INDEPENDENT NEWS

First Tracks launches as new snow blankets Mt Hutt

Published: Mon 13 Aug 2012 04:56 PM
Media release from Mt Hutt
13 August 2012
First Tracks launches as new snow blankets Mt Hutt
A new ski experience will launch this weekend at Canterbury’s premier ski area enabling skiers and riders to access coveted ‘First Tracks’
Mt Hutt’s Summit 6 and Quad chairlifts will start up at 8am this Saturday* (August 18) for the first ever ‘Mt Hutt First Tracks’ – a ski experience that is already hugely successful at Queenstown’s Coronet Peak.
The announcement comes as Mt Hutt revels in more than half a metre of dry new snow received in the past 36 hours.
The mountain is closed today (Monday August 13) as the overnight crew continues to attempt to clear snow drifts of over a metre on the ski area access road. The weather forecast for tonight (Aug 13) is for more snow into Tuesday morning with clearing areas later afternoon then yet more snow.
Mt Hutt ski area manager James Mackenzie said giving visitors the chance to ski and ride the first freshly-groomed ‘corduroy’ trails or off-piste powder, if snow had fallen overnight, was a hugely sought-after experience.
“Once we’re open after this snowfall, conditions are going to be epic,” he said.
“We’ve had many requests over the years to get First Tracks up and running at Mt Hutt, but it’s obviously something that requires additional logistics and work behind the scenes, both on the ski area and the road, to make it happen.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to launch First Tracks, and we know there will be many loyal season pass holders, Methven residents and visitors who’ll also be delighted with the initiative.
“Riding to the top of Mt Hutt from 8am in the morning, absorbing the captivating sunrise above the Canterbury Plains, is one of the most spectacular times you can be on the ski area.
“There’s nothing better than looking down on the fresh seamless corduroy our team of Mt Hutt grooming experts have laid especially for you to experience, and planning your ‘tracks’, before the lifts officially open to the general public at 9am.”
Mt Hutt First Tracks will be available at an introductory rate of $20 per adult and $10 per youth as an ‘add-on’ to a valid day pass or season pass. Children on the Kids4Free 10 and under programme will need to purchase the add-on too. Existing mypass card holders can purchase the add-on product on-line at www.nzski.com or at Guest Services on the mountain.
Based on the highly successful Coronet Peak model, a Mt Hutt duty manager will make a decision on whether First Tracks is running on a daily basis, based on snowfalls and avalanche control. The Snow Report will be updated at 6am.
The Summit 6 and Quad chairs will open at 8am accessing groomed terrain, and Hubers Hutt will open by 8.15am selling coffee and cooked breakfast.
A chain hire or fitting service will not be available to First Tracks guests on the Mt Hutt access road, and guests will need to provide their own transport.
*Subject to conditions
ENDS

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