Do not put your skis away just yet.

That is the message from most of South Canterbury’s skifields, as managers expect the slopes to remain open until early October.

Mt Dobson general manager Mike Smith said the season had been “pretty good” and staff were planning on keeping the field open until at least October 7-8, the middle weekend of the school holidays.

They had been making snow only at the start of the season, and had since relied on natural snowfall to cover the slopes.

Mr Smith said while the field had had more closed days – due to high winds, low visibility or snow dumps – this year, the flip side was the skiing conditions that people had enjoyed.

“[The] skiing was better than last year.”

Due to the mountain’s conditions being better than some further south, the field had had a number of visitors coming from Queenstown and Wanaka, as well as others from Christchurch, he said.

Roundhill Ski Area manager Simon Murrell said the field had also had a lot of Southern Lakes residents travelling north for the conditions.

“There’s been really good interest out of Queenstown.”

While there had been great skiing conditions, the field was still set to close on Sunday, as people had less interest in the cold slopes as the weather got warmer, he said.

Fox Peak club president Alistair Millar said the club’s skifield, which opens on weekends, had been providing some “mint skiing” conditions this season.

He said there was “no comparison” between the conditions this year and last. Only 2006 had come close to the season the club had had this year.

“[It has been] one of the best snow years we’ve had.”

With the Apex tow ski lift open, there was even more terrain available for skiers and snowboarders to try out, he said.

“It just opens a whole lot of [new skiing] area.”

He also hoped they the field would stay open until the school holidays, but it would depend on the conditions over the coming month.

Ohau Snowfields owner Mike Neilson said it had been a great season, with a lot more snow than last year, meaning the field would not close until the middle weekend of the school holidays.

“We’ve still got great snow . .  . there’ll be good spring skiing.”Sports ShoesAsics Onitsuka Tiger