New Zealand’s mountains extreme weather has deposited more than 40cm of new snow on Canterbury’s Mt Hutt skifield ahead of its June 11 opening date.
The Canterbury skifields have had a sensational early season snowfall, but this week’s weather bomb has also prompted an avalanche warning across the Southern Alps.
NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson said Mt Hutt was at the centre of the heavy rain and snow event and had received about 40cm of snow at the base and much bigger accumulations higher up the mountain with more expected to fall on Monday.
The early season snow would ensure a fantastic opening day on June 11, he said.
Four staff members were on the mountain undertaking avalanche control and were yet to assess the access road, where about 340mm of rain has fallen.
The Mountain Safety Council has issued a high avalanche advisory for South Island areas including Arthur’s Pass, Craigieburn Range, Mt Hutt, Aoraki/Mt Cook and Two Thumbs.
Up to 2 metres of new snow is possible on the east side of the Aoraki/Mt Cook, Two Thumbs and Ohau region from the severe weather system, the online advisory says.
The conditions at most of the club fields in Canterbury are yet to viewed as operators struggle to get access through torrential rain and across broken bridges.
Craigieburn Valley Ski Area president Sander Kriek went to look at the skifield in Arthur’s Pass on Sunday and said the top of the mountain looked amazing, with lots of new snow.
New Zealand is off to a great start to their ski season!