Snow snippets: 20 June

20th June 2010, by Chris Gill

Struggling under early season ice - Turoa, Mt Ruapehu

Struggling under early season ice - Turoa, Mt Ruapehu

A resort in New Zealand found itself with a bit of a dilemma this week, when a lift tower keeled over. On routine checks of their chairlifts the piste patrol at Turoa (Mt Ruapehu) discovered that one of the supporting towers on the High Noon Express chair had been damaged by ice. Although the line had been checked and de-iced the previous day, the tower had sustained significant shock load from the natural release of cable ice – and not due to any design or structural defect in the lift. The resort is now busy undertaking repairs to the lift.

And, as the photo above shows, snowfall to start the season has been pretty good so far. A warm spell has offloaded some rain this week, but the real problem has been the wind. Turoa (80cm) was closed as stormbound on Sunday 20 June.

Elsewhere, more resorts are due to open shortly in NZ. Mt Lydford is the latest to fire up the lifts, and with 20cm of fresh snow on its slopes. Rain, wind and snow have been a feature for Mt Hutt too; it is a similar scene in the Remarkables – where the snow is reported to be a bit wet at present. But snow is forecast as the weather cools off again this week.

Coronet Peak (57cm) has a lower settled snow base than the other open resorts. Rain has left the snow in a granular state, but there are six lifts open.

Treble Cone (53cm) is due to open on Thursday 24 June, followed by Snow Park on Saturday 26 June.

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