24 Nov 2008

Bumper season for snow lovers

9:06 pm on 24 November 2008

A bumper season drew record numbers of skiers and snow boarders to New Zealand slopes in 2008.

The Ski Areas Association says its members sold just over 1.4 million ski passes this year, 1000 more than the previous record set in 2006.

More snow and better snow-making facilities are being credited for the record, which saw fields in the North and South Island extend their seasons.

Mount Hutt closed after Labour Weekend at the end of October, while Turoa recorded its longest season ever finally closing on Sunday.

However, unpredictable weather meant a rocky start for operators.

Constant snow storms meant a slow start for skifields on Mount Ruapehu in the central North Island, while unseasonably warm weather caused headaches for operators in the South Island.