and a giant airbag will cater to skiers and riders who like to hit the terrain parks. Two outdoor Italian wood-smoke pizza ovens offering $10 pizzas, music on the deck with DJ will also feature.
Treble Cone near Wanaka won Best New Zealand Ski Resort at the World Ski Awards last year and have extended the High Street Trail by four hundred mentres with new alignments to make it easier for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The Jazz Kids Fun Trail of mini rollers, small kids jumps and terrain goodness has also been extended in length for 2014.
The mountain has also purchased two new PB400 Winch Cats for added grooming and conditioning of TC slopes.
TC will continue it’s policy of no credit card transaction fees for customers and are again part of the OnePassNZ lift ticket with neighbouring ski field Cardrona.
Cardrona are developing a new intermediate freestyle ski and snowboard terrain park. This will bring the total of terrain parks on offer at Cardrona to four.
The new park will have a triple jump line with jumps ranging from 5 metres to 10 metres in length from lip to knuckle and some extra rails and boxes. The park will be on the Main Basin and will not impede any existing runs and trails.
If you have Olympic rings in your eyes then know that twenty one of the freestyle athletes who trained at Cardrona last year won a medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Porters near Methven are installing an automated SMI snowmaking system for greater snow coverage on the lower mountain and adding a Kassbohrer Winch PB400W groomer to the fleet. Kids under twelve can also now ski at Porters for free when a parent or grandparent purchases a full day adult lift pass.
On the North Island at Mt Ruapehu expect a new ticketing system that uses smart card technology. All lift passes at both Whakapapa and Turoa will now be RFID card technology and can be reloaded at any time of the day. Turoa have also upgraded their Yeti Kids Centre facilities and rental gear at both mountains will have a new Elite Fleet of top of the line skis for advanced and expert skiers.