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Mt Hutt turns on a stunner for opening day

Mt Hutt turns on a stunner for opening day
Skiers had a cracker of a first day up on the slopes at Mt Hutt.

Saturday turned on a brilliant performance for the opening day at Mt Hutt Skifield, with sunny, still conditions making for a picture-perfect start to the 2023 ski season.
Ski area manager James McKenzie was at the bottom of the chair lift, greeting the first arrivals at 9am.
The first six on each of the lifts got a t-shirt marking the event.
The season had been due to start on Friday, but that was postponed until Saturday to allow for an extra day of snow-making.
By Saturday there was a 10cm base which McKenzie said wasn’t too bad, and that they’ve opened with less snow than that before.
“It’s not a stellar start, but once you have the first compaction of the snow from skiers it’ll be locked in nicely.
“Mother Nature hasn’t delivered what we hoped, but we’ve got snow making in place to compensate.”
He said skiers and boarders had to be a bit cautious, as there were a few rocks around so people couldn’t go “hell for leather”.
During the course of the season the base will be a good two to three metres.
Christchurch skier Soo May was very happy to be on the slopes, and thought it was probably a good thing to have less snow as “it’s best to take things a bit more slowly on the first day”.
McKenzie estimates there were 1500-1800 season pass holders at the field, much as they expected.
“We did think that we might need the second carpark operating, but we didn’t in the end. There were still around 30 parks to spare in the top carpark.”
The day went well apart from, assumedly, for the owner of a banged-up SUV which McKenzie said slid into a ditch on the access road. No one-was injured.
“A few people got stuck because they didn’t have chains.
"The usual stuff.”

  • By Julie Moffett