A metre of snow in one day
South Canterbury’s ski fields will be primed for the rest of the 2017 season, with both Roundhill and Mount Dobson receiving more than one metre of snowfall over the weekend.
Mount Dobson Ski Field marketing manager Mike Smith said snow fell for about 36 hours, starting on Friday and not ending until 5pm Saturday. ‘‘That’ll set us up for the rest of the season.
‘‘Everything else is nice little powder top ups, really.’’
Mount Dobson had a snow base of 2.22m at the deepest point, and 1.67m at the lowest point as yesterday.
The ski field received between 1.3 and 1.5m of snow over Friday and Saturday, Smith said.
Although Mount Dobson was closed yesterday due to the heavy snow, Smith was optimistic his team would have the ski field ready by today. ‘‘We’re getting stuck into some shovelling this morning.
‘‘The guys are doing a terrific job at getting the snow off the road.’’
Roundhill Ski Field manager Simon Murrell said snowfalls at Roundhill had been enormous.
‘‘We got a massive amount of snow, up to 1.5m,’’ he said.
Roundhill was also closed yesterday, with snow clearance works being conducted.
Murrell said he hoped the ski field would reopen today.
Snow at Roundhill would probably stick around for awhile, Murrell said.
‘‘It depends on the weather, but in an average winter with no rain events it’ll last into spring.’’
Roads at Roundhill had been closed, and buildings had been completely covered in powder.
‘‘Anything on the lee side of the southerly got buried.
‘‘There was up to three metres of snow on the roofs.’’
Explosives would be used to clear potential avalanche zones, with explosives thrown from helicopters.
Smith said the crew at Roundhill was not expecting to use explosives in their clean out operations.
This year’s season is the complete opposite of last year’s, he said. ‘‘Last year we had three closed days, due to rain events.
‘‘This year, we’ve had five closed days due to snow events.’’
Nearby ski fields also received significant snowfall over the weekend.
Fox Peak ski field received ‘‘probably upwards of 50cm of snow’’, according to Fox Peak Ski Club president Alistair Millar. ‘‘That’ll set us up for most of the season,’’ he said.
Ohau Snow Fields received 32cm of snow over the weekend.
Owner Mike Nielson said the ski field had a good day yesterday as a result of the snow.
MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said no further snow was anticipated for the ski fields in coming days, with the Tekapo area being too warm for snowfall.
Thursday was the earliest anticipated point for more snow, Hines said.