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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Snow and more snow at New Zealand’s Mt Hutt

Winter has ‘officially’ arrived at Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area in New Zealand’s South Island as it celebrates its second major snowfall in two weeks.

A cold snap and associated snowstorm over the weekend delivered 20cm of snow over the entire mountain.

The ski area access road has been blocked for two days with large snowdrifts at the Rakaia Saddle and today (May 7) was the first day Mt Hutt staff made it to the ski area car park, trudging the last 2.5km uphill on foot.

A D8 Bulldozer is working from the Rakaia Saddle clearing an access track to the base building car park.
Mt Hutt Operations General Manager James Urquhart said snow had settled “absolutely everywhere” on the mountain as there had been no wind at the ski area.

“After our snowfall a couple of weeks ago it’s looking superb once again, and our head of snowmaking Blair James just couldn’t resist heading up the hill for some product testing,” he said.

Maintenance crew walking the 2.5km into the ski area from the Rakaia Saddle“The Mt Hutt snowmaking department will fire up the guns from mid next week and hopefully these cool temperatures stick around and should make for some excellent conditions.

“Our snowmaking systems have been checked and are ready for staff to sign on at the end of this week.”

Mr Urquhart said Mt Hutt’s seasonal management team started work at the beginning of this week and 11 members of staff were being kept busy sorting through all applications for seasonal staff positions this coming winter.

“Today really is the start of winter as we’ll be transporting our first groomer up the mountain today and this always signals winter for our summer crew,” he said.

Mt Hutt is scheduled to open for the 2013 winter season on June 15.

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