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Mt Hutt ski area to open after epic snowstorm

Media release from Mt Hutt

August 17 2011

Mt Hutt ski area to open after epic snowstorm

Canterbury's Mt Hutt ski area is set to re-open tomorrow (Thursday August 18) after New Zealand's biggest snow storm in 50 years dumped 80cm of fresh dry powder on its slopes.

The mountain was closed for three days as the storm closed the access road and left huge drifts burying parts of the base building and lift stations.

Three ski patrollers, four groomer drivers, two custodians and a road contracting crew trapped on the mountain made good use of their time digging out doors and pathways. Today they were joined by more than 75 staff who finally reached them once the road access was cleared.

"The mountain's looking absolutely great with 80cm of new snow especially in the inner basin and some wind affected areas," said ski area manager David Wilson.

"The contrast has been huge with 2m to 3m snowdrifts around the lifts and base building, but in others the wind has stripped out the snow.

"This snowfall will change us completely for the rest of the season, it's just fantastic.

"We still need to do a lot of work but we're all steam ahead to be ready for at least a partial opening first thing tomorrow subject to weather and conditions.

"This has really set us up for the thousands of keen skiers and boarders from Canterbury and overseas who are just itching to get up here for some amazing first tracks in some serious powder.

"Now the storm has done its stuff, we're looking forward to some glorious sunny weekend weather."


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