Mt Hutt ski field postpones opening day

Ski staff have described the snow as the "best in years" (Photo / Mt Hutt)
Ski staff have described the snow as the "best in years" (Photo / Mt Hutt)

The season will start a day late as the threat of high winds forces Canterbury's Mt Hutt to postpone its official opening.

Despite great early season snow and base of 60 to 100cm, the popular ski field will now open on Saturday, June 11, a day later than expected. Mt Hutt was due to be the first ski field in the country to open, with Otago's Coronet Peak and Cardrona not far behind. 

Ski area manager James McKenzie says snow conditions are "extremely good" but the high winds are likely to cause trouble for chairlifts on Friday. More than 250 staff have been training for the opening.

"We're disappointed for our guests that the forecast is such that we can't open as planned when we're ready to go and everyone's so excited about opening day," he says.

"We'll continue to closely monitor the weather forecast over the next couple of days, and remain hopeful of opening this weekend."

But Saturday is also looking hairy with MetService expecting gale westerlies and snow down to 1400 metres in Canterbury high country overnight.

Rain is forecast on Sunday with snow down to 600 metres and severe gale norwesterlies.