Ski season switches hemispheres

15th June 2015, by Abi Butcher

Arapahoe Basin in Colorado celebrated closing yesterday with some pond skimming

Arapahoe Basin in Colorado celebrated closing yesterday with some pond skimming

One ski season ended this weekend, and another began — on the other side of the world. 

After a massive eight-month season, Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, USA, closed its lifts yesterday, Sunday 14 June. The ski resort that opened on 17 October 2014 celebrated its closing day with music, pond skimming and a party — after a massive 237 days in operation and more than 300 inches of snow.

“It has been an outstanding season with early-season powder days, a remarkably sunny January, a dry-ish March that left us scratching our heads, and an incredible spring season in April and May,” said a spokesman for the 900-acre day skiing resort near Keystone.

“It was that late-season snow that allowed us to extend even further into June, but now summer is creeping in and it’s time to hang up our skis and snowboards.”

Meanwhile, Down Under in New Zealand, three ski areas opened on Saturday, 13 June. Mt Hutt, near Christchurch welcomed “first to ride the chairlift” with bubbles as did Coronet Peak ski area near Queenstown. 

At Coronet Peak four young Queenstown and Arrowtown locals spent the night at the ski area from 7pm. Sixteen-year-old Finn Duffy was one of them. “There was nice powder up there and it definitely was worth queuing up for!” she said

Cardrona Alpine Resort that sits between Queenstown and Wanaka opened initially on Saturday but wind caused them to close their lifts later in the morning. Next weekend both Porters and The Remarkables are due to open followed by Treble Cone on 25 June then Ohau and Roundhill (both on 27 June) and Mt Dobson on 3 July. 

The past few weeks have brought snow and cold temperatures to the south island, though wind has churned up conditions over the past couple of days.

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