Ski operators want more snow

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Fingers are crossed as more snow is predicted for some South Canterbury ski fields this weekend.
A front is expected over the province’s ski fields on Saturday. If those predictions are correct, ski field managers and skiers will have reason to smile.
MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee said some of the ski fields would have missed out on a front early this week, but most were likely to benefit this weekend.
‘‘There’s a system that might come in that does have a bit of a stronger signal,’’ he said.
Most ski fields opened in time for the school holidays, but weather had proved problematic for some, including a lack of snow on some trails.
However, that did not deter the many people who headed to the slopes during fine weather last weekend.
Ohau Snow Fields had a good day on Saturday — the busiest of its season so far, owneroperator Mike Neilson said.
‘‘There’s more snow on its way, but we are fully operational now.’’
Roundhill Ski Area also had a busy day on Saturday, ski area manager Simon Murrell said.
Saturday provided great skiing conditions, Sunday was ‘‘a bit average’’, but things picked up on Monday, providing holiday-makers with another ‘‘beautiful day’’, he said.
‘‘The weather has been pretty on and off, really.
‘‘It’s been a pretty lean snow year so we’re relying on a lot of man-made snow.’’
Mt Dobson manager Bruce Foote said wind had been the biggest problem for the ski field this season.
‘‘We’ve got enough snow, but [there has been] a lot of wind causing a few issues at the moment,’’ Mr Foote said.
‘‘The weather has been fighting us.
‘‘You can’t operate when it’s blowing, it’s just not safe.’’
However, there was some reprieve last Saturday.
‘‘It was a good day . . . we had a crowd up there [and] everybody was happy, and today, too,’’ he said on Monday.
However, some fields, including Fox Peak Ski Field, had not opened.
A past-president of Fox Peak Ski Club, Grant Keeley, was hopeful the field would open soon. But it would take 50cm of snow ‘‘to get us going’’, he said.