While the season is over for other South Island ski areas, Mt Hutt is revelling in new spring snow. While wild and windy weather lashed Mid Canterbury overnight Sunday, the ski area also suffered gale-force winds but the outcome was good with a snowfall which followed, dropping eight to 10 centimetres of snow. This will boost a great season for Methven.
"It's some of the best spring skiing I have ever had there, on trail it's just fantastic, fantastic skiing and riding," Mt Hutt ski area manager Dave Wilson said. Today the ski area is once again celebrating a return to winter. Another five centimetres of snow fell overnight."Winter has returned to Mt Hutt and the snow does not get any better - silky, crunchy and dry. With cold day time temps it will be awesome skiing throughout."
The temperature on the mountain at 6am was minus five degrees, and minus two degrees at 9.45am as about 400 skiers began a sunny but cool day on the mountain.
The season is over for the ski area company's other two fields in Queenstown and other South Island ski areas except Broken River which will reopen for this weekend only, while Mt Hutt will remain open until October 23.
But while the snow was welcome on Mt Hutt, on farms surrounding the mountain it was not welcome, making lambing conditions difficult for farmers.
Mt Hutt farmer Jeanette Maxwell said yesterday she expected some losses from the storm overnight on Sunday. About two centimetres of snow had fallen.
However, the warm conditions which followed would be favourable for stock, unlike a southerly blast of rain and cold winds last week which saw 220 lambs killed.
"Hopefully the sun will shine today and things will pick up quickly. That's the plan," she said. Gale-force winds buffeted the property before the rain and snow, blowing over three lamb pens, and were expected to have damaged a few trees in an Oregon plantation on the farm.
Mid Canterbury was littered with tree branches yesterday morning after the strong winds.
Heavy rain fell during the night as well - in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday 14.5 millimetres fell in Ashburton, 14.6 millimetres at Winchmore, and 18.4 millimetres at Methven.
Yesterday in Methven 10.8 millimetres of rain fell.
October 10 2006