Where do you start this week %%First Name%%?
The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival continues this week with a prolific number of eclectic events, and finally winds up this weekend with the first night riding of the season at Coronet Peak. There has been, and continue to be fantastic conditions from the Mackenzie Country southward. Perfect machine packed powder on-piste and wind pack powder off-piste is being kept pristine by the cold temperatures. All ski & board areas have been open with consistently good weather this week enjoying these snow conditions.
All areas in the MacKenzie will be opening this Saturday for the school holidays except Alpure Cat Ski operation which will open a week later. There is still plenty of first tracks to be had of the top of the new Heritage Express rope tow at Roundhill. At 1,473m long with a 626m vertical rise and top elevation of 2,133m, the Heritage Express Rope Tow triples Roundhill's vertical and gives access to the amazing steeps and chutes.
Club fields will be joining Hutt and Porters in Canterbury this weekend. The snow is wind packed and cold with well above average snowpack depths for this time of year. In the top of Canterbury Hanmer opens this weekend and Lyford is enjoying a huge 1.6m base... in early July!
Unfortunately the freezing level is just too high at Manganui but they will open again as soon as the snow lowers. It is a great day at Mt Ruapehu today! RAL are working hard to get the High Noon Express tower repaired for next week. The Knoll Cafe looks like it will be completed in mid-August. Beginner's areas on both sides of the mountain have been enjoying good man-made snow conditions. The main trails off the Movenpick and High Flyer chairs have been rideable but the big news is that the Valley and Knoll T-bars will open this weekend heralding the beginning of upper mountain riding at Whakapapa.
In the North Island, Saturday is the day to go riding this weekend. A low pressure system moving in from the in the Tasman will bring unsettled weather on Sunday. In the Southern Lakes a southerly front will bring snow showers this weekend but nothing that hat (or even better, helmet) and goggles won't take care of. Everywhere is looking sweet with Saturday being the best day.
Get into it, have fun and be safe.