Fresh snow on Mt Hutt.

A natural base is building, the snow guns have been fired up, and if the weather gods play their part, the slopes of Mt Hutt will be open for skiers and snowboarders on June 10.

Another season on the mountain beckons for enthusiasts and skifield manager James McKenzie is eager to welcome visitors.

“We can’t wait to welcome back Cantabrians and tourists from around New Zealand and further afield.
‘‘The season has rolled around quickly and all we need now is some snow and consistent cold
conditions for snow making,’’ he said.

Snowmaking systems had been boosted this year with the addition of two new snow guns, which by using new technology would double the capacity delivered on the intermediate run.

A new snow groomer was also expected to arrive on Mt Hutt soon to further streamline operations.

Mr McKenzie said good progress was being made on getting the hill ready for visitors and many of his departments were close to full staffing capacity.

Staffing had been helped by new immigration rules that had enabled the ski industry to recruit much-needed instructors, groomers and other staff.

Mr McKenzie, who had been the manager at Mt Hutt for the past 10 years, said there had been a good return crew rate, including some staff members who had notched up more than 30 years of service.

Mt Hutt expects to employ 300 staff over the season.

The skifield was named New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort for the seventh year in a row at the World Ski Awards earlier this year and consistently has the longest season of any in the country.

-By Mick Jensen