22 Jun 2016

Ski season's here, but where's the snow?

4:29 pm on 22 June 2016

Unseasonably mild conditions have forced South Island skifields to delay opening dates and change event plans.

Porter Heights skifield has delayed its opening thanks to unseasonably warm weather lately.

Porter Heights skifield has delayed its opening thanks to unseasonably warm weather lately. Photo: Porter Heights / www.skiporters.co.nz

Today, Porter Heights has delayed plans to open for the first time and Canterbury's other main field, Mt Hutt, is closed for a second day running due to strong winds.

Wanaka's Treble Cone will also delay opening on Thursday because of a lack of snow, and Queenstown's Coronet Peak will be closed until at least Friday.

NZ Ski owns Mt Hutt, the Remarkables and Coronet Peak.

Chief executive Paul Anderson said the snow drought forced the company to shift the venue for events planned as part of Queenstown's winter festival, which was set to start on Friday.

"We're moving all of the events that were scheduled for Coronet Peak over to the Remarkables just because we think the conditions are going to be better there, and it makes for a much better experience for the competitors and guests."

The Remarkables and Cardrona are both open but are mostly relying on softer snow made by snow makers.

Cooler conditions were forecast for Thursday night and the weekend, which skifield owners hoped would allow them to operate snow-makers and build up a better base on their main runs.

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