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First New Zealand snow

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24 May 2010

The vast high country ski field has received 10cm of fresh powder, and is likely to get more throughout the week.

Mt Hutt manager Dave Wilson says the first snow dump is the start of a promising ski season for New Zealand.

"It’s great to see a dump of wet snow that should stick around and help create a good base. The cold temperatures mean that the team will get started on snowmaking in the next few days to add to the base that has already accumulated," he said.

Queenstown is also expecting the first winter snow later in the week - just in time for the start of snowmaking on 22 May, and the scheduled opening of Coronet Peak ski area on 5 June.

Coronet Peak will also be the New Zealand winter training ground of top European and Asian Olympic teams, including Switzerland, Korea, Norway and Japan.

Ski area manager Hamish McCrostie says the race department at the mountain works hard to ensure that the facilities used by the teams are top-notch.

"The conditions we provide are just as challenging as those encountered on the Olympic stage. We work incredibly hard to actively simulate the conditions these racers would encounter during World Cup and Olympic racing."

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