9 August 2002

Coronet Peak from the RemarkablesThe nearest ski area to Queenstown only half an hour or less door to snow. Heading northwards past the famous Shotover river canyons, you wind up a paved two-lane road, more akin to a European Ski resort than a Kiwi ski field. With a regular bus service from the centre of town for those who still don’t wish to drive.

From the top of Coronet PeakThe area is roughly a pyramid in shape. With the main lift running straight up the middle from bottom to top. The main lift in this case being a high speed quad. The mountain is flanked on both sides by additional chairs and a T-Bar. Most of the mountain is covered by snowmaking facilities and a fair amount by floodlights, giving top to bottom night skiing. At the base the lodge is large and contains all the facilities one might feel the need for. There is even a second on mountain café/restaurant at the base of the T-Bar. There are also a couple of residential lodges, but these are mainly owned and operated by private ski clubs.

The Halfpipe from Greengates ChairBased under and serviced by the second chair there is a full size Half pipe and a reasonably large terrain park for the freestyle crowd. Biased more towards rails and boxes tan massive hits.

The skiing is much like any modern resort with lots of well prepared pistes, so many in fact that there is hardly and off piste available in between them. The snow was firm packed and living up to the Peaks nickname ‘Concrete’ in places. Off the summit there was a short steep bit of off piste but nothing to really write home about.

The top of CoronetThis is a resort that caters very well to anyone who enjoys piste skiing. With the addition of the Terrain Park it should keep most people entertained but if you crave adventure away from the groomed then seek elsewhere.

Words and Pictures from Tom Greenall - Natives Resort Reporter


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