All skifields ready for opening day

Recent snow bodes well for season

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Perfect conditions . Sunny conditions at Roundhill skifield, near Lake Tekapo, on Tuesday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Alexia Johnston

Skiers and snowboarders wanting to hit the slopes these school holidays will be spoilt for choice, as all South Canterbury fields look set to open.
Mt Dobson Ski Area, Fox Peak, Roundhill and Ohau Snowfields have welcomed recent snowfalls, which produced good conditions for the start of the season.
Roundhill ski area manager Simon Murrell said great conditions meant the field was on track to open as planned today, weather permitting.
“Things are looking awesome. It’s a beautiful day today,” he said from the skifield on Tuesday.
“[There is] lots of snow around and we’re making snow as we speak.”
Roundhill, which has a base of 40cm-50cm, received a metre of snow over the past few days, Mr Murrell said.
He was confident it was going to be an “epic” opening day.
Mt Dobson Ski Area manager Bruce Foote was also pleased with conditions so far.
“We’re pretty good at the moment,” he said on Tuesday.
The aim was to get the ski field open tomorrow, thanks to a good base of between 45cm-50cm.
“We should be opening with all the lifts and T-bar,” he said.
Fox Peak Club president Alistair Millar said, all going to plan, the skifield would also be open this weekend.
Although the land is privately owned, the Fox Peak Club leases the field from June 1 to September 30.
Mr Millar said anyone was welcome to utilise the skifield.
“You can be a club member or just go there to ski. The land is privately owned, but the skifield has a long-term lease on it.”
Ohau Snow Fields was one of the first skifields to open in the area this season, enjoying a “fantastic” opening last Saturday, owner/operator Mike Neilson said.
“We had a fantastic day on Saturday. We were all set to open with snow-making.”
The weather gods added to the base with a storm on opening weekend, which brought a further 52cm to the field.
Although most of that snow fell on Saturday, opening day still went ahead.
The weather meant not a lot of people ventured up the hill, many waiting for clearer weather on Sunday.
Skier numbers were expected to grow, especially during the school holidays.